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Billy Graham's Last Sermon

It's impossible not to know that tonight is evangelist Billy Graham's last sermon. I've never seen or read a Billy Graham sermon. I don't even know why they are called "crusades." But considering this description of his medical condition, it's impressive he's speaking in public at all these days.

Graham, 86, is suffering from fluid on the brain, prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease. He uses a walker due to a pelvic fracture and is largely confined to his home in Montreat, N.C.

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  • Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    Yes, it's always impressive when a bigoted, anti-semitic, racist christianist is on his last legs. More impressive will be the smarmy wailing when he finally pops off this mortal plain. That will rival the unholy screeching that followed the pope's demise...AND not incidentally distract the media from whatever evil is really happening in the world. Oh, such as in Iraq. Or in Congress. Or China. Or North Korea. Or, hey, where is Osama, anyway??

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    I know that he's made anti-semitic comments in the past and later apologized for them. But I think calling him a racist is wrong. According to Bill Clinton,
    Clinton spoke briefly before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that state was in a bitter fight over school desegregation. "I was just a little boy and I'll never forget it," said Clinton,


    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#3)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    Impressive, too,that every President since at least Truman has felt the need to genuflect at the altar of Saint Billy and his salvation show . . . But, not to worry of course, sonny boy Franklin is just itching to take over the flock and pound that Bible even harder. Rout out all those sinners, 'specially the Moslems. One suspects sonny boy will find the same pandering welcome at White Houses to come.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    Graham called the Clintons "wonderful friends" and "a great couple," quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow "his wife to run the country."
    Whoa...the old man must have lost it. Everyone knows that the Clintons are the Anti-Christ and Jesus is a Tom Delay-style Republican.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#5)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    So, what, after having him to the WH, Clinton is going get real about Graham's bigotry toward Jews? Not likely. There all in that same celebrity club, wink, wink, ya know. And who ya gonna believe, Graham's "apology" or the recorded tapes? I mean, we recognize pro forma CYA in every other area of life. Why should Graham get some special dispensation like, yeah, he's really sincere. The narrow-minded and simplistic evangelical movements of the past 60 years have laid the ground work for the RW "christian" conservative movement we know today. Case closed.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    I suspect there is very tempered tolerance in the Billy Graham worldview. For example, I believe he is a staunch abolitionist today. Too bad that this is not the place where our spiritual clarity may be most needed today. I am indifferent to this guy. I think he may be more sincere and spiritual than say Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, but that is setting the bar pretty low.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#7)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    Is he still alive? to bad.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#8)
    by theologicus on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    There was a time in 1979 when Jim Wallis of Sojourners got Billy Graham to make a public statement warning about nuclear weapons. (This was during a period of cold-war tensions when "first-strike" nuclear weapons were being acquired by the U.S. and Russia.) Sadly, Billy Graham never followed up on this statement. He never used his enormous influence in the evangelical community to promote peace and justice, not in any significant way. He preferred to rub shoulders with powerful conservative politicians, and otherwise to play it safe on social issues. He was myopic at best on anti-Semitism, just as his son Franklin is myopic (and worse) regarding Islam. This is a sorry record that discredits the gospel Graham has hoped to serve, and we are all the worse for it.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    Like father, like son; except worse.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    What do you say about a man who spent his whole life convincing people to believe a fairy tale. And what politician would ever say a bad word about someone reverened by such a large voteing block. I heard the part on the white house tape with billy agreeing with nixon about the blacks in africa still swinging in trees. If he had any connetion to god, would he ever had condoned this? Its easy to apologize after the truth comes out. And then there's the seed of billy's loin, Franklin Graham, he needs to read his bible. Lake of fire anyone!!! or in acts when the couple were slain because they lied and didnt give everything they owed to the church, sodom and gamor.... Christians don't call them infedels, they're nonbelivers, sinners. Kinda causes a little more respect for L Ron Hubberd. At least he made up his own religion.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#11)
    by Randinho on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    For those of us who had to ride the E train home from work to Jackson Heights filled with his supporters chattering away like mad, it wasn't so impressive . . .

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    deleted, name calling is not permitted

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    You guys can't even show respect to Billy Grahm? deleted You seem to have no problem supporting them (as I look at his picture in the sidebar) but Billy Graham (who wouldn't preech in the South unless black people could attend) is a racist because he made a remark decades ago? Just say you are bigoted against people who believe in God and hold them to a standard you don't hold your own party to because the mention of God sends you into a small rage. I thought liberals were the open minded ones. Last time I checked Christianity wasn't involved in Communism, Facism or violent fundamentalism. Save your indignation for those who you should be worried about and give Billy Grahmn a break.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#14)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    Slado, Nice to have you here. Now take you sanctimony and stick it where the sun don't shine. So Billy was enlightened enough to actually see which way the wind was blowing, race wise. Nice of Bill Clinton to second the motion. Surely you must be suffering some cognitive dissonance by this time,what with Billy, Ted, Bob, and Willy. Hard to be coherent, eh?

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#15)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    Graham's definitely an icon of the first order, perhaps especially so in parts of North Carolina, from which I come. It will come as no surprise that I have a very diferent worldview that the Reverend, but at the same time for the most part I always respected him. He's made a few bad statements in his life? Who among us hasn't? Overall, to a far greater extent than any other modern popular evangelist, he's done good sincere work and inspired people to be better. Nothing like this new "virulent strain," as a perceptive man recently put it, of throwback bigotry and fundamentalism, a strain whose host carriers are not at all the Grahams-- but rather the Swaggerts, the Bakers, the Falwells, and the Robertsons of this land.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#16)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    et al - With Graham's endorsement and political statement re Hillary, I am waiting for you to start demanding that the IRS withdraw his tax exempt status.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    I'll be the first, withdraw all religious tax breaks and incentives. Starting with Billy.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#18)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    JL - Way to go! Anyone else? Surely all you folk so devoted to separation of church and state are just foaming at the mouth to condemn this obvious merger of the two? You know, I smell essence of hypocrite in the air.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#19)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    I'll second the motion. You're on to something Jim. What the hell does separation of church and state have to do with it; arguments cut both ways.

    Re: Billy Graham's Last Sermon (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    Hear Hear! Repeal the tax exempt status! Believing in the boogey-man shouldn't grant you a free ride.