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Author Topic: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?  (Read 823 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« on: April 21, 2010, 01:52:57 PM »
There is another National Day of Prayer hubub in the news. A watchdog group is objecting to the Pentagon asking Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, to speak on May 6 (the now contested National Day of Prayer). Full details can be found here.

The crux of this debate however, unlike the current court decisions, is not whether or not the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional in toto, but rather concerns the decision to choose a speaker who has been antagonistic to other religions.

Quote
A watchdog group objected Tuesday to an evangelist's invitation to speak at the Pentagon next month, saying his past description of Islam as "evil" offended Muslims who work for the Department of Defense and the appearance should be canceled.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said inviting evangelist Franklin Graham to speak May 6, the National Day of Prayer, "would be like bringing someone in on national prayer day madly denigrating Christianity" or other religious groups.

Now, even if we assume that the NDP is not unconstitutional, how could it ever be fair to let such a biased speaker represent what is purported to be a multi-faith pursuit? Is Mr. Weinstein incorrect in assuming there would be an outcry if the Pentagon wanted a speech from an Islamic cleric who was outspoken in his conviction that Christianity was an evil and wicked faith? And what is the source of this generally accepted double standard in matters of faith in America?

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Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 03:06:48 PM »
I would propose the following:  Sure, Mr. Graham can speak on the condition that there will also be speakers representing other religions as well.  The NDP - assuming it's not unconstitutional - should represent the nation's religions.  In plural.  I'd even include the atheists if they wanted to send a representative.

(I used a similar tactic to this when my mother wanted me to talk to a priest about my interest in D&D.  She wouldn't agree to the terms.)

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 03:17:34 PM »
I think the idea of multible faiths being represented works. I think it will be more suitable than having a single person doing it.

Offline Jude

Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 03:39:43 PM »
I'm not especially offended over his statement, it just doesn't surprise me in the least.  Whenever religious figures give a speech, I can always find something objectionable about their claims.  The fact that we have observances at all for a state-designated national day of prayer is the problem in my opinion, thankfully it looks like we're moving in the direction of abolishing government-endorsed religion (at least one part of it).

Offline Huginn

Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 03:46:34 AM »
For me it totally depends what they are speaking on. If they are speaking as a public figure and not about their personal faith and why you should all follow it, I am left with very little issue having them speak wherever. Just like the nice man who travels to schools to try and convince everyone to be open with each other, he is just a strange man with some oppinions on things.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2010, 04:32:53 PM »
I think out of respect he shouldn't. I think it would be interesting if a Wiccan or Native or other non-Judeo-Christian-Muslim speaker was invited. It would have been interesting.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Should Franklin Graham speak at the Pentagon?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 11:27:50 PM »
He was 'univited' from what I heard.