Skip to comments.Jesus in Baghdad Why we should keep Franklin Graham out of Iraq.
Posted on 04/13/2003 6:34:45 PM PDT by DED
With the exception of his unfortunate post-Sept. 11 call for a "crusade" against terrorism, President George Bush has fashioned his rhetoric about Islam carefully. The administration has scrupulously crafted numerous speeches that make clear that the United States is not making war on Islam, even as it hunts down Osama Bin Laden and invades Iraq.
I believe him: Ever since he was the governor of Texas in the mid-1990s, Bush has been friendly to Muslims and to Islam and has pointedly referred to "churches, synagogues, and mosques" in speeches. But I wouldn't believe Bush if I were a Muslim in the Middle East and saw his attitude toward Franklin Graham.
Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham and a far more influential figure in the evangelical Christian community than Jerry Falwell or even Pat Robertson. Graham is viewed as the torch-carrier for his father, who is still among the most beloved figures in American Christianity. Moreover, the Graham family is close to Bush. Billy Graham led Bush to Christianity in the 1980s; Franklin Graham delivered the invocation at his presidential inauguration.
In addition to being publicly allied with the Bush administration, Graham also happens to be stridently anti-Islam. His list of anti-Islam comments is long; his most succinct was that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion."
Graham is also, he says, "poised and ready" to send representatives of the charity he runs to Iraq as soon as possible. His primary purpose is humanitarian aidproviding food and shelterbut he also admits, "I believe as we work, God will always give us opportunities to tell others about his Son. We are there to reach out to love them and to save them, and as a Christian, I do this in the name of Jesus Christ."
There are reasons to have great respect for Graham: He has used his considerable fund-raising prowess to build up a humanitarian organization, Samaritan's Purse, rather than a crystal cathedral or a Bible theme park. Samaritan's Purse has done extraordinary work in many of the most difficult and impoverished places in the world. It spends a more than $100 million a year on aiding the needy. (It should be noted that Muslim radicals have attacked hospitals and projects run by Samaritan's Purse, which may, in some small way, have incited Graham's anti-Islam rhetoric.)
But I'm not sure any of this means that America's foreign-policy objectives are served by having a Bush-loving, Islam-bashing, Muslim-converting Christian icon on the ground in Iraq tending to the bodies and souls of the grateful but deeply suspicious Muslim population. Or, to put it more simply, the idea is absolutely loopy.
The Bush administration has taken a highly principled position of removing itself from discussion of the matter: Ari Fleischer insists that the administration can't block a private group from doing its thing. Ellen Yount, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is coordinating the humanitarian efforts, elaborated: "What private charitable organizations choose to do without U.S. government funding is ultimately their decision. How could the U.S. government control that? We can't just say to an organization, 'You can or cannot do something,' if we don't fund them. Imagine what the United States Congress would say to us."
The idea that the U.S. government is powerless to do anything about Samaritan's Purse seems odd. We can obliterate another nation's army in a few weeks, but when it comes to reining in a disruptive charity, well, our hands our tied? Besides, given the Bush-Graham connection, reining in Franklin Graham need not even be an official government action. I'm pretty sure that if George Bush or Colin Powell called up Graham and asked him to stand down, he probably would, without a single regulatory shot fired.
In fact, religious liberty does not trump all concerns. Among the concerns it does not trump is the safety of our soldiers and the desire not to have the entire Muslim world wanting to wage war against America. And make no mistake: Franklin Graham's mission to Iraq will help convince the Arab world that America is out to convert Muslims to Christianity. What Graham is doing probably isn't illegal; it's merely immoral.
The administration's sudden fastidiousness about civil liberties has everything to do with who Franklin Graham is: not only a friend of Bush's, but, along with his supporters and the Southern Baptist Convention, arguably the largest and most loyal voting bloc in Bush's re-election strategy. And so Bush refuses to do unto Franklin Graham as was done unto Sister Souljah. This is cowardly. To be fairor maybe to be generousBush may be leaving Graham alone because he thinks that Samaritan's Purse does good humanitarian work and that's what the Iraqis need most desperately. And I do believe that half of Graham's motivation is genuinely to help feed peoplethe other half being the desire to save the souls of some Muslims by helping them find Jesus before they die of thirst.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.msn.com ...
He thinks the capability of destroying the Iraqi army has some connection to whether or not the government has the ability to block Graham from operating a charity in Iraq? Obviously our government has NO power to do this, and it would be quite inappropriate for the president to suggest to Graham that he stay out of Iraq.
And he believes that Graham should follow society's norm and be politically correct, rather than follow the admonitions in the Bible and his own conscience? The Bible instructs Christians to carry the Word of God unto all the world. This includes Muslims - all major religions are mutually exclusive, and it is up to every individual to determine which ONE he will follow. It is up to every Christian to try to make Jesus Christ available to every individual. Franklin Graham takes that command seriously, and Waldman thinks that is immoral. Meanwhile, Muslim nations do everything they can, including performing executions, to make sure that their people have no choice but Islam.
As I see it, Graham merely refuses to step into line and mouth the PC view that Islam is a peaceful religion. As president of a nation that includes Muslims, George Bush feels that he must hold to this line, but as a private citizen, Graham has no such limitation and has spoken the truth as he sees it. And it is extremely difficult to argue with what he has said (see http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020808-13967463.htm if you would like to know his position).
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
"He who the Son sets free is free indeed"
His arguments are obviously agenda driven but I can't determine if he's simply a secularist, or deeply, religiously envious of Christian principals and dogma or just personally hates Bush or Grahman or both.
Seeking to persuade people of your view about ultimate questions is................immoral?!?!? May God save us from moralizers like this author!
But Islam really IS a very evil and wicked religion. But don't tell any of the sheeple yet. Let us get done what needs doing first.
Firsable, they looks real weird.
Secondable, they smells funny.
Thirdable, they flew jets inta the WTC!
How does on teach savages to be free, anyway?
Even Turkye has done the same.
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