Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lil' Frankie Graham headed to town?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Lil' Graham wants to stage a big ol' fundamentalist "festival" in Charlotte (large, preaching-intensive events that Biily Graham, AKA Big Graham, called "crusades" in his heyday).

Tim Funk at the Observer reported that Franklin Graham and his staff are in preliminary discussions with local churches to gauge the level of interest in Billy's son putting on a huge to-do in Charlotte in 2015. Big Graham held four crusades in Charlotte, the last one of which, in 1996, drew an average 84,000 people per night to the uptown stadium, for four nights. I'm no savant of crowd prediction, but I'll bet you three Baghavad Gitas to a Bible that Lil' Graham can't draw that many people here.


No one can take anything away from the good international relief work performed by Lil' Graham's Samaritan's Purse organization - those who complain that relief recipients have to listen to a Christian spiel need to ask those who were recovering from a disaster whether they think it was worth it. It's just . . . well, everything else about the man . . . that sets many people's teeth on edge.

I'm not a huge Billy Graham fan, as you can tell from this previous CL story about his museum and library, but most of the time Billy, although pretty conservative politically, was at least subtle about it. OK, OK, I said most of the time. Lil' Graham, on the other hand, has become as much a right-wing spokesman as a preacher in the past few years. Here are just a few of Lil' Graham's nuggets of political wisdom:

*Obama era amounts to a national rejection of God: "In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God . . . You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum. . . Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees - a complete economic collapse."

*Support for the GOP's Ignorati: Lil' Graham has been a big supporter of Sarah Palin, but during the 2012 primary races, he told CNN that Donald Trump might be his choice for president. Referring to Trump's insane insistence that Obama was born outside America, Graham told the network, "the more you listen to [Trump], the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy's right." Not long afterward, he changed course and told the waiting world that U.S. Rep. Michelle "No studies show that carbon dioxide is harmful" Bachmann is "a class act (who) understands the problems we're facing."

*Muslims Everywhere!! Not content to just call Islam "an evil and wicked religion," Lil' Graham opined that Obama was born a Muslim because he had the "seed" of Islam passed on to him by his father. He then told far-right website Newsmax.com that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated "every level of our government" and has a big influence on Obama administration decisions. Graham didn't, or couldn't, name a single Muslim Brotherhood member in Obama's circle, of course, but hey, who needs evidence when you've got Jesus in your back pocket?

*Love me, I'm a Christian martyr: After he was dumped from a Pentagon service for National Day of Prayer - because of the "Islam is evil" quote mentioned above - Lil' Graham whined for days, saying his "religious rights are being denied here because of what I believe." He also griped that he is too often criticized "just because I happen to have opinions about our country."

No, Frankie, it's not the fact that you have opinions that's a problem - it's the shallow, knee-jerk, testy, dullard nature of those opinions that is so displeasing. What readers may want to decide is this: Is this the kind of person you want to allow into your life as a spiritual leader?

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