There is some outrage within the Christian community regarding the National Day of Prayer and the Pentagon.
The headlines state Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and the entire National Day of Prayer task force, including Shirley and Dr. James Dobson were uninvited to the National Day of Prayer observance at the Pentagon.
The apparent reason the invitation was rescinded was Graham’s post 9/11 comment that Islam, as practiced, is evil. The Dobson’s suggest the Pentagon’s rejection of Christian leaders is much broader than previously recognized.
A Pentagon spokesman, George Wright went on to confirm this information saying, “While we appreciate Franklin Graham’s worldwide outreach and his willingness to speak at this Pentagon multi-faith event, his presence would be inappropriate. Mr. Wright had no comment about Franklin Graham’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, which aids millions of the needy around the world.
Wright stated the Pentagon event "will continue as scheduled under the administration of the office of the Pentagon Chaplain." Asked which chaplains, representing which faith traditions, will be involved in the upcoming event, Wright replied, "The agenda has not been finalized."
Graham has stuck to his views and stated that he loves the Islamic people. Through his ministry he has provided assistance to people in Muslim countries. He states, “I do not agree with their religion at all...look at what their religion does jut to women...it is horrid. I speak out for people that live under Islam that are enslaved by Islam and I want them to know they can be free.”
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council had this to say. "This decision is further evidence that the leadership of our nation's military has been impaired by the politically correct culture being advanced by this administration," Perkins said. "Under this Administration's watch we are seeing the First Amendment, designed to protect the religious exercise of Americans, retooled into a sword to sever America's ties with orthodox Christianity.
"For those Christian leaders who have avoided the controversy of political issues, saying they just wanted to preach the gospel -- this should be a wake-up call!"
However, Franklin Graham says, "The military never extended the invitation to me," Franklin Graham explained Friday on CBN. "I got a call from the Pentagon, from the head chaplain, and he asked if I would rescind this invitation. I said, 'Sir, I never got the invitation.' The invitation is actually to the National Day of Prayer (task force). It wasn't give to me. I said 'You'll have to go to the National Day of Prayer. I'm their honorary chairman, but the invitation didn't come to me directly.' So they disinvited, is my understanding, the National Day of Prayer."
While Graham and the National Day of Prayer task force will be excluded from the Pentagon event, Graham will still be the keynote speaker at the other major National Day of Prayer observance to be held May 6 in the Nation's Capital, at the Cannon House Office Building.
On Sunday, President Obama visited Billy Graham's residence in Montreat, N.C. Franklin Graham said that during Sunday's visit, he spoke briefly with President Obama about the Pentagon's decision to spurn the task force, which has participated in the Pentagon event for several years. Graham says he told the president that anti-Christian activists are trying to remove all traces of religion from the U.S. military. "I wanted to make him aware of that. He said he would look into it,"
The National Day of Prayer became law under the Truman Administration. The National Day of Prayer task force is a privately funded organization that has been involved in the Pentagon’s observance in past years.
Graham also said the Pentagon decision was an ominous sign for the future of religious freedom in America.
"I think no question … religious freedom is under attack," he said. "There has been an erosion now for many years, but we have seen it really accelerate in the last 10 years. This political correctness that has crept in, that if we stand for what we believe in, all the sudden we are not tolerant. They almost make it look like we are participating in hate speech, when we say that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and there's no way to God except through Christ and Christ alone. They are interpreting that now as being hostile and hate speech."
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin ruled that holding a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, maintaining it violates the First Amendment's prohibition against the establishment of a religion by the federal government. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed in 2008 by a group of atheists and agnostics.
For what its worth, my suggestion is we all pray for our Country and it's leaders. May they recall the principals under which The United States of America was founded and not forget them.