Friday, February 23, 2018

ululate (belatedly)!

Iconic televangelist and enemy of gay marriage Billy Graham has died. He was 99. Passing into parinirvana on February 21, Graham leaves behind a legacy of Christian proselytizing that has spanned the entire globe. Despite claiming to reject the mixing of politics and religion, Graham nevertheless found himself frequently in the halls of political power, acting as a spiritual advisor to US presidents, giving the benediction at their inaugurations, and even railing against communism. When the Nixon tapes were released, Graham was heard agreeing with Nixon that leftist Jews held the levers of media power, and that this "stranglehold" needed to be broken. Many Jews, upon hearing this, felt betrayed: they had viewed Graham as a friend. Graham survived this PR disaster, growing his ministry into a multibillion-dollar behemoth. His son Franklin, who has taken over the reins since Graham's retirement in 2005, is even more religiously conservative than his father.

I note the passing of Billy Graham mainly because it's big news to other people. The man never affected my personal life, and I'm automatically chary of all televangelism. The Graham family's stance against gay marriage is disappointing, but I won't begrudge the family, or its ministry, the good it has done in terms of other charity work. The century of Billy Graham is now over, so it's only apropos to offer the man a tribute in song:

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