Franklin Graham in an interview with Christian Broadcast News states that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed and that Christine Ford’s allegations of sexual assault are “not relevant.” Not only is this the expected behavior of a court evangelical, but does Graham’s words explain why evangelical Christianity is having a crisis with sexual assault and abuse? Also is it fair to ask if sexual assault has been covered up by Samaritan’s Purse or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?
“It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago, that’s just not relevent.”
Franklin Graham to CBN
“The past is never where you think you left it.“
Katherine Ann Porter
His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?
Frequently I seem to go back to writing about Franklin Graham. I have written about him several times over the past few years. From examining the financial status of the organizations he leads, to his admiration for Vladimir Putin to even saying that Trump’s affairs with porn stars are no one’s business. If you want to read those posts you can do so in, “Franklin Graham’s Salary, the IRS Change to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Should Churches be Supporting “Operation Christmas Child?”,”Franklin Graham’s Affection for Vladimir Putin, Plus is Franklin Graham a Modern Day Charles Lindbergh with His Love for Authoritarian Leaders?” and “Franklin Graham is Upset that Walmart Sold “Impeach 45” T-Shirts. Plus Graham Believes that Trump’s Affairs with Porn Stars is Nobody’s Business.” There is more news about him recently that i could not ignore and believe it deserves comment and analysis. Below are some of Graham’s latest tweets, and now let’s start by looking at some recent news and then I will get into commentary on Franklin Graham.
Background Information and What Franklin Graham Stated
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced to President Donald Trump on June 21, 2018 that he will retire at the end of the term. In response Donald Trump nominated conservative jurist Brett Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018. In what was already going to be a controversial Supreme Court pick something dark then occurred. There were rumors of a woman who write a letter to California Senator Diane Feinstein who made an allegation against the Supreme Court nominee. However, she wanted the information to be kept quiet and not made public. Eventually the information was disclosed and she decided to come forward. On September 16, 2018 the Washington Post reported that a California professor Christine Blasey Ford claimed that Brett Kavanaugh had attempted to sexually assault her in high school in Maryland in the 1980’s. The serious allegation stated that she feared for her life in how aggressive Brett Kavanaugh allegedly was. You can read that original story here. And with that the Supreme Court nomination exploded in a way not seen since Clarence Thomas was nominated in 1991 and faced allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill. I write all that to give you the political background to what happened next.
Many evangelicals have been all over this Supreme Court nomination. Against all this Franklin Graham came out and said something that created a lot of attention. In an interview with Christian Broadcast news (CBN) Franklin Graham stated that Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior occurred when he was a teenager and that it should be dismissed. Graham stated that the sexual assault allegations by Christine Ford are “not relevant” and that Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Franklin Graham stated that what a person does 40 years ago should be ignored. He also claimed that Ford coming forward was an attack by Democratic socialists. You can watch the video above and you can read about that in this Charlotte Observer article. The Huffington Post also wrote about Franklin Graham’s comments.
This is How a Court Evangelical Behaves, in the End All that Matters is the Supreme Court
Recently I read and wrote a book review on John Fea’s newest book called, “Believe Me – The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.” You can read that review and summary of the book in, “The Wondering Eagle Book Review: Fear, Lust for Power and 81%. A Look at John Fea’s “Believe Me – The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.” In that book John Fea describes the court evangelical. The court evangelical is infatuated with access and does not care if his Christian witness is compromised. Its my analysis that Franklin Graham is exhibiting the behavior of a court evangelical. In this situation Graham only cares about the Supreme Court. That is the only thing driving him in this situation. In this situation for the evangelicals to get to this point – every accusation of rape, child sex abuse and more must be dismissed to get the Supreme Court. After all control of the Supreme Court is Franklin Graham’s idol and its what he worships. So having said that we should not be surprised that Franklin Graham would call such allegations of sexual assault as “not relevant.” Trampling an alleged sexual assault victim is just business for Franklin Graham and nothing more. But it does raise a host of other questions.
Does Franklin Graham’s Behavior Help Explain Why there is a Crisis of Sexual Assault in Evangelical Christianity?
Even if this is Franklin Graham’s behavior as a court evangelical, can we be brutally honest? There is a crisis inside evangelicalism when it comes to sexual assault and abuse. From Sovereign Grace to issues inside the Southern Baptist Convention and more. Its no surprise that the #MeToo movement is going through evangelical churches and ministries today. This is a reckoning that is a long time coming. Franklin Graham in that CBN interview just dismisses the allegation of sexual assault. I can just imagine him sticking a piece of gum in his mouth as he casually talks about the topic. The fact that he shows no concern, empathy and is almost angry at Christine Ford shows what his priorities are. How can a man claiming to be a pastor be so cold? How can he support the powerful against the weak? How can he dismiss something outright? Especially with the documentation and notes form a counselor form 2012? It is my belief that this issue and behavior by Franklin Graham actually shows how sick much of evangelical Christianity can be. The stories of sexual assault inside evangelical Christianity I would wager is hardly scratches the surface. What will come out in the future I think will shock and stun people in a way they are not used to. And Graham’s casual behavior only shows why this problem exists. For Franklin its not a priority. The fact that as a pastor he would be so partisan about rape is also troubling. His cognitive dissonance is high and this is a topic that one must not raise. That leads me to my next question I would like to ask.
Have Claims of Sexual Abuse Been Covered up in Samaritan’s Purse or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?
There is another question that I would also like to pose here at this blog. Please keep in mind that this is just a question and that I am asking this outloud as a writer. Franklin Graham has said a lot about himself in how he has acted. For Franklin he is dismissive of the topic of sexual assault and abuse begs a question that I want to ask. Has there been incidents of sexual abuse or assault that has been covered up at Samaritans Purse or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association? Samaritans Purse has done relief work and missionary efforts in places such as Africa, Asia, Latin and South America and elsewhere. We know sex abuse as happened in the Southern Baptist Convention and the Association of Baptists of World Evangelism (ABWE). You can read about ABWE in, “Recommended Read: New Republic’s The Silence of the Lambs.” At Samaritans Purse have their been missionaries who have sexually abused victims of a disaster or those out in the field? This blog would like to know if that has indeed happened, and if anyone out there has any stories about sexual abuse or assault at Samaritans Purse then let’s get those on the record and deal with them so we can make progress on cleaning up some of the problems within the church and humanity. I would not have asked this question prior I don’t think but after seeing how Franklin Graham is towards the topic of sexual abuse and assault I think this is an area that can’t be ignored. That is it for the day please know that you are loved.