Franklin Graham says he feels like his “religious rights are being denied.”
He may feel that way, but the events that have transpired regarding the Pentagon’s decision to drop him from the line up for the National Day Of Prayer are far from a denial of his religious rights.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Regardless of the Pentagon’s decision, Franklin Graham is still free to exercise his religious freedom. No matter how we feel about his exclusion during the National Day Of Prayer, Congress has passed no law that prohibits him from exercising his religious freedom. The Constitution guarantees his right to exercise his religion. It also guarantees free speech, but it does not guarantee his right to speak at any particular event.
With that said, I agree with everything else he said.
“It is a comment I made after 9/11 that Islam was wicked and evil,” said Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham.
The only reason his invitation was dropped, Graham said, was that “a couple members of the Pentagon who are Muslim objected about me coming.”
“I feel my religious rights are being denied here because of what I believe,” the evangelist said. “I believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life…I believe that because of my beliefs, that’s why I’m not being given the opportunity to speak.”
“I love Muslim people…I love them and care for them,” he insisted, adding that he does not “believe what they believe.”
“I don’t believe that Muhammad can lead anybody to God,” he said. “If you just look at the religion as it treats women, it is horrid. We can’t even talk publicly about what they do to women. You know, I just – for that alone – I cannot accept the religion.”
It’s a shame that the Pentagon chose to make the decision they did. Then again, none of the decisions made in Washington, since January of 2009, have surprised me.