America is Intolerant of Christians, Says Christian Leader at Meeting with the Vice President

The juxtaposition here is incredible.

Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham (and tarnisher of his legacy), wrote an article asking “Is Our Nation Intolerant of Christianity?”

The very first line in the piece goes like this:

Recently I was at a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden

Stop. Just stop. You’ve already disproven your thesis in the first sentence.

If you get to have a meeting with the Vice President of the United States, I think it’s safe to say you’re doing just fine.

When those meetings are closed off to you because it might be political suicide to be seen in public with a Christian leader, then we’ll talk, okay Franklin?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Michael

    Same thing happenned in the UK a few months back where Baroness Warsi complained that the UK no longer respected religion during her official meeting with the Pope.

  • ortcutt

    Intolerance of Christians must be why they had threats, vandalism, and court challenges when building a church in Murfreesboro, TN.

    Oh wait, that was what Christians did when Muslims built a mosque there. I guess he meant to say “Intolerance FROM Christians”, not “intolerance of Christians”.

  • Guest

    I have as much respect for Christianity as Christians have for anyone with different beliefs. See how that works? I just don’t respect them as much as i respect Tolkien, Martin and Zelazny because I think their works of fiction are much better written and more believable than most religious text.

  • Guest

    He forgot a word. “Privileges”. That’s what most Americans that don’t share the same beliefs as you don’t respect, all those privileges you’ve been enjoying at the expense of every other person in this country. FFS

  • baal

    There isn’t a head or desk big enough…

  • Houndentenor

    Typical Evangelical victimhood nonsense. If they can’t force everyone else to live as hypocrites (like most of them do) then they are being persecuted.

  • Greg G.

    We’re not intolerant of all Christians, only those who cannot logically justify the beliefs they would impose on others.

  • Jasper

    We’re intolerant of assholes who compulsively violate the constitution. That happens to be mostly Christians right now.

  • C Peterson

    And what if that were true? Not respecting something isn’t the same as being intolerant of it. I have zero respect for Christianity, but I tolerate its existence. I have zero respect for overpaid, under talented teenage singers and movie stars, but I tolerate their existence.

    In much of the world, Christianity is losing respect. I don’t notice that translating to a lack of tolerance, however (although civilized people increasingly refuse to tolerate Christian incursions into public policy making).

    Of course, if you don’t want people to be intolerant of you, you can try not to be intolerable!

  • Dan Marshall

    “Our main problem in America is that we have taken God out of our society and out of our government.”

    Frankie, if you look at our country and think *that* is our main problem, you need to go get your head examined.

  • DougI

    Wealthy Christian from a tax-exempt church talks to a Christian Vice President about how a nation comprised of 80% Christians is intolerant of Christians.

    Meanwhile, I think some Christians are getting slaughtered in Syria, but let’s ignore that, Franklin Graham is being persecuted by not being able to meet with the Christian President who he told people to vote against.

  • Michael Jacobsen

    If America is intolerant of Christians, and America is 80% Christian, does that mean Christians are intolerant of themselves? It’s a philosoraptor moment.

  • Art_Vandelay

    In a raid in the desert outside Jerusalem against Israel’s enemy the
    Amalekites, God had told Saul to fully destroy this enemy along with all
    their possessions.

    Not entirely true, Graham. He did say that they could keep the virgin daughters as sex slaves. Give your deity a little more credit for his compassion.

  • Octoberfurst

    Yeah I noticed he skipped that part too. Gee I wonder why. Oh that’s right it would make his God out to be a complete scumbag. Silly me.

  • Teslarocks

    I guess that’s why there are laws preventing Christians from holding elected office. Oh wait, my bad. That’s atheists. I get so sick of the persecution complex that these backwards, cave dwelling bigots have. Christians get fired from their jobs for revealing their religion like Jerry Dewitt. Oops, he’s an atheist. When will they ever stop? They just can’t stand that people of this generation are more educated and running away from religion and its gonna hurt their pocketbook.

  • Octoberfurst

    I have to admit to rolling my eyes while reading how Franklin Graham is whining about how “intolerant” America is towards Christians while at the same time talking about meeting with the Vice President. Yep he and his ilk are so persecuted that he gets to talk to the 2nd most powerful man on earth in a private meeting. It never ceases to amaze me how Christians see themselves as beseiged and persecuted when they are anything but. The government caters to them, they are a powerful voting bloc and 80% of Americans call themselves Christian. Where is all this so-called persecution and intolerance? Oh that’s right they can’t enforce their bigoted views on everyone so OBVIOUSLY they are being persecuted. Idiots.

  • Stev84

    Yeah, he shouldn’t have gotten that meeting in the first place. He is a nobody riding on his father’s (an anti-semitic shithead who had unprecedented access to tons of presidents) undeserved reputation. That’s religious privilege right there.

  • Rain

    Recently I was at a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden…

    I see he likes bragging as much as his dad does. I wonder how many other people were there at the “meeting”. Lol.

  • Jayn

    I can only assume that he thinks most people aren’t true “Christians”, because yeah, otherwise it doesn’t make sense. Especially if he’s met with Biden, who, along with the majority of people holding public office, identifies as Christian himself. And if that’s the case and he’s just thinking of his brand of Christianity, then yeah we’re intolerant of it, because it’s intolerant of us and refuses to peacefully co-exist, so our options are knuckle under or fight back. Unsurprisingly, most choose to fight.

  • JET

    Frankie seems to think that the only way to show tolerance for Christianity is to allow him and his ilk to forcefully turn the 80% into 100%. Civil rights be damned!
    He says that the recent IRS “scandal” of targeting Tea Party organizations just proved how intolerant the government is of anything Christian. Yes, that’s why they were given a pass even though they were in flagrant violation of the IRS codes.
    And, of course, we have NEVER seen scandals associated with Christian organizations.

  • Richard Stow

    The only christians that I’m intolerant of are the ones that bang on my door or otherwise try to sell me their BS… The ones that go and worship whatever they worship in peace, leaving me alone, I am very tolerant of… I just don’t want their crap in my face and I don’t want to have to listen to it – ever…

  • Olivia Mungal

    Instead of working to undo years of hatred, violence, and misunderstanding stemming from poor interfaith relations, mandating evangelical Christian law on everyone and then complaining about being marginalized isn’t really the way to go, Graham.

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Gandhi

  • TheG

    No, Christians ARE being persecuted in America. He only got to meet with the Vice President, but his father had the President in his pocket. Christians are less advantaged. QED, they are persecuted.


    What far too many in the Christian community call intolerance, amounts to no more than non believers failing to show religion the deference religious leaders think they are automatically entitled to. There is also a strong tendency on the part of people like Mr. Graham to assume their religious freedom includes a right to force their beliefs on others.

  • cgosling

    “America is Intolerant against Christians”? Graham is confused. “Christians are intolerant against America.” is more accurate. Why else would they keep trying to pervert the meaning of separation of state and church? Why else would they try to subvert science in public education? Why else would they work against women’s rights and gay rights? Mr. Graham is trying to outdo his dad as a meddler. Yes, I know he is sincere and believes he is doing what his god orders him to do, but all religious radicals are sincere when they strap on explosives and all believe they are doing their god’s will. We will never rid our nation of religious bigots but, at least, we must continue to keep them in check.

  • Mikey Gee

    That is a curious argument (or rather non-argument). Rather than any discussion if there is any intolerance against Christians in America you simply say because Graham met with a Vice President there must be no intolerance against Christians. Martin Luther King met with THREE sitting Presidents. By your logic I guess that means there was no intolerance against civil rights in the 60′s.

    I expect more from you.

  • C Peterson

    I don’t know if there’s a proctologist brave enough to undertake the search for Frankie’s head…

  • Alistair Courtney

    Im from the uk but the most atheistic country of sweden has the lowest rates of crime etc maybe he should look at them for guidance

  • Mike Truax

    Today’s conservative Christians and Jews are the most intolerant people on the planet. They are at war with everyone that disagrees with them and in some sick alliance think that at the end their god will kill the other god and they will win.

    The sad thing is, that if you read the bible these modern day Pharisees say and do the opposite (anti) of what Christ preached.

  • Feminerd

    Leave Jews out of a discussion of Christ-like virtues, hey? Yeah, the Ultra-Orthodox are a huge problem in their communities in the US and in Israel, but they by no means dominate the national conversation in the US and they especially have no interest in doing what Jesus preached. Your token attempt at remembering there are non-Christian fundamentalists out there is not working in your favor.

  • Jesse

    So how come gays cant marry?

  • Burzghash

    That’s changing rather quickly.

  • aar9n

    Grahams organization, Samaritans Purse, has not only received taxpayer funds (for things such as abstinence teaching) which they have used to prosthelytize, but also runs Operation Christmas Child, which is present in many public schools. The Operation collects shoeboxes for kids in developing countries and sends them there, which is great, except… they use the show boxes to tell the store of Jesus and try to make the kids into fundamentalist Christians.
    I cannot think of a better definition of “privilege status” than Franklin Graham.

  • phantomreader42

    Mikey, Graham claimed that his cult is persecuted. He didn’t provide a speck of evidence to back up his idiotic claim, didn’t even attempt to do so. The burden of proof is on HIM.
    King’s actions REPEATEDLY demonstrated the need for the Civil Rights Movement. Graham’s actions not only FAIL to demonstrate that christians are persecuted, but make it obvious that christians are the ones DOING THE PERSECUTING! This is clear to anyone who isn’t being willfully obtuse.

  • tekmo

    Wrong. Most gay citizens are stuck in constitutional amendment states with no hope of change. They’ll only get relief by a sweeping SCOTUS decision — which is not the one the Court will shortly deliver. The US Congress and the president aren’t doing anything except excluding gay citizens from health care reform, immigration reform, etc. by pretending their hands are tied by DOMA. Of course, they’re doing nothing about DOMA either. President Obama is enforcing it, while claiming it’s unconstitutional — which should be impossible because an unconstitutional law is by definition unenforceable.

  • Mikey Gee

    Aar9n, I think you are missing my criticism of the article. I am not asserting that Christians are oppressed or anything like that at all. I am saying that the author of this article refuses to enter the discussion at all because meeting with the VP means there isn’t intolerance. That is the authors only point and it is not strong enough to constitute a strong argument.

    I mean you provided evidence to support your position but not the author. He simply said that the fact a leader or an organization met with the VP means that organization cannot have any claim of being persecuted which is not true.

    If your comment to my comment had been the actual article it would have said more.

  • Mikey Gee

    I agree no evidence in Graham’s article was provided to answer the article’s headline. I am thinking that the headline was poorly chosen. The article seems to me to be an attempt to exhort a certain audience to take religion more seriously not an argument that Christianity is being persecuted.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Today’s conservative Christians and Jews are the most intolerant people on the planet

    I’m a big fan of hyperbole, but that is the most ridiculous thing ever said in the history of all real and theoretical universes.

  • LesterBallard

    Fuck him and fuck his daddy.

  • Katherine Hompes

    Bahaha ha!

    Oh, I really needed that early morning stomach workout.

    I wonder if this person, and those like him, should be medicated for their own safety. They are clearly paranoid and suffering from delusions.

  • Carl motherfuckin Hayden

    christians are the most moronic dirtbags… the have no concept of morality and have the patience and understanding of a 2 year old with day old shit in its diaper. “why does everyone hate us?” because you use your hate speech to try to impose laws on everyone who doesnt agree with you… that is a dictatorship you belligerent ass monkeys.. fuck…

  • David Miller

    Franklin Graham is either delusional, lying, crazy or all! I can’t get a meeting with the Vice President of the United States of America at the snap of my fingers. The odds are just about any average Joe or Mary out there couldn’t either. Darn it! I can’t even get a meeting with ANY my kid’s teachers without 1st jumping through dozens of flaming hoops & contortioning my work schedules like a pretzel! No, Mr. Graham, the fact you had such a meeting proves christians have, if anything, TOO MUCH influence.

  • Heathen Mike

    Re. “I guess he meant to say “Intolerance FROM Christians”, not “intolerance of Christians”.”
    Yeah, I’m sure that was what he meant. ; ) At least, it would make a lot more sense.

  • Heathen Mike

    Yeah, … Try living in the Deep South. It only seems to be changing quickly on a general national scale. Regionally, some of us will be stuck in the Dark Ages for some time to come, I’m sorry to say.
    To Jesse,
    I think gays can’t marry (yet) because Christianity still holds a lot of sway, regardless of what Graham Franklin claims. And Christianity is a deeply sex-phobic and deeply sexist belief system. Combine those two things, and VOILA! Heterosexism!
    Fear-based fundamentalist religious groups will always need scape-goat groups to target as a means of propping up their myth of a vast satanic war against the faithful. It is crucially important to them to believe they are besieged by the forces of “Satan.” Enter revivalist evangelists like Graham Franklin. His father was just as quick to use fear to whip up support from ignorant well-meaning Christians. Graham is just perhaps a little more blunt about it; a little bit lacking in his father’s finesse.

  • Heathen Mike

    Franklin Graham, I mean, of course; Not Graham Franklin.
    Ahh, touch of dyslexia, I guess. : 0

  • carebears

    Replace Christians by a truly oppressed group and the argument sinks. *sigh* Airequote atheists and their Christian crusade. Same goes in the linux circles, anti-windows or pro-linux isn’t the same.

  • Heathen Mike

    Silly non-Believer!! When Graham says “America is intolerant of Christians,” of course by “America” he means the evil liberal elite Satanic forces that somehow rule over the timid meek and mild Christian majority. Satan is devious, that way!
    More of the myth of martyrdom that fundamentalists rely on so heavily to motivate their “troops.”

  • Heathen Mike

    Lots of sensible comments on this thread!

    I see Franklin Graham is arrogant enough to presume to speak for Christianity, rather than acknowledging he is but one voice in one of the crazier niches of Christendom. As has already been spelled out, there’s a difference between tolerance and respect. I certainly don’t respect Franklin Graham, or for that matter Christianity. Christians I can tolerate, though, and respect their right to their opinions, even though I don’t respect the belief system itself. As for Graham, I would love to see him roasted on the spit of public ridicule. He’s a fear monger, plain and simple.

  • Miss_Beara

    Wah wah wah, I am going to go to the White House, visit the VP and complain that Americans are so intolerant of Christians, wah wah wah.

    Persecution. This is not it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Bisexual in Arkansas speaking up…I present as heteronormative now, what with having had a boyfriend for two years, but were that to change…I doubt Arkansas is going to let me marry another vagina owner anytime soon.

  • Suzanne

    -sigh- Yet another fool who does not understand the extreme clarity with which the founding fathers underlined the importance of the separation of church and state. This begs the question: Why did Biden agree to see this bible-thumper?

  • Mikey Gee

    Ira Glass recently said in an interview he thought Christians were generally misrepresented in the media.

  • Khaos Krow

    So all of them?

  • HyperSpiral

    While I agree that Christians aren’t marginalized, I don’t like the way you get to that point in the article. Plenty of Muslims visited Bush while Muslims were being hella marginalized.