Franklin Graham started quite the firestorm for himself by posting this on Facebook last week:
“Listen up–Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else. Most police shootings can be avoided. It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air. If a police officer tells you to lay down face first with your hands behind your back, you lay down face first with your hands behind your back. It’s as simple as that. Even if you think the police officer is wrong—YOU OBEY. Parents, teach your children to respect and obey those in authority. Mr. President, this is a message our nation needs to hear, and they need to hear it from you. Some of the unnecessary shootings we have seen recently might have been avoided. The Bible says to submit to your leaders and those in authority “because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”
The Christian right exploded with amens and affirmations, the Christian left exploded with the opposite sentiments.
If anyone other than Franklin Graham had said this, I might be inclined to agree with them.
Being a good police officer is an incredibly demanding job both physically and emotionally.
They see the worst of what humanity has to offer every day they go to work and it takes a massive toll on them.
They are a necessary and vital part of the social fabric of our society and the front line of social order.
I’m very ‘pro-police”.
However, it cannot be denied that all across the country we’re seeing an increase in the abuse of authority by some in this profession.
Those offenses and abuses must be honestly addressed as well.
Franklin Graham doesn’t carry any weight with me.
First off, he is lecturing his followers on respect for authority and calls on a President he’s shown no respect for to speak to it.
The very people shouting amen the loudest to Grahams exhortation on Facebook are the ones posting the most disrespectful things imaginable about the current “authorities” in Washington.
Second of all my own experience with Graham is that he’s never met an abusive authority he didn’t like and defend.
He’s encouraged abusive (and in one instance I know of), illegal behavior by evangelical celebrities and condemned those who dared stand up to them.
My bottom line is that I don’t believe that Franklin Graham believes that abuse ever happens among those who support him financially and agree with him politically.
In those beliefs, he has far too much company…
Graham knows which side his bread is buttered on and he is a master at pandering populist notions that keep him in both bread and butter.
There’s always more of both if people “submit” to his friends.
That’s the social order that Franklin Graham is most concerned about preserving.
I’ll always obey my local police and teach my boy to respect them…but Franklin can go pound sand.
I’ll teach my boy that as well.