Evangelist Franklin Graham, who can always be counted on to say something insensitive and despicable in trying times, is blaming Satan for the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. And he’s especially angry that people are going after Donald Trump.
Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in #Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started? Instead they want to blame President Donald J. Trump for everything. Really, this boils down to evil in people’s hearts. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity. I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God…
Trump may not have directly caused the rally — he’s busy golfing — but he fomented the sort of rhetoric and hatred we saw in Charlottesville over the past two years. He downright encouraged it (and certainly didn’t run away from it) at his pre-election rallies. Every time he hires someone from the alt-right, or retweets a white supremacist, or nominates an attorney general who wants to suppress equal rights, he’s sending a sign that open racism doesn’t bother him one bit.
The Religious Right movement grew in large part to fight desegregation. As I said in an earlier post, most Christians aren’t racists, but most white supremacists are Christians. Satan doesn’t deserve blame for a problem that’s been festering in parts of the Christian world for decades.
Remember: It took Trump more than two days to read a statement condemning bigotry and racism. It took him less than an hour this morning to condemn a black CEO who quit his Manufacturing Council. When Trump actually doesn’t like something, we all know about it immediately. Racism, bigotry, white supremacy are nowhere near the top of that list. That’s why he has no problem hiring white nationalists on his staff. He knows who his base is. It’s not the people fighting racism.
For a man like Graham, with the following that he has, to points his finger in all the wrong places is extremely irresponsible.
The Center for Inquiry got it right when they said:
More than a rejection of religious dogma or pseudoscience, secular humanism is an affirmative lifestance, one that deplores racism and bigotry in its very foundational documents. It considers the beliefs of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and white nationalists to be cancers on human civilization, holding our entire species back from fulfilling its noblest ambitions, both as individuals and as a global civilization.
The Center for Inquiry stands proudly with those who advance the causes of equality, peace, and diversity. We stand in unreserved and total opposition to the evils espoused by white nationalism, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and their repulsive ilk. And we do so guided by the simple and yet revolutionary principles of secular humanism.
The American Humanist Association and the International Humanist and Ethical Union got it right when they said:
We deplore the violent and segregationist message of the marchers, and we deplore the violence which has caused injury and fatality. Our thoughts are with all the victims of this weekend’s violence, including the friends and family of activist Heather Heyer. And our thoughts are with all the good people of Charlottesville who do not want and do not deserve that their town be associated with the hatred and bigotry of the far-right, neo-Nazi agenda.
As humanists, we stand for peace, democracy and human rights for all. There is a right to express political views that others may find offensive, but extremism must be met by swift and humane opposition. We will always stand together against racism and white supremacist ideology and resist the threat of neo-Nazism in these United States of America.
Franklin Graham, on the other hand, blamed a non-existent creature for a very real problem.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Amy for the link)