Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, took time out from her swim in the shallow end of the Graham family gene pool this weekend to assure everyone that she would NEVER vote for an Atheist.
This isn’t particularly unusual. The Graham family has a long-held antipathy toward Atheists and other minorities. Son Franklin Graham entertains rather birther-like suspicions that maybe Barack Obama isn’t a Christian.
“You have to ask him,” Graham said in a February interview. “I cannot answer that question for anybody. You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich: Holy Men?However, he gave Rick Santorum more benefit of any doubt. “Do you believe Rick Santorum is a Christian,” Frank was asked. “I think so,” responded Graham. Why? “Well, because his values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it. I just appreciate the moral stances he takes on things. He comes from a Catholic faith… I think he’s a man of faith,” he said.
Ditto for serial thou shalt <del>not covet thy neighbor’s wifer</del> Newt Gingrich. “I think Newt Gingrich is a Christian, at least he told me he is.” Newt’s decidedly unchristian behavior to the contrary.
Frank isn’t so open to other faiths either. On Mitt Romney and the Mormons, “Most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith,” Graham said. On Muslims and Obama? “Under President Obama…the Muslims of the world, [sic] he seems to be more concerned, than Christians who are being murdered in Muslim countries,” said Graham.
Even Big Daddy Graham had a Romney-like semi-commitment to racial equality and antisemitism in the closet. He kept his “eye on public opinion, and the shifting winds of American culture” before finally settling down and denouncing his previous, less tolerant, positions. Plus, Billy tried to sue me once, but that was another story.
But back to Anne.
Her comments seem less than tolerant for a woman whose religion preaches loving one another. “I would not vote for a man who was an Atheist because I believe you need to have an acknowledgment or a reverence or a fear for almighty God,” Lotz said. ”I believe that’s where wisdom comes from.”
This isn’t so much troubling from a personal perspective. She can, of course, vote for whoever she likes and say whatever she likes about those she wouldn’t vote for. However, she and others of her ilk seem to be quite non-plussed when those they insult rankle at their statements. These CINO (Christians in Name Only) almost never see they are defacto disenfranchising the few with the tyranny of the many.
Not Even If Atheists Had the Wisdom of Solomon?The real danger of her statements is the strife her intolerance brings to society. In essence, Graham is saying that no matter how good an Atheist is on the issues or whether they have a long history of making decisions and solving real problems, or are as wise as Solomon, they will always be inferior. Inferior in the same way that many Christians feel Jews, Muslims, Atheists, or a host of other religions and minorities are.
It is unconscionable for a religious leader to condone this type of thinking. Atheists and other minorities are becoming less than full citizens because of their choice not to believe in God. That is exactly the type of situation, albeight with different players, that led to the American revolution. Her unfair and uninformed opinions help foment a Boston Bible Party mentality among the non-believers while pushing the believers to become unbending Torries to the death.
There would be need no need for an imaginary War on Christianity if the cheap rhetoric were scaled back. There would be no need for tit-for-tat politicization. We could all live in the relative peace and harmony Jesus preached if Christians made some room in their hearts and minds for the rest of us. Unfortunately, things seem headed for worse before, or if, anything ever gets better.
If there is real evil walking among us thy name is Graham.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!