Politics, Sincerity, and Men of God

Obama, Graham, and the “Birthers”

Graham jr.

The reason I often grow weary of politics in general is that it is so often filled with insincerity.  People say things they know are not true because they have an agenda.  They cite numbers they know come from dubious sources when proposing budgets.  They proclaim certain consequences (“this will create/kill jobs”) that are utterly speculative.  They rarely answer the questions they are asked.  Both parties do this; no one can claim clean hands.  It’s politics.

One of the reasons many people have grown weary of the church these days, is that they believe it has become too political.  It is almost as if some denominations have become the religious branch of a particular party, blessing its platform, uncritically endorsing its candidates.  When the church becomes enmeshed in a system that we all know is regularly insincere in its presentation of “truth” then people are right to stop listening.

But it is, for me, especially disappointing when religious leaders who have large public followings and long-standing reputations as “men of God” fall prey to the lowest level of insincere political rhetoric.

Today, finally, even though no reason has ever been produced to need it, the White House released the “long form” of the president’s birth certificate.  No one ever produced any alternative birth certificate.  No one in a position of responsibility in any hospital or government office ever disputed the president’s birth in America.  It was only and exclusively that people with a political agenda kept asking the question, even after sufficient evidence was produced long ago, that the question existed.  This is the height (or rather, depth) of insincerity.

I can understand Lou Dobbs asking the question as if it were unanswered – he had a political axe to grind and grind it into the dust, he did.  I can understand Trump asking the question again – as if he did not know the answer; he has a political axe to grind with  a lot of self-interest at stake.

But as recently as the Easter Sunday broadcast of Christiane Amanpour’s “This Week” program on ABC, none other than Rev. Franklin Graham spoke of the president’s birth certificate as one of the issues he had to yet resolve.

Now either Graham did his homework about this issue or he spoke off the cuff.   But if he did his homework (as he should have done before speaking) he would have known that this was a farce concocted by political enemies.

If he did not do his homework (and I am hoping he did not – to give him the benefit of the doubt) then he spoke of something he has no solid information about.

Either way, here is a “man of God” being interviewed on national television (and the internet) making an allegation that has no basis in fact; whether he knew it (the depth of insincerity) or not (pontificating out of ignorance) either way, “the church” takes another one on the chin.  Franklin has clearly identified with one political agenda – and has done so in an embarrassing manner.  Yes, of course this scandalizes people and gives them another reason to reject the church, when “men of God” speak the insincere rhetoric of politics.

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