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Franklin Graham: “You Hate God and It’s Good That You Are Upset”

Timothy Kincaid

December 23rd, 2008

Billy Graham was for decades a spiritual leader with tremendous influence and the ear of every President since Harry Truman. And Billy Graham, while a Southern Baptist and theologically conservative, preached a gospel that was more good news and conciliation than it was a fiery denunciation of the world around him. But he’s now in his 90′s and happily enjoying his retirement from public life.

Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, is a different generation. In his mid 50′s, Franklin Graham entered his ministry in the era of Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, and Culure War. The younger Graham seems to express no desire to reach or understand those who differ, choosing instead to demonize and objectify those he sees as God’s (and therefore his) enemies.

Franklin Graham has now weighed in on those who are upset by the selection of Rick Warren for the Inaugural Invocation:

My advice to Rick is to stay true to your convictions, and don’t back up one step. I don’t think he will. When you have the far left and the gay advocates mad at you, you must be doing something right. I’m proud of Rick. He hasn’t backed down one bit and he shouldn’t.

And as for those “far left” people, he has this to say:

The people on the far left hate God, they hate his standards, and hate the name of his son. The people on the left are not going to support any relationship with people on the other side.

Not all of those who oppose homosexuality are motivated by animus, arrogance or contempt. Some, I’ve found, are truly troubled by conflict between how they would prefer to view sexual orientation and what they see as clear biblical commandments. And so I believe that we should be slow and cautious to identify others as “haters” or “bigots”.

But I have to say that I’m finding it impossible to read these comments by Franklin Graham without seeing overt hatred and bigotry in his words.

Comments

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Duncan
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Are there not equally clear Biblical commandments that unruly children and people found picking up firewood on the Sabbath? Even the New Testament orders followers of the Christ not to allow non-Christians into their homes, and that to truly love Jesus you must hate your family. (Like an uneasy dictator, notes one atheist.)
Jesus of Nazareth was indeed ahead of his time in his moral teachings and in many ways helped to improve the world, but we must not forget that he was human. We cannot treat him as some sort of Messiah, or take accounts of his life as if they were Gospel.

KipEsquire
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Not all of those who oppose homosexuality are motivated by animus, arrogance or contempt. Some, I’ve found, are truly troubled by conflict between how they would prefer to view sexual orientation and what they see as clear biblical commandments. And so I believe that we should be slow and cautious to identify others as “haters” or “bigots”.

I for one have no problem whatsoever calling a non-bigot idiot an “idiot” rather than a “bigot.”

But I’m going to call them something.

No more Mister Nice Gay.

David C.
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

No Mr. Graham, I do not hate god, and I don’t hate you. I do hate what some hypocrites have done to the image and substance of God, how they have “defiled the temple” by preaching love and compassion out of one side of their mouthes while out of the other vilifying and bearing false witness against a group of God’s children to get gain.

Not satisfied with that aim achieved, these selfsame hypocrites misuse the alms received by their ministries to sustain their heartless persecution of those that are different in a way the hypocrites do not understand. They are not done yet, and on go they to spread their evil around the world and meddle in the development of any message that strays from theirs, seeking to bend it to their evil cause and elevate themselves in the eyes of men.

These, are what disgust me.

Emproph
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

You forgot the link ;)

a. mcewen
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Go ahead Mr. Franklin. Heap it on. The more this thing drags on, the worse Warren and others on your side look. That “far left HATE God” mess is like gold.

Amicus
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Perhaps it is some hatred and bigotry, but the overwhelming amount of it is sheer arrogance.

These people are so self-assured of their salvation it is … an affront to Christ and Christians everywhere.

Another large part of it is willful ignorance. To sweep so many into “the far Left” is just a testament to their limited vision.

Their scripture is not nearly as sound as they think it is, regarding gay relationships, and their ability to reason and move beyond their pre-conceptions, using the teachings of Christ, is so small that it’s a _moral failing_ of their own making.

The leadership of the Evangelicals has truly created a terrible (and terrifying) witness to the Word, with “Jesus Camp” and kids taught to shout “righteous judges!!!”. Can there be any doubt that this – that “Religious Republicanism” – is not at all what Christ had in mind?

Timothy Kincaid
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

DOH!! Thanks Emproph

L. Junius Brutus
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

‘These people are so self-assured of their salvation it is … an affront to Christ and Christians everywhere.’

As an agnostic atheist (meaning: someone who doesn’t believe in any god, but who also doesn’t say that it’s absolutely 100% certain that there is no deistic god), I have to say: they bring disgrace upon the name of Jesus. Funny how they work so hard to make ‘Christian’ synonymous with hatred, bigotry and ignorance – and it’s really sad that they give a bad reputation to the millions of Christians who are good and decent people.

Rick
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Franklin’s been drinking from the Well of Smugness again.’

Ben in Oakland
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Probably no one reads George Macdonald anymore. He was a 19th century Christian mystical writer, and a huge influence on CS Lewis. (See Lewis’s “The Great divorce” I myself probably have not read him in over 30 years.

But I do remember one thing he wrote–burned into my memory, still there 30 years or more later. It seems to apply to our current batch of judgmental and hypocritical findamentalists:

From his book “Lilith”:

… furious battle was raging around me. Wild cries and roars of rage, shock of onset, struggle prolonged, all mingled with words articulate, surged in my ears. Curses and credos, snarls and sneers, laughter and mockery, sacred names and howls of hate, came huddling in chaotic interpenetration. Skeletons and phantoms fought in maddest confusion. Swords swept through the phantoms: they only shivered. Maces crashed on the skeletons, shattering them hideously: not one fell or ceased to fight, so long as a single joint held two bones together. Bones of men and horses lay scattered and heaped; grinding and crunching them under foot fought the skeletons. Everywhere charged the bone-gaunt white steeds; everywhere on foot or on wind-blown misty battle-horses, raged and ravened and raved the indestructible spectres; weapons and hoofs clashed and crushed; while skeleton jaws and phantom-throats swelled the deafening tumult with the war-cry of every opinion, bad or good, that had bred strife, injustice, cruelty in any world. The holiest words went with the most hating blow. Lie-distorted truths flew hurtling in the wind of javelins and bones. Every moment some one would turn against his comrades, and fight more wildly than before, The truth! The truth! still his cry. One I noted who wheeled ever in a circle, and smote on all sides. Wearied out, a pair would sit for a minute side by side, then rise and renew the fierce combat. None stooped to comfort the fallen, or stepped wide to spare him.”

Pretty sad. and Accurate.

AJD
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

L. Junius Brutus:

That’s still atheism, technically. Atheists don’t say with 100 percent certainty that there are no gods or that the existence of gods can be proven or unproven. The idea is that the evidence so far indicates that gods don’t exist. Agnosticism is more of a “50 percent chance” position.

AJD
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

*sorry, I meant “disproven…”

Lee
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

No, Frankie darlin’, not all on “the far left” or who disagree with you and Warren hate god! We just don’t believe your god hates gay people nor that it’s a sin and that not everyone is a Christian and have no problems with other people being that religion. So, Frankie darlin’, better search your own soul first before you make blanket condemnations about others.

Jason D
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

AJD, as an agnostic, I’d like to correct.

Atheists don’t believe in God.

Agnostics don’t believe in religion. We basically feel that no religion has it 100% right. Agnostics DO believe in God, they just don’t think anyone knows (or don’t think it’s possible for anyone to know) the nature of God.

Scott
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

You know that they’ve run out of argument when they have to use the “you hate god” argument. I don’t hate god anymore than I’m angry that Superman didn’t stop the planes on 9/11. Atheists talking about god are looking at the traits that believers say their god has and try and show inconsistancies with the concept verses actions.

john ozed
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

My hatred of god is the same as my hatred of a plaid octopus from outer space. You can’t hate something that doesn’t exist.

banshiii
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

gads, when did I become a Christ hater?
What a bunch of jackasses.

Priya Lynn
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

Jason D said “Agnostics DO believe in God, they just don’t think anyone knows (or don’t think it’s possible for anyone to know) the nature of God.”.

That’s not the common understanding of agnostic:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic

agnostic [ag-nos-tik]

–noun 1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

Timothy Kincaid
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

Aaaaaaand were back to the subject of the thread.

homer
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

He is not his father.

Buffy
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

People like Graham love playing the victim both on behalf of themselves and their god. We don’t hate their god–I don’t even believe in him so how could I hate him? It would be like hating the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. What I find disgusting is the way some of his followers see fit to spew hatred in his name and eradicate the rights of others based on selected Bible verses while they conveniently ignore others (even entire books). I don’t see them executing adulterers, demanding divorce be outlawed or putting disobedient children to death. And they certainly aren’t worried about lying, which is one of the Commandments they break constantly. But those pesky homos are Public Enemy #1.

They need to mind the beams in their own eyes and leave the specks in our eyes alone.

LindaBinda
December 25th, 2008 | LINK

Franklin Graham’s a hateful ass, whether it concerns gays, or in the past, non-Christians as well. Read up on what he had to say about Islam right after 9/11. He pretty much said that the Koran was an evil pagan war manual written by moon-god worshippers. Of course, he apologized after he got a lot of flak for it, but personally, I’d take Graham thinking I or any other atheist is a god-hater to be a compliment. Other than the woefully large amounts of people who listen to him and take his words to heart, he’s not worth the consideration or trouble.

HappyCat
December 25th, 2008 | LINK

What a bunch of idiots. I read at The Peter’s Place we are Christ-a-phobes. Now we hate god. The lables Homophobe and Bigot must really get under their skin.

Mr. Frnklin, I am not a chrisr-a-phobe and I don’t hate My God. But your god is a complete dipshit and has to be full of hate. My God and the faith from her tells me to LOVE all people, and accept ALL people for who they are. You just happen to be a Homophobe and a Bigot. Deal with it.

MR Bill
December 25th, 2008 | LINK

Sigh. Back in the day, I got in an argument with my dad over the pointless Flag Burning controversy. My dad could simply not get the distinction between the thing (a flag) and what it represents (the country and it’s constitution), and my position that what the US Flag stands for meant that we could, indeed, have to tolerate the occasional abuse of the symbol as an expression.
Mr. Graham is unable to distinguish between his idea about God(a remarkably petty fellow) and the ONE, the creator, the ground of being, the Alpha and Omega.
The Left doesn’t hate God. The Leftists I know, some Christian, mostly hate the way people use the concept of God, one’s personal or group view, as a club, and in a most unJesuslike way.
We have to tolerate his abuse of the concept, but his concept is not the Real Thing, which is greater than any conception. It’s spiritual arrogance, wrapped in desperate fear and powerseeking.
I hope you all find love and light and joy in a dark time, and hold the new hope we have close. And may the day Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen and ladies.

Mike Airhart
December 25th, 2008 | LINK

The Moral Majority, Pat Robertson, and Concerned Women for America spent most of the 1980s supporting wars against left-wing Christians and local tribes in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero was just one out of tens of thousands of people (actually, more than 100,000 in Guatemala) who were slaughtered.

Despite condemnations by human-rights advocates and Congress, U.S.-trained rightist militias and mercenaries were funded by the likes of Oliver North and fed and clothed with “care packages” from the religious right. They destroyed some left-leaning military targets, but spent much of their time killing civilians and pillaging villages.

Franklin Graham came of age as a religious rightist during that era. Unapologetic for the actions of his peers, it seems he is now an agent of defamation and intended violence against a new generation of Christians who refuse to worship mammon (prosperity and materialism) as he does.

Ron Thompson
December 26th, 2008 | LINK

I think it would do Franklin a great deal of good to read George MacDonald. His concept of God was much more influenced by love than hate. It is sad that the ministry of Billy Graham will be handed over to this man.

Timothy Kincaid
December 26th, 2008 | LINK

In line with the last few comments, here’s what Bishop Gene Robinson had to say about Rick Warren’s invitation”

“I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table,” Bishop Robinson said, “but we’re not talking about a discussion, we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”

Jason D
December 26th, 2008 | LINK

Priya, not to drag us off topic again, but the definition you’ve pulled is not substantially different than what I wrote. Certainly I was less elegant, but the basic gist is the same.

And Yes, Graham is rather odious, isn’t he?

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