Saturday, August 21, 2010


Politico yesterday morning:

... the most prominent religious leaders today are individuals such as the Revs. Rick Warren and Franklin Graham, who've made clear that they're more interested in spreading the gospel than in speaking out on divisive social issues.

ABC News later in the day:

... The Rev. Franklin Graham ... was asked whether he has any doubts about Obama's self-avowed Christian faith.

"I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name," Graham told CNN's John King in a televised interview that aired Thursday night.

"Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said," Graham continued, adding that "the Islamic world sees the president as one of theirs."

The president himself has written that his father, Barack Obama Sr., was already a confirmed atheist by the time he was born. His father divorced his mother when Obama was 2 years old, and he had little contact with his father during his childhood....

Nice one, Politico -- the interview aired before your story ran and you still made this ridiculous statement about Graham. And yeah, I know, from having read the article, that by "divisive social issues" you meant abortion and gay rights, but you used the phrase "divisive social issues" at a time when the most divisive social issue in America is the question of whether Muslim-Americans have the same citizenship rights as the rest of us.

But you had a lovely little thesis -- "the culture wars are over!" -- and you didn't want to acknowledge the possibility that the culture wars are simply evolving, and that some of the old right-wing antagonists have the tenacity of the cockroach. Whatever happens, we'll never rid ourselves of them. They'll still be there. They'll evolve to survive.

Of course, Graham has made Muslim-bashing comments on multiple occasions since 9/11, as I assume you know (or should know).

(And as for Rick Warren, I don't accept that he's disavowed the culture wars because he seems to want to have it both ways on gay issues, disapproving of gay marriage, for instance, while claiming it's a low priority.)

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