Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Politics of Billy Graham ... Christianity Today has been a staple in my parents house for about as long as I can remember. Not surprisingly, the latest issue has a lot on Billy Graham, both on his career as a whole and his current crusade in New York City.

To my mind, the most telling passage actually comes not in any of the stories or commentary about Graham, but in CT's "Reflections" page, which cites the following gem:
It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.

--Billy Graham in Parade (1981)
Say what you will about Graham as an evangelical or a theologian, but as a politician he was astute enough to know the value of staying outside of the political sphere. Not only did he recognize that within either political party Christianity would always be a subservient force, but even more he understood that refraining from politics granted him access to whichever political party was currently in power. From JFK to Nixon to Reagon to Clinton, he stayed relevant because he stayed out.


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