Interesting article from The Guardian about Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child: The evangelicals who like to giftwrap Islamophobia (link via jordoncooper)
Having been laid-off by Franklin’s plans to relocate the BGEA, I am a bit biased, but this story is a bit over the top. Franklin certainly deserves a verbal spanking for his insensitivity to Islam given the current political climate (heck, Franklin deserves a verbal spanking for a lot of things), but I think it’s overstating the case to say that you can’t give humanitarian and spiritual
relief at the same time. One shouldn’t be a prerequisite for the other, but at the same time when someone asks why, you have little recourse but to tell them.
Though I did find myself agreeing with this comment: “US evangelicals employ a selective biblical literalism to support a theology that systematically confuses the kingdom of God with the US’s burgeoning empire.”
I certainly wouldn’t say evangelicals in general do that, but some Christians do equate U.S. power with the kingdom of God. We are a growing empire/superpower, but like every nation we will come to an end.
4 thoughts on “Spanking Franklin”
Well, if you don’t start with the assumption that Christianity is the one true religion, then any proselytizing comes off as being quite hostile. Reading that article made me even more glad that I’m participating in Operation Christmas Child. People need to hear about Jesus, and Christians need to take poverty more seriously. I don’t see that they shouldn’t go together, even though I do admit that they don’t always have to.
I thought CT’s weblog had a pretty a propos response to all this on 11/13:
Excellent link, Beth. It’s stuff like this that affirms my decision to not read most newspapers or watch most TV news, or even get news off most websites. At times, the information I get out there is unrepentingly biased, and the truth is simply not offered or even hinted at. And since I can’t tell when it’s happening and when it isn’t, I just turn it off altogether.
Frankly, I don’t think I’m much worse for the wear.
I was going to say when I read that first article that it didn’t sound like what Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child does. It collects boxes of toys and gives them to people: it doesn’t require that they get them with literature (nor is a toy part of a life need like rice, etc).
As far as I know, it helps people out while spreading God’s word, and not by making “rice Christians.” If we are to be shamed from helping anyone and sharing our faith, I say we continue doing it. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s something we must do.
I’ll admit that Franklin hasn’t helped things with his comments about Muslims, etc. but that doesn’t justify what seems to be slanderous accusations of a good charity.