Treating Billy Graham
With Kid Gloves?
Tom Jones

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "tom jones"
Subject: Re: Billy Graham
Date: Sunday, July 02, 2000 9:20 PM

Is Graham still alive?

Graham, unlike many televangelists, has kept his house in order, violating neither legal statute nor moral precept. He may be a preacher, but he is, in all other respects, a good man.

The big criticism of him lies in the fact that he has acted as advisor to so many U.S. Presidents. As apolitical as his public messages have been (he is no Pat Robertson; he is no Jerry Falwell), he is probably the most political of all the influential preachers throughout American history.

Graham, as seen from the public eye (sermons; television; newspaper columns) has stuck to doing his job. We have never seen him (overtly) lobbying to change the laws of this country (though God doesn't even know what went on behind the closed doors of the Oval Office).

I will say that Graham was, at one time, probably the most brilliant salesman that Madison Avenue has ever seen. He took his skills and applied them to the "profession" of selling religion. I cannot tell you which upsets me more, the fact that he surreptitiously influences government at the highest levels or the fact that he has brought Madison Avenue to the business of evangelism. However, his sales skills probably account for a large aspect of his benign image in the eye of the public -- and even those who would otherwise be his critics.

For a better perspective on the political aspect than I can give you, see "The Closest Thing To A White House Chaplain" by Edward B. Fiske.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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