Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

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Balmer on CNN and PBS Newshour

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:40 pm

I am sending some background info to NPR 1a program and hope they have a panel his legacy deserves soon. I see on Facebook where my otherwise esteemed friend Carson Newman President Obrien has given over to hagiography in tribute.

I am hoping Furman has a panel on Graham before mid April that does him justice warts and all. I learned just Weds on his passing that Will Campbell's great friend at Furman LD Johnson was crusade chair for the 1966 Billy Graham crusade at the ole TExtile Hall in Greenville. my friend Steve Wright got saved in that one when we drove the 50 miles from Gaffney.

And Furman is the alma mater of Graham, his definitive biographer. Hoping Doug Cumming of WLU, son of Newsweek bureau chief in Atlanta in the 60's can come talk about Graham and Frady maybe in the presence of some of Billy Gee's offspring other than Franklin.

Most of you know Billy asked his tombstone epitaph simply say: PREACHER
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A softer Randall Balmer on PBS

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Softer from his Billy Graham and the Judgments of History take
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/remem ... o-millions

And my eulogy blog is up now at asfoxseesit.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Jim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:51 pm

Fox blog: But here on earth some of us in Jesus Name will give Franklin Hell till he comes around to better discernment. No...not in Jesus's name...just in the name of your own fit of jealousy. After you visit a few earthquake sites and construct some sort of housing to keep folks out of the elements, maybe you can give Franklin hell. Until then, stew in your own juices and continue to eat crow.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby William Thornton » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:15 am

Well, let's talk legacy. BG is in heaven, his body to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda and fox is still banned from Collinsville BC and on severe restriction at the liberry?
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:04 pm

Jim wrote:Fox blog: But here on earth some of us in Jesus Name will give Franklin Hell till he comes around to better discernment. No...not in Jesus's name...just in the name of your own fit of jealousy. After you visit a few earthquake sites and construct some sort of housing to keep folks out of the elements, maybe you can give Franklin hell. Until then, stew in your own juices and continue to eat crow.


Franklin will have to deal with the consequences of his own actions, none of which have anything to do with the 'legacy", reputation, or ministry of his father. Criticism of religious figures who are politically one-sided, or who get into either tacit or open endorsement of candidates who don't meet the moral and character standards they've applied to candidates of the other side is reasonable and deserved. Does running a worldwide evangelistic ministry mean that you get a pass on poor political judgement? But regardless, criticism of Franklin Graham is not criticism of Billy Graham.

Billy had his critics, too Mostly it was over his association and facsination with Presidents, particularly Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and mostly from his fellow Southern Baptists and conservative evangelicals. And most of the criticism of his theology I've heard, mainly focused on some of the books he wrote, was because he wasn't a fundamentalist. As to whether he took sides in the SBC controversy, or weighed in as an influence, I never saw any of that. I thought he did a good job of staying out. He was always more interested in his own ministry, than in attempting to influence who ran the SBC.
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Furman takes on Graham

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:33 pm

See my entry of a few minutes ago with a link to a pastor oped in Greenville News about differing Furman accounts of the life of Billy Graham

My last shot in my blog at Franklin was an afterthought. I am reconsidering it.
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Comment in Greenville News

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:05 pm

Their facebook wall:


Myself:
I read my friend John Adams piece in the Sunday paper online a few days ago. Adams is one of Furman's finest Baptist products but 1963 grad Marshall Frady, also a Baptist ministers son outshines him in analyzing Frady. There is an active discussion at the site Baptistlife dot com history section in a Thread about Furman University 20 years after the break with SC. Baptists. Fundamentalist Al Mohler, now president of the Southern Seminary in Louisville told Charles Marsh, definitive biographer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Billy Graham was quite active with strategies in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. And Graham could never get his head around Frady's reading to him in Montreat in 76 a passage from Melville's Billy Budd to see if Billy thought there were comparisons to his relationship with Nixon. Graham thought Watergate was the result of Nixon's sleeping pills.....So that is part of Graham's legacy too. I am hoping Furman rises to the occasion before mid April and sponsors a 90 minute panel on Graham's legacy with the likes of Washington and Lee's Doug Cumming who has studied Frady and Graham, and Dartmouth's Randall Balmer whose piece Bily Graham and the Judgments of History is an easy google. My esteemed friend hagiography may be great resource for a eulogy in a few days, but history will entertain other voices.
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Anthea Butler and Randall Balmer at RD.org

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:00 pm

Butler and Balmer both have lengthy pieces at religiondispatches.org. Butler says Graham died on the same day as MalcolmX and goes from there in a provocative piece that ends with a flourish about Paul Ryan laying Graham in the Rotunda that I think is spot on.

Balmer is stronger here than his brief conversation on PBS Newshour. He examines how Graham deceived JFK in 60 but leaves out Billy's deceit with Jimmy Carter in 1980.

One key point they both miss is Al Mohler's championing Graham's role in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Jim » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:08 pm

USA Today: "It's the passing of an era,'' said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth College expert on evangelical Christianity. He called Graham "the most prominent religious celebrity of the 20th Century,'' a period that included popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the 14th Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Norman Vincent Peale.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Sandy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:09 pm

Stephen Fox wrote:Balmer is stronger here than his brief conversation on PBS Newshour. He examines how Graham deceived JFK in 60 but leaves out Billy's deceit with Jimmy Carter in 1980.


USA Today wrote:USA Today: "It's the passing of an era,'' said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth College expert on evangelical Christianity. He called Graham "the most prominent religious celebrity of the 20th Century,'' a period that included popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the 14th Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Norman Vincent Peale.


Balmer's statements more or less refute your perspective, Stephen. It also refutes Jim's contention about mod-libs and Graham.

Stephen Fox wrote:One key point they both miss is Al Mohler's championing Graham's role in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.


I'd like to see substantiation of that, and more than just some dropping of names and associations. Just because Billy Graham may have associated with someone, or maintained a friendship with someone doesn't constitute an endorsement of the person's denominational-political position, nor some kind of influence or involvement in the Conservative Resurgence.
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Sandy not paying attention

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:28 pm

For the last couple years I have linked Balmer's easily googled piece Billy Graham and the Judgments of History. He also has an online chat with Billy Gee's most recent hagiographer Grant Wacker where Balmer expresses his reservations as Balmer did a few years ago in person in Birmingham Alabama.

Mohler's brag about Billy abetting the fundy takeover of the SBC is a matter of record on tape.

And you can find the line up of the Truth for a New Generation conferences as well.

Apparently you did not read Balmer and Butler at religion dispatches nor have you read Frady's 500 pages on Graham. I read em in 1979 when they were first published and the last 50 pages again last night. I hope you saw in the Furman thread what Doug Cumming texted me yesterday.

Had a good conversation with a staffer at FBC Spartanburg Friday. He's a nice guy but his history and tunnel vision on this matter almost as bad as yours but he does have better taste in film.

CN President and my friend Randall Obrien did Carlyle Marney a disservice with a gushing piece in Huff Post.

One of Billy's grand daughters sent me a nice facebook message yesterday.

You have a blessed day.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


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And the good Billy, daughter Bunny Ruth testifies

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:03 pm

"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


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Anthea Butler gets it right at religion dispatches

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:00 pm

This proximity to power which Graham achieved as the representative of Christian America is unparalleled. That is without dispute. What is up for conversation, is how that representation has culminated in evangelical leadership backing the president with the lowest approval rating in American history, while posing for pictures with him in the oval office. We have Billy Graham to thank for that dubious distinction, and it’s worth looking back in the wake of his passing to see how his form of folksy American pious politics morphed into a power grab by evangelicals to establish their particular brand of theocracy in America. President Trump fully embraces the isolationist, hegemonic WASP politics that son Franklin Graham and many others promote today. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Franklin Graham simply represents a more strident version of 1950s Billy Graham.

It’s not surprising then, that Billy Graham will finish his race in the United States Capitol next week. House Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that Billy Graham will lie in state in the Capitol from February 28 to March 1st. For the most prolific modern-day evangelist of not only Jesus, but a nationalistic American style of Christianity, this is the right ending to a complicated story. Billy Graham is finally at rest, but we still wrestle with his complicated legacy.

"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:47 pm

Tripe
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Sandy » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:43 pm

Anthea Butler in Religion Dispatches wrote:This proximity to power which Graham achieved as the representative of Christian America is unparalleled. That is without dispute.


I would agree with that statement, though it would take a thesis, and a book, to fairly document and explain the way Billy Graham used his proximity to power. No one could avoid bias, but from public view, I don't see anything that Graham ever did or said that could be interpreted as pushing any agenda except being an influence for the gospel.

Anthea Butler in Religion Dispatches wrote:What is up for conversation, is how that representation has culminated in evangelical leadership backing the president with the lowest approval rating in American history, while posing for pictures with him in the oval office. We have Billy Graham to thank for that dubious distinction, and it’s worth looking back in the wake of his passing to see how his form of folksy American pious politics morphed into a power grab by evangelicals to establish their particular brand of theocracy in America.


There's no question that evangelical leadership has lost all credibility, sullied itself and probably permanently damaged the church, or at least their own branch of it, by wading into, and endorsing the swampy pigsty of corruption that is Trump. But I don't see Billy Graham as supportive of a dominionist theocratic worldview. It would be a far stretch to see his association with Presidents of both parties, and both extremes during his lifetime, as anything but a pastoral presence. Maybe his ability to get into the White House opened the door for other evangelicals to give it a try and then abuse their influence when they got in, but the current aberration of conservative Evangelicalism into extremist right wing politics was the work of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, James Dobson, Kenneth Copeland and others of their ilk. And I don't think many of them liked Billy Graham all that much.

Anthea Butler in Religion Dispatches wrote:President Trump fully embraces the isolationist, hegemonic WASP politics that son Franklin Graham and many others promote today. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Franklin Graham simply represents a more strident version of 1950s Billy Graham.


Most of Billy Graham's ministry took place in a different era with regard to WASP politics, and religion. One of the things that many conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists criticized about him was his initiative to racially integrate his ministry. That was the proverbial straw for some conservative Christians, including a lot of Southern Baptists, proof that he was heading down the slippery slope, and all of that rhetoric. Whatever the influence of his father might have been, Franklin Graham has gone a different direction, and doesn't operate the same way. Those kind of footsteps are never easy to follow, but Franklin Graham has definitely distinguished himself from his father's ministry, and its principles, and in his political activity, not in any good way. You can't blame his father for Franklin's own decision to use the name of his father's evangelistic association as an influence for extremist right wing political persuasion.
Last edited by Sandy on Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:27 am

In that last sentence I assume you meant Franklin's. not Billy's, when you wrote "his own". It looked to me like it meant Billy's own, which didn't make sense. But it still leaves me unsure whose name and whose ministry are referred to immediately following the "his own".
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Sandy » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:54 am

Haruo wrote:In that last sentence I assume you meant Franklin's. not Billy's, when you wrote "his own". It looked to me like it meant Billy's own, which didn't make sense. But it still leaves me unsure whose name and whose ministry are referred to immediately following the "his own".

Edited. Hopefully it is clearer.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:00 am

Thanks, yes, it is.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Jim » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:25 am

Sandy wrote:
Anthea Butler in Religion Dispatches wrote:This proximity to power which Graham achieved as the representative of Christian America is unparalleled. That is without dispute.


I would agree with that statement, though it would take a thesis, and a book, to fairly document and explain the way Billy Graham used his proximity to power.

The representative of "Christian America," both at home and abroad, is the pope, as was the case during Graham's ministry. Sad but true. Check the media for the "spiritual" approach to any issue.
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Re: Billy Graham's Legacy in Serious Question

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:21 pm

My main problem with Francis is he doesn't speak Esperanto like the last few did.
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In lieux of Frady, Balmer defines Graham

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:00 pm

http://www.vnews.com/Column-How-Will-Hi ... m-15854797

I knew he would come through after the funeral.

Retired Mercer Proff Colin Harris, a frequent contributor to ethicsdaily texted me after reading the above Piece: "Balmer gets it; a remarkable analysis". A former assistant to SAmford President Tom Corts said Balmer's piece was magnificent.

Doug Cumming the son of the bureau chief of Newsweek in the mid 60s texted me about Marshall Frady's magisterial 500 pages on Graham in 79, A Parable of American Righteousness; an Egyptian in the Mideast told Frady Graham as an American innocent, was deadly. Comparing him to Melville's Billy Budd in Parable of American Righteousness, Frady connects those dots. An ambitious literary achievement.

Mohler boasting about Graham's enthusiastic assistance with the Takeover is on one of his podcasts, his interview with Charles Marsh about three years ago.

You see in the Balmer piece he talks of Graham's help for Gerald Ford in 76. That same year Ford and Graham called on Yankees star Bobby Richardson to run for Congress. With the financial support of Upstate SC Textile Magnates many of them active Baptist lay leadership, Richardson hit a road block when he came to Gaffney and I asked him a question, the subject of a blog coming soon.

More tripe for Thornton. History for my friends at Davidson, Furman and Wofford!!!!!!!
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