Billy Graham Where'd You Go?

John Lopker

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Released 08/19/2022
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Billy Graham Where'd You Go? by John Lopker is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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Description

Graham helped normalize ultra-rich pastors. Graham’s wealth, and focus on more wealth, was modest compared to the televangelists preaching the prosperity gospel today. His net worth was estimated at $25 million and while Jeff Bezos might spend more on a clock, it’s certainly not a vow of poverty.

Graham once preached that AIDS was the judgment of God. “Is AIDS a judgment of God?” he had said in Columbus, Ohio in 1993, “I could not be sure, but I think so.” Graham quickly backtracked on this one, saying that he didn’t believe that and didn’t know why he said it. Nevertheless, this dog-whistle was heard by too many.

Graham wrote a memo to President Nixon urging him to commit a war crime in Vietnam. Unlike many Christian leaders, Graham supported a very specific military strategy in the Vietnam war. He wanted Nixon to use nuclear weapons to destroy the dikes that manage flooding in North Vietnam. This plan was something Henry Kissinger dismissed as “just too much.”

Graham was anti-Semitic. Graham used the whole “I don’t believe that and have no idea why I said it” thing a few times. For example, after taped conversations revealed that Graham made anti-Semitic statements to President Nixon. Specifically, he told the president that Jews control the media, and that this was dangerous: “This stranglehold has got to be broken or this country’s going down the drain.” Nixon agreed with this, and Graham suggested that if he got elected to a second term “we might be able to do something.” Graham would later point out that he had Jewish friends.

Graham had backward views on women. He criticized feminism and is the namesake of that weird rule that Mike Pence lives by, never spending any time alone with any woman besides his wife.

Graham raised his boy wrong. In his 1997 autobiography, Graham was regretful of his involvement in politics, writing that, “If I had to do it all over again, I would also avoid any semblance of involvement in partisan politics… there have been times when I undoubtedly stepped over the line between politics and my calling as an evangelist.” And yet, Graham failed to impart this wisdom on his son Franklin Graham, who took over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and who has taken the lead in defending and legitimizing Donald Trump to evangelicals. Franklin Graham told his flock to “hold your nose and go vote,” has said that the thrice-married serial philanderer is a “changed man” that “all Christians need to get behind him.”

Lyrics

Billy Graham where'd you go?
Inquiring minds want to know
Are you sitting next to Jesus?
Is He washing your cold feet?
Or did you end up in the fire
Throwing brimstones at the Beast?

Billy Graham you were first
To make millions off your flock
Now TV preachers make billions
Selling prosperity gospel schlock

Billy Graham you apologized
For saying AIDS was God's revenge
But your sermon is still admired
By those that shout "Amen"

Billy Graham where'd you go?
Inquiring minds want to know
Are you sitting next to Jesus?
Is He washing your cold feet?
Or did you end up in the fire
Throwing brimstones at the Beast?

Billy Graham nuked Vietnam
Or you would have if you could
You told Dicky Nixon
A mushroom cloud would be good

Billy Graham's not a Jewish man
But he saw one on TV
You told Dicky Nixon
We can fix that you and me

Billy Graham, you pretended
To be a man of the bible
But you're just a politician
Making America greatly tribal

Billy Graham where'd you go?
Inquiring minds want to know
Are you sitting next to Jesus?
Is He washing your cold feet?
Or did you end up in the fire
Throwing brimstones at the Beast?

Did you end up in the fire
Throwing brimstones at the Beast?

Instrumental No
Explicit Radio-Safe