If you want to hold onto your religious beliefs in a complex world, one thing absolutely required is that you completely abandon logic. The ability to assess the thoughts you are thinking and determine whether they make any sense is deadly to religion.
I didn't plan to remark on the Charleston church shooting. It felt as though I would be trying to score points off a tragedy very painful to many people. But the news stories that have covered the event bring into sharp focus the nonsense that comes out of people's mouths when they try to support their spiritual beliefs.
I won't make a detailed analysis of the claims made by the woman whose observation of the shooting suspect in a car next to hers led to the suspect's capture. I won't even mention her name, in fairness to her, because so many millions of other people would have said the same thing if it had been them. But when she attributed her assistance in the capture to "divine intervention," asserting that God used his power to bring the shooter to justice, I couldn't help scratching my head over the question of why God, if he could do that, didn't prevent the shooting to begin with.
But a bigger puzzle than that is: How would it be possible to understand what goes on in the logic-free zone that is the mind of Franklin Graham?
I honestly never intended to write a second post about poor, Bible-addled Franklin. (See June 9 post.) But since, for some reason, the news media keep paying attention to the strange things he says, I feel a need to keep reacting to that.
The original story was on newsmax.com, which is not a surprising place to find it, but I'd never have looked for it there -- I found it reported on Yahoo News.
The Newsmax article was reporting on Graham's posting on his Facebook page in response to the tragedy. Graham's reaction to the latest episode of gun violence was two-fold:
(1) The problem can't be solved by passing new laws.
(2) The problem can be solved by passing new laws.
Point (1) was made by Graham in response to the idea of Congress passing new laws towards the establishment of greater gun control: "With all due respect Mr. President, all of the laws in the world can't change the human heart -- only God can do that." The italics are mine: here Graham is discrediting the usefulness of any and all possible laws, not just gun control laws.
Point (2) was made by Graham, in that same Facebook post, in the course of decrying the violence in popular films and video games. According to the article, "Much of the problem, [Graham] said, lies with Hollywood, which is 'responsible for glorifying gun violence on television, in movies, and in the video gaming industry. This plays a big part in our culture of gun violence today.'" Said Graham: Congress should be asked to "pass laws against the poisoning of the minds of our young people by this godless industry."
Any man who can make points (1) and (2) in the same breath ought to write his own Bible. He's certainly got the necessary expertise in self-contradiction.