Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Good and Dead: Billy Graham, charismatic expounder of ethics-free monotheism

The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy
By Luke Recious
Obituary Editor

Billy Graham died at 99, known for his fierce moral clarity and his inspiring struggle, based on his deep Christian faith, to fight inequality and bigotry while insisting on the unity and dignity of all God's creatures, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or sexual preference.

Nah, we're just sh*tting you again.

He was known for his curly blonde locks and mellow vaguely redneck voice, all of which made him an adornment to Presidents, late-night talk shows, Bob Hope specials, and other places where someone who said he was a man of God would boost the egos and ratings of the rich and famous who invited and flattered him.

He was also known for keeping up a round of appearances at big stadiums, during which he advocated for Christ and Christianity, although as for the Judeo-Christian values of respect for all humans and ameliorating the suffering of the poor and downtrodden – well, not so much.   He chose to call these events, with the exquisite sensitivity of one who seeks to reach out to all God's children other than Jews and Muslims, “Crusades.”  Different times.

For a guy who talked so much about Jesus,
he sure liked to hang around with Satan
His brand of Christianity was widely popular, apparently because it demanded nothing of its adherents other a one-sentence affirmation of Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Such an affirmation did not stop the Saved from committing unspeakable crimes (like George W. Bush) or require the Saved to practice what Jesus preached by sharing their gold with the wretched of the earth. 

Our friend Tom Kempis said that those who wish to walk in Christ's path must carry his cross, but Billy Graham dispensed with all of that unpleasantness and just said catch me on The Tonight Show with Jill St. John and Jack E. Leonard.

The siphoning of morality out of religion must have been the reason that Billy Graham was appreciated so deeply by the immediately preceding corrupt paranoid Republican President, who constantly leaned on Graham to provide a gloss of virtue on an administration of unparalleled (well, until January 20, 2017) vice and viciousness.

Oh, and there was one another thing that endeared Billy Graham to Dick Nixon: they disliked the same types of people, especially Jewy ones.  As The New York Times paused to recount in its obituary today:
Mr. Graham’s image was tainted in 2002 with the release of audiotapes that Nixon had secretly recorded in the White House three decades earlier. The two men were heard agreeing that liberal Jews controlled the media and were responsible for pornography.
“A lot of the Jews are great friends of mine,” Mr. Graham said at one point on the tapes. “They swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country.”
When his anti-Semitic drivel was outed, he, like a Harvey Weinstein in a clerical collar (which the Rev. Graham never wore), offered the usual lame apology of the rich and unassailable:
Mr. Graham issued a written apology and met with Jewish leaders. In the interview in 2005, he said of the conversation with Nixon: “I didn’t remember it, I still don’t remember it, but it was there. I guess I was sort of caught up in the conversation somehow.”
I wonder if that's what the Crusaders said about all the Jews they slaughtered in the Rhineland.

In fairness to Billy Graham, there is no evidence that he was either a bigot or sought to use Christianity to advance a hate-filled agenda of bigotry and discrimination.  Sadly the same can't be said of his son and inheritor of his Crusade, the loathsome Franklin Graham, who will carry on his father's work for entirely evil ends.

To which we can only say: Jesus H. Christ.

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