Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer (NDP), an annual event that is, to speak frankly, annoying to many of us who support the separation of church and state.
If you want to start a church, all you need is your own television show. So says the Internal Revenue Service, anyway.
A recent report by National Public Radio (NPR) told the puzzling story of Daystar, a televangelist network based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The network, which is run by Marcus and Joni Lamb, is “dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week” to its potential audience of 2 billion worldwide.
The ongoing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of Tea Party groups took another twist yesterday when evangelist Franklin Graham complained that the ministry founded by this father, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), was also investigated by the tax agency.
The role of the Religious Right in the Republican Party and national political life is under a lot of scrutiny these days.
Everyone from Ralph Reed and Richard Land to Billy Graham and Tony Perkins did everything in their considerable power to steer the election to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and they failed miserably. These folks even lost a string of referenda on issues such as taxpayer funding of religion, reproductive rights and marriage equality.
Here’s some good news out of North Carolina: Officials at Fort Bragg have agreed to allow non-religious soldiers to sponsor a festival next year called “Rock Beyond Belief.” Army officials will give the festival’s organizers an appropriate outdoor venue and make it possible for them to promote the event on base and off.
There is a myth about the famous evangelist Billy Graham that goes like this: Graham was apolitical, a pastor to all presidents, Republican and Democratic. His main goal was to provide comfort by sharing faith. He was above politics.
The only problem with this is that it’s not true. Sure, Graham did pray with presidents from both parties. But he had a bad habit of interjecting himself into right-wing politics. He often took ultra-conservative stands and during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon became a type of informal White House advisor.