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November 9th, 2013
08:00 AM ET

How Billy Graham became an American icon

Opinion by Molly Worthen, special to CNN

(CNN) - Under ordinary circumstances, Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch are probably not in the habit of attending the birthday parties of elderly Christian preachers in the North Carolina mountains.

But they were both among the hundreds of well-wishers at the party on Thursday marking Billy Graham’s 95th birthday.

Graham spent his career leading revivals around the globe, following a long tradition of evangelists who have traveled far and wide to urge sinners to accept Christ. But his birthday guest list shows that he is no ordinary preacher. He is a cultural icon, the most famous face of traditional Protestant Christianity.

“We need Billy Graham's message to be heard, I think, today more than ever," former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the crowd.

MORE ON CNN: Billy Graham turns 95 at star-studded birthday

What, exactly, is that message—and what accounts for its mass appeal? Now that Billy is 95, I wonder: is there anyone who can fill his shoes?

Graham rose to success in the God-fearing years of the early Cold War. In 1949, the year of Graham’s first big revival in Los Angeles, President Harry Truman told Americans that “the basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. ... Religious faith and religious work must be our reliance as we strive to fulfill our destiny in the world.”

Five years later, Congress added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. By the end of the decade, 65% of Americans belonged to a religious institution, and 90% told pollsters they believed in God and the power of prayer: they were ready to hearken to Graham’s call.

Tall, handsome, “like Gabriel in a gabardine suit” according to Time magazine, Graham appealed to Americans’ hunger for spiritual direction.

His sermons contained just the right mix of patriotism and reproof. He urged Americans to stand strong against “godless communism” but also criticized American hubris.

“We have an idea that we Americans are God's chosen people, that God loves us more than any other people, and that we are God's blessed,” he told an audience in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1958. “I tell you that God doesn't love us any more than He does the Russians.”

Graham urged his listeners to acknowledge their sins and embrace Christ; to quit making excuses and go to church. But he abandoned the strict fundamentalism of his youth for a less doctrinaire theology.

His crusades mobilized hundreds of volunteers from local churches—not just evangelical churches, but liberal Protestant and Roman Catholic parishes as well.

Graham had plenty of theological quarrels with these collaborators.

He accepted the assistance of New York Catholics during his crusade there in 1957, but three years later he helped organize Protestant ministers to oppose John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

However, when it came to evangelism, he was a broad-minded pragmatist - outraging hard-line fundamentalists, who demanded strict separation from other Christians.

He replied to his critics: “The one badge of Christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. Christians are not limited to any church. The only question is: are you committed to Christ?"

One member of Graham’s circle coined the term “neo-evangelical” to describe this attitude. They were all conservative evangelicals who had left fundamentalism to lead a revival of both the soul and the mind. They formed the National Association of Evangelicals to unite conservative Protestants. In 1956 they founded the magazine Christianity Today, an “evangelical, theologically oriented” alternative to liberal periodicals, Graham wrote.

Secular journalists quoted Graham as a capable spokesman for the evangelical point of view. Graham’s visits to the White House gave the impression that he was a Protestant pope, possessing Christian wisdom and a valuable imprimatur. Graham seemed to represent an American evangelical consensus.

But from the beginning, this consensus was more apparent than real.

Far more conservative Protestants stayed out of the National Association of Evangelicals than joined up. They thought of themselves as Baptists or Mennonites first, and “evangelical” second, if at all.

Some evangelicals rejected the idea that Christians must experience the radical “born-again experience” at the heart of Graham’s crusades: they believed that conversion is sometimes slow and incremental. Others objected to the conservative politics of Graham and his colleagues.

I have spent the past few years researching the stories of these different evangelical communities, ranging from pacifist Mennonites to tongues-speaking Pentecostals. I found that even if they disagreed with Billy Graham, they had no choice but to take him seriously.

They often defined their own beliefs against his ministry. Graham and other neo-evangelicals helped other Christians understand themselves more clearly. As a result, the fissures and tensions that have always divided the evangelical world are deeper than ever.

Billy Graham has no successor.

In today’s age of fragmented evangelicalism and social media-savvy churches, there is no individual who can represent American evangelicalism to the world. Every believer has his own favorite Christian blog, her own like-minded Twitter network. And evangelicalism’s golden age seems to be ending. The biggest denominations, booming during the height of Graham’s career, are now stagnating or losing members.

Graham’s career ranged well beyond American shores, and conservative Protestantism is flourishing in the Global South. Some evangelists there command crowds that rival or exceed Graham’s biggest crusades. For more than 50 years, the German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has preached throughout Africa to audiences that range in the hundreds of thousands.

But evangelists making their careers in non-Western societies face different challenges than Graham did. They are trying to reach people who worry not about the threat of secular liberalism, but the fate of their unbaptized ancestors or witchcraft in their villages. In the Global South, the label “evangelical” implies similarities to American religion that don’t exist.

Billy Graham may be an icon of an era that has passed, a Christian coalition that was never as harmonious as it seemed.

His own message, however, remains the same. In his message on Thursday —perhaps his final sermon — he warned that “our country is in great need of a spiritual awakening.”

Molly Worthen is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of "Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • evangelicals • Leaders • Opinion

soundoff (749 Responses)
  1. Reality # 2

    Billy G. is paid $400,000/yr. for showing up at his birthday party every five years. (guidestar.org)

    November 10, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Sounds like a sweet deal. I gotta get in on this preaching stuff.

      November 10, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Nice Gig. His family will profit quite nicely I am sure.

      November 10, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  2. Where is your God now?

    Sabrina Smith and Brian Amis were arrested after the three-year-old girl was found covered in scars, scabs and bruises only weighing 19 pounds.

    The responding officer said this in the police report about the abused three-year-old, "I observed multiple injuries to her lower extremities, to include her buttocks, legs and lower back."

    He went on to say, "The victim had injuries to her shoulders and face to include black eyes."

    November 10, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  3. w

    A 24-year-old Oxnard man was arrested Saturday and charged with felony child abuse of his 8-month-old daughter.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      ?

      November 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  4. Where is your God now?

    A Costa Mesa man was sentenced Friday to 13 years to life in prison for the attempted murder of his infant son in 2011.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  5. Where is your God now?

    Two Orange County men were arrested and charged with child molestation involving sex with a high school girl.

    Police are looking for more possible victims of a Jurupa Valley teacher, who was arrested on charges of child molestation.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  6. Apple Bush

    Man is primitive but evolving. In time, provided humans don't meet with extinction first, the ancient history of God worshipping will be studied in universities and people study it in their primitive culture courses.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Where is your God now?

    The Red Cross estimates 1,200 people are dead in the Philippines. Local officials reportedly say the toll could be closer to 10,000...

    November 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I saw it on the news. Those wind speeds were incredible, up to 230MPH. Those are some of the fastest wind speeds ever recorded.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        My wife is Filipino and my daughter's boyfriend too. This has been very frightening for everyone.

        November 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Are they living out there?

          November 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Sorry, I misread. I assume your wife lives Stateside.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          We all live in L.A. and think our family members are ok. It hit South of where they live.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Let's hope they're OK. It's apparently headed to Vietnam but it may lose some of its bite by then (hopefully).

          November 10, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I appreciate your concern. Thank you.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Where is your God now?

      Hey highplainsparson, the gospel of Christ sure outlived those children that were ripped from their parents arms and killed in the Philippines. Yea God! I am sure those parents will just move on and thank God for his mercy.

      November 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  8. highplainsparson

    Although the gospel of Christ will live forever, and there will always be great preachers who gain a wide hearing, even in the U. S., this article is correct in that the particularly American brand of evangelicalism represented by Graham is dead. Its heirs are now virtually indistinguishable from the old liberalism. Some of the seeds of this decline are evident in the minimalism of folks like Graham and the National Association of Evangelicals. A more robust and full-orbed commitment to teaching all the doctrines of Scripture is providing for a solid and lasting foundation for Christianity among the remnant that remains.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'Although the gospel of Christ will live forever'.

      Unlikely. Myths tend to die out.

      November 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        agreed. the internet and fact checking are making religion go away....

        November 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        You mean like atheism and evolution? Yes, they certainly will.

        The gospel of Christ has outlasted the Roman Empire, feudalism, modernism, and many other things. It will outlast secular America. It will never die.

        November 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Like Judge Holden.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
        • Observer

          highplainsparson

          "The gospel of Christ has outlasted the Roman Empire, feudalism, modernism, and many other things."

          Atheism is MUCH older. Read the Bible.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Practical atheism dates back to the garden of Eden. Philosophical atheism is a later development. But it too will die.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Judge Holden will always live. He cannot die.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Who?

          November 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Exactly, immortal and discreet.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          judaism, hinduism, buddhism have all been here longer than christianity - and atheism the longest.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Judaism in its modern form is a reaction to Christianity. Christianity is in continuity with the faith of the patriarchs, which goes back to creation. What is the earliest example you have for philosophical atheism?

          November 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Colin

          Highplainsparson,

          Atheism is a relatively newcomer. That is not its weakness, that is its greatest strength. It is the end result of the acc.umulated knowledge and reason we as a species have earned over the centuries. Once upon a time, when we didn't understand something, we just plugged the gap in our knowledge with a god, ghost or goblin. Can't explain thunder and lightning? It's the wrath of the gods. Not bright enough to follow evolution, abiogenesis and the origins of life on Earth, then God did it. Can't explain the moon, stars and tides, its King Neptune and the sky gods.

          The inexorable march of enlightenment and reason continues to advance our knowledge and push the gods, ghosts and goblins into the background. They exist now only in the few remaining dark crevices science is yet to illuminate. Closed minds like yours remain the most obstinate.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          It still cannot explain very basic things about the universe. It only came about due to an inflated human ego. It cannot catch on very much for long because man naturally has an innate sense that there is a God.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Colin

          It cannot explain everything about the Universe, but so what? We find the remaining questions and plug them with the Judeo-Christian god? Why? Why not stop at "we don't yet know." In fact, why is "God" regarded as an explanation for anything? It isn't. It's a cop out. By answering a difficult question with "well, God idi it" all we have done is invoked a magic act by a sky-fairy and walked away from the challenge.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Because Christianity offers a rational explanation that fits all the data.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          'It still cannot explain very basic things about the universe.'

          It doesn't try to, science does and it's doing an increasingly better job of it, although it readily admits its limitations. In contrast, 'Vishnu did it' or 'Yahweh did it' or 'Odin did it' are just the refuges of the deluded and the frightened.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Science points back to God as Creator.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "It still cannot explain very basic things about the universe."

          Just because you have an explanation does not make it a correct one. It is only valuable if you can demonstrate it to be true.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Science points back to God as Creator."

          Science does no such thing.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • Colin

          Hingplains – oh rubbish. There has never been the slightest bit of convincing evidence put forward for the existence of the Judeo-Christian or any other god. But her's your chance, give us your evidence. Now I don't mean something like "science can't explain [life/origins of the Universe] etc. I am not asking for what you see as flaws in other views, I am asking you for the evidence you have that the Bible is correct in asserting the existence of God.

          Your evidence please.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          See my blog linked on my name and click on the topic "apologetics".

          November 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • Observer

          highplainsparson

          "Science points back to God as Creator."

          And God points to unicorns, talking non-humans, dragons, and all the laws of science which are optionally used or broken.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          This guy has to be a troll. Nobody who can use words can be that dumb.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I don't think he's a troll Dave.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well he must be frighteningly dumb.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I don't think so, he seems pretty sharp. Probably a preacher from out west.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yeah, I guess he's sharp in the sense that he's got the whole circular reasoning thing down to a T. I guess Christian apologists find that sharp, seeing as it's their whole deal.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Somewhere in one of his posts he referred to an apologetics section on his blog that doesn't mean that is his thing. Every believer tries to explain if asked a question, but when it comes right down to it, the reason we believe is because of our own experiences with God.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Imagine for a second that you're an atheist. Can you see how deranged you sound? Also, apologetics is just a very periphrastic way of saying 'God is real just because'.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          He uses TAG...it is his thing.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I don't think what I believe makes me sound deranged. I never have cared for the term apologetics, makes me think apology. No need to apologize for anything concerning God.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • I wonder

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "He uses TAG...it is his thing."

          Which "he" are you referring to? And what is "TAG"?

          November 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, no offense, but you do sound deranged to me and I imagine it's the same for many other atheists. Still, whatever makes you happy, go for it (as long as you don't hurt anybody).

          November 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          whatever makes you happy, go for it (as long as you don't hurt anybody). Thanks Dave, that pretty well describes the humanist mantra and I used think the same way, until I surrendered to Gods will.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I was referring to highplainsparson.

          TAG stands for Transcendental Aurgument for God, it is a fallacious presuppositional "proof" of god.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, I wouldn't consider myself a humanist. I consider myself a me-ist, or a libertine (to put more conventional terminology on it). I live for my own gratification.

          On a side issue, do you ever question the terminology many Christians use to discuss their 'relationship' with Yahweh? Surrender, submit, worship, lord. These don't sound like words used in a loving relationship.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dave,

          I think those terms sound negative to you in a way similar to the way I view the term apologetics. You think of those terms in a physical context when they are used in a spiritual context.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Is there a distinction?

          November 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Yes, there are excellent examples in the bible. I won't quote one directly unless you would like to go read it for yourself. Anyway, in one case the people were going through the rituals of worshipping God and were complaining that God wasn't blessing them. God told them that they were doing the rituals but their hearts were far from him. Matters of the heart involve love, yes?

          November 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Robert, you seem to think that a humanist would not want order – would be an egoist of the Max Stirner sort. The absence of a supernatural basis for morality and an ordered society doesn't make it all collapse as believers often say it must.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, if all Yahweh wants is the love, why does he demand subservience also? It all seems very master/slave.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Hey Tom, I'm not familiar with Max, unless I'm about to plagiarize him. I remember the Romans being used as an example, turning from God leads to moral decay, which leads to political anarchy, which leads to the fall of a nation.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dave,

          It is in a spiritual sense, God talked to Moses as a friend, Jesus washed the disciples feet.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I still don't get it. I guess it's a Christian thing.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Sorry, Robert. I had his book in mind – Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (The Ego and Its Own). Actions, unless accidental, come down to self interest always. I do not believe that is true.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's difficult to ascertain. When one does a supposedly selfless act, does one truly do it to help others or is it subconsciously (or often consciously) an attempt to boost one's own ego? I imagine there are genuinely selfless acts, but I imagine the number is miniscule.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "the Romans being used as an example, turning from God leads to moral decay, which leads to political anarchy, which leads to the fall of a nation."

          Interesting you should use the Romans as an example of turning away from god considering they were Pagan and it was after becoming a Christian empire that they decayed and fell as an Empire.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Arguably, the Roman Empire did continue to thrive for another thousand years as the Byzantine Empire. I guess it's how loosely one can define the Roman Empire.

          November 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I agree Dave, I just think it is funny he attributes the problems to "turning away from god" when it can be shown at least part of the problems can be traced to the internal conflict within Christianity.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Agreed.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:16 am |
        • tallulah13

          It probably won't die. It will probably become just another minor cult, like those people who claim to be druids. Today's kids have access to a lot more information than any generation that has come before. Why listen to propaganda from a preacher on Sunday when you can get real knowledge any day of the week?

          November 10, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • highplainsparson

          From an unconverted human point of view, your comment seems to make sense. But what we have on our side is the power of God. He touches and saves people through preaching, in ways they would have never expected. Even modern people.

          November 10, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  9. highplainsparson

    This confused quotation from the Rev. Billy Graham describes the new evangelicalism in a nutshell: “The one badge of Christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. Christians are not limited to any church. The only question is: are you committed to Christ?"

    To separate orthodoxy from devotion is a false dichotomy. You cannot commit to Christ if you do not know clearly who He is and what He requires of you.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Colin

      Ironically, the likely religious views of Jesus Christ bear little resemblence to Christianity today. Jesus was an apocalyptic Jew. He thought the end of the World was imminent. He was wrong.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        Then why did he establish a church with officers, ordinances, and rules for governing?

        November 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          What church did the J man establish?

          November 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          The Church.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • Colin

          He didn't.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          It's obvious you have not read the gospels. I challenge you to read them, since you like talking about Jesus.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Christ, you're either very stupid or a troll.

          November 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Parson, I think I understand what you mean when you were talking about who Jesus is and what he wants us to do. Couldn't we also say that with a life long commitment to getting to know him and trying to do his will, our time in time will run out before we fully know him or his will?

      November 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        We can never fully comprehend the incomprehensible, but by grace we grow in knowledge.

        November 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Now we're talking, amen.

          November 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  10. Remember Nixon

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRg7xvWyYog&w=420&h=315]

    November 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah, graham doesn't like to acknowledge those tapes where he's agreeing something has to be done about the "jewish problem" in this country. this is where graham failed. he is supposedly there to be the president's conscience, but instead he adds prejudice to bigotry by agreeing with nixon about jewish americans.

      November 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        We do have a Jewish problem in this country. How and why are they so darn funny?

        November 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          ^^ troll ^^

          November 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          C'mon. Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen. Jews are funny.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          okay, that's true, they are pretty damn funny. i have a good jewish friend and he's funny, too.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Akira

          I don't think that's a problem, I think that's an attribute.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The problem lies in it making us look bad. I'm usually the funny guy at dinner parties. When there are Jews there, they make me look like a cretin (I'd better point out at this point that I'm being facetious. Sarcasm doesn't carry well on the internet).

          November 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSHY1_ux8rs

      November 9, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Do you remember, your president nixon?
        Do you remember, the bills you have to pay
        Or even yesterday

        November 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  11. Randy

    Instead of people talking about his age they should be listening to the message he is saying to u to come to Jesus while you still have a chance because when its all said and done u will need Jesus in your soul to make it to heaven, u better try to get saved while u still have time, time is running out.

    November 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Third alignment

      Pascal's wager = epic fail.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        It's not actually Pascal's Wager. Pascal at least hypothesized an alternative. This guy just says worship the J man or burn.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Topher

        It's not even KINDA Pascal's Wager. Pascal said you should believe just in case it's true.

        November 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Pascal revisited

        I never understood why Pascal's wager would be an epic fail. It prepares you for the worst possible case scenario.

        November 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Unless Allah is the real god...then you are screwed.

          So it is therefore not "the worst case"

          November 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Birds

          Pascal's wager recognizes only two alternatives. Imagine the choices are Believe in the Christian God to the exclusion of the God of Islam or face the possibility of hell and Believe in the God of Islam to the exclusion of the Christian God or face the possibility of hell. The matrix becomes more complex.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Pascal revisited

          Good point. Though I wonder if a slim shot attempt one way or the other would still be better than doing nothing.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You don't think an omniscient god would see through the rouse of ....."belief...just in case"?

          November 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • but gawwwd wants me to be rich to show his generosity

          Pascal's wager was cynical... it assumes that the creator does not know the 'inner you'. If you live your life 'doin' to others before they do it to you' and then appear in church on Sunday just to be seen there, you are not fooling a creator that supposedly is all-knowing. So, what's the point? The point is to make appearances for social purposes. That is how many Southern Blabtist live. Many of them are this kind of hypocrite. It is so wide-spread that much southern literature is built around such 'characters'. It's a twisted mindset that frauds like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and Joel happily exploit because it has made them millionaires. If they weren't in it for the money, they wouldn't take millions.... now would they?

          November 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • Pascal revisited

          Thomas Merton had a quote about an attempt being better than none at all. You can always fill in the blanks with wishes nonsense and hypothetical situations. 😉

          November 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          Pascal revisited wrote:
          "Good point. Though I wonder if a slim shot attempt one way or the other would still be better than doing nothing."
          +++ first off, you are saying atheism equates to doing "nothing". i disagree. in fact, it's doing a lot more than going along with the religious herd. it's thinking for yourself. it's actually the harder path, imo. most atheists have truly thought considered the existence of god, most grew up religious.

          secondly, use your imagination. a big mistake with pascal's wager is that it considers either the christian god is real or not - two choices. as pointed out above, there are many more gods than 2. hindus have 1000s on their own. but as i said, use your imagination. what if god is a god of reason and logic. perhaps such a god would test humanity by not leaving a single shred of evidence to prove his existence. now perhaps when we die, anyone that believed in a god are actually the ones sent to hell - non-believers stuck to logic and reason, and passed the test and get to go to heaven. perhaps such a god condemns people who believed in a deity and rewards people who don't. basically, it would be a god of atheism, lol.

          if you use your imagination, you can come up with an infinite amount of gods and goddesses. so at the end of the day, all scenarios, including non-belief, have an equal chance of pleasing whichever god ended up being the "real" god. so there's no advantage in believing in the christian god as a god of atheism as described above is just as likely - which is not likely at all.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Why would one need to "attempt" to believe mythology? If one succeeds at believing something false it is called a "delusion".

          November 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Matthew
      16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

      Time ran out.

      November 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Topher

        How does this mean time ran out?

        November 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Everyone there is dead....no return of Jesus....fail.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Topher

          No fail at all. He was talking about the Transfiguration. Peter, James and John all saw this.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So says you.

          If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • Topher

          So basically you hate God and His Word and no matter what it says you reject it.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Topher

          And it has nothing to do with "so says me." It's just what the text says.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Topher, I can't hate a fictional character, or even reject one.

          I know that position makes you feel better though.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          That is not what the text says, that is what you interpret the text to mean.

          "So says you"

          November 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • Topher

          How does it not say that? If all four gospels these sayings are immediately followed by the Transfiguration.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. Luke 9:27

          Which one did not die and saw the "kingdom of God"? Is the "kingdom of God" synonymous with the "Transfiguration"? No.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I hate all the characters from Twilight, so it's not totally impossible to hate fictional characters. I wouldn't say I hate Yahweh though. He's kind of a badass. Cross him and feel his WRATH!!!!!!

          November 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Yes. What did those men witness at the Transfiguration?

          November 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you are claiming they witnessed the "kindom of god".....apparently kingdoms of god come and go because it hasn't been seen since.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Well, Christ hasn't returned yet.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I've just read through this little diatribe. I've lost a lot of respect for you Topher. I can't believe you brought up that stupid 'you hate God' fallacy. I thought you were better than that.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Well, Christ hasn't returned yet"

          Exactly, but he said he would.

          Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Mark 13:30

          November 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • Topher

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Exactly, but he said he would."

          Yep. That one's not fulfilled yet.

          "Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Mark 13:30"

          "this generation" is referring to the generation in which the end-times will take place. The Tribulation will only last 7 years, so obviously less than a generation.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Yep. That one's not fulfilled yet."

          So when he said "all done" he didn't mean "all" or "done"....

          "this generation" is referring to the generation in which the end-times will take place. The Tribulation will only last 7 years, so obviously less than a generation."

          So when he says "this generation" he didn't mean "this generation" ....he meant "that generation"

          No "interpretion" needed....LOL

          November 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • Topher

          There's a Hermeneutical rule that says "never read a Bible verse." Which means to read an entire passage so you understand a single verse in context. If you do that with this verse, you'll see what it's talking about.

          No "interpretation" needed

          November 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
        • Jen

          Funny that your 'god' still can't do better than a very stale old book with thousands of differing translations, in this internet era.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Do all believers who read the entire passage come to the same conclusions? No....they interpret it differently.

          November 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
      • Pascal revisited

        Wait a minute doesn't it also say "the kingdom of God is within you"...so their death doesn't disqualify their internal event.

        November 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Ahhh, The Big Book of Multiple Choice argument.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • Pascal revisited

          As an avid "I ching" fan I can tell you from bible study to tarot cards it's going to be subject to interpretation.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I guess I expect more from the creator of the entire universe to get his message across without needing us to "interpret" it.

          Another failure.

          Unless it is completely made up....then what you said would make pefect sense.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Topher

          Why does it need to be interpreted?

          November 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Because it contradicts itself.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • Topher

          There are NO contradictions. I know it seems like it does on the surface, but only a little research will help you understand them.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Pascal revisited

          The reason this stuff is ambiguous is so that people can examine their own thought life.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I know it seems like it does on the surface"

          If it seems that way "on the surface" but one needs "research" to understand it...that is by definition "interpretation".

          November 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The reason this stuff is ambiguous is so that people can examine their own thought life."

          I would expect the creator of the universe to be UNAMBIGUOUS if it is so important that people believe and understand...your comment reeks of rationalization.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
        • Topher

          It's only a contradiction to those that WANT it to be one. And research doesn't make it interpretation. It just shows there's no interpretation.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Topher

          * It shows there's no contradiction.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Have ALL the researchers come to the same conclusion? Not even close....it is "interpreted" differently.

          33,000 different versions of Christianity and counting.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And I can argue that there only "no contradictions" if you DON"T WANT them.

          2,000 years of fitting a square peg in a round hole.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • Topher

          That ... or 2000 years of atheists complaints continuously researched and answered. Reject God if you must, but don't fall for the foolishness that there's contradictions.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher

          "don't fall for the foolishness that there's contradictions."

          Nonsense. The Bible is full of contradictions. For instance, there's two kings that the Bible gives each two DIFFERENT ages for when they became kings.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • austin

          and God changes HIs mind and regrets, so , we can be sure through the seal that the supernatural Holy Spirit provides.

          some examples, various spiritual gifts. He gives them.

          Jehovah Jireh

          November 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • Topher

          If you give me the specific verses I'd be happy to look it up for you.

          But at least you didn't give me the more ridiculous and easier-to-answer complaints of "bats aren't birds" and the one about rabbits.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Plenty of contradictions. And I didn't reject god, I rejected the christian myth of god. If the Christian god were real I would reject him though...bad god....bad, bad god.

          November 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • Observer

          (II Chron. 36:9) “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king”
          (II Kings 24:8) “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king”

          II Chronicles 22:2 “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.”
          II Kings 8:26 “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.”

          November 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • Pascal revisited

        November 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |

        Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "The reason this stuff is ambiguous is so that people can examine their own thought life."

        "I would expect the creator of the universe to be UNAMBIGUOUS if it is so important that people believe and understand...your comment reeks of rationalization."

        Cheesemaker...what good would an ink blot be if everyone saw the same thing?

        November 10, 2013 at 5:30 am |
    • Pascal revisited

      The attempt at mythology would be to understand your own mind. Some people enjoy the pursuit.

      November 10, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Jake Jackson

      Or take a class in geology or astronomy.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  12. Remember Nixon

    November 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  13. Galaxy Prime

    I'm not a religious man, but if I'm ever in an airplane that is going down, I'd sure like to be sitting next to Mr. Graham holding his hand with him telling me that everything is going to be all right.

    November 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Why? I'd like to be on a plane with Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Maddy

        You like those Disney girls, Dave?

        November 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You betcha, they're all grown up now. Throw Selena Gomez in to the mix and I'm in Heaven.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Maddy

          May your dreams come true, Dave.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Thanks, but I won't hold my breath.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      so in other words, you're not a religious man, but when you get really frightened, you stop thinking rationally and hope there really is an invisible sky fairy that will magically save you?

      November 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • L

        "Sky fairy" is a false statement created by angry atheists. Go figure.

        November 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'd much rather have a parachute.

      November 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  14. bcarter3

    "Icon"?

    "Con man" is more like it He spent his life shaking down little old ladies for their SS checks, while palling around with some of the most vile thugs in American politics.

    November 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Old ladies who worked for the Nazis.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • bcarter3

        OK, that made me LOL. Nicely done!

        November 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Evil old ladies who work with the SS deserve defrauding by religious charlatans.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

    • Think of Nixon when you think of Billy Graham.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Billy is better than Pat

    I will have to say, I doubt that Billy G ever used church donations like Pat Robertson did, to fly equipment to his own diamond mines in Africa. Robertson got away with it because his racist followers could care less if some dark-skinned modern-day-slaves were being exploited. Heck, if the money from the blood diamonds filled Pat's pockets, it had to be a gift from gawwwwwd anyway. Too bad the Virginia AG let Pat off the hook. Diamonds can buy a lot of favors. These charismatic cult leaders are frauds and racists. Jesus would never have endorsed slavery, opposed mixed marriage...

    November 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • maybe tomorrow justice will prevail

      Pat is a sleazy $hiz-weasel. He should be in prison for fraud for using church funds to finance his diamond-mining operations. Virginia politicians must get some of Pat's 'love gifts'. Apparently Pat doesn't believe there is an afterlife waiting for him.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  16. Tony

    In this day of our country accepting so many things the Bible says is blaspheme and abomination, is a sad reminder that Pastor Graham is so very right. All for the sake of tolerance and coexistence. Even the Atheist know in his heart of hearts that God exists, and the unfulfilled space in his soul that says is there nothing more? Is this all there is? Christ is the only way, the truth and the light. And NO man can come to Father if all except through Him. And no, there is no one left to take Mr. Graham's place. At least not in my opinion. Not one that will tell it like it is instead of preaching nothing but feel good messages. Pray for our country people. Please. We need to get on our faces, turn from our evil ways of thinking, and worship God, and He will heal our land.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Johs

      Billy Graham was an honorable man. However, his successors and the Billy Graham Foundation board of directors are NOT Christians. They are involved deeply in politics. They removed the name of Mormons from the list of cults, which the Evangelists had for ever, just to oppose Obama and support Romney. Their decision had nothing to do with religion, rather, it was in conflict with their religion. The current Billy Graham organization IS a CULT, not a Christian church. If YOU believe in Christ stay away from them.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      God will not heal our land, Tony. That is up to all of us. Get up on your hind legs. You don't need to believe in gods anymore.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'Even the Atheist know in his heart of hearts that God exists'

      Nope nopity nope nope.

      November 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      "Heal our land"..?

      How about letting our nation's farmlands be allowed to grow industrial hemp instead of paying them to not grow crops..?

      How about medicinal hemp becoming what it once was before the racist Harry Anslinger became our nation's first drug Czar back in 1937 outlawing all forms and uses of marihuana be it hemp for the textile and paper industries or Cannabis Buds for the then and still yet feasible medicinal needs of all mannerisms of sickness,illness and disease..

      November 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  17. CapitanJusticia

    No one outside the US knows or cares about Billy Graham. He's not a worldwide icon, like the Pope!

    November 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Sorry, that is simply not the case. His most successful events were in Korea and Russia just to name a few. His ministry in those counties has left an indelible impact on those countries.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tony

      Wrong. He has preached all over the world. And has brought millions of sinners to Christs salvation.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • gawwwd told me

        So, gawwwwwd hired you as the bean counter? I see. If you believe something strongly, that makes it true, does it?

        November 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That is really not true. Billy Graham was very well known throughout the English speaking world in the middle of the second half of the 20th century.

      November 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  18. Josh

    Billy Graham was an honorable man. However, his successors and the Billy Graham Foundation board of directors are NOT Christians. They are involved deeply in politics. They removed the name of Mormons from the list of cults, which the Evangelists had for ever, just to oppose Obama and support Romney. Their decision had nothing to do with religion, rather, it was in conflict with their religion. The current Billy Graham organization IS a CULT, not a Christian church. If YOU believe in Christ stay away from them.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  19. no revenge loving cults for me thanks

    "We need Billy Graham's message to be heard, I think, today more than ever," former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the crowd...."
    That sums it all up. Not Christ's message... Graham's message. The problem with Charismatic's, a self-appointed 'religious authority' judged to be infallible. This leader's cult has a long history of encouraging misery and evil... endorsing slavery, claiming catastrophe's & misery are punishment for the sins of our ancestors (Graham's personal favorite which contradicts Christ's claim of taking all mankind's sin upon himself for us) and teaching revenge (an eye for an eye) when Christ taught forgiveness and said following the golden rule superceded all the old testament.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      An eye for an eye is one thing the Bible gets right.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Miss Demeanor

        An eye for an eye only leaves us all blind...
        Revenge is something So.B's have engrained in them from church. It is the opposite of Christs main message of forgiveness. The two beliefs cannot exist together. Revenge never lessens hate. Shooting someones cow because they shot my cow is just simpletons arithmetic. We live in a better age (though So.B's still live in the stone age).

        November 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I think god's main message is that he enjoys people being tortured forever and ever in a pit of fire that he built and allows to continue to burn and exist. I know, I know, he tells US to love our enemies, but just look how he treats his! Disgusting dovchebag.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          If you shoot my cow, you can be damn sure I'm gonna shoot your cow and you with it. It's easy to talk about forgiveness when you aren't the victim. Embrace the hatred. Embrace the vengeance.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • cult of revenge

        I agree with "No revenge loving cults" about Christ's message being intended to replace old testament thinking. Revenge was the old way of living. Forgiveness is the primary message of Christ. Everyone who learns Christs messsage knows this is the most fundamental part. People who teach otherwise are not teaching Christ's message. The golden rule, treating others how you'd want to be treated' is the new primary law that trumps ALL others. That is what Christ said. If you shoot a Hatfield because they shot a McCoy, that ain't following Christ's command. That is being a dumb So.B. (cult of Graham)redneck.

        November 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't believe in 'Christ', I believe in brutal vengeance.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Fan2C

        The "eye for an eye" law goes back to Hammurabi. It was not new in OT times, and certainly not new at the alleged Jesus's time.

        It was put in place primarily to prevent retributions from being TOO harsh, and over-reaching justice for the crime/infraction.

        http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.asp

        November 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          So 'an eye for an eye' was actually a replacement for something like 'an eye for a bag of grain'. I like both.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Fan2C

          As I understand it, it meant that NO MORE than an eye for an eye, IOW, if they poked someone's eye out, they would lose an eye - and not more than that (like their lives). Monetary/goods-related punishments were also levied for certain offenses. It did seem to matter who you committed the offense against, though; there were different punishments according to how high-ranking in society the victim was.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Fan2C

          p.s. It was a start, that's my only point; and the Hebrews were not first.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That was usually the way. Stealing from society's elite still warrants a heftier punishment in some parts of the world today.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • look at the results

          Great, but really, the entire focus of Christ's message is forgiveness. Fundamentalist cults like So.B's teach and focus on revenge and punishment. That leads to a culture that feels glee at the thought of a criminal ending up in 'a$$-pounding prison'... (I have lived among many So.B's who feel this way). It leads to a culture that delights at the thought of someone roasting in eternal torment. The end result of the twisted dogma they teach is not a culture of love and forgiveness. It is a culture of hate-filled bigots who make life a living for non-whites, gays, catholics, jews.... the hate is never-ending.

          November 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Swiftly do the words take flight never wanting them to land midstream upon their returning ways...

      November 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • nclaw441

      Billy Graham's message is not inconsistent with Christ's message. Graham does not point to himself, never has. It is about Christ as Savior.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  20. MennoKnight

    “We have an idea that we Americans are God's chosen people, that God loves us more than any other people, and that we are God's blessed,” he told an audience in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1958. “I tell you that God doesn't love us any more than He does the Russians.”

    In 1958 that statement took guts. Thank you Mr Graham.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Sue

      Who says Graham is an icon. He has advanced some of the worst parts of society which his son now continue. That is no icon. As for his love of the Russians, too bad he hates gays and anyone who doesn't fit his idea of right. I guess that fits right into the Russian mentality of hating gays and minorities as well. He is no icon of mine.

      November 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Vance

        Totally disagree with your concept

        November 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • MennoKnight

        Billy Graham does not hate gays. He disagrees with their choice.
        That would be like me saying you hate Christians because you disagree with their choice.
        One of the principle foundations that we have as a civilized society is that we can disagree.
        It is even better when we don't call each other names when we disagree.
        Billy Graham has done much to bring peace between people.

        November 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Neither being gay nor being a Christian are choices.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Sue Wallis

          You can disagree and have your own opinion. That is not what I was saying. Graham things those who don't share his narrow minded point of view are subhuman or evil. Being gay is not a choice like believing in fairy tales such as christianity. You can't compare the two. People can believe in religion and that is fine. I don't care until that belief attempts to impede on my rights.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • why hate em

          I don't know any gays who woke up and said, you know, I think I'm going to turn gay today. If I don't like it, I'll change back tomorrow. How can anyone actually believe such nonsense. People don't choose to be gay. Ask a gay. They can choose not to openly show it (which is 'all' you ultra-conservative gay-hating So.B's want: "Is it so much to ask that tehm quars jest go back into the closet like they'uns used tew"). That brings us to: your own gawwwwwd made 'em... why hate 'em?

          November 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • MennoKnight

          Sue,
          It is true that some fundamentalists have said those things but Billy Graham has never said or preached or taught that people who don't hold his views are "subhuman or evil". Go to youtube and you and listen to his sermons. Buy his books and read them. He clearly says God loves all humans the same. In 1958 he said God loved the Communists in Russia the same as Americans.
          Dave, everything major moral decision that you make has a choice involved. That is a freeing truth.
          I chose to be a Christian.
          Don't believe in fate, believe in your own power to make choices.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          'Dave, everything major moral decision that you make has a choice involved. That is a freeing truth.'

          No they don't and no it isn't. I also severely doubt you consciously 'chose' to be a Christian. Some people obviously choose, but the vast majority are Christian by circ.umstance, just as gay people are (almost certainly) genetically predisposed to being gay.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • Colin

          99% of organizations that actively oppose gay people are Christian organizations (Focus on the Family etc.). In fact, I cannot think of one non-religious organization that opposes gay people. I am aware of no gay organization that teaches that Christians are "morally questionable, that wants to deny Christians the right to serve in the military or marry other Christians or who try to take Christians to psychologists or camps to "pray the Christ away."

          It is not even close. The gays have the moral high ground on this one! Christians come across as vile, small minded, scientifically ignorant bigots.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm pretty sure there are fascist and commie organizations who oppose gay rights.

          November 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Is there an evangelical pastor aligned with the religious right that would same something equivalent (disabusing the notion of divinely inspired American exceptionalism) today?

      November 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Ooops – "say something equivalent"

        November 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The doctrine of divinely inspired American exceptionalism is still part of the evangelical credo.

      Dr. Graham deserves some props for speaking out against this egocentric fallacy when so few evanglicals did or would even today.

      The notion that there are these weirdly blended "secular" articles of "faith" in the world view of the religious right is essentially the same concept as yesterday's topic:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/08/the-obamacare-question-pastors-shun/

      November 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.