First up from the God Machine this week is a look at Franklin Graham's effort to defend Brett Kavanaugh against the allegation that he sexually assaulted a young woman when they were teenagers.
That Graham, a prominent Christian evangelist and son of the late Billy Graham, defended Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee was not surprising. That Graham told the Christian Broadcasting Network that an alleged incident from decades past is no longer relevant was predictable, too.
But as the Charlotte Observer reported, Graham went quite a bit further in trying to exonerate the conservative jurist.
Evangelist Franklin Graham said sexual assault accusations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from when he was a teenager are "not relevant" and that the U.S. Senate should confirm his nomination. [...]
Asked by the CBN interviewer what kind of message his remarks send to sexual abuse victims, Graham replied: "Well, there wasn't a crime that was committed. These are two teenagers and it's obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away."
What's actually "obvious" is that Franklin Graham decided to defend Kavanaugh before reading Christine Blasey Ford's account of the alleged attack. The professor told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh "pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it."
According to her account, Kavanaugh also put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, and Ford feared, among other things, that he might "inadvertently kill" her.
As the nation came to terms with the report, Graham said of the alleged incident, "[S]he said no and he respected it and walked away." In no way does that reflect Ford's version of events.
It doesn't even reflect Kavanaugh's version of events, since according to the judge, he wasn't at the party and there was no such incident to walk away from.
It's worth noting for context that Graham is a steadfast Trump ally who took a prominent role in defending the president in the wake of the Stormy Daniels revelations. Trump also made a $100,000 personal contribution to a Graham-run charity last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Also from the God Machine this week: