Franklin Graham: Chip Off the Old Blockhead

Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, has proven to be more fundamentalist than his father — or at least less discrete and careful in his public pronouncements. His father was always careful to cultivate a relatively moderate image in public, but Franklin is going all-in with the anti-Obama nonsense:

“In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God,” he said. “We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum.”

Uh, what? In the last four years? Fundies have been saying this for at least the last 50 years (actually, they said that about the Constitution when it was passed as well). Obama hasn’t done anything at all in support of separation of church and state; in fact, his faith-based partnership policies have been roundly criticized by civil liberties groups. And the last sentence is a carefully crafted lie, using that vague language of “any kind of public forum,” which simply is not true. They usually use the phrase “public square” without ever defining what that means, because they want to give the false impression, clearly stated here by Graham, that it’s now illegal to speak about Christianity in public. The fact that people, included elected officials, do this every single day never seems to register for them.

He also says God may have to punish us economically so we’ll do what Graham thinks we should do:

Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

The man is a buffoon — and a dangerous one at that.

23 comments on this post.
  1. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):

    Beat us, God! Beat us! Punish us! Show Your divine loving mercy by smiting us relentlessly! Send natural disasters! Bring economic ruin! Starvation! Pestilence! Soshalizm! We love America so much we want it to be ground into the dust under Your loving Heels! Use Your Fists of healing and peace, God! Show us how bad we’ve been by blessing us with Your body blows of wonder and mercy! We’ve been bad, right? God? God? Are You there?

  2. slc1:

    It is claimed that Graham once tried to convince former Israeli Prime Minister Sharon to raze the Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem in order to build the Third Temple. Guaranteed to start a religious war between Islam and the West.

    Of course, the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip who have been aiming missiles obtained from Iran at Jerusalem may do the job for him if one of the missiles happens to hit the mosque.

  3. d.c.wilson:

    We need to stop taking these fools at their word when they say they love America. Clearly, they hate this country and everything it was founded on.

  4. blf:

    We need to stop taking these fools at their word…

    Who believes anything they say, Kimosabe?

  5. Michael Heath:

    Franklin Graham, true to form, lies:

    You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum.

    Ed responds:

    . . . the last sentence is a carefully crafted lie, using that vague language of “any kind of public forum,” which simply is not true. They usually use the phrase “public square” without ever defining what that means, because they want to give the false impression, clearly stated here by Graham, that it’s now illegal to speak about Christianity in public. The fact that people, included elected officials, do this every single day never seems to register for them.

    We often struggle in describing behavior by conservative Christians on religious matters in the public square and private areas open to the public; are they deluded, knowingly lying, determinedly ignorant, mundanely ignorant, or some combination of this set? I think the most obvious example when they’re knowingly lying is when their leaders dishonestly conflate the government exercising power with individuals exercising their constitutionally protected: speech, association, and religious freedom rights.

    As a voting block, conservative Christians and their leaders knowingly and disingenuously seek to confuse government from people because they seek to have the government: promote their religious beliefs, force those beliefs on all people when they’re engaged with our government, and legislate unconstitutional laws which serve the ends of their religion. Religiously motivated laws which deny us our constitutionally protected rights. They hypocritically advocate for these laws as Franklin Graham does here, covertly demanding our Constitution must yield even while falsely claiming to be constitutionalists. (Mike Huckabee was actually overt about it once, claiming the Constitution must bend to his version of biblical law.)

    By falsely conflating government and people on religious matters in the public square, they seek to avoid the fact, the reality, that their policy positions are not only unconstitutional, but anti-American and anti-liberty. Yet they still hypocritically assert they’re the sole defenders of the Constitution; instead conservative Christians are the sole effective opponent advocating the denial of our individual religious freedom rights by leveraging the power of government to promote their brand of Christianity.

    The framers were so prescient in their skepticism some Christians would seek to exploit government power to deny out-groups their religious freedom rights, they not only numerated that right in the Constitution, but also established an express prohibition of power by the state given the state is the greatest threat to our religious freedom rights. Few rights are combined to a prohibition of power, compelling evidence of the importance framers placed on secularism and conscience rights.

    Yet we still have conservative Christians near-monolithically lying about church-state matters by seeking to leverage government power to deny us our liberty rights and insure we secularists remain second-class citizens; in spite of the fact we expressly architected a secularist government with a constitutional obligation to defend our individual rights of conscience.

  6. Synfandel:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse.

    What ever happened to plain old smiting?

  7. blf:

    What ever happened to plain old smiting?

    The Magic Sky Faeries’s spacial and temporal aim is so bad, that despite probably repeatedly trying we’re not at any risk (other than dying of laughter).

  8. davidct:

    To do the old fashioned biblical “Smiting”, god would have to show itself. These days it has to work through the actions of men. The believers can always see god’s hand in any events, good or bad. All you need is faith.

  9. Sastra:

    Michael Heath #5 wrote:

    I think the most obvious example when they’re knowingly lying is when their leaders dishonestly conflate the government exercising power with individuals exercising their constitutionally protected: speech, association, and religious freedom rights.

    They needn’t be knowingly lying. I think even religious leaders can believe their own hype, falling into the typical sloppy mindset of spiritual deepities and hearing their views constantly praised by the echo chamber they operate within. Combine this with the “My Country = My Home” attitude and there IS no distinction between the views of the speaker and the views of the country. “I oughta be allowed to do what I want in my own house.” And guests ought to know they need to keep a respectful silence when the host prays.

    Theocrats have heard and repeated the claim that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles so often they’ve managed to change “My Country = My Home” into “My Country = My Church.”

    I’m always reminded here of the time when Good American Citizens used to talk about the need to keep “our public schools” segregated. As if the “public” was lily white. This time, the “public” is Christian — or at least religious. Graham apparently considers me and people like me to be guests in his home, the Church of the USA.

  10. Sastra:

    Godly “smiting” ought to be handled the way Monty Python handled it: a giant foot protruding down from the clouds and squash! No ambiguity, no misinterpretation, no question who is getting smited nor Who is doing the smiting.

  11. naturalcynic:

    What FG means when he says You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum, he means that there is no judiciary independent from the rest of the government. Most of these lawsuits come from private individuals or groups, not governmental justice departments, but they are settled in the courts. And the courts are nominated by the executive, so it’s all government’s fault, not the Constitution’s. Because, as we all know, what the Constitution really means is that this country was meant to be Christian.

    And Obama always ends his political speeches with “…and God bless the United States of America” when he should be ending his speeches with “…and God bless the United States of America in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

  12. kantalope:

    During sermon, Franklin Graham publicly announces that he can’t talk about Jesus in public.

    whah?

  13. grumpyoldfart:

    His father was always careful to cultivate a relatively moderate image in public, but Franklin is going all-in with the anti-Obama nonsense

    The old man had finished up fabulously rich but with no real power outside his congregation. Franklin already has the money, so he’s now pushing for political power and influence.

  14. Didaktylos:

    Ed – you’ve just rubbed against one of my pet peeves: “discreet” not “discrete”.

  15. raven:

    Franklin Graham is just a conman in it for the power and money like most or all of them.

    There is a lot of competition for the shrinking fundie xian wingnut dollars. He seems to be upping the crazy to gain attention.

    The fundie xians make no secret that they hate the USA, the US government, and will destroy both if they can.

    In this case and many others, they are openly hoping their Invisible Sky Monster god wakes up and does something horrible to us. Thanks Franklin, we hope you will meet Cthulhu someday too.

  16. anandine:

    Well, I, for one, just hope I live to see the day when a man like Mr. Graham can say what he said in public without going to jail and when an avowed Christian can be elected to public office.

  17. bones:

    He’s playing the age-old game of Good Cop / Bad Cop.
    “See, I can’t tell him what to do, but that’s the way he is, he’s got a helluva temper ya know.
    “I, on the other hand, see, I’m willing to help you out of this jam you’re in….if you help ME…..”

  18. lordshipmayhem:

    Beat us, God! Beat us! Punish us! Show Your divine loving mercy by smiting us relentlessly! Send natural disasters! Bring economic ruin! Starvation! Pestilence! Soshalizm! We love America so much we want it to be ground into the dust under Your loving Heels! Use Your Fists of healing and peace, God! Show us how bad we’ve been by blessing us with Your body blows of wonder and mercy! We’ve been bad, right? God? God? Are You there?

    The deity you have dialed is not in service. Please check your deity, and try your prayer again.

    This… is a recording.

  19. billdaniels:

    I got smoted once. I kinda liked it.

  20. dan4:

    That last quote from Graham absolutely baffles me. Why would you look to God for comfort in times of economic distress, when He was the one who caused said distress in the first place?

  21. John Phillips, FCD:

    dan4, silly boy, you’re expecting logic? :)

  22. richardt:

    If all the money making rackets run by the fundy churches and nasty bigots like Franklin Graham go bust in the next 4 years, my atheist convictions might get a bit shaky.

  23. cry4turtles:

    Michael, excellent post (#5). I had quite the debate with my fundie father-in-law the other day. Usually I’m a confrontational midget, but after watching the pros everyday and reading brilliant posts on FTB, I stood up to him, never backed down, AND made him think! Hitch would’ve been proud. Happy turky day my friends. Loosen your belts!!!

Leave a comment

You must be