Franklin Graham has been polluting California with his disgusting brand of evangelical politicking for the past several weeks. His traveling dog-and-pony show came to Oxnard, near where I live, last week but I wasn't able to make it out there to get a glimpse of the grift. I'm sure it's just coincidence that his grifty bus tour ends on Primary Day, June 5th, right?
Franklin has come to California to pierce the "blue wall," because he says our state is in trouble. Our beautiful state, with its beautiful surplus in the Treasury, more money to schools and with roads being repaired, is something Franklin sees as being "in trouble." Our economy has surpassed the UK's, making us the 5th largest economy in the world.
But we are "in trouble," Franklin says in one breath, while in the other declaring that he is not in any way being divisive or political.
Fox News reported his "tour" this way:
"Our country is in trouble," Graham told an audience at the Fresno Fairgrounds as part of his Decision America California Tour, according to the Fresno Bee. "Your state's in trouble – you know that. But there are things that we can do. You know God hears prayer."
Graham invoked politics throughout his speech, reminding the crowd that it’s not too late to "turn this state around," while encouraging voters to lend their support to candidates who align with Christian values, the Bee reported.
Of the stops on the California tour, three “are in or bordering critical House districts in the Central Valley," while “others hug the line between red and blue up the state,” the New York Times reported. The tour ends June 5, primary day.
But sure. Nothing political.
“That is a pretty remarkable contradiction,” Fox commentator Chris Stirewalt said on-air about it. “You have a guy that goes and out complains about how divided the country is politically, and then follows that up with don’t vote Democrat, whatever you do.”
He added, "This is something that most Christian leaders would never have done even a decade ago.”
Well, Chris, Franklin isn't your ordinary Christian. He's just like the bad kings in the Old Testament who ruled after the good kings. Full of pride, hubris and driven by his love of power and money, little else. As a progressive Christian, Franklin Graham's brand of hate-mongering is something I find repellent and repugnant.
Stirewalt went on to observe that behavior like Graham's is why the Founding Fathers likely wanted to separate religion and politics. A-to-the-damn-men.
It turns out, Franklin doesn't like being called out and even mocked for his hypocrisy. He's thin-skinned, like Dear Leader. In a tweet, he accuses Stirewalt of "getting it wrong."
This is his defense, though. "The blue wall represents secularism," he writes. Secularism is evil to him, as he explains in his next tweets, where he urges everyone to vote with "godly values" (which of course just happen to also align with Republican values!)
I had a reply to that.
If Franklin Graham really gave a damn about faith and "godly values," he would be weeping over the lost Puerto Ricans and standing up for them.
If Franklin Graham really gave a damn about faith and "godly values," he would not be preaching against taking health care access away from people.
If Franklin Graham really gave a damn about faith and "godly values," he would be lifting up the poor, standing for them and speaking for them because they need someone to stand up to power and speak their truth. But he doesn't. He is silent.
If Franklin Graham really gave a damn about faith and "godly values," he would be preaching for mercy to immigrants who came here for a better life instead of colluding with those who wish to deport them.
If Franklin Graham really gave a damn about faith and "godly values," he would be loudly and vocally condemning the sale of our country to Russian oil interests in the name of the power and glory of money.
But he doesn't give a damn. He is in California for one reason only: To try and save the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. He does not care for the poor, he does not care for the immigrants, he does not care for the sick, he does not care for the elderly.
Franklin Graham does care about his tax exemption, the glory and power of money, and the warm glow of knowing he is close to the heartbeat of power in this country.
Good for Chris Stirewalt for calling it out, but let's not forget that Fox News has tilled the soil where Graham's seeds fall. The clarion call of perpetual Christian victimhood, wars on Christmas, the poor, downtrodden white Christians are always welcome to share their stories on Fox News. Franklin Graham isn't a symptom; he's the desired result.
Frank is about to discover that California has many more compassionate, bible-believing Christians in it than racist power-hungry shit-disturbers like him. The sooner he takes his dog-and-pony show out of the state, the better.