March 22, 2015 Editor

This was written by Bill C. Davis.

Billy Graham has been the most known representative Evangelical for the last half of the twentieth century. No one has emerged in the twenty-first to take his place. This is why in my novel he appeared as THE representative Evangelical. As such, he most represents the tragedy of Evangelicalism and of most conservative Christianity, Catholic or Protestant. The louder Billy proclaimed his trademark “The Bible says!…” the deeper he dug himself into its betrayal, and with it his (claimed) Lord and Saviour.

On the other side of the above, a friend sent me this:
To: Wayne Northey
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 1:18 PM
Subject: Billy Graham Quote

Hi, Wayne. Thanks again for coffee and conversation. “Living with the tensions” is something one can only do in community, in the context of supportive relationships.

Here’s the one Billy Graham quote I was referring to:
“There have been times in the past when I have, I suppose, confused the kingdom of God with the American way of life….I am grateful for the heritage of our country….But the kingdom of God is not the same as America, and our nation is subject to the judgment of God just as much as any other nation.”

I’m copying this from a calendar called 366 Ways to Peace, compiled by Melodie M. Davis, published by Herald Press in 1999. In the credits, it indicates that the quote comes from the book Peacemakers: Christian Voices from the New Abolitionist Movement, ed. Jim Wallis (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983), p.23.

Right now I’m not able to identify where I read a quote of Billy Graham, upon his being in Moscow. If I find out, I’ll be sure to let you know. Peace.

So: has Graham been dominantly (and with him the American Evangelical community) a critic of American foreign policy in its being the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” (Martin Luther King Jr. statement), or an endorser? I think I know the answer. Put differently: does Graham and dominant American Evangelicalism represent massive faithfulness or massive betrayal to/of Jesus? Again, I think I know the answer.

An excerpt:

In 1991 when Billy Graham stayed overnight in the white house on the night the Gulf War began I wondered then what he was doing there. Was he praying for peace or that no American soldier would be killed or wounded? Was he praying at all? Was he there to deliver by his presence a moral sanction for a military solution to an international problem? Who knows what was said that night? I wonder if he had anything to say about the Iraqi people. We won’t know because the Bushes would never express their megalomania by taping every word of their existence as Nixon, thankfully, did.

As in 1972, things said in the shadows still fuel the national narrative but now with the help of those tapes we are better able to imagine what is presently being said. The Nixon tapes are like a guided tour. We would hope that glimpses into what has been said in the hallowed halls of government when no one is supposed to be listening would be inspiring and stimulating. What the Billy Graham/ Nixon tape exposes are fear, disdain, religious chauvinism and hubris. All other proofs of these particular engines in the present Bush strain of government have been hermetically sealed like a climate-controlled skyscraper. But the Nixon tapes are its illuminating shadow.

Please click on: Billy Graham – Echoes in the Shadows

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Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.
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