January 22, 2019

Maybe the Billy Graham Folks Should Be Ashamed

Boy covering his face in shame

Every one of us has been wrong many times about many things. Most of the time, the stuff we are wrong about is trivial. Every so often, we end up being wrong about something that it anything but trivial. And in those case, I think it is normal for us to feel at least somewhat embarrassed. I think we might even go so far as to feel shame in some of the bigger and more dramatic instances where we are wrong.

Imagine discovering that you have been wrong about something non-trivial and realizing that you have been actively promoting it to others. That is, you have been out there proudly broadcasting something that you've now realized was wrong. In such a situation, I suspect that most of us would feel embarrassed and ashamed. We'd hope that no one had noticed but fear that they had. And even if we didn't feel like we owed someone an apology in this particular instance, it is hard to imagine that we wouldn't change our behavior and stop promoting what we now knew was wrong.

When I see the ads that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has been running lately that include the "I am not ashamed" slogan, I have to laugh. No, you're not ashamed, are you? That's kind of the problem. You should be. You should be ashamed to persist in believing something false. And you should be ashamed for believing things that have caused and that continue to cause so much harm to so many people. Shame would seem to be an appropriate reaction here.

Should Christians be ashamed of their "holy" book? Yes, if they have read enough of it to know what is in it, they should be ashamed of it. At least, they should be ashamed to have ever claimed it was divinely inspired or that it should serve as any sort of moral guide. Should Christians be ashamed to be Christians? Not necessarily; however, if they are persisting in believing things shown to be false, they should be ashamed of that. Should the Christian extremists who continue to lie about how the U.S. is a Christian nation in spite of all the evidence to the contrary be ashamed? You better believe it! But the thing Christians should be most ashamed of is the manner in which so many of them have attempted to use their religious beliefs to excuse bigotry.