Franklin Graham: ‘Political Correctness Gone Amok’

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham (BGEA)

One of the most sinister and menacing threats to our society today lurks under the lethal guise of two small initials—PC.

I’m talking about political correctness—the maddening and prevailing public sentiment of offending no one (except Christians). It has infected our schools, government, universities, and the marketplace, leaving no room for moral absolutes or the authoritative truth of Scripture.

Instead, political correctness demands tolerance of everything as it panders to the godless values of pluralism, marginalizing and even persecuting men and women of faith.

Let me give you a few examples.

After 30 years of placing cards with a line or two from the Psalms on meal trays, Alaska Airlines has announced they are discontinuing that practice. I am very familiar with that company, and they have blessed countless thousands of passengers with encouraging promises from God’s Word. What changed? Some people complained that they were offended, and a simple expression of uplifting faith was suddenly ended.

Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine, Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, had to withdraw from a planned address to West Point, where my son Edward attended. Gen. Boykin is an American hero and the former commander of the elite Delta Force. He played a leading role in various covert operations and served during conflicts in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was severely wounded in action.

However, when some politically correct people discovered Gen. Boykin was speaking, they began a media campaign to stop him, pointing to his criticism of radical Islam, whose militant adherents have killed thousands of innocent civilians on American soil. One commentator on a national news network called the effort to block Gen. Boykin “political correctness gone amok.”

I know exactly what he was facing. Some of the very same people worked together against me in 2010 to force the Army to withdraw my invitation to speak at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer because nine years earlier I had called the radical element of Islam what it is—evil and wicked.

The official explanation of my disinvitation was dripping with political correctness: “His past statements are not consistent with the multi-faith emphasis and inclusiveness of this event.”

Do you see the insidious nature of all this? Inclusiveness now means excluding anyone who speaks out firmly for truth. It is happening everywhere in the country. Wishing to offend no one, our nation’s politicians, leaders, and decision-makers now stand for absolutely nothing. The very foundation of our Judeo-Christian morality is severely threatened.

The real offense is the gospel itself. The Bible says that Jesus and His sin-conquering work on the cross are a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (1 Peter 2:8). Politically correct people hate the Name of Jesus. They despise the gospel. They don’t want to be reminded of their sin or their need for a Savior. They can’t handle the Truth.

Yet it is that very Truth that can set people free. At BGEA, we want to be sure that—in every opportunity He gives us—we have boldly “preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12). It is my goal to speak of Jesus and the gospel, even if only briefly, during every media interview (although some news programs edit that part out).

At festivals and crusades everywhere, including those scheduled this year from Texas to the Great Lakes, we preach that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but that God offers forgiveness and eternal salvation by “His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23, 24).

I am not politically correct—never have been and never will be. Was the apostle Paul politically correct? He spent more time in prison than anywhere else, but he said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, NASB). God used Paul and his preaching to take the Good News all over the known world.

Jesus said, “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matt. 11:6).

Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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