Thursday, May 03, 2012

Rev Graham should not endorse Amendment One shuck and jive

Rev. Billy Graham
Using religion to distract is the unkindest cut of them all so why should we be surprised that Amendment One supporters in North Carolina are doing just that.

That has been their modus operandi since the beginning, but now they have stooped exceedingly low.

Legendary pastor Billy Graham has endorsed Amendment One in full page ads set to appear in 14 newspapers across the state:

“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” the national religious leader says. “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.”

I mean no disrespect to Rev. Graham, but it disappoints me that he is lending his name  and reputation to this deceptive campaign. His statement is deliberately simplistic and ignores several issues, including the fact that Amendment One is not a Biblical issue and that marriage equality is already outlawed in North Carolina.

However, I would prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. I personally don't believe that he would endorse Amendment One if he was educated on the realities of what would happen should it pass.

Legal experts across the state, even those who are conservative, have spoken out against Amendment One, calling it extreme because it "threatens a range of other protections for unmarried partners and their children, including domestic violence protections and child custody law."

University of North Carolina law professor Maxine Eichner, during a recent press conference on Amendment One, said:

. . . as indicated in the “Statement from Family Law Professors,” which was signed by family law professors from every law school across the state, every one of us believes that the Amendment One threatens domestic violations protections for unmarried couples, whether they are same-sex or opposite-sex.

I sincerely doubt that Rev. Graham would knowingly endorse something which could harm not only children, but also women trapped in domestic violence relationships.

I also sincerely doubt that Rev. Graham would endorse Amendment One had he known the parties involved in its attempted passing, included:

  • A Neo-Nazi group which has also endorsed Amendment One,

Rev. Graham, these are the people on your side, sir. And maybe it's just me but there is something really, really wrong with that.

There is a saying that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and it is very apt here. Rev. Graham's supposed "good intentions" in endorsing this sham of an amendment would definitely send innocent North Carolinians down a road to hell paved with harmed children, damaged domestic violence laws, racism, and the stigmatization of the state's gay community

I know in my heart that this is not the future he intends for North Carolina.

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Gregory Peterson said...

Unfortunately, this doesn't surprise me in the least. Rev. Grahams public image has always been more benign than his private actions.

And if memory serves... Such as founding Christianity Today in the 1950s with money from the notorious J. Howard Pew, then installing as executive editor his dualist minded, "voluntary segregationist" father in law, Dr. L. Nelson Bell. CT was usually, with one exception that it runs on the MLK Jr. holiday, was passive/aggressively hostile towards the Civil Rights Movement. In one editorial, CT scolded the evangelicals who marched with Dr. King.

Graham was chairman of the board for decades. CT's "petulant hostility" (as some historian correctly put it) towards Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is well known.

CT, as one could predict, has endorsed a Constitutional amendment to permanently strip GLBT from petitioning their governments for redress of their marriage grievances.

Then there was Graham's de facto endorsement of Jesse Helms and the endorsement of the homophobic extremist group Christian Voice in their guide (which I have in my little library of horrors)...

Anonymous said...

“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” the national religious leader says. “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman."

Your god doesn't get to define anything for me.

Daniel Wachenheim said...

As far as I know, God never specifically defines marriage in the Bible. If he did, Mr. Graham should point out the verse that states "Thou shalt marry one person of the opposite sex". It's certainly not in the 10 commandments, although regulations about property, including slaves, are in the 10 commandments. Certainly, there are examples of polygamy, even extreme polygamy, and Mr. Graham should include this in his statement... "God defines marriage as between a man and one or 2 or 3 or 4 or many women", which would be a more biblical view. Mr. Graham is an ex old-timey religion preacher who found wealth and power. Fine for him. Too bad old age has not made him contemplate his legacy with some humility. Or maybe he's just a puppet for his homophobe son, Franklin Graham.

John Richards said...

“I mean no disrespect to Rev. Graham…”

Why? I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject of respect in the last week or so since Dan Savage’s now infamous address and I’ve come down on the side of disrespect. I see no reason to respect those who offer me and my community nothing but disrespect. Graham has come down on the side of a state constitutional amendment that would not only deny same-sex couples legal marriage it would also eliminate domestic partnerships in the state of North Carolina. Why are he or the supporters of Amendment One worthy of respect?

Joel said...

I don't understand the compulsion of those from the Carolinas to defer to Billy Graham. He has as long a history of being anti-LGBT as any others, and is unrepentant about the dangers such positions create. Yet even the most strident LGBT activist down here gives him the benefit of the doubt. Can you explain why?

JayJonson said...

You give way too much credit to this huckster. Just because he recognized early on that if he was going to be the "nation's pastor," he would have to appear moderate enough to be invited to the White House when it was occupied by both Democrats and Republicans, that does not mean that he has ever been anything other than a huckster. He gets no respect from me. His son is disgusting, and he no doubt picked that up from his father, who is just a little smoother than himself.

EvilI said...

The Bible is not a dictionary. It rarely, if ever defines words.

And a lot (most?) of the marriages mentioned in it wouldn't even fit this supposedly clearly-defined definition.

So that's a lie.