It’s only been around since 1789, when the United States’ literally god-less Constitution was ratified, that the United States has had a secular government. But that lesser son of a greater sire, Franklin Graham, is claiming that secular government is new to this country.
Graham told CNN’s New Day host Chris Cuomo:
“You talk about us being a secular government, a secular society — that’s only taken place in the last few years,” Graham opined. “Our nation was founded on biblical principles. Our founding fathers recognized God. All you have to do is go to Washington and look at all of our monuments with the inscriptions and references to almighty God.”
You could not be more catastrophically wrong if you tried. The truth is, Graham is one of those who likes to talk about the Constitution without ever having read it.
Take a gander of your own:
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 3, 2016
Just to give you an idea of how dangerous this man’s thinking is, think about the First Amendment’s establishment clause, forbidding the legislation of religion, and then think about Graham’s tweet last night in response to Obama’s first ever mosque visit.
In response to Obama’s inclusive words that “we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths. And when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up,” Graham retorted,
“Jesus Christ is alive today. Muhammad is dead. I worship a risen Lord! Islam can’t compete with that.”
Oh dear. He doesn’t get how this works at all, does he? We could debate that point about who is dead, but it’s really irrelevant – because United State Constitution.
Graham showed he had to really reach to make his point when he talked to Cuomo about going to Washington and looking at references to “almighty God” everywhere – but fails to show even once instance of “almighty God” occurring in the Constitution itself.
And that’s because it’s not there. Anywhere.
We get tired of repeating the fact – and it is a fact – that there is no mention of “God,” no mention of the “Bible,” no mention of “Jesus” or the “Ten Commandments” in the United States Constitution. That’s because the Constitution is based on English common law, which goes back to Pagan Roman law, rather than on the Bible.
Simple facts. Endlessly denied.
Graham explained that because of all this fake stuff he believes,
“I’m going from state to state, holding prayer rallies on the capitol steps of the state, asking people to join me to pray for this nation, and to pray for our leaders. Our country is in trouble and I can tell you right now, I have zero hope in the Democratic Party and I have zero hope in the Republican Party. The only hope for this nation is God.”
“We have no individual that can turn this thing around. Only God can do it.”
The problem is that God doesn’t get a vote. God doesn’t get to decide anything in this country. Political power derives from the people, not from the Bible, not from God, not from God’s self-appointment representatives on this earth. The Old World showed just how disastrous that idea was from the fall of Rome to the Enlightenment.
Cuomo pointed out the obvious:
“We know that the Christian faith is not the rule for all. Under the Constitution, you don’t see God mentioned until the signature page.”
To which Graham could only respond with a bald-faced lie:
“I respect the law of the land that has been approved by the Constitution. And I don’t think the judges in Washington can just make law. That’s not what they do, but that’s what they’ve done as it relates to same-sex marriage.”
It is difficult to respect the law of the land when you say you don’t. He doens’t even understand how the Constitution works, or the role of executive, legislative, and judicial. The Constitution, as he would see if he read it, explains that the Supreme Court decides what the Constitution says.
We may disagree with their rulings, but we don’t get to ignore them. We don’t get to claim God trumps them, because there is no mechanism in the Constitution for God or his self-appointed representatives getting a free pass.
It goes without saying, and therefore Graham won’t say it, that if God wants to “fix” things, he doesn’t need human help. If he does, we should be the ones helping God. In which case, he isn’t a God, but just a chump like the rest of us.
Finally just to put a punctuation on his visible lack of comprehension, Graham offered an idea:
“I think we need a nationwide referendum on this and let’s see what the people say.”
After awhile, you really do wish these people would just read the Constitution before they publicly humiliate themselves like this. But then, they can’t even be bothered to read the Bible they claim to champion either.
Afterward, tweeting, still burning up over Obama’s visit to a mosque, Graham reached for comedic gold by claiming,
“America’s foundation has nothing to do with Islam, but everything to do with the Church of Jesus Christ.”
It has nothing to do with either, and that’s a fact. It was a country full of Christians, mostly, who agreed we should have a secular government.
His words would be funny even if there were a Church of Jesus Christ, but there isn’t and has never been. There are and always have been churches beyond count. The Founding Fathers disdained the interference of all of them in the functioning of the government they had created, warning us tyranny would result.
The very gay- and Muslim-hating tyranny Graham wants – as unwelcome today as it was in 1789.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.