Monday, May 3, 2010

Army Disinvites Preacher for Being too, um…Militant

   So who do you side with in this food fight? Preacher Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist and personal friend of God, Billy Graham, has been disinvited from a National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Pentagon on May 6th because of offensive comments he’s made about Islam, and won’t take back. Apparently, the Pentagon won’t risk its warm relationship with the Muslim world by being associated with such nasty talk. It makes all those house-to-house searches really awkward and unpleasant.

   The fact that the Army even has a prayer event is a worrying point. But the Army did the right thing. Franklin Graham, who prayed at George Bush’s inauguration (though evidently not hard enough), kind of sealed the deal in an interview on CNN last December. He claimed, with a straight face, that, “True Islam cannot be practiced in this country…You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.” Well, really. Where do people get such hideous ideas??

‘This, our son, is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death… [Deuteronomy 21:20-21]

   Oh…that’s where.

   I forget if this law comes before or after the rules about the proper way to sell your daughter into slavery. And just for the record, other biblical death penalty offenses include, but are not limited to: prostitution, adultery, homosexuality, kidnapping, witchcraft, worshipping other gods, working on the Sabbath, not being a virgin on your wedding night (yikes!), being in the way as Moses crossed the Sinai, complaining about the walk, and peeking at the Ten Commandments (which makes you wonder why they were written down). And if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, you’ll burn in hell with no hope of forgiveness. Woof.

   Don’t you love the way Graham calls wife beating “True Islam,” like he’s the expert? Of course, that kind of brutality is harrowingly real. But he makes it sound like a sacrament. It’s also ironic that a Southern evangelical treats it like some foreign phenomenon. Ever count the black eyes at a NASCAR event?

   Graham went on: "I don't like the way they treat women, the way they treat minorities. I just find it horrific.” I guess this is understandable given the conservative Christian track record on racial segregation, Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights Act, Women’s Liberation, abortion rights, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Who knew it was actually Muslims making all the fuss? They need to put down that Koran book and brush up on wholesome Christian material like this little gem from Paul:

“…the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says… For it is shameful for a woman speak in church.” [1 Corinthians 14:34-35]

   Then, of course, there are the classics--like that Eve-with-the-fruit-tree thing, which was Scriptural fuel for countless witchcraft trials and kept women out of the clergy for two millennia.

   “But I love the people of Islam,” Graham diplomatically continued, and he noted that some of his work helping war refugees is done in Muslim countries. True enough. Of course, part of that work is reminding them that their religion is bullshit, they’re all gonna burn in hell, and that he knows God best. But c’mon, the guy’s making an effort. How many Muslims have you bothered to straighten out about God lately?

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