Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Franklin Graham: Blame White Terrorism On Those Who Voted To Remove The Racist Monument

 

What Franklin Graham Is Wrong About Today

(my head is about to #$@ing explode edition)

As a Christian, I am almost at a loss for words.

Over the course of time, there has been no shortage of things Franklin Graham has been wrong about. Nor has there been any shortage of issues where he boldly issued sharp, public rebukes, against those he thought were wrong.

And certainly, Franklin Graham has been the last person to hesitate issuing strong condemnations of movements, political leaders, and the ideologies that inspire or fuel them.

In fact, that’s what Franklin Graham does– if he didn’t, I’m not even sure what he would post about on Facebook.

Yet, today it is clear that Franklin Graham appears to have no indecision or hesitation to rebuke and condemn, except when there’s a terrorist attack by white supremacists. 

While there are a lot of issues in life where two sides can have legitimate, opposing viewpoints, and times in life where deciding between right and wrong is tricky enough that it requires one to approach a situation with nuance and care, I can think of no easier case of knowing who or what to condemn than when effing nazis are marching in the street and killing people. 

Apparently Franklin Graham thinks the responsibility and condemnation needs to reside elsewhere, and should be spread out among a few groups of people. In a statement on Facebook, Graham condemns a lot of people, but they are all the wrong people:

“Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in #Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started? Instead they want to blame President Donald J. Trump for everything. Really, this boils down to evil in people’s hearts. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity. I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God. It was good to hear that several Virginia and Charlottesville leaders attended church today at Mt. Zion. CNN said, “The racial divides that fueled Saturday’s violence were replaced by unity Sunday…” Continue to pray for peace and for all those impacted by Saturday’s tragedies.”

While there is much to find shocking and appalling about this statement, the most morally outrageous is this position:

When white nationalists march in the street and kill people, we should blame the people who voted to remove a racist monument because “they should have known” that the decision wouldn’t be popular with racists.

I’ve spent the last few hours thinking about this, and I still can’t figure out how anyone could arrive at this conclusion.

What is equally shocking as the fact that he blamed all the wrong people, is the mind-numbing refusal to specifically condemn the people who actually committed this act of terror: white nationalists.

Over the course of time, Graham has issued his sharpest rebukes in cases of terrorism– when it happens to be a Muslim who did it. In these cases, he quickly takes to the airwaves to remind everyone of the “evil” of Islam, and to reiterate that we are “at war with Islam.” He’s shown time and time again a capability and willingness to condemn a people group, and their belief system.

But in the clear-cut case of nazis literally dressing up like Donald Trump, marching through the streets with torches, and ultimately killing people?

Nope.

Condemn the governor. Condemn local leaders. Condemn the people who voted to remove the racist monument without considering it might hurt the feelings of racists.

Condemn everyone– except for the people who did it, and the white nationalistic ideology that was behind it.

And to make it worse? He has to take it one step further and say that any attempt to connect the dots between the ideology of Trump and the ideology of those who brought terror to Charlottesville, is simply an attempt by Satan to divide us.

Let me sum it up for you, Christians in Americaland: Franklin Graham issued a stronger condemnation of Target when they removed the “boy” versus “girl” label from their toy aisles, than he did when pro-Trump white nationalists terrorized and killed people.

And that disgusting fact is What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today.

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Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe for posts and updates from BLC!

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  • ” Richard Furman, a leader of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, stated in a famous address to the Governor of South Carolina, “The right of holding slaves is clearly established by the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.” [See Exposition of The Views of the Baptists, Relative To The Colored Population In The United States]. The next year, in 1845, those firmly convicted defenders of slavery formed their own separate Baptist denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. ” Here is ground zero where the seeds were planted, that have grown and morphed into today’s , white supremacists, KKK, and neo Nazis .

  • Why stop there? Why not blame it on the people who voted to install the statue in the first place? Or even the parents who reared the people who voted to install the statue in the first place.

  • The point this rabble rousing trouble making so called Christian made that people were blaming Trump reflects his ignorance. People are upset with Trump’s reluctance to call out Nazis, KKK and all other White Nationalist types by name, which he did two days after the firestorm. I immediately turned off the live feed after his first announcement that he condemns all sides and repeated all sides again. I am so sick of seeing his dumb countenance and listening to his insincere voice every day. I pray for the day the news media gives the country a mental break and cover nothing dealing with this incompetent fool.

  • I agree with you. But disappointing, though understandable, to see the organiser of the march physically attacked by anti-racists.

  • Here is a quote from a regular contributor to slacktivist blog I found today:
    //It’s important for people to gain a subtler understanding of racism (i.e. beyond literal Nazis and literal slavery apologists) and how it has affected and continues to affect us — and that means everywhere, even in the more progressive areas, otherwise these deeper-seated problems are never going away. And I think that understanding is starting to spread. But at the same time, we do still have literal Nazis and literal slavery apologists. It’s like this big classroom where we have graduate students and remedial students and everyone in between.//
    I think Lesson by lesson, as the crisis unfolds in America a few of those with teaching gifts & gifts of being able to encourage others are the first to pick up on the new realities & strategic ploys in order to convey to others the subtle changes so that everyone can connect with what’s happening. I’m thankful to Fred Clark today, for instance, for sussing out this piece of the puzzle: Regarding “new school racism.”
    //“the expected response…functions less as actual condemnation than as a creative claim of innocence.”//
    //“new school racism.”…anything short of a parade of proudly sieg-heiling Neo-Nazis doesn’t fall into the category of the “racism” being condemned as a sin…
    performance of this ritual condemnation shields [new school racists] from any accusation of racism due to [their] unqualified devotion to Donald Trump or [their] zealous support for the confirmation of federal judges who will prevent black citizens from voting.//
    And this:
    //[new school racists are] so busy insisting that it would be unfair to accuse [them] of failing to properly condemn “antisemitism, white nationalism, & supremacism” that [they don’t] quite bother to actually condemn those things. [new school Racist statements aren’t] even about the white-supremacists marching in Charlottesville, it’s about [themselves].//

  • Okay…he wants to go after those responsible…he better be the first one to shut down that “ministry”. Not only that…but we need to start bankrupting these racist organizations like Falwell’s as well. You pay him to go to school online…look for another college which doesn’t have racist leanings. Quit going to these racist Baptist churches. Cut off their money and you will get their attention. Quit giving to this rapture garbage…since many of these organizations are just fronts for Falwell and others to head to the bank. Quit giving to Samaritan’s Purse. Cut off the funds they skim off the top to keep their lifestyle going. It’s going to be hard…but if you want to stop this BS…it needs to start by killing their golden goose.

  • That was the line that I couldn’t get over, either. Because it is exactly the same thing abusive husbands say to excuse their violence against their wives. “She knew if she behaved that way I would hit her.” Zero responsibility for their own abhorrent behaviour – it is ALL the victims’s fault! It’s absolutely disgusting and inexcusable!

  • No, no, no. We should really blame the people who gave birth to the people who voted for the politicians who voted to remove the monument. No, wait, that’s not indirect enough. We should blame the founding fathers who established a system of government that allowed things like this monument to be re… what’s that? The founding fathers were all paragons of Christianity. Ok. Hrmm….

    Ok, you know who’s to blame here? Plato. Freakin’ Greek philosophers coming up with the foundations that would become the system of America’s government that would lead to the election of politicians who would remove the monument and make racist terrorists angry and provoke this backlash!

  • Just heard Franklin Graham’s latest stupidity as I came home from work. This kind of ” logic” [ blame victims for not tolerating B S] is part of the reason I broke from fundy/ evangelical churches long ago. Blaming officials in Va. and resistance protesters for the violence is the equivalent of blaming a rape victim for getting beaten because she screamed at her attacker. The way apologists- esp. evanjellyfish- have rolled over for this orange- faced racist/ sexist/elitist/ pathological psychopath in the W H is beyond sickening. FG is no better than David Duke or his Fake POTUS.

  • And unsurprisingly, Franklin is part of the same denomination that gave America the Ku Klux Klan.

  • Mr. Graham is wrong about so much, but he truly outdid himself with this… it’s not the fault of the terrorists – it’s the people who upset the terrorists, the people who gave the terrorists a permit for a demonstration, the people who also demonstrated against the terrorists… anyone and everhone is to blame except the freaking terrorists, one of whom attempted mass-murder.

    Now, Mr. Trump is not directly responsible for the attacks, but he spent his entire campaign feeding people’s bigotry and fear, excusing acts of violence by his supporters, lying about groups that his supporters fear or dislike and trying to make racist and hateful ideas more mainstream. He also carefully avoided putting responsibility for the violence on those who committed it. He bears some guilt here.

    Of course, Mr. Trump won’t care. He’s defrauded, molested, lied and stolen and he’s never cared about any of that. However, the fact that Mr. Graham doesn’t care, either, tells us a great deal about him – none of it good.

  • Is peace sometimes impossible to have? It seems so.

    As much as I would like to see peace between Christian camps,
    I think you are correct in your analysis.

    Lord have mercy.

  • Let’s not blame the High Priest, the Sanhedrin, or the Romans.. we should blame Jesus who knew his words and actions would anger and inflame the Romans and the High Priest.

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