The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose only claim to fame is the fact that he's the son of a world famous evangelist, has become the latest to weigh in on the beliefs of President Barack Obama. Never in my lifetime have I seen and heard so many so called prominent people question the religion of a sitting president. Although there were issues around President John F. Kennedy's Roman Catholicism when he ran for president, no one disputed that he was in fact, a Roman Catholic. Yet Franklin Graham goes on national television as an arbiter of Barack Obama's religious beliefs.
Like many before him, Graham won't come right out and say this president is not a Christian. Those who practice this new brand of intolerance rarely do. Instead, they hint at it, as Mitt Romney does when he opines that the Obama Administration "has fought against religion". Rick Santorum accuses the president of practicing a "phony theology". Of course, this pair want Barack Obama's job. Their naked partisan agenda is easily explained.
So what's Franklin Graham's excuse?
While Rev. Graham may not want to be president, he does seem to be quite comfortable designating who is and isn't a Christian. He even said Mitt Romney's Mormonism isn't seen as Christian "by many Christians". How nice this guy has taken it upon himself to enlighten us. This obsession about religion is a partisan political attempt to create an "other". That would be the other who doesn't share in basic Christian values, the other that doesn't adhere to the teachings of the Bible, the other that is, you know, different from the rest of us.
This has been going on as long as there's been religion. Though I know any pushback won't get much media attention, it's time for Christians of conscience to stand up and tell the Franklin Grahams of the world to shut up and stop acting as if they speak for all of us. The Jesus I was taught about spent time ministering to the poorest of the poor. He helped the afflicted, and died so that all humankind (that would be of all faiths, reverend) could live and hopefully move forward.
Franklin Graham doesn't speak for me! If he doesn't speak for you, let me know.