Evangelist Billy Graham today (Oct. 29) has placed a huge one page ad in major US papers endorsing Republican Mitt Romney for the American presidency. It also ran in Canada’s rabid right wing paper the National Post. Here it is:
“The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.”
It is clear Graham endorses Romney without naming him. The ad is a betrayal of the gospel and once again shows up Graham’s long history of poor biblical scholarship, naivete and support of the unsustainable American corporate agenda. One can only hope its influence is negligible.
Billy Graham has always been a very decent human being, a huge cut above today’s clownish televangelists. He was created by the Luce’s Time Magazine in the late 40s as the perfect evangelist for post-war America. A fine preacher, albeit of emotion-laden altar calls with little substance or analysis behind them. Graham was a dyed-in- the- wool fundamentalist who used his influence to peddle American exceptionalism, military power, and the suburban captivity of the gospel. As Scottish preacher George McLeod told him decades ago, “Billy, your theology does not make it past the gate post.” In short Graham was long on emotion and very short on any critical social analysis. He was a status quo man who never did get the civil rights movement, the peace movement or the women’s movements as authentic inroads of God’s Spirit.
To his credit later in life he did confess to a serious lack of biblical scholarship. It shows up in this sad ad. Today he is almost virulently anti-gay as well.
Anybody with a historical memory recalls his defense and friendship with Richard Nixon, his support of every American war.
In short there was not a prophetic bone in his body.
Notice the ad makes no reference to the growing economic gulf in the States or any reference to the poor, certainly Biblical bench marks. As for his defense (and virtual blessing ) of the state of Israel is downright embarrassing.As well Graham bequeaths to us his son the anti-Muslim Franklin Graham the chief promoter of the ad.
The money for this horrible ad must have cost a pretty penny. But then money is no object today in American politics.
For bible people, money (mammon) and biblical justice are a poor fit. As for Graham, this is a regrettable swan song.