Its comforting to know that some people and things never change.
Like the Rev. Billy Graham.
Ah yes, the Rev. Graham. He was a phony 50 years ago the columnist Chuck Stone back then called him not just a phony but a magnificent phony and hes a phony today.
For decades the Rev. Graham sat mutely on the sidelines as great events unfolded and tumult roiled the earth or else he just mouthed pious platitudes that benefited no one. How could a man with Grahams pulpit just sit out the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War with scarcely a peep?
He did, bless his heart, express revulsion when get this tapes revealed that President Richard Nixon had a potty mouth in private.
So thats what it took to force Graham to take a stand? Oy!
Now, hallelujah, it seems that the Rev. Graham has found his voice again. Sitting up in his mountainous Montreat retreat clothed in mock-humility, Graham at 93 continues to play kingmaker. He has met with 12 U.S. presidents and God-only-knows how many would-be presidents, counseling them and providing them with coveted photo-ops.
Except for Tricky Dick, he never outright endorsed or opposed any candidate gotta protect that tax-exempt status, eh, William? but there was seldom any doubt about whom he was supporting. If he dismissed you with a gracious but noncommittal It was a pleasure meeting with the president at my home, you knew you werent a favored son.
If, on the other hand, he gave you the Full Billy, you knew everything was Kool & the Gang when you descended the mountain.
Days after meeting with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and effusively praising him for among other things being married to the same woman for 43 years and having five sons who are all married, Graham has deigned to bestow his blessing upon Romney.
He left enough room to deny partisanship again, gotta protect the cash flow but even the dimmest bulb can read between the lines of newspaper ads in which Graham wrote We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. ... Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.
So, when did America turn away from Him? In 2008?
What a load of supposedly nonpartisan hooey.
Nevermind that Graham once labeled Romneys religion, Mormonism, a cult.
Said it right there on his website. Dont go looking for it now, though: Taint there anymore.
How come? I called the Billy Graham Evangelistic Associations offices in Charlotte and asked that very question.
Brent Rinehart sent me this statement from Ken Barun, the BGEAs chief of staff: Our primary focus ... has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.
In other words, Im fixin to hold my nose and endorse this dude over that Obama feller, and I cant do that if Ive called him a cult member, now can I?
Like I said, comforting, no?