Just days after the military banned Franklin Graham from speaking at a National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama met with both Franklin and his father Billy Graham at the family home in North Carolina on Sunday (April 25). It was Obama’s first meeting with Billy Graham as President, continuing a tradition of the evangelist meeting with Commanders-in-Chief that began with Dwight Eisenhower.
The meeting seems to fly in the face of the decision of the Pentagon to keep Franklin Graham out of the National Day of Prayer event based on his criticism of Islam. If his statements were so terrible, why would the President then choose to take time out of his schedule to travel to meet him? Before anyone tries to dismiss this as a meeting with Billy Graham alone that Franklin took advantage of, remember that Franklin is now president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and is the face of the ministry in his humanitarian efforts around the world, which have fed, clothed, and comforted tens of thousands, and provided relief efforts in a number of third world countries.
While the Obama Administration and the liberal left seem to be so adamant about keeping conservative Christian expression and criticism of Islam out of the government process, they have no problem allowing liberal religious leaders or critics of Judaism free reign for their own purposes. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has a long history of anti-Israeli and antisemitic statements, meets with Obama on a regular basis, and by his own admission, acts as an unofficial ambassador to the African-American community. Jesse Jackson, who once referred to New York as “Hymietown,” has met with Obama at the White House no less than six times. Even Islamic leader Louis Farrakhan, perhaps America’s most famous anti-Semite, and his son Nasir were given a White House tour, and Louis was granted a private meeting in the East Room with someone, although records do not say with whom (his visit is noted as “meeting with science club members”). There have never been any calls for limiting their access to the President.
How can the Obama administration on the one hand support a policy of censoring religious expression and punishing Franklin Graham, then spend taxpayer dollars to arrange a private meeting with Graham and the President? How can Franklin’s speech be called divisive, yet anti-Semites be allowed to have a voice in the government process? It is an obvious double standard the President continues to dance around. As Commander-in-Chief, he has a direct say in the process. By meeting with someone his military said was unfit to speak to soldiers, does that make him a hypocrite who is now trying to appease those the snub of Graham offended?
Franklin Graham stated that he spoke with President Obama about the National Day of Prayer event, saying the situation reflected an agenda by some to remove religious freedom from the military. The President promised to look into it, but do we really expect him to?
The problem here is that the Obama Administration has not been able to fully understand the First Admendment, which states Congress cannot pass a law respecting an establishment of religion, and more importantly, prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Rather than trying to establish an imaginary wall of separation, Obama should realize there is no illegality in allowing those in government or the military from practicing or celebrating their religion.
Celebrating the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon is a long-standing tradition and, so long as participation is voluntary, should continue. There are those, however, who would use political correctness as a tool to prevent Christian participation, yet fail to say anything when Muslims and anti-Semites get the President’s ear. The President is free to meet with whomever he chooses, and members of our our military have a right to be counseled by someone, no matter what the religion. If the person is a conservative Christian, however, red flags go up. For some, the differences can be rationalized. That doesn’t make it right.
For more information on the “When LIberals Attack” series, visit WhenLiberalsAttack.com.