Cracker Graham Gets Disinvited by Pentagon
Mikey Weinstein, conservative or no, is my fucking hero and has been for a long time. I've been a big supporter of his Military Religious Freedom Foundation and stories like the one breaking about Franklin Graham being disinvited by the Pentagon from the National Day of Prayer on May 6th is one reason why.
Weinstein had personally appealed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to consider rescinding their invitation to Graham after his anti-Islamic remarks, especially those made in the first days after September 11th. Up until Thursday, the DoD was only considering disinviting Graham... Then they saw the above interview that Fox had with Graham and decided to make the disinvitation official.
As David Corn recently wrote on Politics Daily, Graham could've extended an olive branch to the Nation of Islam for his past slurs or he could have just STFU and not bring intense scrutiny to the National Day of Prayer, which is the last thing they want. Since Congress made a National Day of Prayer possible through an official act, the press has shown about as much interest in it as watching the First Pooch take a shit on the White House lawn. But that's not his way or that of the right wing God Nazis who always, invariably go double fundie and just wind up alienating even more people.
To get around the Establishment Cause that prohibits the Department of Defense to endorse one religion over another, the annual invitations to appear at the Day of Prayer are extended not through the Pentagon but the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is based in James "Dogbeater" Dobson's back yard in Colorado. In fact, Dobson, his wife, Franklin Graham and Bill Bright are part of the executive committees as is Michele "Slit Your Wrists" Bachmann and more so-called doctors than Pebble Beach on a Wednesday.
That's not to say the Pentagon doesn't willfully violate the Establishment Clause on occasion. Back in April of 2003, less than a month after the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon directly invited Graham to speak at a Good Friday Prayer service. The Chaplain's Office at the Pentagon was so offended, they wrote and sent this letter in protest:
(W)e are deeply dismayed and disappointed that the Pentagon Chaplain's Office has invited Mr. Franklin Graham, an extremely controversial and divisive figure, to perform the Good Friday Services at the Pentagon on April 18, 2003. Mr. Graham has made recent public statements that are not only insulting and offensive to Muslims but also to those who espouse ecumenism among the faith groups. Mr. Graham's negative statements concerning Islam and Muslims, which he has never recanted, fly in the face of what we stand for as Americans. By sponsoring and promoting a visit to the Pentagon by an extreme fundamentalist like Mr. Graham, the Pentagon Chaplain's Office is sending a message that it and the Department of Defense condone public displays of attitudes and thoughts that contradict not only Department of Defense regulations but also the American ideal of religious tolerance. We hope and pray that the Pentagon Chaplain's Office will reconsider its invitation to Mr. Graham and instead invite a more inclusive and honorable Christian clergyman to perform the Good Friday Services.
So, you'd think the Pentagon would've learned after hearing dissent from the ranks of its own religious hierarchy to stay away from this ideological toxic waste dump going by the name of Franklin Graham. And even after they'd considered pulling back their invitation to him, it's notable that only after public pressure from Weinstein and others and only after actually listening to this Christopathic Nazi speak on Fox did they finally make it official.
The National Day of Prayer is an abomination on so many levels and in so many ways one hardly knows where to begin. But just the very fact that this Sky Wizard ritual is held every year, thanks to an Act of Congress and officially shored up by Barack Obama, itself violates the Establishment Clause that's supposed to be a major pillar in the wall separating church and state. But by openly championing a Christian faith to the exclusion of all others, including Islam and Judaism, they're essentially showing their bigotry while the somnolent mainstream media ignores this ecumenical bigotry.
Of course, the first step toward rebuilding this wall between church and state is to abolish by another Act of Congress the National Day of Prayer. But of course, that's not going to happen because even craven Democrats are loathe to show any kind of opposition to this fringe minority that still believes despite mountain ranges of evidence to the contrary that America was founded on Christian principles.
But getting Graham, son of anti-Semite Billy Graham, disinvited is but one brick toward rebuilding this wall between church and state.