BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The Christian Right’s reaction to President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney has been turbo charged, yet somewhat predictable. Glenn Beck, who played a big role in Romney’s campaign moaned, “Sometimes God Sucks.” Buster Wilson of the American Family Association said that God will punish and curse America for re-electing Obama because of his mistreatment of Israel. Mat Staver, the Dean of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University Law School was grieving “like we have lost a friend or a close relative.” Charisma magazine’s Steve Strang “felt a profound sense of sadness. … because … Obama's policies represent everything wrong with America.”
Billy Graham’s son, The Rev. Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been both ubiquitous and unhinged in a spate of post-election media appearances. In some of those appearances he maintained that Obama was “waving his fist before God,” and that America’s economic woes are due to the fact that “we have turned our backs on God.”
God taking out his anger on Americans is not a new-fangled evangelical trope. Religious Right leaders, from old-timers like late Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to newish evangelical leaders like the New Apostolic Reformation’s Lou Engel and Graham, have been peddling a similar message for decades.
Graham who has been angling to wear the mantle of America’s Pastor-in-Chief like his father, The Rev. Billy Graham, told Newsmax TV’s Kathleen Walter: “The more we turn our backs on God, the bigger our problem becomes. I didn’t hear any of the candidates say that we needed to call our nation to prayer. I didn’t hear any of the candidates say that we needed to ask God for help.
“We still think that we can work our way out of this problem – and I don’t think we can,” Graham added. “I don’t have confidence in the Republican Party right now, and I don’t have confidence in the Democratic Party.
“I don’t believe there is leadership in Washington that can solve this problem. We just deal with it as issues for the day, and it kicks the can further and further down the road. We need God’s help to solve this problem – we can’t go without God.”
Graham added: “There is no question that America has been a nation that has been blessed by almighty God. There is no other nation in the history of mankind that has done what his nation has done – and it’s because of God’s hand and his blessing.
“In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God. We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any public forum.
“What has happened is we have allowed ourselves to take God out everything that we do – and I believe that God will judge our nation one day.”
And, “maybe God will have to bring our nation to our knees – to where that we just have a complete economic collapse” to do that, Graham said. “Maybe at that point, people will again call upon the name of almighty God.”
As Mother Jones’ David Corn recently pointed out, “Earlier this year, he had to apologize after questioning Obama's faith and saying on MSNBC that the president ‘seems more concerned about [Muslims] than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries.’ He has often decried the entire religion of Islam, at one point calling it ‘a very evil and wicked religion.’ Two years ago, he was disinvited from the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer event when a fuss developed over his anti-Muslim comments.”
Graham’s interview with Newsmax was only one of several post-election appearances that he’s made. He showed up on Sean Hannity’s Fox Television program; did a sit down with The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn; and spoke with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.
In addition to anti-gay-marriage remarks, Graham told Brody that said Obama’s second term will “usher in the largest changes in our society since the Civil War.”
Graham also told Brody that “we need someone like a Jerry Falwell to come back and resurrect the Moral Majority movement.”
By the way he’s putting himself out there, it seems like Graham just might be campaigning to be the twenty-first century’s Jerry Falwell.