02/28/2017 09:42 EST | Updated 02/28/2017 09:42 EST

Franklin Graham And The Christian Festival Of Shame

Allison Shelley / Reuters
Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, January 9, 2011. REUTERS/Allison Shelley (HAITI - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT RELIGION)

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness." - Isaiah 5:20

Think, "Hope." Then think, "Franklin Graham."

Now put them together in a sentence that reads: "Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham."

If you haven't heard, now imagine a rally supported by a broad swath of the Christian community in the greater Vancouver community.

Imagine, as well, the organizers calling it a "Festival of Hope," one so big for the expected faithful, the draw is slated to fill a few days booking in March at the Rogers Centre.

Well, you may ponder, what's the concern with a little celebration of hope, religiously inspired or not?

Here's the kicker. The main speaker is the notorious American Christian evangelist, Franklin Graham.

("Evangelist" being code for those more exuberant believers who make their living telling us that their god is mad at us, and we are in for big trouble in the after life unless we believe what his book, the Bible, says about it.)

What makes it all so much more delirious is that Graham, along with his, just as notorious fellow preacher, Pat Robertson, think unless America adopts their understanding of Christian morality, the country -- indeed the world -- is doomed.

And guess who'll help bring America to its senses, morally speaking?

Donald Trump.

Yes. Franklin Graham, again with Pat Robertson, is convinced God has answered the prayers of Christians by putting Trump in power.

When comparing Graham to Trump, it's apparent the political miracle isn't random.

Like the Orange Tainted Answer to Prayer, Graham is happy to chime along in their mutual admiration of one whom normally doesn't come to mind when thinking about moral virtue: Vladimir Putin. But through Graham's cracked and foggy optics, Putin has been doing quite well taking care of the "agenda."

"Agenda"? Who, which, what?

Yup. Haven't you heard? It's that gay and lesbian one. As Graham wrote, "Obviously, [Putin] may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation's children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda."

So for Graham, maybe Putin is "wrong" about that war criminal and butcher stuff, but Hell -- oops, I mean, Heck -- Putin's doing a good job with the gays!

Again, like Trump, not only are there omnipresent and looming agendas, there are "threats" too, namely, the other favorite go-to these days: the Muslim threat.

What to do?

Again, like Trump, Graham thinks Muslims should not be admitted into the U.S. until "this threat with Islam has been settled."

This has long been an obsession with Graham, with him during the Obama presidency trolling FOX News announcing how Muslims had "infiltrated" the White House.

On the ol' Nut-Bar Meter, how did the needle register on that one?

Consider it was a zinger even Bill O'Reilly had to question. Lesson? Don't let common decency and the real world get in Franklin's way.

We could go on, but this isn't so much about Franklin Graham as it is with some of those in Vancouver's Christian community. Now, there are sensible Christians still in touch with reality who are opposing Graham's appearance.

But what about those Christians who'll still make it to the Centre to celebrate "the Hope"?

Christians who are willing to ignore a man of Graham's deplorable character, thinking he can raise any hope when he makes his living stoking hate, suspicion and fear in a world recently made more hateful, suspicious and fearful?

The Trump connection inflates Graham's typical rhetoric all the worse.

Ignore Trump's bragging how to sexually assault women; to seduce married women; ignore openly humiliating a man with a debilitating physical condition; ignore him opine how he will one day date a young girl; dismiss hateful categorization of an entire religion (Islam) or country (Mexico). Ignore the near pathological lying.

Quite the opposite.

For these Christians now linked together with Graham, and by extension, the behaviour, hatred, bragging, bigotry -- all vividly condemned in the Bible -- unveiled is the farcical absurdity to Graham's claim shared by those same Christians: That those of us, in gape-jawed horror watching the spectacle, can have no real sense of morality.

What makes it all surreal is the irony of it all. The very book the faithful extol -- a text written almost two thousand years before our era of "fake news" -- had something to say about the general predilection to twist reality into one's own version of the reality.

We'd call it dysmorphia of the brain. It's worth repeating:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness." - Isaiah 5:20

And that's exactly what these greater Vancouver Christians, their respective churches and organizations are celebrating on those three days in March.

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