Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Billy Goats

There's history to this for me, you have to understand. My preacher-dad's hero was Billy Graham as long as I can remember. Remember the Un-Game? Whenever Dad got the "Who would you invite to your birthday party?" it was always Billy Graham.

Somehow, over all his 86 years, Graham has come through mostly unscathed in his private/public life. Doesn't mean he never made some faux-pas statments. But when he did, he called them for what they were and apologized whole-heartedly. He stuck to a simple message and purposely eschewed politics. "If I get up and talk about some political issues, it divides the audience," he told a news conference in New York this week. "And what I want is a united audience to hear only the gospel."

So, how did it go over when Bill and Hilary Clinton sat up on the stage this past weekend of what most believe is Billy's last US crusade? "Clinton spoke briefly late on Saturday before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that State was in a bitter fight over school desegregation.Graham called the Clintons 'wonderful friends' and 'a great couple,' quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow 'his wife to run the country.'"

It was enough to make National Clergy Council president Rev. Rob Schenck walk out on his 25-year role model, Billy Graham. "'This was a deliberate, cunning, purely political move by the Clintons to divide the Evangelical vote and assure Hillary of a victory in '08,' said Schenck, a minister with the Evangelical Church Alliance and a missionary to elected officials."


I grew up in an evangelical, conservative Christian home. BUT! I learned about forgiveness and grace as a little girl; I learned that God is so much bigger than holding grudges and making scapegoats out of people who repent of their mistakes; I learned that I don't have to be the judge because someone much more all-knowing will do it for me. I also learned to take a joke!

Forgive, me, all you Rob Schencks out there, but that kind of evangelical, conservative Christianity is NOT for me! You embarrass the heck outta me...and I'm quite certain outta my dad, who rests in peace.

In fact, I'm quessing Dad can hardly wait to have a nice little chat with Billy! Waiting at The Gates for him, I'm sure, knowing how ill he is....

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