White-washed & Empty

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Tonight I feel ill.

I just walked in the door from a long day spent away from home. The kids were a bit crazy. My head was already starting to pound.

And then I opened up Facebook.

And my vision went Red.

Post after post in my feed was about Franklin Graham's latest "profound comments" on the political and culture landscape of our country. The headlines under the last post I scrolled by had me gasping in disbelief.

"Franklin Graham on Judge Kavanaugh Accusation: 'Not Relevant' "

Surprising even myself, I chose to click on the news article from CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), a conservative Christian news site that normally I would steer away from to get a bit more objectivity. 

You can image my shock when I realized that the writer, Heather Sells, was not playing in her scathing recounting of Graham's disgusting and tone-deaf comments regarding the Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations. (We Heathers aren't here to mess around, by the way.)

The CBN reporter reminded Graham that Ford said she was able to flee the alleged assault because of someone else’s actions, and said, “It sounds like you think it's not relevant to him being considered on the high court.” 
Graham responded: “No, I really don't. Because how far back do we go back in a person's life? There's a lot of things that I've done when I was a teenager that I certainly am ashamed of and not proud of. And if we're going to hold people accountable for things that they did 40 years ago and say whether it's relevant or not relevant.
"This is a tactic by the left to try to keep conservatives off the bench and it's unfortunate that it's working. People are up in arms over this like, 'Oh, this is such a disaster.' You're talking about two teenagers 40 years ago. That has nothing to do with what we're talking about today, about this man being a judge on the Supreme court. And they call it a sexual assault? No, I don't believe it.”  

I. don't. believe. it.

What Graham is really saying is, "I don't believe her."

And those of us who belong to one of the worst type of clubs out there are feeling the thousands of micro-blades attacking our soul as we hear those words. And for some of us, rage. 

Pure and pulsating RAGE.

Tell Professor Ford that being sexually assaulted (regardless if there was "follow through" on the sexual part of the assault) is irrelevant. Tell her that because it happened decades ago, it doesn't matter anymore. 

In fact, while we're at it, let's let all the 17-year-olds who have committed crimes or attempted to commit them be let of juvenile hall and prisons right now. Because Franklin Graham says "it's irrelevant."

And finally, let's tell all fifteen-year-old teenage girls that the abuse they have endured is nothing to get agitated about. In fact, in 40 years time, it will all fade into irrelevance. And for sure we don't want to hear about it because we know you are just making things up, trying to destroy the reputation of a "good man."

Where are all these alleged "good men?"

I’m looking around these days trying to find any among these elderly patriarchal white males with a national platform, and I'm not seeing any.

Any shred of respect I might have had for Franklin Graham (that was likely more of an overflow from his father) evaporated leading up to the 2016 election. And this just proves to me that the power-grasping, do-anything-or-say-anything of this man and his fellow cronies is entirely anti-antithetical to the Gospel that he claims.

In addition, I am very aware that Graham and the rest were very glad to hold Bill Clinton accountable for his affair in the White House, they are gleeful at holding Hilary Clinton accountable for a litany of sins, and anyone else the deemed to on the "wrong side." 

However, when it comes to "their side"...no one can do any wrong. Not a president who talked about grabbing women by their genitalia and has boasted of numerous extra-martial affairs. Not a fellow pastor who has been exposed for encouraging a woman to be beaten by her husband if it would help lead said abusive husband to Christ. Not another fellow pastor who resigned from his megachurch in disgrace after multiple reports came out of his inappropriate overtures to women who worked with him. At this point, I think a Republican conservative could sexually assault a woman in public on Fifth Avenue and Graham and the rest would say, "Irrelevant!"

I've spent the last three years deconstructing my faith and reconstructing. I don't know what label to give myself these days...Exvangelical?...still searching? 

But I'm not this. I could never be and will never be this. And, I am having a very hard time how any believer in Jesus Christ could align him/herself with this foul rubbish.

This is deadly serious.

What once was a "difference of opinion" or politics has just entered a new crazy Twilight Zone in which the "party of morals" just sold the last shred of their soul in their unquenchable lust for power and seats on the Supreme Court.

Anyone who has read the Red letters of Christ in the gospels should be able to see that this is not what He stood for. It's not what he died for. He laid aside all claim to cultural and political power. He espoused loving your neighbor, caring for the widow and the orphan and freeing the oppressed.

This is not that.

Not by a long shot.

Faith and religion is a fraught topic and I know that I cannot wade into all the morass of Trumpian politics. But I can and will beg us all to take a step back from "religious leaders" whose words show that they care more about a seat for themselves at the table than they do about caring about a person's heart and soul.

This is not the Way of Jesus.

This is empty, dead and cold-hearted religion -- devoid of all empathy and compassion.

In the words of Jesus, these people are "white-washed, empty tombs." 

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