By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The evangelical preacher who was abruptly disinvited to speak at the Pentagon during tomorrow’s National Day of Prayer events because of negative comments he once made about Muslims, accused the Obama Administration of giving Islam a pass while persecuting Christians for their beliefs.
In an exclusive telephone interview with Newsmax TV, Rev. Franklin Graham called the rescinding of his invitation a “slap at all evangelical Christians” and places the blame squarely on the Obama Administration.
“I’m being restricted from my religious rights, and from what I believe,” Graham said, then went on to warn about a growing “secularization” in the government that will lead to a “coming” persecution of Christians who believe in Jesus Christ.
Graham, this year’s honorary spokesperson for the National Day of Prayer, found his invitation to speak at the Pentagon tomorrow suddenly revoked over statements he made in the wake of 9-11 about Islam being “a very evil and wicked religion.”
He claims this view is based on decades of travel and ministry to the Middle East where he has seen evidence of religious violence, including the mistreatment of women.
During a private visit with Graham and his father, Billy, last week, the president claimed to have known nothing about the disinvitation until two days before it happened.
After telling Newsmax he believed the president, Graham added: “But I certainly believe that it was people in his administration that said no. I don’t think the Pentagon would say no on an invitation like this without consulting the White House.”
He went on to say that the invitation controversy is “absolutely” part of a pattern of hostility toward Christianity in the federal government.
“And I don’t know if it’s exactly from President Obama, but I’m certain that some of the men around him are very much opposed to what we stand for and what we believe.”
He continued: “It seems as though Muslims are getting a pass. And you look at the violence that they have portrayed against women. It’s just horrific. If you just take women alone … And I just don’t understand why the president would be giving Islam a pass.
“We certainly love the Muslim people. But that is not the faith of this country. And that is not the religion that built this nation. The people of the Christian faith and the Jewish faith are the ones who built America, and it is not Islam.”
When asked about the case of a UK preacher who was recently arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin, Graham said he was certain that the same type of persecution is coming to America.
“Oh, no question. It’s coming,” Graham says. “I think when you preach that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, I think we’re going to see one day that people will say, ‘This is hate speech, because you’re being so narrow and you’re excluding other people.’ I believe that, I think we’re going to see that come.”
Meanwhile, the White House has announced that although President Obama will sign a proclamation recognizing this year’s National Day of Prayer event, he will not participate in any Day of Prayer activities.
This stance is in sharp contrast to President George W. Bush whose administration held Day of Prayer events in the White House.
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