If we operate on the assumption that the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), Reverend Franklin Graham’s political activism is motivated by equal measures of religious faith and a Romneyesque, fractious, corporate funders-focused dismissal of the concerns of a large number of American citizens – say, about 47% - his indebtedness to and unholy alliance with the financiers who “puffed” his father becomes apparent.
As does the hollowness and hypocrisy of Rev Graham’s rants against Islam’s supposed abusive treatment of women.
I say "supposed" because I believe the history of religion dictates that we make a distinction between what the Quran teaches and the seemingly exploitative, self-justifying interpretation of its teachings by some Muslim leaders - like the Taliban leaders who ordered the killing of Pakistani school girl and child and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai.
This is so obvious it hardly bears pointing out.
That it needs to be pointed out is indicative of the extent to which contemporary education-knowledge provision – especially the informal education provision of the press and other news sources – is failing to maturely employ all the tools available to it in the current information age.
Then again, as the university tuition fees debacle and the BBC-Jimmy Savile collaboration or cover-up scandal indicate, where the current degeneration in Britain’s education provision is concerned, it is difficult to tell whether formal or informal providers are in the lead.
And this writer would use this opportunity to remind Dick Palmer and Corrienne Peasgood, the former and present principals of City College Norwich in Norfolk, England, to be mindful of their responsibility to ensure that the youth and adult charges whose education and employment they oversee is best served by their information-education management policies.
It goes without saying that the question of whether or not the pupils, parents and staff at that venerable institution – and Norfolk tax payers generally – derive lasting benefits or suffer losses ultimately, turns on the question of Mr. Palmer’s and Ms. Peasegood’s capacity to rightly interpret the “signs of the times” – so to speak.
Presumably, mature, penetrative education provision accounting and press reporting – as opposed to “puffing” - would make it clear that when you get beyond the veneer of language, and differences in rites and robes (whether used in religious services or in graduation ceremonies), the fractious Franklin Graham’s theology has more in common with the Taliban’s terror tapping thought processes than it does with the religious reasoning of many in the Christian world.
Viewed holistically – through the lens of responsible, relevance mapping reportage – Rev Graham’s thinking can be seen to have more in common with the materialistic motivations of corporate types like the United Kingdom’s Domino Pizza franchise dominator (war lord?) Surinder Kandola and American mining mogul Robert E. Murray, than it does with the spiritual orientation of the Kingdom of God message that Joshua (Jesus) of Nazareth preached.
Likewise, contemporary media practice could benefit from adherence to a range of biblical New Testament theories - like “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”, a popular proposition, in Joshua’s time, by which Jews measured morality.
Employed today by Rupert Murdoch’s Sky, the Brit’s BBC, Reuters, CNN, the Caribbean’s CMC or any other media machine, this mode of measurement makes it apparent that while Rev Graham, British Prime Minister, former PMs Tony Blair and and many other Christian leaders rightly deplore the Taliban’s attempt to kill the young Yousafzi, these leaders’ own diminution of or outright dismissal of the rights of the education rights of children - through, perhaps, corporatization-of-education motivated increases in university tuition fees - is equally as reprehensible as the Taliban’s murderous deed.
If we accept the "leaven" and other biblical parables or paradigms of “the seed”, we must conclude that there is no fundamental difference between the Taliban’s horrific act and the public suggestion by prominent Barbadian educationist Ralph Boyce (a former Permanent Secretary in the island’s Ministry of Education) that a husband is entitled to give his wife “a little correctional slap”, when she has erred.
The recent vote by the Anglican Church’s General Synod forbidding the appointment of female bishops must be similarly denounced, if we accept this Christian, scripture-based guideline to mathematical (rational) equation.
This New Testament tool of analysis and interpretation also dictates an essential (spiritual) equation between the Taliban’s terrorist attack on Malala and what seems like mining magnate Murray’s thinly veiled, incendiary use of scripture to incite his country’s youth to acts of violence against their President, Barack Obama.
The Talibank-tinged, Jimmy Savile-like child abuse that the insurgency advocating Murray would perpetrate is evident if we apply the biblical paradigm of the leaven and the lump to his workers-sacking, prayer-camouflaged tantrum.
And that Murray’s behaviour was an adult tantrum indeed, is apparent by predicting the fruit or outcome of his religion-veiled rancour from the seed.
And we may also benefit by noting the continuum between such conciliation and empathy searing words by venerated business, political, religious, education, media and other “authorities” and outrageous offences against our common humanity - on the scale of the slaughter of innocent youths at Utoya, by an infant-minded, glory-grabbing butcher, whose just reward is anonymity.
This writer has previously called on Murdoch and other media leaders not to “puff” such cannibals by continuing to name them when reporting their misdeeds.
There is no fundamental difference, arguably, between those who, by publicizing, encourage the imitation of the child-sacrificing ministers of Moloch’s misdeeds and those creatures at the remotest end of the continuum of humanity who perpetrate those deeds.
Both groups thrive on the leaven of publicity.