I have to admit I had very uncharitable thoughts about Billy Graham when I read he had come to the defense of Chick fil A’s anti-gay remarks. I remembered his anti-Semitic remarks captured in the Nixon tapes and thought that he still had not learned that all of us are God’s family. I remembered an ancient irritation I have toward preachers who say they love the Bible, but studiously avoid learning the biblical languages so as to get beyond the cultural ghetto of literalism. We only love the Bible if we understand its cultural setting, otherwise we are loving our own American culture that we project onto the text. If we do not remember that our Bible is a translation from a radically different time and place, the Bible becomes an idol we use to defend the prejudices of our own culture.
It turns out I may have been the one being judgmental. A former manager within the Billy Graham organization claims in this article that Graham is unaware of a lot of what is being said in his name. Steve Knight, a former employee for BGEA believes that Franklin (Billy’s son) is now in charge of the ministry and is speaking in his father’s name. Because I jumped to conclusions, I thought I should post this article maintaining that Graham did not make the bigotted remarks attributed to him.
Hey Jim, thank you for passing along the link to my op-ed piece at HuffPost Religion.
I just want to clarify one thing you wrote and ask you to edit it or post a correction, you said, “A close friend of Billy Graham claims in this article …” I’ve never claimed (nor would I ever claim) to be a “close friend” of Mr. Graham. I simply worked for the organization, worked closely with Franklin Graham on several occasions, was privy to many of the confidential projects within the organization (including Mr. Graham’s end-of-life plans), but in six years I never even met Billy Graham. So yeah, “close friend” I was not and am not, and I don’t think Franklin is going to be buying me a chicken sandwich anytime soon either 🙂
Thank you so much Steve. Let me know if the change doesn’t quite say what you want, and I’ll try again. Thank you for your courage in speaking out, and for stopping by to give feedback. I’ll be watching to see how BGEA responds to your article. I suspect you are right about the chicken sandwiches.