Why are you always picking on Billy Graham?

I write articles for Examiner.com as the Sioux Falls Atheism Examiner. I have taken my inspiration for many of my articles from Billy Graham's column "My Answer". The column is published in my local paper six days a week. I have frequently been asked the question used as the title of this blog.

One the one hand, Billy sets himself up as a target. He is presented as one of the great religious leaders of our time and he is touted for meeting with and praying with many political leaders. I love taking some of the wind from his sails.

On the other hand, Billy's columns are filled with generic Christian evangelism and simplistic answers to difficult questions. A family asks what to do with a college student now professing lack of belief or some other significant issue. Billy says pray and read the Bible and so on.

In one of my recent articles, I agreed with Billy about reading the Bible. I disagreed about where to start. Billy said start with Psalms or the Gospel of John. Something easy to understand, he said.

I said read the Bible from page one. Read about the cruel and jealous God of the Hebrews, the God that drowned his own creation rather than fixing it, the God that condones slavery, murder, and child sacrifice, the God that ordered genocide, and the God that forbids planting intermixed crops or clothing of two different fibers!

I don't feel I am picking on Billy; I am glad for his column as it gives me inspiration.

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Tags: Billy, Examiner.com, Graham, atheism, secular

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Comment by Sentient Biped on March 7, 2011 at 8:42pm
Wow, I thought Billy Graham was dead. You mean he's not dead yet? Maybe just demented? From what I've heard, his son Franklin is more right wing, but I could be totally off base. Who is writing Billy Graham's columns?

As for reading the bible leading to critical thinking, reading the bible was one of the 4 horsemen of my developing atheism. Science was another horseman. I'm not sure what the other 2 horsemen were. Intellectual curiosity maybe. lets see..... maybe studying other religions for the 4th.

That old testament Yahweh was a mean narcissistic asshole. No doubt about it. And not very bright, considering his omnipotence and all.
Comment by Monica S. on March 7, 2011 at 5:10pm

I think it is more of a "complete answer" from your part. I think it is also pretty ingenious to do something like that.

But I also do not care for Billy Graham. As a former fundie, I can attest that he had some pretty ignorant/bigoted things to say. And yet some folks called him "America's Pastor".

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