Like Father? Like Son … Not …

In an article appearing recently in Politico entitled “Billy Graham Built a Movement. Now His Son is Dismantling It”, Stephen Prothero writes an interesting piece on the father – beloved Billy Graham – and his son Franklin. I was raised in a home that respected Billy Graham and frequently watched his crusades on TV. Several members from the church of my youth were close friends of Billy Graham and were early volunteers for the crusades and the organization; our church supported his crusades and his teachings. I’ve always respected what Reverend Graham brought to the public and how he maintained, what I felt to be, a humble servant’s attitude towards God and his calling. I do think he was an important part of the Christian movement throughout his life. I appreciated his willingness to publicly admit when he felt he had made a mistake and own up to his shortcomings when MANY televangelists would do anything BUT admit their faults until they were discovered and splattered all over the print and television media. To me, Reverend Graham was a true gentleman and a dedicated servant of God.

I may not agree with every word and thought expressed in this piece, but I do believe that Franklin Graham is destroying a lot of the “goodness” of his father’s work. I most definitely believe Franklin Graham’s positions on today’s political issues and his evangelical proclamations are diminishing the nature of his father’s legacy. He has been open and blunt about his beliefs and support of President Trump including Trump’s polarizing views.

Per this article, I am one of the 27% of Americans who is considered a “none” by not being a member of a denominationally based church and consider myself to be spiritual but not religious. It has been years since I have attended church at anywhere but a non-denominational church. The main reason I have kept my distance from organized religion is what I perceive as a push to exclude certain people due to their sexual orientation, political positions about “hot topics” and just a general move towards divisiveness rather than inclusiveness. I believe Franklin Graham and many of his followers are behind the hard evangelical movement that borders on promoting white supremacy and violating the civil rights of others that have been carefully considered and acted upon years ago by Congress.

I will miss Billy Graham and his words. I hope Franklin Graham becomes introspective and spends time reviewing some of father’s old crusade videos to see just why Reverend Graham was such an important part of our religious history. I am not sure he’s savvy enough to see the writing on the wall that the evangelical church is decreasing in size for a reason.

I continue to follow the commandments of Jesus and love one another. If you’re not sure how important these three words are – find a Bible app and search “love one another” and go through the list of verses that God tells us just that – love, not judge or ignore or kill or marginalize, one another.

Until later peace and blessings my friends.