This Is Not “Distancing”

Trump Graham

Yesterday the Charlotte Observer ran a piece proclaiming “Franklin Graham appears to distance himself from Trump remarks on Charlottesville.”

Here is a taste:

Just days after coming to President Donald Trump’s defense in the wake of Charlottesville, Franklin Graham sent out a new Facebook post Thursday in which he appeared to distance himself from the embattled president’s continued attempts to say blame for the violence in Charlottesville should be shared by white supremacists and by those who showed up to protest their presence in the university town.

In the new post, the North Carolina-based evangelist didn’t mention Trump and he also didn’t single out the KKK or neo-Nazis by name. But he quoted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has emerged as a more forceful figure than the president in condemning the violence by white racists. Sessions early on called it domestic terrorism and quickly announced a federal civil rights investigation.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is exactly right – ‘in no way can we accept and apologize for racism, bigotry, hatred, violence and those kind of things that too often arise in our country.’ One race is not superior over another. … The venomous hatred we saw displayed in #Charlottesville should repulse all Americans….”

…But in his Thursday post, Graham sounded like his father Billy Graham, the Charlotte-born evangelist who got death threats in the 1950s for speaking out against racism and refusing to preach at segregated events.

“God created mankind in His image and He loves us. The Bible tells us that, ‘He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,’ and ‘God does not show partiality.’ … (Charlottesville) should take us to our knees in prayer for hearts to be changed.”

I applaud Graham for all of this.

But Graham will truly “distance” himself from the President when he condemns the POTUS’s decision to draw a moral equivalency between white supremacists in Charlottesville and people protesting white supremacy in Charlottesville.  Graham is good at naming the name of Jesus.  Now he needs to name the name of Trump.

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