The Never Trump publication National Review is now attacking Franklin Graham for being … a bad Christian.
You have to read this piece of intellectually vacant drivel to believe it. Naturally, the author is the humorless David French, whose only real writerly skill is a super power that allows him to be perfectly satisfied with himself.
Unfortunately, this remarkable ability almost always gets in the way of anything approaching rational thought and basic human decency. French is a nasty piece of work, the Frank Burns of the Internet, a sanctimonious tattletale and fool.
To begin with, his bitter attack on Graham makes no sense. It’s a word salad of imperious gibberish designed only to appeal to the mindless mob that drives his sour tribe and Jake Tapper’s TV bookers.
You see, French is enraged at Franklin Graham for reminding people that homosexuality is a sin.
“Presidential candidate & South Bend Mayor @PeteButtigieg is right—God doesn’t have a political party,” Graham tweeted on Wednesday. “But God does have commandments, laws & standards He gives us to live by. God doesn’t change. His Word is the same yesterday, today & forever.”
In a second tweet Graham added, “Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian. As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman—not two men, not two women.”
What I appreciate about Graham’s statement, other than the fact that it’s true, is that he is careful with his words. He is not condemning homosexuals as human beings. He is making a clear distinction between people and behavior. That’s exactly right.
Naturally, the intellectually dishonest French doesn’t give Graham credit for this. But in his defense, French is probably too blinded by his own self-regard to see anything other than the bloodlust powering his Mighty Sword of Moral Justice.
No, what Mr. French is also furious over is that Graham has not condemned — you guessed it — the Orange Bad Man… and here’s where things get dumb…
“Yes, marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Mr. French helpfully explains, “but Trump married a woman, then married his mistress, then married a third woman, then had an affair with a porn star while that third wife was pregnant with his child.”
And that’s not even the dumbest part…
We should pray for presidents, critique them when they’re wrong, praise them when they’re right, and never, ever impose partisan double standards. We can’t ever forget the importance of character, the necessity of our own integrity, and the power of the prophetic witness.
In other words, Evangelicals can never take a purely transactional approach to politics. We are never divorced from our transcendent purpose, which always trumps political expediency.
And now you know what I meant by a “word salad of imperious gibberish.”
In a sane world, I wouldn’t have to do this, but let me go ahead and explain the difference between Donald Trump and Mean Little Mayor Pete…
As far as we know, and as Graham himself has explained, Trump’s infamous one night stands with a couple of blackmailing porn stars (the president denies any wrongdoing) occurred a dozen years ago.
Let me repeat this somewhat important fact…
A dozen years ago.
What’s more, Trump did not base his presidential campaign on championing his libertine past, on bragging about his adultery, on reveling in his sin. And from his glass house, Trump has never judged anyone else’s Christianity, never sought to normalize his sinful behavior as Christian behavior, never blamed God for his sin.
Mean Little Mayor Pete, on the other hand, is guilty of all of that. So far, he has based his entire presidential campaign on the championing of his homosexuality, of his open defiance of God, of his sin; while at the same time he proclaims himself to be a purer-than-pure Christian, a much better Christian than any Christian who voted for Trump. Everyone’s a bad Christian, except our Mean Little Mayor.
Listen, I take no pleasure in writing this about Buttigieg, or anyone. If he wasn’t running around puffing himself up as the world’s greatest Christian; if he wasn’t condemning the Christianity of others based on an un-Christian purity test that demands we embrace his homosexuality; if he wasn’t blaspheming by blaming God for his sin because God “made me this way,” I wouldn’t say a word about the Mean Little Mayor’s private life.
And if the Mean Little Mayor was running on a platform of lower taxes, ending abortion, killing terrorists, building a wall, deporting illegal aliens, and never taking any foreign policy advice from David French’s Merry Band of War-Happy Lunatics, he could be married to three men, a cactus, and a toaster oven and I’d still vote for him.
Moreover, what Mean Little Mayor Pete is doing is even more sinful than parading his sin. He is literally hoping to mislead people into believing something that will put their immortal soul in danger, he is deliberately trying to deceive people of good faith into believing his open and defiant homosexuality is not a sin.
I’m sorry to say this, but what Mean Little Mayor Pete is doing, purely to gain power, is scheming to lead the Faithful down the wrong path — which is a deliberate act of evil.
French also sees hypocrisy in a 1998 op-ed Graham wrote that criticized then-Bill Clinton’s Oval Office affair with Monica Lewinsky. But this is another wildly dishonest comparison between present-day adultery and something that happened … more than a decade ago. And to the rational, forgiving Christian mind, that is ALL the difference.
But in Mr. French’s neurotic mind, a mind blinded by his own self-righteousness, a good evangelical is someone who publicly condemns people for behavior they claim to have put behind them — you know, just like Jesus would.
Listen, my beliefs don’t perfectly align with Graham’s. But when he says something like “God put” Trump in the Oval Office, I’m content to let it go, whereas Super Evangelical David French sees only a mercenary opportunity, an opening that allows him to abuse his faith as a transaction that might get him on TV or win a retweet from Chris Cuomo, a transaction that puffs him up with a sense of moral superiority.
Honestly, does anyone want to live in Mr. French’s vision of an idealized Christian world — one where we never let it go, where we condemn people over 12-year-old sins, condemn those for not condemning 12-year-old sins, and remain silent as a Mean Little Mayor uses his national platform to deliberately corrupt the Faith?
French’s vision of Christianity is dark, judgmental, unforgiving, mercenary, self-serving, and above all, cowardly — you know, just like Jesus intended.