Franklin Graham, son of the lat evangelist Billy Graham, recently wrote on his facebook (Link Here) that Muslims should not be allowed to immigrate to the United States until the threat of radical Islam has been mitigated. Here is my response.
I’m a United States Marine, who left active service of this county in 2005. I am deeply saddened by the obviously terrorist attack attack that took the lives of four Marines. Though I am an American, I am a Christian first. As a follower of Christ, I can not support the majority of the decisions that the government of the USA makes – what I can do is pray for the leadership of this country and bless them. As a follower of Christ, I must love – all people, not just those who agree with me, but everyone, regardless of race, religion or ideology. I must shelter, clothe and feed all who come, for this is what Christ would have done. I can not become a reactionary, as the Pharisees became, or how most of the world is today, I cannot allow a “slap to the cheek” to cause me to pull my sword, I must turn the other cheek and love, pray, and bless.
I am not afraid of Islam. I served this country with Muslims, I have Muslim friends. Likewise, those who I have known, are not afraid of Christianity, they served with Christians, and have Christian friends. Fear is a sin, anger is a sin. We may be under attack from people who are Muslim, but so are other Muslims. We are also under attack from other religious fundamentalist, and so are they. Middle Eastern countries find themselves under attack from our country, from Christians 9and we wonder why they don’t want Christians in their countries).
As a Christian, I cannot serve two masters – I cannot serve fear, I cannot serve anger, I cannot serve hate – of any kind. If I do, then I am no Christian, I am a man of the world. I do pray for our service men and women – the one thing he got right. I also pray for Christians as a whole, and I pray for Muslims as a whole. I pray for these cowards who would kill others for a twisted ideology. I pray for the victims and their familes. I am not angry, I am sad. I am not afraid, and I hold a double whammy, I served this country and I serve Christ.
Franklin Graham needs to decide which master he serves, and which master he speaks for. Is it the United States and right wing ideology and politics. Or is it Christ, with His “hatred” of politics and his message of love? Remember, Christ Himself said we, as believers in him, would face persecution, trials and quite possibly death. It amazes me that we still strive to avoid, and even find shocking when it happens, the prophetic nature of the words of the one we claim to serve and emulate.
In closing, we cannot forget our own history of immigration, violence and our own use of God in our exploits. We cannot forget that foundation of the Christian faith is based on love, sacrifice, persecution and loss. Radical ideology exists everywhere, within religion and politics – ours and others. Our answer, if we are followers of Christ, is never found in hate, arrogance, anger or fear, but in love and forgiveness. As a Marine, I am heartbroken by this act of terrorism. As an American, I pray for all involved, and I pray that the response is not fueled by hate and anger. As a believer in Christ, a Christian and a Roman Catholic, I forgive this man, this terrorist, this radical. I leave his soul to God. I pray for him and those who have died. I pray for the families and the community. I pray that where the enemy, both man and Satan, intended evil, that God can work and bring truth and love.