Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Billy Graham has the wrong answer

I was browsing through the local paper yesterday while my car was being serviced, and I happened across the "My Answer" column by Billy Graham. Here's the question that was asked (I found it online here at the Wichita Eagle):

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: My neighbor is the nicest person I know, and she'll do anything for anyone who needs help. And yet she isn't at all religious, and says she's never found any need for God. How do you explain this? I thought only religious people were supposed to know what it means to love others. --S.G.
You can guess what's coming, right? Not content to say that it doesn't matter what the person's religion (or lack thereof), and that moral behavior isn't limited to fundamentalist christians, Graham states:
DEAR S.G.: Your neighbor's concern for others is commendable -- but if she had Christ in her heart, I believe she'd be an even more loving and compassionate person.
and
Pray for your neighbor, that she will come to understand the greatest love of all: God's love.
So what he's saying is that she'd be even nicer if she knew god.

Religious fundamentalists believe that the only Christians are moral people, and everyone else is evil, especially us atheists. Moral behavior has nothing to do with religion, and, as studies are beginning to show, has everything to do with evolution and the survival of the societies that tended to cooperate.

Laying into a woman "the nicest person I know" and saying that she could do better, even though he doesn't know her at all, hardly strikes me as "loving and compassionate"

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