On Oct. 9, more than 7,000 Christians peaceably assembled in the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro to hear the Rev. Franklin Graham speak. It is safe to say that they were aware of the controversy Graham has invited by being a supporter of President Donald Trump. Because of his support, some have labeled Graham a hypocrite.

Now, what is a hypocrite? According to Webster’s it is “one who affects virtues or qualities he does not have; a dissembler, one who hides under a false appearance.”

Or, as La Rochefoucauld noted, “Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.” This could be more readily applied to those left-leaning virtue signalers or millionaire athletes who prize a business relationship over American ideals of freedom.

Has anyone yet uncovered anything about Graham that does not comport with what he believes?

We all know Graham’s position on homosexuality. If a preacher — or anyone — spent his days preaching against it and his nights cruising gay bars, one could call that person a hypocrite, pretty much like a millionaire Vermont senator who preaches against capitalism and the wealthy while shuttling between his three homes. While the first is an obvious example of hypocrisy, the second might be up for debate. But neither example could be applied to Graham.

Oh, you say, Graham and those of his ilk preach against immorality and yet they support an “immoral” man. Does that mean that immorality is imputed to Graham? Is the Muslim faith imputed to Graham because he has given aid, comfort and support to the Rohingya?

Those who don’t understand this are missing the point. It’s not Trump’s alleged immorality that Graham and evangelicals support. It is, rather, Trump’s defense of ideals not espoused by those who support abortion and open borders. We see the word socialism bandied about and are concerned that, should it take hold, we could find those unalienable rights bestowed upon us by our Creator merely “granted’ to us by a government that could just as easily take them away.

Interesting that John P. Thompson, who considers Graham a hypocrite (column, Oct. 20), attended the event to “see for myself.” See what? He “didn’t go to argue,” he said, “I was just there to dissent.” That’s rather disingenuous, considering his homemade badge declaring “Franklin=Hypocrite.”

His drifting through the crowd proved to be a fairly benign excursion. Few people wanted to argue. One guy with “a tattoo on his bicep” insisted that Trump was not a liar. “A perky high school girl” told him that she had read the entire Mueller report and that it totally exonerated Trump. There were other encounters, but none that would merit an “if it bleeds, it leads” headline.

Eventually he was approached by two pastors, one white, one black. The black pastor inquired about the badge, upon which Thompson gave his spiel that “morality matters.” The pastor listened, somewhat confused. “Well, regardless,” he said, “we’re glad you’re here.”

We live in a fallen world. “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). (Adam and Eve had one command and couldn’t even obey that.) We strive for perfection, but when human nature gets in the way, things can get messy. Yet even that messiness is not devoid of value. Without David and Bathsheba, we would not have had Solomon. Without Judas’ betrayal we would not have the glorious Resurrection.

This nation has had its share of missteps, but we deplorable Bible thumpers see it as ever striving to right those wrongs, and we recoil from those who would dismiss this country and its Founding Fathers as evil. Is it any wonder we support a president who refuses to do so?

Mr. Thompson’s sojourn among the crowd of Christian “hypocrites” proved uneventful. He left “feeling profoundly saddened and a bit depressed.” Was he disappointed at the lack of raging hostility?

In the end his little sign was hardly a red badge of courage. Perhaps if he had worn a red MAGA hat to an Antifa rally or even to a college campus coffee shop, he might have gotten a taste of what those who preach tolerance do to those who disagree with them. It might teach him what hypocrisy really looks like.

I’d like to read that column.

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Community Editorial Board member Romaine Worster (virichrosie@gmail.com) lives in Greensboro with her wickedly funny and brilliant husband.

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