We have been accustomed to hold our religious institutions and faith leaders so dear. Not because of who they are but because we believe they represent a higher power that believes in justice and equity. A higher power that believes that no one should be treated better than the other.
In fact some liberation theologians say that Jesus Christ was not only a revolutionary but a social justice advocate.
Because Christianity is universal no one person can claim a monopoly over this religion which is part of the basis of my recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” exploring the faith posture of President Obama, politics of the religious right and his policies as they affect Christians across the board.
But this week we saw the Rev Billy Graham took a position that suggests something deeper about some of the men and women in the cloth.
Graham took out every reference to Mormonism as a cult on his website after meeting with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who is a Mormon. The evangelist follows that with political ads indirectly supporting Romney and citing issues that he agrees with Romney on.
Meanwhile Graham’s son, Franklin Graham led the charge last year to question President Obama’s faith suggesting that he was born a Muslim. The nonsense of having ownership over Jesus from Franklin Graham was only challenged by few ministers, notably Bishop T.D. Jakes.
No other president has had their faith questioned like Obama and for Franklin Graham, a man who calls himself a leader in the Christian faith to have challenged Obama’s faith on Eastern Sunday morning showed his dislike for the president.
For his father Billy Graham to now give the Mormon religion a pass after years of declaring them a cult only because the Mormon candidate can defeat the African American president shows the true colors of the Grahams.
Are the Grahams practicing racism or Christianity?
Because their dislike for the first Black president is no public secret.
What is the theological rational behind questioning the Christian faith of a Black president, and the same time giving a break to a religion like Mormonism that you once declared a cult?
If President Obama was White would the Grahams question his faith?
Would the Grahams have endorsed a White Mormon presidential candidate over a White Christian candidate?
The monopoly over Christianity could not be more glaring in the Graham saga with Obama. Christianity should not be used as a tool of dominance, hate and racism. Instead we expect men and women who talk about the Jesus factor to be right with themselves first before they step out to correct others.
What makes the Grahams think they have the final definition over Christianity?
This level of religious hypocrisy is not only absurd but bad.
I hope other religious leaders who do not admit to how the Grahams have defined Christianity recently will speak out and not be afraid.
Bankole Thompson is the Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle. He is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book “Obama and Black Loyalty” published in 2010 follows his recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2012 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and “Obama and Business Loyalty.” He is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.