Evangelist and humanitarian Franklin Graham has been banned from a National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon because a left-wing anti-Christian group protested. The military, more concerned with how it is perceived by Muslims than by Christians, revoked an invitation to the event to Graham, one of the nation’s most popular Christian figures. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation raised objections to Graham’s planned appearance at the event because of remarks he made after 9/11 critical of Islam.
Graham was once quoted as saying Islam was an “evil and wicked religion.” In an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal, Graham stated that Muslims themselves are not evil, but said “I believe it is my responsibility to speak out against the terrible deeds that are committed as a result of Islamic teaching.” Graham has also spoken out against the treatment of women and Christians in Muslim countries.
The Army allowed the National Day of Prayer Task Force to organize the event, who in turn invited Graham to speak. The Army has since announced the event will go on, without the Task Force being involved. Graham is an honorary chairman of the Task Force, and has a son currently serving in Afghanistan. Graham’s humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, has helped people across the world, including Muslim countries.
The outcry against Graham did not come from the public, military officials, or elected officials. The only protest came from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who said Graham’s views offended Muslims in the military and could incite violence against soldiers. Once the Foundation’s press release hit the media, it was widely reported as a crisis.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, despite the name, does not encourage or protect religious expression in the military. They fight to prevent public religious expression – Christian expression in particular – in the military. Their founder and President, Mickey Weinstein, states on their website: “When one proudly dons a U.S. military uniform, there is only one religious symbol: the American flag. There is only one religious scripture: the American Constitution. Finally, there is only one religious faith: American patriotism.” In Weinstein’s world, a soldier must abandon his faith once he or she joins the military, unless, of course, that faith is atheism.
The Foundation’s website trumpeted the news of Graham’s removal from the event as a “monumental victory” with the headline “Army Meets MRFF’s Demand.” At their recent annual awards, the Foundation honored Ed Asner, a 9/11 truther and professed atheist, and Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor for Harper’s and Rolling Stone, who wrote a number of books critical of conservative Christians.
Source: One News Now
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