I like the church. I like the state. I like them separated. So the news that the Army disinvited the evangelist son of the much-beloved Billy Graham from a National Day of Prayer breakfast on May 6 at the Pentagon, my first thought was, "WhyÂ do we allowÂ the militaryÂ to partner withÂ such events?"
The controversy was sparked when people complained about past comments Franklin Graham had made about Islam. For example, he called the religion practiced by nearly a quarter of the worldâ€™s population (according to a Pew Foundation study) "evil."
In response to concerns that Muslims are excluded from such an event, an Army spokesman said that the government agency is "all-inclusive" holding a variety of observances throughout the year. "This one happens to be a Christian-themed event," he said.
Sarah Palin spoke out about the situation, posting on her Facebook, her concerns that we have become, "so hyper-politically correct that we canâ€™t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith."
Graham has a right to free speech. But thisÂ really is anÂ issue about whether itâ€™s appropriate to hold any religious event at the taxpayer-funded Pentagon.
That's the same reasoning behind a federal judge's decision earlier this month to declare the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.Â Such a decision is not anti-Christian, it's a vote in support of religious liberty.Â The Obama administration, however, said it would appeal the ruling.