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.