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.
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?