Dear Franklin Graham,
My dear brother in Christ:
Those of us old enough to have attended a Billy Graham crusade remember you.
Many of us who heard or read your testimony of rebellion feel like we connect with you.
Masses who see the phenomenal impact of Samaritan’s Purse have great respect for you.
I am all of the above.
Recently I read your recent public comments on the tragic murders of five American servicemen in Chattanooga. I join with millions, including the family of the murderer, mourning a deliberate act of aggression against our countrymen.
I’m saddened at lives cut short in the line of duty. And by a life forever lost to a bad ideology.
I’m also saddened that you’ve used your platform, obviously earned, to rally people who’ve supported your organization’s humanitarian efforts to a political action against adherents to a particular religion.
Do you realize for millions around the globe who yet think of America as a Christian nation, your call to halt the immigration of Muslims could be interpreted as a Christian attack on Muslims?
Do you realize the wedge you’ve potentially driven between Christian missionaries the world over–including in the United States–and the Muslims they are trying to engage with the gospel?
Is it not problematic to conjure a darker era of our nation’s history–immigration policies affecting Japanese and Germans–to make a dark case toward Muslims? Do you realize many of the Germans were German Jews trying to escape Hitler and the Holocaust?
Do you realize if we “stop all immigration of Muslims at the border” we will in essence be asking ICE officers to give theology tests?
Do you realize “Muslim” is not a nation, that Muslims live in many, many nations around the world? Do you purport to halt or restrict immigration from any nation with Muslim citizens? Even from our allies?
Do you realize “Religious preference” is not on an immigration card? Would you have it added to immigration cards globally? Would you have American Christians refused entry to the nations?
Do you realize immigration played no role in Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez’s murderous decision? That he’d been in the United States since before 9/11? Since he was 5 years old?
If his radicalization was the result of Internet videos of radical clerics, would you have the U.S. government cut off all Internet accounts for our Muslim citizens to prevent potential radicalization?
Do you realize more mass killings since 9/11 occurring on American soil were committed by non-Muslim White people than Muslims of any origin? That most killers of police officers are not Muslim? That Dylan Roof, James Eagon Holmes and Adam Lanza–mass killers all–were neither immigrants nor Muslims?
That only around 2% of all terror acts globally are committed by Muslims? [Correction: terror % is for the EU, not globally.]
Do you remember when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway it was to further a claimed pro- “Christian Europe” agenda?
Since some Muslims immigrate to escape persecution (often at the hands of jihadists) shall we turn them away as we also disallowed the immigration of Jews before and during WW2?
Shall we embrace a form of this bygone era?
Congress in 1939 refused to raise immigration quotas to admit 20,000 Jewish children fleeing Nazi oppression. As the wife of the U.S. Commissioner of Immigration remarked at a cocktail party, “20,000 children would all too soon grow up to be 20,000 ugly adults.” (see previous link)
Though the total numbers are higher, did you realize about the same percentage of Muslims immigrating from war-torn areas was about the same in 2012 as in 1992? That Muslims being in America actually works against their radicalization?
Franklin, God has given you a platform that commands the attention of the world. He has given you a surname that commands instant respect across much of Christianity. Please do not politicize issues of mission. Do not further polarize an already polarized nation. Do not make it more difficult for Christians to engage Muslims with the gospel. No Christian trying to show Christ to Muslims should have to give an account for a leader’s divisive words.
Your potential for influence in the Kingdom is nearly unmatched. I humbly ask that you measure your words when addressing public events. The cross of Jesus is enough offense for us all.
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