Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Rev. Billy Graham Isn't Such a Great Father

A special Father's Day "fisking" of this article, in which Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, muses on "lessons" his father taught him.

First lesson:

There's no book to teach you. My father told me you learn how to preach by preaching. The only way you're going to learn it is to go out there and do it and learn from your mistakes. And he's right.

Didn't this guy spend his entire career talking about THE BIBLE? Doesn't that qualify as a "book to teach you"? Or was that just a load of steaming dung?

Second lesson:

I saw that he was wary of politicians. They thought, If we get close to Billy Graham, that will influence votes. My father tries to use his position in a spiritual context.

Except when it's your very good chum Richard Nixon, right?

Third lesson:

He taught me that there is a devil in this world. There are spiritual powers at work against God. Why do we have bars on the windows? Why do we have to have police forces? Why do we have a judicial system? It's because of the evil in this world. Everything he taught, he taught us through the Scripture.

Yes, and that devil is the Jews, right?

Fourth lesson:

I never saw my parents fight. Never really saw them argue. My mother was a soul mate to him. They did everything together. My father treated my mother with the utmost respect. He honored her. I have a friend--we're about the same age--who loses his temper and yells at his wife, and he cusses at her from time to time, and guess what? His children do exactly the same thing.

So they kept their frustrations and disappointments hidden from each other, until they festered and revealed themselves as tirades against Jews, or developed into friendships with tasteful people like Richard Nixon?

And I can't resist this bit about anger, from this article:

Some people are angry at God. Sometimes I get letters from people who have been touched by tragedy—but instead of seeking God's help, they angrily blame Him for what happened. As a result they cut themselves off from the peace and joy He alone can give us, even when we don't understand.

I hate it when people say you need to thank God when something good happens to them. But when something bad happens, you damn well better not be angry at "Him." Because you cut yourself off from all that "joy." Ungrateful bastards just shut the hell up and take it.

Fifth lesson:

My father is careful with women. He would not even ride in the same car with a woman other than my mother. I remember in Little Rock, Hillary Clinton, when she was the wife of Governor Clinton, wanted to meet my father for lunch. She wanted to have a private conversation. Daddy said, "I'd be glad to meet you, but we'll meet in a public place." My father told me, "I'm going to be above reproach and not allow myself ever to be accused of something that wasn't morally right."

Girls are gross! And he couldn't trust himself to be alone with them for any amount of time, not even the first lady of Arkansas because why, exactly? He was afraid she would find him irresistible and use her wiles on him? Or that she might corrupt him? Anyway, this is proof that he does not, in fact, "honor" women as his son states in the fourth lesson. Way to stay "on message" (see below).

Sixth lesson:

He was gone for a long time when I was young. One time, he was gone for about six months. My father started his ministry right after World War II, when men had been gone for four or five years to defend the freedom of this nation. He felt, Should I do less for the sake of the cross? He later told me, "Son, if I had to do this over again, I wouldn't have been gone that long." When I'm through with my work, I go back home.

Some father. Gone all that time preaching about a book he didn't think was all that important anyway (see lesson 1).

Seventh lesson:

Life is a circle. When you are small, your relationship with your parents is one thing, and then you get to be an adult and they start treating you like an adult. And then when you are older, the roles reverse. Instead of the parents providing for the children, now we as children are helping to provide for our parents.

This is a brilliant insight that has never been made before. No wonder Billy Graham commanded all those huge crowds.

Eighth lesson:

God did not give us religion. Religion is man's attempt to reach a holy God.

Man made up religion, with all the rules and caprices and commandments. Did man make up God, too? The idea of a God would lend a lot more weight to the rules and caprices and commandments that man made up, wouldn't it? Why the hell would anyone follow those silly rules if there weren't some threat of eternal pain and misery behind it? That is an absolutely dreadful thing. Or is there a God, who just doesn't care about all the "religious stuff"? That's kind of an astonishing thing for the son of a preacher man to say.

Ninth lesson:

He knows how to stay on message. All these years, he has been faithful to what he feels God called him to do, and that is to preach this wonderful good news, this Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He rose again, and if we would confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness and turn from those sins and invite Christ by faith into our hearts and into our lives, that God would forgive us.

He stays on message? That's a lesson? That's the opposite of a lesson, isn't it? Didn't Scott McClellan stay on message? Besides that, if you see above, from lesson 1, Billy Graham did NOT stay on message at all. He was a giant hypocrite.

Happy Father's Day!

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