Oh, Mr. Graham,
We have not come far from the attitude of the eight religious leaders who wrote to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. while he was incarcerated in a Birmingham, Alabama jail in 1963.
As a Christian leader, I am ashamed for you. You have a large forum into which you speak and write. You submitted your take publicly on your Facebook page on why you perceive so many black men have died recently at the hands of police officers: “Parents, teach your children to respect and obey those in authority,” and “It’s as simple as that,” and, “Mr. President, this is a message our nation needs to hear, and they need to hear it from you.” You received thousands of “likes” for these comments. You promoted anger and hate.
At the very least, you promoted ignorance. At the very least, you did not promote love.
I did not read any desire to perceive or understand the fear and profiling and aggressive, biased treatment on one side, and the fear and anger and gut-wrenching distrust on the other side.
“But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the [situation]. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.” Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail
This is not about African Americans failing to parent or young black men failing to submit, or a black president failing to discipline “his people.” This is about a system that has been broken for decades.
You’ve come a long way from your father, who preached a true gospel of love; who had the love and respect of many Presidents, and many Christians of all ethnicities, whether they voted Republican, Democrat.
Your rant on Facebook was nothing more than an angry white male slandering a group of non-white people. And that, Mr. Graham, is not what a Christian does. We are not to speak and act as the world does.
We are to be impartial. We are to love our neighbor. We are to put our agenda and our will aside in order to promote God’s will. The day you posted your rant, you stepped away from God. I invite to step back toward Him again. Offer a public apology.
If you want to see Franklin Graham’s rant, go to: http://on.fb.me/1F9wG0u
If you want to read Sojourner’s Christian response to Franklin Graham, to go:
“Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?” Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail