[LOCKED] Billy Graham dead at 99

Submitted by UMProud on February 21st, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Billy Graham died today at the age of 99.  In the years preceeding his retirement, Mr. Graham was an American cultural icon.  His work spanned decades and his influence was felt in the highest circles of American life.


"Graham spent six decades preaching on television and radio — principally on the Billy Graham Crusades, which he began in 1947. Thought his numerous sermons (and 34 books), Graham has said to have reached more than 200 million people throughout his lifetime of work. He retired in 2005.

His crusade ministry began in 1947 when he was just 29. Over the next 57 years, Graham conducted more than 400 crusades on six continents. His final crusade was held in 2005 when he was 86, over three days at New York’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park. More than 230,000 people attended.

He was an outspoken advocate for racial integration in the 1950s and ’60s, even working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

Source:  People.com, 2/21/2018, David Quinn

MOD EDIT - Locking this. He's a famous figure and that's fine, but his fame touches two of the big taboos around here, which are religion and politics, and I am not sanitizing this thread just to have it flare up again. - LSA


carolina blue

February 21st, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

He preached the word of God to whomever would listen. He did it peacefully and loudly. By all accounts he also lived what he preached. He is an example for everyone.

Shop Smart Sho…

February 21st, 2018 at 3:16 PM ^

At a sermon in Columbus.

'Is AIDS a judgment of God?' Graham asked. 'I could not say for sure, but I think so.'

And then there are his comments caught on the Nixon tapes about Jews that he lied about for years before finally being forced to admit that he said it.

''They're the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,'' Graham had said to Nixon. The Jewish ''stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain,'' he continued.

And you shouldn't forget that he recommended to Nixon to bomb the dikes in North Vietnam if the Paris peace talks broke down as a way to destroy their economy. I'm sure he just didn't realize it would destroy their economy by starving millions of people.


February 21st, 2018 at 3:26 PM ^

Anti-Semitic comments - March 3rd 2002 NY Times.

Recommendation to use nuclear weapons on Vietnamese - master thesis Eastern IL Jan 2017

AIDS comments - Columbus Ohio 1993

Did he retract some of these with a very soft “I don’t know why I said that” apology? Yes some. But that is pretty weak sauce compared to the vigor and certainty with which he delivered those messages.


February 21st, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

He lived simply in a house in the mountains of North Carolina.  Neither he nor his wife ever dressed extravagantly or lived an ostentatious lifestyle.  He wasn't on TV begging his "followers" for money, and was never involved in any salacious scandals that I know of (in contract to many, many other famous religous leaders).  I haven't performed a forensic audit on his finances, so I have no idea what his net worth was, but he spent his life in the service of others.  I don't know his net worth, and you don't either. 

But by all means tear down and criticize a man who just died because...  I don't ever know why someone would do that.


February 21st, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

I don't get that reaction either.  I have no strong view one way or another about Billy Graham, but it is clear that it was instinctive for a number of people to hit Wikipedia as quickly as possible to find some random tidbit to tear him down just to do it.  It appears that has become instinctive, unfortunately.  It is just what people do now.


February 21st, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

You mean like his Wikipedia page?  It was edited today to add a section on his "anti-gay" views sourced on some article written on a random website with a publication date of February 21, 2018.

I hate to break it to you, but sometimes people write crazy things on the internet that are not actually true.  Occasionally, these untruths make it on to Wikipedia.  Some of us have a higher standard of truth than a section of Wikipedia that was edited hours ago.

Kick Out The Jams

February 21st, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

''Those are not my words,'' Mr. Graham said in a public statement in May 1994. ''I have never talked publicly or privately about the Jewish people, including conversations with President Nixon, except in the most positive terms.''

That was the end of the story, it seemed, until two weeks ago, when the tape of that 1972 conversation in the Oval Office was made public by the National Archives. Three decades after it was recorded, the North Carolina preacher's famous drawl is tinny but unmistakable on the tape, denigrating Jews in terms far stronger than the diary accounts.

''They're the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,'' Mr. Graham said on the tape, after agreeing with Mr. Nixon that left-wing Jews dominate the news media. The Jewish ''stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain,'' he continued, suggesting that if Mr. Nixon were re-elected, ''then we might be able to do something.''

SC Wolverine

February 21st, 2018 at 3:36 PM ^

Part of the issue was the awe with which men of Graham's generation held the Presidency and the White House.  Charles Colson commented on how evengelical leaders were often awed into supporting whatever Nixon wanted by the gradeur of the Oval Office and how this was an explicit strategy of Nixon's.  It does not speak well for Christian leaders, but men like Graham would have been susceptible to it.  But not only Christian leaders.  My father (who was not a Christian) despised LBJ but admitted to me that the first time he met with him in the Oval Office he acted like an idiot.  So the Nixon Tapes may not reflect Graham's sincerely held views.


February 21st, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

He is a noted religious figure. The blog has a "no religion" policy. Hollywood celebrities in general are NOT religious figures, except for Tom Cruise.

EDIT: the blog does not have a "no religion" policy. For a very lengthy discussion of Blog policy regarding religion, see the Moderator Action Sticky.

SC Wolverine

February 21st, 2018 at 3:53 PM ^

Whether or not it is wise to post on Billy Graham on MGoBlog, it is simply untrue that Hollywood celebrities are not religious figures.  Hollywood is absolutely pushing a religious viewpoint -- religion being a coherent view of meaning and life.  Secular humanism is a religious position.  So is the Eastern mysticism that features so heavily in Hollywood.  My point is not to condemn these here but simply to point out that the entertainment industry is a deeply religious institution.


February 21st, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

I understand your point, and usually I agree with what you are saying. But it seems to me that some topics -- politics and religion, for example -- are better left to sources specifically devoted to those topics. Billy Graham was a cultural icon, but he (and his family) were/are also polarizing figures in our society.