A Short Shutdown History: Billy Graham Broke Our Brains and (Inadvertently) Sold America to the Koch Brothers Who Folded the USA into a Moronic Religious/Political Delusion Called the Tea Party

How did we get to the shutdown and brink of default? It took over fifty years of bad Sunday school.

Now that the Republicans have conceded defeat — congratulations Mr. President you stood tall against the fools and bigots –  it’s worth figuring out how the Republicans got so crazy that they took us to the brink. It’ll happen again because ideologues never learn. Here are the four steps of why we got to the brink this time:

ONE: Billy Graham and his many helpers, including my late father Francis Schaeffer and others broke our brains with the best of intentions and their Jesus-saves-you-from-a-retributive-God-who-will-otherwise-send-you-to-hell literalistic theology.


TWO, These men bought our broken brains with the worst of intentions


THREE, And sold them to these men of no intentions, just a mindless delusional greed for power…


FOUR …who unleashed their broken-brain rancid born-again evangelical right wing religion-turned-rabid foot soldiers on the rest of us…

Michael Ashmore of Hooks, Tex. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Stupid religion has bred stupid politics. Billy Graham morphed into Franklin Graham. And the broken-brain foot soldiers took over the Republican Party. I helped them as my dad’s far right sidekick in the 1970s and 1980s. Then the manipulators in Congress became the manipulated, having lost control of the broken brain nameless and angry masses. Now the broken brains threaten to primary anyone sane, if they won’t go along with bringing down the world economy.

“How did we get here?”, you ask about political leaders willing to destroy the world economy in the name of ideology.

Let me explain, and listen up because the media is too intimidated and cowardly to tell you the truth. They don’t want to be accused of being anti-religious. I’m not anti-religious. I’ll be in church next Sunday. And I’ve just published what (I think) is one of the best defenses of religion ever written– And God Said, “Billy! My book explores the root-cause of American religious delusion, and offers another better and more ancient Christian way to approach true spirituality and to love God. So I’m pro-religion. I’m just anti the insanity of literalistic retributive theology that’s the basis of evangelical self-willed madness. Sadly, Billy (Not my “Billy!“, rather the other one called America’s chaplain) has been the respected poster boy for that madness.

America is in the grip of an evangelical fact-free Taliban. We didn’t get here overnight. It has taken people like Billy Graham over 60 years to break our brains with retributive theology. Billy and his helpers in the vast evangelical subculture, sold us an angry God who we must be saved from though a simplistic born-again formula. They also sold us a fact-free story about our origins. They trained millions of brains to break their link with reality, to choose between God and reality.

For a while this evangelical success seemed like a benign sort of madness. Not any more.

It is no coincidence that the Tea Party is mostly made up of evangelical white southern Christians of the born-again variety. They are now the collective enemy of you and your children’s future. The world trembles because we have allowed them a seat at the table. The world doesn’t get it.

The folks that believe in a literal Bible — as Graham and the others in the “respectable” evangelical establishment taught them to do – also don’t believe in evolution, global warming, gay rights or….  increasing the debt limit. To “get” what is happening to America you need to understand the delusional thinking that passes for theology in the evangelical heartland.

We read about the Tea Party’s crazy politics but it is crazy religion that unhinged millions of converted “born-again” brains. Just ask any home school mom trying to “save” her children from geological facts.

(Ironic note: The Koch brother’s oil drilling geologists looking for oil do so using the science of an old earth while the Koch brothers use people who believe in a young earth to advance their politics! Now the watertight compartments between their science and profits, and their politics has broken down, the morons are in the lab smashing it up, as it were. The brothers are terrified. And their Wall Street pals hate them now.)

Face it, church and state are no longer separated. They never were. But post-shutdown, religion can’t be off limits anymore. The Koch brothers unleashed the village idiot in us all.

There is no good brain-breaking literalistic religion. Personal religion has become a public menace. The steady march of magical evangelical “thinking” into the American collective not-so-bright brain has not only gutted science teaching, it’s gutted our politics. Teachers are afraid to teach evolution for the same reason that evangelical Tea Party delusional believers just “know in their hearts” that shutting down the government is a great thing… and that with God’s help they’re “winning.”

Without the “success” of evangelical Christianity, America would be a saner place today. The world would be a safer place. Liars manipulating the not very bright religious right from seats of well-financed power in places like the Heritage Foundation, Club For Growth and the rest would have fewer dupes to play for suckers. It’s time for the media to say so. It is a shameful thing to be crazy on purpose. Shame on the media for allowing nutty thinking to go unchallenged.

Message to the World: America is a religiously deluded nation. That is why we can’t be trusted.

We have been following religious leaders that broke our brains. Their message is: God loves you so he sent his son to die for you and if you don’t believe in that he’ll send you to a real and literal hell to burn forever. Is it any wonder that brains soaked with this somewhat unlikely and vengeful delusion had no trouble buying into the Tea Party/Koch myths? Is it any wonder that these broken brains could be co-opted by the libertarian loons who think Ayn Rand had a point? Hey, if you’ll believe in a literal Bible you’ll believe in anything.

There’s a straight line from respect for Billy Graham and his retributive theology, that presents “love” and “salvation” as God’s threat of hell, to the Tea Party and the Koch brothers.

Crazy religion breaks brains.

Broken brains break countries.

The shutdown is a slow motion religious extremist attack on America being carried out by those living in the netherworld of apocalyptic fantasy. The evangelical establishment teaches a literal return of Christ to judge — and kill – the “unbelievers.” So why not kill the world economy too? That’s no big deal compared to what evangelicals already accept as “real.” Anyway, it doesn’t matter, Jesus is on the way… So actually nothing really matters…

The result of unhinging minds by snapping them with delusional religious fiction is clear in today’s shutdown headlines. Who the bad guys are is pretty clear too.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy!exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is #1 on Amazon Kindle in the Political Humor category. On Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99 and in paperback.


About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • http://www.createsuccessseminars.com/ weshopper

    Excellent article, Frank. As a former evangelical, I can say that your analysis is quite accurate. I see the same thing on climate change. Evangelicals forget the mandate to care for the Earth and either say, “God wouldn’t let a climate disaster happen” or default to “Who cares, Jesus is coming soon.” Why evangelicals would support a political party that would kick them under the bus in an instant is beyond me.

    • frankschaeffer

      Thanks for reading the article Weshopper, I agree, the same attitude bleeds into so many areas. Best, F

    • BillClintonsShorts17

      And non-evangelical climate ‘deniers’, like me, say the climate effects of our program of resource exhaustion are minimal. Why not address overconsumption and toxic waste pollution instead of the small increase in a life friendly gas like CO2? Adopt a program of energy production by moving it all off planet (see Gerard K. O’Neill and the L-5 Society) and see your concerns about CO2 addressed as well.

      • http://www.createsuccessseminars.com/ weshopper

        If you want to be taken seriously, you’ll have to quit babbling nonsense.

        • BillClintonsShorts17

          Nonsense? How is moving energy production off planet (Totally Solar!!!) ‘nonsense’? We would no longer have to rip up Gaia to mine coal to burn to produce the electricity you need to run your Prius. So you could both feel ‘green’ and be ‘green’. Where is the nonsense? Do you not have any imagination?

          • Estproph

            Climate change is fact, period. But I completely agree on off-planet energy production. Frankly, the idea of orbital power satellites is a great one. Now if only our country would actually look into it…

  • Neil Kiley

    An interesting article, though I find myself conflicted. I would consider myself what British Christians would call a charismatic evangelical, though what American Christians would call a progressive lefty!

    I would have traced the far right wing Christian issues not to Billy Graham and the doctrine of substitionary sacrifice atonemen, but rather to dangerous distortions, starting with Dispensationalism, then moving on to Dominionism and such. The abandonment of the central teachings of Jesus in His care for the poor, the sermon on the mount, etc, in favour of old testament judgementalism and the justification of bigotry finds far more ancient roots.

    So I am conflicted – and somewhat confused, because you never spelt out what your alternative is. I guess it must be in one of your books?


  • periclesdestro

    Greek Orthodoxy liberates the mind from human idiocy. Thank you.

    • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

      If that’s so, then why hasn’t Greek Orthodoxy liberated Frank’s mind from human idiocy?

  • Leota2

    Thank you Frank. Always love your insights.

  • http://proecclesia.net/ Garet Robinson

    Frank, I’ve always enjoyed your wit and thought provoking posts. In this one I respectfully take exception to your tone and conclusions.

    As a (theologically) conservative evangelical who is not affiliated with any political party, the mischaracterization of so many of my friends and fellow believers is stark and troubling. Of course, attempting discourse about it through comments fields is also difficult. How much better would it be over coffee or a nice meal? (I’ll buy.)

    Anyways, I challenge many of the above harsh categorizations above as being unfounded and unduly stark. By simply drawing a line politically and deciding that anyone on the other side is wrong, and wrong to the point of questioning their faithfulness, seems to indicate there is a broader political agenda that is operating above Christian generosity and charity. Also at issue is an incomplete historical picture about the rise and development of evangelicalism over the past 75 years. Frank, I’d respectfully note that the issue in Washington isn’t a nihilistic, literalist biblical interpretation, but rife corruption linked to campaign contributions and lobbyist directed agendas…in both major parties.

    Certainly the near blind loyalty too many evangelicals have for one sector of a political party is unsettling. But the blade seems to cut both ways. For we’ve all seen the manic support of the exact opposite side in other Christians.

    Also, the final bolded point is the most limiting statement in the entire post. Should we take a simple survey of other countries around the world their version of extreme religious delusions?

    We can, and should, be frustrated with the prolonged inaction that has stunted our country over the past two weeks (not to mention ever since I can remember.) But our national leaders have failed us. Not a group of religious believers. By maligning one group of Christians with such vitriol and caustic rhetoric I think you’ve missed the broader point. Our leaders are failures.

    I’m not so dumb and ignorant to suggest there isn’t a problem with sectors of Christians and their allegiance to a political party. However, it just isn’t conservative evangelicals.

    Grace and peace to you.

  • geoffrobinson

    Frank Schaeffer could get his order messed up by Domino’s and he’d be able to link it up with his father and evangelicals, etc. This article tells you much more about the fevered mind of Frank Schaeffer than anything about how politics is working today.

    What you have here is a man who has been exposed to the truth of Scripture for many, many years in his youth and is now rejecting it.

    Frank, if you want to mock people believing that the Bible is true, maybe you should try interacting with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5Ylt1pBMm8

    You’ve sold your inheritance for a bowl of porridge.

    • Michael Hardin

      Not so. Frank is a modern day prophet who calls it as he sees it.

      • BillClintonsShorts17

        And what he sees, always and everywhere, is his father.

      • geoffrobinson

        Please see my next comment.

      • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen


  • Jeff Fields

    pretty typical for a white man who went to go to church as a kid and now hates everything he was taught. played out. again.

    • Agni Ashwin

      He still goes to church.

  • Ymoore

    May God have mercy on us. This article is heartbreaking because it’s basically true–the theology cited in this article didn’t start w/ Graham; it’s not ancient, but it’s older than that. We evangelicals can heal ourselves by following Christ’s teachings and example. Love our neighbors as we love ourselves, period. That’s how God measures our devotion to God since God doesn’t need anything we’ve got, including our praise. We give thanks to God because we have so much to be thankful for. When it comes to end times, we must believe Jesus –more than Cyrus Schofield (Bible commentator) or anybody else–who said: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Or in today’s language: “None of your business.” Till then, love mercy, do justice, walk humbly with our God. That’s the Gospel Jesus taught us. Care for the planet because it is our home. Of all of God’s creation, the earth is the one place we know of that can sustain human life. Stop acting like our sacred text, The Holy Bible, is a science book. It’s not. Faith is real. Science is real. But they are not the same.

    • Ymoore

      One more thing: racism has a lot to do w/where we are too because the White Evangelical church refuses to deal w/ the sin of white supremacy. That plus the end time theology has folk foaming at the mouth.

  • Gary Wright

    I agree, sometimes people go to the extremes, but I would not put Billy Graham in that category. He is teaching from the Bible, That is the word of God, as Christians we believe in… Many things are sinful but all Billy Graham is saying is how, we can live a happy and content life through Christ.
    I can’t see blaming Billy Graham for the Tea Party…A good thing that was formed on good intentions and has since got radical…There are a long list of things and people one can blame for the actions of others…
    To lump Religious leaders, some of whom, take advantage of their flock , to Billy Graham is insane. You know the enemy( the Devil) wears many hats. Frank Schaeffer states that Christians are ready to send Gays straight to hell, Paul spoke on the issue very briefly, they are a creature of God, as the book tells us(Holy Bible) God knew us in the womb…To me ,I think that’s Gods business and we should, let God decide that, and not go around casting stones.
    All Dr. Graham has done is to lead us to Christ, NOW if you don’t want to be led to Christ, in my humble opinion that’s fine, it’s like the old adage states, you can take a horse to the trough, but you can’t make him drink…I shall close with this, I have nothing but respect for Dr.Graham and his family, the world is a better place to live because of such people as him…

  • geoffrobinson

    So a study came out on the news today from Yale that Tea Partiers have a better understanding of science than the general public. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/tea-party-science-98488.html?hp=r3
    Just thought I’d mention.

    Maybe it should give you pause before you go around trashing people again, chalking stuff up to a Koch brothers conspiracy.

    • gimpi1

      That’s interesting, Geoff. I spent some time arguing with a couple of people involved with the Tea Party, both young-earth creationists. However, they thought they were very knowledgeable in scientific matters. They just defined “true science” as “compatible with the Bible.” There’s also the false certainty phenomenon, where someone is absolutely positive of something that isn’t factually substantiated. I see a lot of that in the Tea Party people I know, mostly elderly relatives.

      However, a personal anecdote is not all-encompassing. I’ll check out your link.

      • BillClintonsShorts17

        Hi there Gimp!!

        “True Science” is indeed compatible with the Bible, properly interpreted.

        If you believe that the accounts of Creation we have in Genesis were written as “True Science” then you are as deluded as a young-earth creationist who reads them as “True Science”. They are not science. They are myths. Not in the sense of something which is fiction, but in the sense that they describe the kind of thing poetry addresses. “…God created…” is not a scientific statement. It is a theological statement which is beyond the scope of science.

        And, all the confusion over the Bible notwithstanding, Frank has yet to offer any evidence why opposition to the Feds insanely spending money they do not have is in any way connected to young-earth creationism. He has to drag in EVERY other controversy and tie them in with the dreaded Tea Party. Sort of Frankie’s Unified Controversy Theory. You can’t oppose the ontological idiocy of ‘gay marriage’ without also being a Y.E.C., according to Frankie. And also a racist. Got to play THAT card.

        I hope that you will not think it rude of me to voice my opposition to Frank and his very strange political logic.

        • gimpi1

          Hi Bill,

          I understand that not every Christian, or everyone involved in Tea Party political beliefs is a young-earth creationist. As I said, a personal anecdote is not all encompassing. However, many are. I don’t know why, except the few Tea Party people I have met tend to be fundamentalist Christians.

          I have just been corresponding with one, GilbertDavis, who persists in regarding a potential magnetic pole-shift as a sign of the end times, doesn’t grasp the basics of plate-tectonics, believes in “Great Flood geology”, and referred me to the ridiculous “Answers in Genesis” website. I totally agree with you about “…God created…” as theology, fundamentally unprovable, and therefore not in the domain of science. Gilbert is the one who disagrees.

          I, and I assume Frank, disagree with you regarding the severity of our debt problem, and how to solve it. Everyone agrees that cuts must be made. The difference is in what to cut. In general, Tea Party supporters seem to want drastic cuts in social or environmental programs that they don’t like anyway, and often don’t support military cuts. I don’t understand this. The Navy was just caught in a huge over-billing scandal involving bribery, but I very much doubt that anyone will suggest abolishing it.

          I, and I assume Frank, also believe revenues must be part of any debt-reduction. Taxes have been cut hugely on the upper classes over the last 30 years. I want some of those cuts reversed as part of any debt-reduction package. I know we can’t tax our way out of debt, but I want a balanced package. I assume you disagree.

          I, and I assume Frank, support marriage-equity as a matter of justice. If I can marry the person I fell in love with, everyone else should be able to do the same thing. I work with a woman who married her wife about five years ago. They are a nice couple, happy and stable. I have no need to condemn their union.

          I think Frank ties these issues together because people often, but not always, hold these beliefs together. I understand that they are not always linked, but they are more often than not. Why do you think that is?

          It’s not rude to disagree. It’s rude to call names, to insult, to attack. I feel you do that too often. It also weakens your arguments. People can argue the marginal-tax rate, for instance, without calling names. In fact, I think I just did.

          • BillClintonsShorts17

            Thank you, Gimp, for your thoughtful response. I agree that anecdotes do not demonstrate a rule as they may often be outliers. And outside my extended family I haven’t much company or contact with fundamentalists so my anecdotal evidence base is no doubt quite different than yours. And thinking about it, I haven’t much contact with my extended family either. We could perhaps say that all fundamentalists tend to be Tea Partiers, but that not all (or not most) Tea Partiers tend to be fundamentalists.

            On taxes and spending, yes, I disagree with you. Vehemently. The Federal government has expanded far beyond it’s Constitutional limits. Where is there warrant for it’s involvement in education? Where is the evidence that it has improved education? All the student loan programs have served mostly to inflate tuition fees by providing an irresistible HUGE PILE OF MONEY which is available to every university if only they jack up their fees. So they do.

            You really think this can be solved by choking the goose harder, don’t you? It is easily demonstrated that taking ALL of the income over $200K would not be enough even in the first year of such a program. And it should be obvious that the second year would be far worse because the ‘Rich’ are not stupid geese, willing to stand around honking “Choke Me! Choke Me!”.

            Marriage ‘equity’? Where is there ‘equity’ in nonsense? Advocating for same sex ‘marriage’ is exactly of a piece with advocating for martinis made of orange soda and yogurt. You have the wrong ingredients. Unless you are willing to argue that there is no essential difference between men and women then it should be obvious that a man and a woman are joined together in a form and fashion which CANNOT happen with two people of the same sex. I have an ontological problem with the concept of same sex ‘marriage’. I proclaim that there is no such thing. Without reference to the Bible or any religious rule whatever.

            As for calling names, well, is referring to people as ‘fundamentalists’ doing that? I don’t agree that a description of a person’s belief system is equivalent to ‘calling names’. So when I say ‘deluded’, it is a description, not an epithet. And in view of the rhetoric of the other side [Tea-Baggers, etc.] I don’t think I treat you all poorly in any way at all.

          • gimpi1

            We can agree to disagree on many things. For example:

            I feel if I can marry the man I love, my co-worker should be able to marry the woman she loves. To me, marriage is a partnership. The partners decide its forms. My marriage is most likely not exactly like yours. I don’t regard the “plumbing” as the defining characteristic. My husband and I have decided not to have kids, for a variety of reasons. I took care of that surgically. My co-worker and her wife decided to adopt. They have two special-needs kids, out of the foster system and into a happy home. How is her marriage less than mine?

            Calling someone deluded is an insult. It’s also most likely wrong. The manners I go by would to be to call them mistaken, and then to lay out the facts as I see them. That way, the person you are corresponding with doesn’t get as defensive, and may actually look at your evidence. I don’t know if you saw my conversation with GilbertDavis, but no matter how far from the facts he strayed, I never called him foolish, stupid, deluded, whatever. I challenged his information. It’s the difference between saying, “You make me so MAD!” and “I’m so UPSET right now, here’s why.” I try to address the information, not the person. I don’t feel you always do.

            As an example, I have never used the phrase “Tea-baggers.” As I have said, I think phrases like that are used by people with no real arguments to raise. I don’t like to pay for the sins of others.

            I understand I could be wrong. I also understand you could be wrong. Do you?

          • BillClintonsShorts17

            Oh sure. Wrong at least twelve times a day. I do have the capacity for course correction.

            I understand ‘deluded’ as the equivalent, more or less, with ‘mistaken’, but mistaken due to illusions about how things work. It’s a description, not an insult.

            So we all get to re-define words to suit our own agendas? Any reason Hugh Hefner can’t marry ALL twelve of the latest playmates, all at the same time? You surely would not want to impose your morality and values on him. Would you?

            Look. The reality precedes the word we create to describe that reality. Not the other way around. A two woman partnership caring for children sounds just fine, but a ‘marriage’ it is not. Off in Calcutta there are many women living together who care for the poor and unwanted. Should we say that the Sisters of Charity are ‘married’? To each other?

          • Hanna Moy

            Why can’t Hugh Hefner marry all his playmates? One, the separation of church and state means that Christian values shouldn’t be imposed on people who don’t agree with them or who have a different interpretation. Two, the Bible is full of multi-person relationships – look at King Solomon.

          • BillClintonsShorts17

            Turned out well for Solomon and his Kingdom, didn’t it?

            That aside, you make my point for me. Thanks.

          • Liz Clark

            “Marriage ‘equity’? Where is there ‘equity’ in nonsense? Advocating for same sex ‘marriage’ is exactly of a piece with advocating for martinis made of orange soda and yogurt. You have the wrong ingredients. Unless you are willing to argue that there is no essential difference between men and women then it should be obvious that a man and a woman are joined together in a form and fashion which CANNOT happen with two people of the same sex. I have an ontological problem with the concept of same sex ‘marriage’. I proclaim that there is no such thing. Without reference to the Bible or any religious rule whatever.”

            LOL …so… men and women never have anal or oral sex? And “marriage” is only about sex? Is a man who was born with a penile defect or injured somehow and hasn’t the ability to penetrate a woman’s vagina with said penis, or lack thereof, not then “actually” married to his wife? Is a woman who was born with her vagina closed and no cervix, without an opening sufficient for penetration by a male penis not then “actually” married to her husband? Or to add absurdum, because this is already absurd, what about either sex with no reproductive ability and what of the myriad shades of gender identification?

            To say that “marriage” depends on two people joining together in a form and fashion unavailable to two people of the same sex is a bit like agreeing with a Papal dispensation in back in-the-day ultra-Catholic England saying a barren Queen married for years to her King was not “actually” married in the eyes of God or the Country because since she didn’t have any children, obviously the marriage was never consummated, therefore the marriage could be annulled and she could be thrown out of her home and replaced by the hot 15 year old the King currently favored. You might be able to argue the one man and one woman thing from another angle, but this one is void and prohibited by local and Federal common sense. You cannot also refer to the modern American definition of marriage as an act between a man and a woman without referring also to the Bible. History, man: learn some.

            Not even going there about extremists on either side of political debates; other than to say that National education laws = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-eYBZFEzf8

          • BillClintonsShorts17

            So ‘marriage’ is whatever you want it to be. Which renders the word meaningless, as you have made it mean everything.

          • Liz Clark

            Like a library which contains every combination of every word in every language! ;)

            I’m unconvinced the word has any meaning other than as a concept to strive for. Which doesn’t make it unimportant by any means, but it’s like New Years’ Resolutions: some people take them upon themselves with a level of amazeballs that irrevocably changes their lives for the better in a way that continues to deepen and grow in worth through time and inspires everyone around them, while some people honestly think that’s what they’re setting out to do and have that goal in mind, but the commitment only lasts a few months or years, for whatever reason. And since anyone is capable of either one of those outcomes for a given scenario depending on a multitude of factors, anyone ought to have their attempt just as legally bound as any others’ – for better or worse, for richer or poorer, through estate inheritance tax and child custody battles, forever and ever, amen.

          • BillClintonsShorts17

            The problem for you, Liz, is that the reality preceeds the word we devise to describe that reality. We see a human relationship involving male/female sexuality which is understood to be exclusive and fecund as a rule. We recognize the nature of this relationship with ceremony and law. And we call it ‘marriage’. You are trying to use the word to describe relationships which by their very nature are sterile and have no possibility of procreation. By your logic it should be OK for me to refer to my drill as a ‘screwdriver’. Doesn’t work. Why don’t you invent your own word instead of perverting an existing word?

  • Scott Uselman

    Wow. I think I’m a little more comfortable to listen to Billy Graham instead of Ayn Rand. For someone who says you are not anti-religious, you sure sounded like that. I admit that sometimes Evangelicals get a little off course, but to think that we are the cause of America’s problems is quite a stretch. If this is how you defend religion, then step aside and let the Bible speak for itself. This was more of a rant than someone making making valid points as to why Billy Graham is at fault.

  • gimpi1

    “Ironic note: The Koch brother’s oil drilling geologists looking for oil do so using the science of an old earth while the Koch brothers use people who believe in a young earth to advance their politics!”

    I have brought up index fossils to young-earth creationists and never gotten an answer. It is truly ironic, using cutting-edge geological research to find resources, all the while backing groups who continue to believe that the scientists doing that research are agents of the devil bent on spreading lies. Cognitive dissidence indeed.

  • http://daryldensford.com/ Daryl Densford

    Your Straw Man is truly flimsy, leaving you having to resort to name calling and personal attacks…Sounds like a bunch of “one-liner” diatribes!

  • TommyNIK

    I see some deniers here. Here are two books of many that will bear out what the author says. You’ll see that this issue goes much deeper than Billy Graham:

    “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet (2008), “Attack of the Theocrats” by Sean Faircloth (2012)

  • Guest

    Straw man? Hardly. Read my comment above Daryl. Better yet, read those books I mention.

  • Hanna Moy

    I want to like this article, but it would be much more effective if it was more rational, calm, and clear, rather than so overdramatic and full of emotion-laden slurs like “crazy” “nutty” “unhinged” “delusional” and “dumb”. To be honest, such slurs insult those with mental illnesses – having a flawed ideology is nothing to do with mental health, and the implication is quite ableist. In fact, to blame individual mental illness (even in jest) in those individuals who believe in things like biblical literalism, young earth creationism, and libertarianism erases the fact that this narrative became mainstream due to the combined interests of a wealthy elite and the rise of Christian fundamentalism. It erases *structures* and attacks *people*. If this article just calmly set out the theology, some flaws in the theology, and walked us through the development of the American far right, this article would have a lot more substance and lot lot less fluff. As it stands, I certainly won’t waste my money on the book. There is enough vitriol in the world already, and it’s not solved anything so far.

    -yours, a left wing Christian with a degree in theology

  • Christian Vagabond

    The history of evangelical politics goes back to the beginning of the nation. Do you seriously believe that politics changed with Billy Graham? Seriously? You see no connection to modern conservative political thinking and the Puritans, Confederacy, monoplies during the early industrial age, anti-Catholic activism, Ayn Rand, and McCathyism?

    Saying that our modern political plight started with Billy Graham is like saying that the history of superheroes started with Iron Man.

  • OllieJones

    Please, sisters and brothers, let’s be careful with the “not-very-bright” narrative. We’re all afraid of something or other, and we’re all tempted to embrace things that promise to drive out fear.

  • Mark King

    Not only is this just smut, but these theories and ideas are like watching the movie “Dumb and Dumber.” What’s a matter? Was Frank forced to go with his Grandmother to a Billy Graham Crusade andhe never got over it?? THis article makes no sense at all.

  • R.T. Flakfizer

    Frankie, it’s okay that you’re not as smart as your dad. You don’t have to deal with your feelings of inadequacy this way.