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April 22, 2010

Graham: Army Rescinded Pentagon Prayer Invitation

Franklin Graham said in a statement provided to Christianity Today that the Army has rescinded its invitation to participate in a Pentagon prayer service on the National Day of Prayer.

On Tuesday, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation objected to Graham's invitation, saying his past description of Islam as "evil" offended Muslims.

Army Col. Tom Collins told the Associated Press that the invitation was from the Colorado-based National Day of Prayer Task Force, which works with the Pentagon chaplain's office on the event. Graham issued the following statement:

“I regret that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation to the National Day of Prayer Task Force to participate in the Pentagon’s special prayer service. I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country."

Graham said in an interview with Fox News this morning that Muslims are "enslaved" by their religion.

"I want them to know that they don't have to die in a car bomb, don't have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God. But it's through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone," Graham said. "I love the people of Islam but their religion, I do not agree with their religion at all. And if you look at what the religion does just to women, women alone, it is just horrid. And so yes, I speak out for women. I speak out for people that live under Islam, that are enslaved by Islam and I want them to know that they can be free."

Graham is president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


And you wonder why the Army disinvited Graham? Does it help the "cause" to have someone who so clearly does not understand Islam, offer prayers?

But more importantly, it's too bad that the military is cooperating in their planning for such an event with a group that has such a narrow agenda as does the National Day of Prayer Task Force. It would be better if they did their own thing, if they believe it is necessary.

Bob, I could post however many sources you want (not necessarily from Christian sources) to show that Franklin Graham FULLY understands Islam. I will admit also that, as much as I hate to say it, while the National Day of Prayer is listed as unconstitutional, there likely won't be a National Day of Prayer Service, meaning there isn't really a need to invite someone to the service.

Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.

-- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

Political correctness strikes again. Less than six months ago, in the name of his religion, a Muslim U.S. army major shot to death 13 unarmed people at Fort Hood. Obviously, the army has learned nothing from that experience: it is already retreating into don't-offend-Muslims mode.

Graham's words may be "offensive" to Muslims and others, but 13 people didn't die because he uttered them. Yet the same army that turned a blind eye to the numerous warning signs that predated Major Hassan's killing spree thinks Graham's words are the problem.

As Jesus said, the world hated me, it will hate you, too. I'm sure many Muslims and many more hate Graham for speaking the truth. I am glad he doesn't care that they do.

"Graham: Army Rescinded Pentagon Prayer Invitation"
Well, if that's the way they want to be, see if I invite them to the next geo-political conflict. Two can play that game, ya know! And I don't care if they do have really neat "toys" and "stuff". C'mon, Franklin, you can speak to my prayer breakfast any time you want to.

Billy Graham never had a glitch in his wonderful career. Franklin ignored his mother's specific wishes for her burial in favour of his choice, has been under investigation for double dipping and using the BGF plane for political purposes.

Does he remind the Israelis that thy will go to Hell if they don't accept Jesus Christ?

As a female who's not interested in living under Islam, I say Bravo to Franklin no matter where he buried his Mother or other "crimes" he is accused of. At least he hasn't raped his wife or beat her up in their home, not in public according to the prophet, ordered his daughters to kill themselves because they shamed their families letting themselves be raped. Bravo for him sticking up for women being used to have babies to "grow" Islam because it the women's job to produce babies with her husband not to live as she would want, maybe as a free single person. Being counted as a half or quarter person depending on the laws of the country and not allowed to testify in court when she is the victim, can't drive, needs husband's permission to uncover her face, travel to parent's house, gee, don't we U.S. citizens call that slavery. And Franklin doesn't understand Islam, sorry, he is the one who does understand Islam and in a "free" country just why can't he say that. You can critique the Catholic religion in volumes but not Islam. Are we already living under Islam sharia law? Oh, I'm not Catholic just in case you want to critique my comments.

Those who cite the Fort Hood shooting to indict all of Islam should be careful that the same standard is not used on Christianity. The Irish "troubles" was a running terrorist war in which both sides claimed to be fighting in the name of their version of Christianity -- Protestant and Catholic. Whichever side you favored, the other side was brutal and ruthless in its terror. Would you call Christianity "evil" on that account? I am Christian myself, but I am loath to call the whole of Islam evil on account of many bad actors. The same measure can be meted out to me. Witness the current controversy regarding sexual abuse of children. Would you want your Christianity to be judged by that scale?

Yes, yes, yes! Praise God for men like Graham who are willing to stand for what is true, even while being disgraced publicly. The Good News is fragrant to those who are being saved, but the stench of death in the nostrils of those who are perishing.

The Army's position on religious freedom is an absolute sham. We are fighting Islamic fanatics who base their bestiality on the Koran, and the Koran explicitly calls for the destruction of those who do not accept its "truth". It's evil alright, and the murders and persecutions undertaken in the name of Christianity are every bit as evil--but, there is a huge difference: Nothing in Christian doctrine supports such conduct. The inability of this country to claim its cultural and religious roots in Christian doctrine can lead no where but to disaster. We are following along in the same mistakes of the 1930s when two secular extremist doctrines, Fascism and Communism, rode roughshod over quavering politicians and "learned" apologists.

There is a lot going on in this story. I do have a problem with the Army rescinding its invitation apparently only on account of Franklin's beliefs, but I also have a problem with Franklin using this forum (a National Prayer for our troops) as a vehicle for delivering an anti-Islamic message. Bible-believers, myself included, can agree that there is only one way to God and that that is through Jesus. Billy Graham had an amazing way of maintaining that position while still providing comfort and counsel to those who did not necessarily share his views, and he was able to do that in a very public way. While I agree with Franklin that Islam is "evil" in the theological sense that everything that is False and a counterfeit of God's Truth is evil, I'm not sure that non-believers understand that message, and certainly not from his statements to the press. The world generally hears that we "hate" whatever Christians characterize as evil because we have a history of having gone overboard in our religious fervor, and I'm not sure what good is done by telling non-believers collectively -- be they Buddhists, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Mormon, or Sihk -- that they are part of an "evil" religion, or alternatively, appearing to side with those who "hate" all muslims by characterizing a religion with millions of peaceful adherents as a form of slavery (or calling it inherently violent, etc. etc.) in a statement made to the press, not just believers. It's not that Franklin is not right in a theological sense, I only question whether this is the Truth spoken in love. Can't we support our troops in prayer, especially in a public prayer that many non-believers would witness, without also using the opportunity (or the denial of that opportunity) as a platform for finding fault with some in the Army as well as in the national audience? In my view, while Franklin was wronged, I think there was a better response.

The work of Billy Graham and his son speaks for itself. We wish Billy Graham good health.Having read some biographies of Graham,I understand Mr.Graham was at Wheatstone College in Chicago from 1940-43 and then a pastor there in Chicago through 1945.He was in his early 20's. As everybody knows WWII started in about 1940.The draft was started about 1940.He was in the age group to be most likely drafted.I heard about him applying to be a chaplain for the Army in about 1945.I was simply surprised. WW II sucked in all kinds of men his age.

If Franklin is so concerned about women why doesn't he focus on teaching Christians to treat women with respect, and as equals? I would be surprised to learn that Franklin actually supports women working as equal partners with men in the church, home and society. His bias may be less extreme than a radical muslims (which most muslims are not), but he's biased against women himself. It's that needle/log scenario jesus talked about.

If you don't think Franklin Graham knows what Islam is about, you might want to read this book:

The Dark Side of Islam
Book by Abdul Saleeb

Is Islam a religion of peace? In The Dark Side of Islam, Dr. R.C. Sproul enters into dialogue with a former Muslim, Abdul Saleeb. They discuss some of the issues central to what many believe led to the disaster on Sept.11, 2001


April 29, 2010

To the Honorable Barbara Crabb,

Due to your recent ruling regarding 36 U.S.C. § 119 and the federal court lawsuit brought before you by the Freedom from Religion Foundation vs. Barack Obama, I am quite sure you will receive an unprecedented amount of hate mail from folks who consider themselves Christian.

As a Christian myself I sincerely apologize to you for the malice, contempt and rancor that will be expressed in the correspondence & emails sent to you and in Internet social network postings from my Christian brothers and sisters over the next few months about your recent ruling.

I do not agree with your ruling but as Christians we are commanded to "love others as thyself" and "to love our enemies". And as Christians we should be showing you a glimpse of God's grace and not telling you that you will burn in hell when you die because of your decision in this specific federal court case.

Therefore I thank you for performing your duty as a Federal District Judge for what must have been an agonizing opinion to deliver knowing what an emotional impact it would have on the Christian community in the U.S.

And because of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and a Constitution, envied by persons & some governments all over the world, we have the legal right to appeal your ruling to higher courts without resorting to violence in any manner. Nor do we need to personally denigrate you.

Again I truly truly apologize to you for the lack of grace being shown to you by my Christian brothers and sisters.

Please accept my apology and know that whatever unkind words [or threats] you read or hear about your ruling regarding the National Day of Prayer come from imperfect Christian people who are trying, albeit unsuccessfully quite often, to live according to God's will. We Christians will be flawed human beings, sometimes seriously flawed, until the day we die.

A humble citizen from the Great State of Oregon

As a Vietnam War veteran and as a Christian I agree with the Pentagon's decision to rescind the invitation for Mr. Franklin Graham to speak at the NDP Pentagon event.

There two different agendas going on here. The NDP Task force, co-chaired by Mr. Franklin Graham and Mrs. Dobson, is primarily interested in advancing God's kingdom here on earth. The Pentagon is primarily interested in advancing & protecting America's interests as determined by the President, and this includes the morale and welfare of ALL members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Those two agendas are in conflict if Mr. Graham was allowed to speak.

I would like to challenge Mr. Franklin to look inward at the daily abuses that take place by Christian men and women, before he takes aim at the Islam religion. All religions are guilty of prejudice and many many kinds of abuses. Mainly Mr. Franklin, look at the "planks" in our Christian religion before speaking words of "ungrace" [specks]about the Islam religion.

And the decision of the Colorado-based NDP Task Force to withdraw completely from the Pentagon prayer event because their chosen speaker was disinvited shows a tit-for-tat attitude instead of a Christ-like attitude of love and grace and mercy. This task force acted more like young brats than like mature Christians. And we wonder why Christians get such a bad rap? NDP Task Force members who consider themselves to be influential leaders in the Christian community have once again failed us and failed God with their selfish behavior. To have stayed and participated in the Pentagon prayer event even though Mr. Graham was disinvited would have done far more to advance God's kingdom here on earth than they did by completely withdrawing and then issuing press releases criticizing the Pentagon.

I challenge the Colorado-based NDP Task Force to review their behavior and "ungrace" shown in this situation and reflect on what it means to be humble and how to show grace towards others.