Letters to the Editor

Donald N. Penny: Graham not a good Samaritan

Regarding the Jan. 16 news article “ Duke reverses on Muslim prayer”: Once again Franklin Graham, head of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, has made anti-Muslim remarks betraying an intolerance and bigotry unworthy of the Jesus Christ whom Graham claims to worship.

The Jesus of my Bible tells a story about a Jewish traveler who is wounded, stranded and urgently in need of life-saving attention. In the story, a priest and a Levite, clerics of the traveler’s own religion, refuse to offer help. The unlikely hero turns out to be, of all things, a Samaritan. Samaritans were distant cousins of the Jews but were regarded by Jesus’ contemporaries as impure followers of a false religion. Yet this unlikely do-gooder has the humanity and compassion to bind up the traveler’s wounds and make extensive provision for his continued care. He was the only character in the story who acted like a “neighbor” to the man in need. He was not an enemy but a neighbor.

This parable is known as the Good Samaritan and is, of course, the source of the name of Graham’s charity.

One wonders how carefully he pays attention to the actual teachings of the Jesus to whom he is so devoted.

Donald N. Penny