At the 1:21 mark of this video clip from 2007, Christopher Hitchens observes that any American president, however deserving of condemnation or impeachment, always could rely on Billy Graham to run to his side as a defender, toady and crony.
Son Franklin has filled those shoes capably with regard to Donald Trump, hasn’t he?
Long-time FFRF foe and state-church opponent Billy Graham dies (Freedom from Religion Foundation)
… Anti-Semitism was not Graham’s only vice. He also worked to destroy our secular government. Graham helped corrupt America’s secular foundations by riding the wave of religious fervor in the 1950s, which brought with it “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, the Capitol prayer room, and “In God We Trust” as a national motto.
The National Day of Prayer is set by federal statute, Public Law 82-324, which was passed in 1952 at the direct suggestion of Graham to help bring “the Lord Jesus Christ” to the nation. “What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country kneeling before almighty God in prayer,” Graham proclaimed. FFRF’s major challenge to the National Day of Prayer uncovered the forgotten history of Graham’s role in this troubling, theocratic act by Congress.
Several years ago, Graham passed the reins of his religio-economic empire to his son, Franklin, who has turned out to be even worse than his father. Graham leaves behind a legacy that has severely damaged our Constitution and the wall of separation between state and church. FFRF will continue to work to undo this legacy.
You can count me out of any paeans of praise for Graham.
Billy Graham: An Old Soldier Fades Away, by Cecil Bothwell (Common Dreams)
… Based on that Biblical mandate for all governments, Graham stood in solid opposition to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, all but addressed to Graham, King noted, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal.’ … If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws. “
Fear is the stock in trade of most evangelists, of course, comprising the necessary setup before the pitch. As historian William Martin explained in his 1991 account of Graham’s early sermons, “… even those whose personal lives seemed rich and fulfilling must live in a world filled with terror and threat. As a direct result of sinful humanity’s rebellion against God, our streets have become jungles of terror, mugging, rape, and death. Confusion reigns on campuses as never before. Political leaders live in constant fear of the assassin’s bullet. Racial tension seems certain to unleash titanic forces of hatred and violence. Communism threatens to eradicate freedom from the face of the earth. Small nations are getting the bomb, so that global war seems inevitable. High-speed objects, apparently guided by an unknown intelligence, are coming into our atmosphere for reasons no one understands. Clearly, all signs point to the end of the present world order.
“… Graham’s basic mode of preaching in these early years was assault. … Then, when he had his listeners mentally crouching in terror, aware that all the attractively labeled escape routes—alcohol, sexual indulgence, riches, psychiatry, education, social-welfare programs, increased military might, the United Nations—led ultimately to dead ends, he held out the only compass that pointed reliably to the straight and narrow path that leads to personal happiness and lasting peace.”