Please Review – Puget Sound Flying Flag at Half-Mast for Billy Graham

Dear Mikey Weinstein,

I am a former US-Navy service member who follows a few Naval Bases’ Facebook pages. I’ve also spoke with you years ago, and thought to send this to you.

Today I came across a notice that: “As a mark of respect for the memory of Reverend Billy Graham, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff over Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, until sunset, March 2, 2018.”

However, I have never heard of the flag being flown at half-mast on a military facility for a person who never served in the Armed Forces nor was ever a governmental employee.It seems this is an example of religious favoritism, as Billy Graham is only notable for his fervent proselytizing of the christian faith.

The relevant post is located here:

https://www.facebook.com/PSNSandIMFontheWaterfront/photos/a.98809928052.91842.91016063052/10155236324158053/?type=3&theater

Regards & Respectfully,

(name withheld)


Response by MRFF’s Senior Research Director Chris Rodda

Hi (name withheld) …

I’m Chris Rodda, MRFF’s research director.

You are far from alone in your reaction to the flag being flown at half-staff for Billy Graham. 

It is not unprecedented for a president to issue a proclamation ordering that flags be flown at half-staff for someone who didn’t serve in the military or in some other capacity in the government, but the only example that anyone seems to be able to come up with is that Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation ordering that flags be flown at half-staff when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. (I’m actually doing some research to see if I can find any other examples.)

But, obviously, although Martin Luther King was also a Christian minister, this was not the reason for President Johnson’s proclaiming a national day of mourning in his honor and ordering that flags be flown at half-staff at all military installations and other government buildings until his burial. It was King’s service to the nation as a civil rights leader, and, if you read the words of Johnson’s proclamation, was a call in the wake of his assassination for the nation “to deny violence its victory” and to “stand against divisiveness in our country and all its consequences.”

In contrast to the clear reason for honoring Dr. King and the larger purpose of President Johnson’s proclamation, Trump’s proclamation ordering that flags be flown at half-staff for Billy Graham gave no reason at all for this honor other than its being a “mark of respect for the memory” of someone who was nothing but a purely religious figure who promoted one particular religion. While Johnson’s proclamation was a call to take a “stand against divisiveness in our country,” Trump’s proclamation was in effect an order exemplifying divisiveness by forcing every member of the military as well as civilian government employees to honor a man for nothing more than his proselytization of fundamentalist Christianity.

I’ve already written about Trump’s order to the military, in which he not only forced every member of the military, regardless of their beliefs, to honor a fundamentalist Christian preacher, but incompetently cited a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day law as the law under which he issued this order, and plan to write more about this clear example of the Christian nationalism that is becoming an ever bigger threat than ever to our country in this age of Trump.

You can find the piece I already wrote here: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/3/2/1746125/-Trump-Cites-Pearl-Harbor-Remembrance-Day-Law-to-Order-Flags-Flown-at-Half-Staff-for-Billy-Graham

Thanks for reaching out to us, and, as I said at the beginning of this email, you are far from alone in your reaction to this forced veneration of Billy Graham that was foisted upon our entire military.

Chris Rodda

Senior Research Director

Military Religious Freedom Foundation


 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Mikeys Mouse

    Billy Graham was a very honorable man and a man of integrity. This was only for one day, good grief, get over it.

    We are well on our way of close to 100,000 signatures on a petition to Pres.Trump to name an official Billy Graham Day as an official holiday.

  2. G

    No Graham was not an honorable man with no integrity.

  3. Retired Senior Air Force Officer

    There is really no need for an argument, about whether Reverend Graham should be honored with an official holiday.

    We only need to review the United States Constitution, the Law of the Land, to see that it unequivocally violates the First Amendment and therefore it is against the law. Period. No more discussion necessary.

    The First Amendment, to the Constitution, states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

    Reverend Graham is simply a well-known Fundamentalist Christian figure, no more than that, and by creating a national holiday, in his honor, would establish a “preference or endorsement,” of the Christian faith, by Congress, and therefore, be illegal.

  4. Mikeys Mouse

    Dear Retired Senior Air Force Officer,

    Establishing a national holiday would not violate the first amendment anymore than Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was also a pastor, have a national holiday named after him.

    Secondly, Rev. Graham was no fundamentalist figure, he was an Evangelical evangelist, and great friends with the lat Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    And you may have no choice but to recognize his death as a national holiday if Congress approves it and remember who has control of Congress.

    What is sad is that the only living President to attend his funeral was Pres. Trump, especially when other living presidents called on Rev. Graham for advice.

  5. Mikeys Mouse

    Mr. G,
    How can you say that Rev, Graham was not an honorable man with no integrity. He had more honor and integrity than you will ever have in many lifetimes and more than the remaining living Presidents and Congress has. All you have to do is look in a mirror and you will see a person who has no integrity or honor, think about that eh!

  6. G

    MM, you don’t even know me so you can’t anything about my honor and integrity. In addition, Graham had no integrity when he associated himself with Republican presidents and Republican congressional men and women who have destroyed the country politically, economically, and spiritually.

  7. Mikeys Mouse

    Hey G,
    Same could be said for the Democrats Rev.Graham associated himself with, those who have murdered 60 million babies and sold their parts to willing buyers, started the KKK, voted against desegregation and was for slavery in the Civil War.

  8. G

    Hey, MM, those Democrats who started the KKK, voted against desegregation, and was for slavery are now Republicans. You also got corporations dealing with body parts for huge profits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrBwTFkncfE

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