Thursday, May 06, 2010

Al Mohler's Muddleheaded Defense of Franklin Graham

Al Mohler's blog today offers a pathetic defense of Franklin Graham. After receiving complaints about statements Graham has made against Islam, Graham was removed from the list of speakers at today's National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Pentagon.

Mohler's defense of Graham offered a muddleheaded rant against theological pronouncements from the Pentagon:
Adding insult to injury, the spokesman for the Pentagon made a direct reference to Franklin Graham's statements about Islam, calling them "not appropriate." What is clearly "not appropriate" is for a Pentagon spokesperson to render a theological judgment about the statements of Franklin Graham.
Mohler's defense is muddleheaded because he is obviously oblivious to the fact that his complaint is a mirror image of the complaint lodged by Graham's critics. Graham's critics have no quarrel with Graham preaching his convictions. Their quarrel is with the Pentagon offering him a platform on which to preach them. They believe that the First Amendment requires that government remain neutral in regard to religion. Inviting Graham to speak leaves the impression that the Pentagon endorses his theology.

When the shoe is on the other foot, Mohler is quick to take offense. In his eyes, rescinding Graham's invitation and declaring his statements "not appropriate" make it look like the Pentagon opposes Graham's theology.

If Mohler's head was not so muddled he might perceive that it is best for the government and the Pentagon to remain strictly neutral in matters of religion. Both Graham's critics and Al Mohler ought to be able to agree that the government should not be officially promoting anybody's religion nor should it be officially denigrating anybody's religion.

Mohler and Graham, however, are both Christian Nationalists. They expect the government to privilege and endorse their brand of religion and denounce all others. That's another area in which Mohler is muddleheaded and not only in regards to the meaning and intention of the First Amendment. If Mohler wants the blessing of the government for Franklin Graham and his theology, then he has no right to complain if the government decides to bless someone else's theology.

1 comment:

John King said...

Right on! I could not agree more. It is too bad that those who claim the name of Baptist have strayed so far from at least one of Baptists most shining distinctives