The real war on religion is being waged by those on the Right who read the Bible not as the story of God's saving interaction with the world through the unfolding of God's reign, but either as foundational for a conservative politics of self-interest or as a blueprint for a post-Enlightenment cult of individual piety.
Call it the collision of two choirs. One lobs paranoid epithets from a grim cloister and hogs the microphone; the other - in which I recently bathed in a week-long conference featuring evangelical academics, scientists, and ecological activists at Gordon College in Massachusetts - sings with gentle conviction and grace. It's soothing.
Here's the thing, Franklin Graham isn't the voice of Christianity, let alone a stand in for the voice of God. In fact, much of the rest of Christianity has to work overtime because Franklin Graham invests so much energy saying things that make the rest of us who take God seriously shake our heads; which is why Franklin Graham is once again the worst thing to happen to God in a while
In his July 17 Facebook post, Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, spewed unhinged hatred and bigotry against American Muslims. Writing his response to the Chattanooga shooting. Such language would, and does, radicalize ignorant youth. It fosters terrorism.
I grew up thinking Billy Graham was a hero. My family was Baptist; my dad, a Baptist preacher. I was an adult before I realized Graham wasn't exclusively Baptist though by then he might as well have been because conservative Christians seemed, largely, to have let go of doctrinal differences in favor of ideological absolutes.