Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and current Pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, has an interesting article with application to Christians in all walks of life, including the military:
You’re free to stay put.
In becoming a Christian, we don’t need to retreat from the vocational calling we already have-nor do we need to justify that calling, whatever it is, in terms of its “spiritual” value or evangelistic Read more
“Rock Beyond Belief,” the atheist counter-event to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s “Rock the Fort,” has apparently managed to obtain sufficient funding to proceed. Prior statements seemed to indicate RBB would not back down from its “demand” that Fort Bragg give it money (even as the manufactured controversy “increased [their] funding“). This continued even after Fort Bragg pointed out “Rock the Fort” was funded from the Christian collection plate, not by the US military.
Apparently unable to solicit enough general interest from like-minded atheists, Read more
The question of equitable treatment of “Rock Beyond Belief” has already been addressed in general terms. What follows below is a more in-depth discussion on some of the specifics of the “Rock Beyond Belief” controversy, including Affiliation, Attendance, Funding, and Content. It will certainly be referenced for the MRFF case file (Chris Rodda has undoubtedly been waiting for this), and Fort Bragg may even take a peek at it; it’s here for all to see.
If you only have a few minutes, recommended reading is the section on Funding, though Content is also enlightening.
There’s one interesting qualifier: At least two of the issues below, about which supporters of RBB are only now complaining, were known last year. Guess who brought them up? “Rock Beyond Belief”…
Affiliation: “Rock Beyond Belief” organizers Read more
Michael Weinstein’s “religious freedom” foundation has raised a hullabaloo over the decision by organizers to cancel the atheist “counter-event” to last year’s Christian “Rock the Fort.” Quoth the ever-eloquent Weinstein:
There is a DoD Directive which says that the Department of Defense may never provide a selective benefit for one entity and not provide the same benefit for another, and the Billy Graham Evangelical Society received a benefit that was not afforded to Rock Beyond Belief. They have treated us horribly.
Weinstein and supporters of the “Rock Beyond Belief” event claim the “horrible” treatment is a result of being treated differently than “Rock the Fort,” or that the military “reneged” on its promise of the “same support” for RBB as RtF. This “disparate” treatment, then, is proof the military is actually trying to promote Christianity.
Then again, Weinstein thinks everything is proof of some sort of Christian conspiracy.
The long and short of it is that there is a process by which Fort Bragg Read more
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has called for the US Army to cancel a Chaplaincy event at Fort Bragg, NC. The event is Rock the Fort, which is associated with Billy Graham’s Evangelistic Association. According to the BGEA website:
When evangelist Josh Holland gets up to speak at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., this Saturday, he plans to honor the soldiers who are present, thanking them for their sacrifice and what they do to ensure our nation’s freedom.
“I also want to talk about the truest kind of freedom, which is found in a relationship with Christ and in freedom from sin,” Holland said during a phone interview this week.
The AU takes issue: Read more
In an interesting turn of events, during his North Carolina vacation President Obama visited Billy Graham and his son, Franklin Graham — after a week that saw the Pentagon rescind an invitation to the younger Graham over his religious views. Though the visit was initiated after the Pentagon’s announcement, it is likely Obama’s intent was to visit the elder Graham. The Obamas received a gift, and the two gentlemen prayed for each other:
At the end, Graham presented Obama with two Bibles — one for him and the other for first lady Michelle Obama, Ross said. The two men then prayed together, with Obama first praying for Graham and then Graham “concluded with a prayer for the president, his family and his administration,” according to Ross.
Update: Franklin Graham apparently got the ear of the President — and a seemingly supportive (or diplomatic) reply — over the recent incident:
In reference to the invitation being rescinded, Franklin Graham told The Associated Press that he told the president that activists were trying to remove all religion from the military, and he said Obama pledged to look into it.
The “disinvitation” of Franklin Graham from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer has continued to raise the ire of a variety of public figures. Read more