Graham, Diversity, & Intolerance

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, has become the center of a controversy this week. For what? For telling the truth.

He was disinvited from a National Prayer Day event at the Pentagon because of complaints that he has made unflattering comments about the religion of Islam. Graham, in fact, has simply stated the basic Christian position that there is only one way to find relationship with God—through His Son Jesus Christ. He also noted that some Islamic beliefs encourage Muslims to carry out violent deeds. Can anyone seriously debate that? Seriously? For these views he was blacklisted.

According to Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins,

We’re an all-inclusive military. … We honor all faiths. … Our message to our service and civilian work force is about the need for diversity and appreciation of all faiths.

Those words have a familiar ring. It was Gen. Casey who said much the same thing after the Ft. Hood killings, revealing that he was far more upset over how the killings might affect “diversity” than he was about the killings themselves.

Franklin Graham does not spread hatred. His overseas ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, has aided untold thousands. Its website describes the ministry in this way:

For over 35 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done our utmost to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, earns us a hearing for the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Our emergency relief programs provide desperately needed assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease, and famine. As we offer food, water, and temporary shelter, we meet critical needs and give people a chance to rebuild their lives.

Our community development and vocational programs in impoverished villages and neighborhoods help people break the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow.

We impact the lives of vulnerable children through educational, feeding, clothing, and shelter programs that let them know they are not forgotten.

If you read all that, you know that’s not the work of someone who hates. Graham’s real goal is to bring individuals to a knowledge of the One who gave Himself for them. That includes Muslims. He seeks to show them the new life offered through Christ.

In the name of tolerance, an ugly intolerance has again reared its head.