Billy Graham Urges North Carolinians To Vote for Bigotry

Whenever there’s a list of Christians who are embarrassments to the “other” Christians, you see the same names over and over: Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Mark Driscoll, James Dobson, Ted Haggard, etc…

Billy Graham is rarely on that list. Christians almost universally praise him. He sticks to the message, doesn’t play politics, isn’t controversial, etc.

Well, he’s spending the end of his life making sure bigotry is a part of his legacy.

His ministry plans to place this ad in 14 newspapers across North Carolina in anticipation of next week’s vote to ban gay marriage in the state:

At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.

Remember that the next time someone brings up his name as an example of a “good Christian.” He’s no better than the other anti-gay crusaders out there.

(via Joe. My. God.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ nothierthanthou

    The unfortunate thing about this is that he is so widely respected, which means his simple endorsement is going to go a long way. Damned unfortunate!

    • CarlHowdy

      As though he hasn’t done enough harm in the world, this old sot is still running his vile mouth at 93. 

  • Stev84

    Doesn’t play politics? He is not as overt as the others, but no one else has sucked up to the highest level of American politics as much as he has. He is the one responsible for America’s downwards slide towards a theocracy starting with Nixon

    • Onamission5

      This x 10.

    • DG

      Out of curiosity, did you know him in private?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I think Charles Templeton may have.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      He’s actually the guy who started the current slide into theocracy. In some ways he’s scarier than the Falwells and their ilk, since so much of his influence has been behind the scenes.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

       Billy Graham has met with every president since Truman. 

      • CarlHowdy

        Truman didn’t have a good word for him, and he would never have invited him to the White House.  Too bad the others didn’t have the same sense of decency!

  • Marguerite

    Wait– I thought the Bible was clear, and that God’s definition of marriage was polygamy. Have I been reading it wrong all these years? Dang, I’m gonna have to throw some of these men back!

    Seriously… is the Bible really that clear on the topic of marriage? Doesn’t seem so to me. But in any event, some of us try to base our decisions on what’s right, and not what the Bible supposedly says. Which is just as well, considering some of the awful stuff the Bible condones…

  • Thin-ice

    My guess is that his son Franklin convinced him to do this. Franklin is an unalloyed bigot and fundamentalist hater, quite unlike his father. And at the elder Graham’s advanced age, it probably wasn’t difficult for him to guide his father’s shaky hand into signing.

    • pagansister

       Thin-ice, that was my first thought when I read the article.  I have a feeling that Billy Graham isn’t making to many decisions on what is published etc. anymore.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

      Billy has always been a bigot. His little anti-semitic hate fest with Nixon was caught on tape. In the 1960s, he was on the wrong side of the civil rights movement. Now he’s wrong on gay rights. Franklin’s just following in his father’s footsteps.

      • CarlHowdy

        He and his vile son are just a couple of hate-mongers like most Christians.

  • Glasofruix

    “God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman”Also between a man, a woman and her female slave(s) or between a man, his female slave(s) and a woman or a man and his rape victim or…. you see where i’m going.

  • http://twitter.com/FaS_Skeptic F&S Skeptic

    Did people just forget about his anti-semitic remarks that were caught on tape during a discussion with Nixon?
    http://www.rense.com/general20/billy.htm

  • Daniel Schealler

    It’s actually kind of nice how he bases his position on the Bible so very, very clearly.

    I mean – obviously the whole opposition to same-sex marriage is based on religion.

    But it is nice to have such a succinct message that links the position to the religious basis so clearly.

    Opposition to same-sex marriage favors religion.

    In the states, that’s ’nuff said.

  • Minnie

    [sigh]. When I decide to marry god, his definition of marriage will become important to me. Meanwhile, it is irrelevant to the political process.

    Actually, I think we might do well to eliminate government endorsement of marriage entirely. Create civil unions (gay and/or straight) to allow tax benefits, family insurance, etc., and let the churches “marry” anyone they like. But as long as some people get marriage benefits from the govt, everyone should get the same ones.

    I don’t pretend to believe this will satisfy fundys, but it seems like it should work for most of us.

    • Stev84

      Marriages already are civil unions. The marriage license is all that matters. The religious woo is entirely optional. Letting religion have marriage would be a horrible step backwards, since it was Christianity that usurped and stole marriage in the 12th century. It didn’t even become a sacrament until the 16th century.

      The better solution is a proper separation of civil and religious marriage like in continental Europe and countries that take their legal traditions from there. People should be required to have a secular ceremony at city hall. Priests should not be allowed to perform a legally valid wedding.

      • Minnie

        I guess I wasn’t clear, because I think we are advocating for the same thing.

        • Stev84

          No. You want the government to get out of marriage and probably rename the civil part of it entirely. I want religion to get out of marriage – at least out of the legal side.

          What you are saying is a capitulation to religion and letting them have the name “marriage”.

    • http://www.facebook.com Kwende Idrissa Madu

      Works for me.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      That’s what I thought until I watched Billy Moyers’s interview 
      http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2010/06/whats_next_in_the_marriage_war.html 
      with Olson and Boies (the attorneys in the case against Prop 8, and who were on opposites sides in Bush v. Gore)  If you’ve got 30min to spare, it might change your mind too.

  • Daniel

    Biblical = One man and one woman?!?

    I guess the creation of the tribes of Israel coming from a one man married to one woman, and also married to her sister, and repeatedly impregnating two of his slaves doesn’t count?  I guess because Jacob has no real significance in Judeo-Christian “history”?

    I wonder where the Grahams would stand on my also marrying my sister-in-law and buying some slaves to knock up?

    The Bible is pretty clear that it would be fine.

    • http://northierthanthou.com/ nothierthanthou

       I wonder what the Grahams would say to the old Betty Bowers video.

  • Onamission5

    I grew up watching Billy every time he came on tv, and believe me, he toes the party line more than he doesn’t. He is no outlier, he just tends to talk out the side of his neck so people don’t realise that he is saying the exact same shit as the other, less eloquent evangelists.

    • Onamission5

      Also, NO ON ONE!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Incase anyone isn’t sure what the marriage amendment is, it’s not a good thing. It adds this to the constitution: 
    “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This Section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

    America isn’t a melting pot anymore. It’s an untossed salad. Everyone’s divided by everything from race to religion to gender to age to everything you can think of and more. If I’ve seen people get brutally attacked (Bryan Stow is a nice example) over something as petty as football. This country has no future if every person has a wedge between them and something else.

  • Muxika

    Some Christians treat marriage as if they invented it.

    • http://northierthanthou.com/ nothierthanthou

       Which is especially hilarious given the early christian church’s rather ambivalence about the institution.

  • Thenoodly1

    Dear Billy,

    I don’t really give a shit what your bible has to say about marriage, but thanks bunches for making it absolutely clear that the entire impetus behind “amendment one” is religion. Should this asinine amendment actually get passed, your statement will certainly come in handy when the NC ACLU files a suit against the state for first amendment rights violations.

    BTW, congrats on living your entire life as a flim-flam artist and well-paid moron.

    F.U.,

    NC Native

  • DG

    The only way to not be a bigot is to support full marriage equality between any combination of human beings who want to be married under any circumstances.

    • Coyotenose

       Awww, that’s so cute, you’re trying to sneak a “Slippery Slope” in!

      It’s like the way a horse is adorable when it tries to pull a prank in full view of its victim and thinks its clever.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      And why shouldn’t we support marriage equality between any combination of (adult) human beings who choose to create a family? What conceivable rational reason exists to deny that?

      • Daniel Schealler

        Well… To be totally fair, there’s the obvious stuff like the ability to provide consent and protection against coercion, that sort of thing.

        Obviously not what you had in mind, but still relevant.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          The same concerns exist for traditional western marriage (one man, one woman). Neither same sex nor multiple marriage changes that, or require different oversight.

          • Daniel Schealler

            Are you claiming that traditional western marriage doesn’t require consent?

            Did I miss a memo or something?

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Not at all. I’m saying that the consent it requires is no different than the consent that would be required for legalized same sex or multiple marriage.

              • Daniel Schealler

                Okay…

                So does that mean you agree that if an individual in a proposed marriage has not or cannot provide consent, that this is a good reason to deny approval of that marriage?

                Because if so, that was my only real point…

                The way you phrased your earlier comment to me sounded a bit like you were disagreeing with me.

                I’m all confused.

                O_o

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  I did say that any multiple marriage would be amongst adults who choose to create a family. I would hope that implies consent by all involved.

                  Obviously (I hope!) a multiple marriage, like any other marriage, would require that the members be compos mentis adults, freely consenting, not operating under coercion, etc.

      • DG

        At least that would be consistent, and therefore hardly a slippery slope argument!  Which is why legalized incest is not that difficult to predict given the path we appear to be heading.

        • Stev84

          And in typical Christian fashion you are completely oblivious to the problematic power dynamics usually involved in incest, as well as the biological risks. No surprise there. Just as you are probably unaware of the concept of informed consent.

          Group marriages aren’t immoral in of themselves, as long as they are egalitarian (which is why patriarchal polygyny is bad). Any marriage or family dynamic you can think of has already been tried by other cultures at one point or another. They can work. They are however very difficult to codify from a legal perspective and thus won’t happen any time soon. Marriage law is already written with two people in mind. So removing gender restrictions is no problem. Adding more people is a legal nightmare though.

          • DG

            Exactly.  You’re saying that someday there should be no problem with people in any combinations getting married.  While there might be issues for now with incest, there is certainly nothing that cannot be overcome.  After all, from the 70s until recently, scholarship and research showed overwhelmingly that delinquent dads were a major problem since children had to have both a mother and father for full and proper development.  But then, woosh!  That’s all gone now, and research now clearly shows that as long as at least two loving parents are there, that’s all that matters.  So there’s little doubt that the research of tomorrow will discover new truths as everyone basically validates the predictions of old.  That’s the great thing about research.  It’s always discovering new truths.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              And if science is able to provide a solution to the sort of genetic risks currently posed by incest, why shouldn’t society evolve to support and allow incest? Again, what rational reason is there to oppose incest if there are no material consequences?

              (I don’t realistically see this happening anytime soon, but the question stands.)

              • Stev84

                With father/daughter or mother/son relationships there is still the obvious power and age differential.

                But you’re right that the aversion to a brother/sister relationship is largely emotional once you take the risk of genetic diseases out of it. I still think it’s creepy, but if both were sterilized I’d be hard pressed to say that it is immoral. And the phenomenon is so rare that it’s not problematic on a social scale.

              • Ken

                Isn’t a large segment of the royalty of Europe rather closely related? Since rulers were chosen by god, they often kept themselves to themselves, not just in the West either. And these were the people “chosen” by god, remember.  The only reason we stopped the whole incest thing was because we started noticing the livestock getting weaker through inbreeding, then looked at a couple of Kings and noticed the similarities.  So, no, I don’t think the church had any problems at all with incest for a long time — or polygamy, for that matter.  And they obviously don’t mind their clergy boffing teenage boys. When exactly did they co-opt the civil union of marriage into one of their personal bugaboos?

            • Stev84

              Word salad

              • DG

                Since the consensus appears to be that there is nothing at all wrong with any combination of adults getting married, including but not limited to brother/sister and various familial combinations (though the whole Mom/son thing might be creepy even if son is an adult – though apparently that would simply be emotional), I don’t think it’s off topic at all.  In fact I think it is very, very enlightening.

                • Onamission5

                  You only find it interesting because you’re slathering your own incestuous fantasies all over it.

                • DG

                  No.  I’m standing amazed at the fact that I only imagined someone would argue for the possibility, and then lo and behold, someone did.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Why? Other than the creepiness factor, which an honest person should admit is largely cultural, what exactly is the problem with incest if any biological issues can be removed from the table?

                  I’m still waiting to hear a rational argument against it.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  I’m largely going to reiterate what C Person said, but:

                  When it comes to morals, I try to look past my own gut feeling and ask “What would happen if everyone did that?” and “What harm does it cause?”

                  For the first, I don’t really thing there’s going to be masses of close family members getting married.

                  For the second, if we remove procreation from the equation, then I’m at a loss to say what’s wrong with it.  I’m sure not interested in marrying any family members, but I’m not interested in marrying a man either.  In fact even before I was married, I had no desire to marry the vast majority of women I met.  So if I’m honest with myself, if there’s no harm, then what’s the argument?

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          That’s just stupid. There are rational reasons to restrict incest, and there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that legalizing either same sex marriage or polygamy should lead to legal incest (or bestiality, or any of the other bogus suggestions made by demagogues).

          On the other hand, I can’t think of any rational reason to restrict either same sex marriage or polygamy, and I don’t see you (or anybody else) offering any.

          • DG

            Actually, if you see a couple of the responses to me, there appears to be some disagreement.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Disagreement about what?

              • DG

                You say it’s stupid to draw that conclusion, but up above are individuals who are doing just that. 

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Who? You seem to be the only person in this discussion who has suggested a connection between legal same sex marriage and legal multiple marriages or incest.

        • http://wading-in.net/walkabout Al Denelsbeck

          Why would you think that incest follows from gay marriage, any more than it follows from hetero marriage? Letting people have sex – that’s what leads to the downfall of society!

          Or, were you just trying to erect a facade of supposed rationality to mask the abject homophobia that you know won’t fly?

          Let me give you a little hint, because I can be nice sometimes: the  utter bullshit that religious leaders regularly feed to their vapid flock doesn’t work on atheists – that’s how most of us became atheists. You’re going to have to try a l0t harder than that.

          Restricting incest, for example, doesn’t equate to bigotry, since it doesn’t target a particular ethnic group or class of people and doesn’t demonstrate intolerance – it actually has a scientific basis (or had; most studies have shown incest to have little detrimental effect, which is why some states are actually taking the laws off their books.) The same thing might be said for any laws regarding legal age – they’re based on someone having an adequate understanding of consequences and/or surpassing an age where development can be hampered by, for instance, heavy labor or lack of schooling time.

          Which is why gay marriage amendments demonstrate bigotry. They select specific legal adults and classify them as distinctly different, denying rights on the basis of their preferences, not anything to do with their abilities, maturity, ignorance of consequences, and so on. Nobody has ever demonstrated the slightest detrimental effect that can come from such unions, nor support their standpoint without resorting to books that also promote animal sacrifices.

          I’m betting you never stopped to think about the slippery slope of denying rights based on someone’s preferences, or self-appointed superiority, did you? Some of us actually have, imagine that.

          Now, do you want to try and engage those points, or make some more half-assed arguments that achieve more to turn people off of religion than anything I could ever do? ;-)

          • DG

            I would say you are right!   Well, except for a couple of the comments here that suggest folks are arguing that, well, maybe there will be a time when – science willing – we are over that whole ‘incest is bad’ thing.  It’s not me saying it.  I was just looking for consistency.  What I got was a whole lot more than that.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              Maybe that will happen, maybe it won’t. It’s a question of shifting cultural norms. It wasn’t that long ago that the very idea of different races marrying was a “bad thing”, and we’re only now starting to get comfortable with people of the same sex doing so.

              In any case, however, there’s no reason to think that allowing same sex marriage in any way legitimatizes incest. That’s just paranoia and fear mongering.

              • DG

                It’s hardly paranoia and fear mongering when you have people on this very comments section arguing for it.  If everyone in one voice was shouting me down as absurd, then maybe. But it’s hard to use that argument here (and I”ve see the same things argued for on other similar blogs). 

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Nobody seems to be arguing for incestual marriage. The theoretical question was posed, why shouldn’t there someday be incestual marriage if all medical barriers are removed? And apparently most people agree that there seems to be little reason to rationally oppose it under those circumstances.

                  You certainly haven’t provided any rational reasons why it should be opposed (nor for why multiple marriage should be opposed). Nor have you provided any rational reasons why legal same sex marriage will lead to either multiple or incestual marriage.

                • Stev84

                  It’s not even about marriage between people who are related. First you’d have to decriminalize such relationships. Which isn’t going to happen any time soon. The European Court of Human Rights just ruled against a brother/sister couple.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  And of course 1st cousin marriages are permitted in many states 
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage_law_in_the_United_States_by_state

                  In fact, there are more states in which it’s legal for 2 cousins to marry than for 2 men or 2 women.

                  And even more strangely IMO, the laws are more relaxed about 1st cousin once removed, which I find even more creepy because it means a generational difference (although the actual age difference my not exist).

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Don’t confuse ‘arguing for it’ with honestly questioning the reasoning against it.

                  I think we should have good reasons to tell other people what they can or cannot do.

                  Do you disagree (with the necessity of good reasons)?

                • http://wading-in.net/walkabout Al Denelsbeck

                  It’s hardly paranoia and fear mongering when you have people on this very comments section arguing for it.

                  Actually, whether anyone argued for it or not doesn’t in any way make them even slightly analogous. So, um, yes, it is paranoia and fear-mongering.

                  But then again, no one argued for incest either. Pointing out that the former beliefs of genetic detriments  were overblown is not in any way “arguing for it,” and you’re either purposefully trying to skew such an argument (probably to draw attention away from your other flaming messes) or you simply have too weak a mind to comprehend the difference.

                  Either way, keep going! Unless someone who actually has a valid standpoint weighs in, you’re just continuing to demonstrate how feeble religious arguments are ;-)

      • pagansister

        There is no conceivable rational reason that exists to deny that as far as I can see C Peterson.  Having as friends  2 couples of the same gender who are married, I haven’t noticed that the world has come to an end or that “God” has struck either of them dead!  It is outrageous to me that the religious world thinks they own the word”marriage” .  

      • The Captain

        Until there is a complete overhaul of our insurance system you could have a situation where the entire country could marry one person thus everyone would be on one private insurance plan with only one person paying benefits.

    • Edmond

      Do you know any gay people?  Do you like them, and respect them, and treat them well, and then think that’s enough to keep you from being a bigot?  Let’s check.  Do you think their relationships are as valid as yours are?  When they fall in love with someone, who falls in love back, do you want them to have LESS recognition, LESS rights, LESS protections in their relationships than you want in yours?  THAT would make you a bigot.

      But what about those other “combinations” of human beings you mentioned?

      You don’t have to worry about being called a bigot for feeling this way about people who CAN marry the person they choose, but who want four, or five, or nine marriages more than the rest of us.  Just in case polygamy was what you meant.

      You don’t have to worry about being called a bigot for feeling this way about people who are ALREADY family members, but still want to participate in an institution that makes strangers INTO family members.  Just in case incest is what you meant.

      You don’t have to worry about being called a bigot for feeling this way about people who want to marry children, or dead people, or animals, or objects, or any person or thing that can’t legally sign contracts or even give consent.  Just in case pedophilia, necrophilia, zoophilia or anything ELSE was what you meant.

      Were there any OTHER combinations of human beings that you meant, that I didn’t cover?  Did you have any good REASONS for opposing the relationships that adults of the same gender pursue consensually, that you would like to list for us here?

      • DG

        Nope, just wondering on what moral grounds folks would be told they can’t be allowed to marry.  And just because we think this or that now, well, look at the comments below. 

        • Patterrssonn

          It’s simple the attack on gay marriage is part of the war on gays. It comes from bigotry, is motivated by bigotry, it is informed by bigotry. There is no reason outside of bigotry to oppose same sex marriage. Just as there was no reason outside of bigotry to oppose ‘mixed race’ marriage.

          So DG what other forms of marriage objected to on grounds of pure bogotry are you referring to?

  • http://thomaswhitley.com/ Thomas Whitley

    Just so we’re accurate here, Graham did “play politics” for much of his life, using his fame and power over a specific voting bloc against presidents since Eisenhower. He’s typically been much more moderate than those you have listed above, but with this he is moving toward them.

  • MG

    Compounding his evils.  Ever read  “The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire,” by Cecil Bothwell?  That low profile is has always been key to his agenda.

  • TiltedHorizon

    I have been inspired by Billy Graham to stand up for what I believe in. Let all things god calls abominations be damned.

    The bible is clear, god’s definition of seafood has fins and scales. (Leviticus 11:10-12 KJV) I want to urge my fellow freethinkers to  vote shellfish, clams, oysters, squid, and octopus off all menus. Don’t allow the evils of Surf to sully the innocence of Turf.

    VOTE TURF ON MAY 8TH

  • MG

    Sadly, I live in a state that wrote bigotry into the constitution in 2006–and even passed punitive measures to try and prevent people from going out of state to get married.  (residents who go out of state to contract a marriage that would be prohibited within Wisconsin can be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 9 months)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_same-sex_unions_in_Wisconsin

    This is the Wisconsin that is the proud home of Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.  Sick Sad State.

  • SteveS

    The only place in the bible that advocates one-man-one woman is in one of Paul’s letters… as an afterthought after he says how much better if you could only make yourself a eunuch. Wasn’t jesus the guy who went camping with 12 other  guys and a bunch of undesirables? The only thing clear in the bible is that it advocates for authoritarianism and the enslavement of women and other non-dominant males. Modern christianists just want to enshrine and continue that mentality. Ole Billy is just a little late to the party.

  • Cgorh

    His bible my tell him what marriage is, but OUR constitution never once tells us what the definition of marriage is.  “Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,”~Treaty of Triopli as signed by president John Adams.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    I’m assuming that his church has had its tax-free status revoked?

  • AnalogousGumdropDecoder

    …but the concept of marriage didn’t originate in the Bible…

    • Daniel Schealler

      Assume for a moment that the Bible is the only book you’ve (partially) read.

      Yeah. There you go.

      Explains a lot, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”
    Nothing like demanding a law to impose your religion on everyone.    

    • The Captain

      This times a thousand!

      It has really bugged me that those arguing for gay marriage have very rarely taken the freedom of religion angle, especially in the press. No one has any right to force others to practice their religious beliefs as Graham is asking. 

    • Cincinatheist

      In the Book of Harry Potter, Malfoy is very clear – the children of mixed marriages between Wizards and Muggles are mudbloods.  I urge my fellow Americans to vote for the Mudblood Amendment.

  • Mike Mellor

    From Judaism 101 (www.jewfaq.org):

    “Because marriage under Jewish law is essentially a private contractual
    agreement between a man and a woman, it does not require the presence of a rabbi or any other religious official.”

  • Renshia

    So, exactly which book, chapter and verse does it say that marriage is only for a man and a women anyways?

  • newavocation

    Cecil Bothwell, our atheist candidate for congress, wrote an excellent book about Mister Graham. Lots of young people need to learn about the influence and impact this guy had and still has! 

    The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire, by Cecil Bothwell http://www.braveulysses.com/

  • Keithacochran

    Define marriage for me. I am a gay male that has a misprinted, state certified birth certificate that states that I am a female. So if the only thing needed to get a “marriage” license is two birth certificates, one female and the other male, does this mean I am really a straight woman and will be able to enter the gates of heaven because I can legally get married? I guess the real question is, where can I find a husband? Please pray to God that he lets me find a good man.

  • http://twitter.com/belgianatheist Hugo

    of course Christopher Hitchens knew that all along, he’s disgustingly vile
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubLu-9SicSM 

  • AxeGrrl

    I never fail to be gobsmacked by the presumptuous arrogance of Christians like Billy Graham who seem to be under the strange impression that they ‘own’ the institution……or at least are the arbiters of marriage…..

    It would be one thing if they felt/expressed this sense of entitlement and ownership over religious marriage, but no, that’s not enough, they’re arrogant enough to attempt the same with civil/non-religious marriage.

    Hopefully, they’ll get a smack in the face with reality when Prop 8 gets ruled unconstitutional.  Hopefully.

  • Lisakaus

    It must be wonderful to have a personal relationship with God, where He ordains you to be judgmental against other human beings…I do not believe God would allow a bigot or an anti-Semite thru the pearly gates…(especially someone who cashed in his whole life professing the Word of Jesus). you sir Billy Graham are an imposter.

  • http://twitter.com/Chimako_27 Chimako

    Not defending BG here — he’s super old and super senile — the one time I’ve seen him on TV here in the past couple of years, he mumbled a bit and someone “translated”.  I think this particular pile of schiesse was perpetrated by the political mongering of his nutbar grandson who aspires to teapartiness.  From what I’ve seen of BG on TV, it’s extremely unlikely he even knows what the hell is happening around him.  NC has been 50/50 for years now…who knows how this vote will go.  I like to think that people will vote against to protect domestic partnerships if nothing else.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Duane/100002743939659 Matt Duane

    Billy Graham has been a closet bigot his whole life. His hatred of Jews was documented on the Nixon tapes. HR Haldeman wrote about Graham’s anti-Semitic views in his memoirs but Graham denied it — only to be proven a liar years later when the tapes came out. Graham told Nixon that he thought the Jewish “stranglehold” on the media was ruining the country, and he wanted Nixon to do something about it in his second term. His legacy isn’t being tarnished. We’re finally seeing Graham for what he really is.

  • WoodwindsRock

    No, the Bible is most definitely NOT clear on a definition of marriage.  It does, however, clearly support many types of marriages that we find completely immoral today. Like that girl that was forced to get married to her rapist in Morocco – that’s Biblically approved in Deuteronomy.

    I can not find where the Bible says that homosexuals can not get married. Somebody will have to show that to me. Beyond that, they will also have to show to me how what the Bible says has any relevance to making a law, and also how the Bible is anything more than Bronze Age mythology.

    The man is so far off-base no matter which way I look at it. Just legalize same-sex marriage already!

    • The Other Weirdo

       It doesn’t have to show that. It already condemns homosexuality, so I guess the writers didn’t feel the need to put anything else in.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14
  • The Other Weirdo

    Odd. I thought BG has been dead for at least half a decade now.

  • Hansono5

    Everyone who posts on this site should take a moment to consider their own childhood.  What was your family like? Did you have one mother and one father? multiple mothers and fathers? Did having a broken family benefit you? did it bring you pain? The nuclear family IS the best way for a child to be raised. Period. Lets face the facts, you need both to have children.  religion aside, the whole homosexual debate aside, its hard to argue against having a mother and father who love their children as being the best environment for a family.  Maybe your dad beat you or your mom was a drunk, and abandoned you, maybe you hate them.  Most of the problems we face in adulthood come from problems we were forced to deal with as children. Traced back to how our own selfish, selfcentered or ignorant parents treated us. The problem is not with the Bible, (it does teach one man one women for those Biblically challenged out there), the problem is  we want to do whatever we want and hate it with a passion when others tell us otherwise.  I am a Christian, but believe marriage should be one man, one woman, not for religious reasons  but because it is the healthiest way to raise a family.

    • Daniel Schealler

      The nuclear family IS the best way for a child to be raised. Period.

      The refutation is simple.

      A single parent that is loving and supportive is better than two parents who are cruel and abusive.

      Ergo, a nuclear family is not always best. This is trivial.

      You strike me as an individual who has never thought seriously about any counter-argument, presented or imagined, to your own position ever.

      • Hanson05

        Nice put down, stick to the discussion, no need to make it personal.  I agree a single parent who loves the child is better than 2 who do not, BUT, a mother AND father who love their children is better than a single parent situation.  Do you disagree with this?

        • Daniel Schealler

          Nice put down, stick to the discussion, no need to make it personal. 

          I am not from a nuclear family. You made it personal the moment you raised the subject. Issues such as these do not exist in a vacuum.

          You’re due to get some personal feedback whether you’re ready for it or not. Get used to it.

          Do you have any idea how insulting it is to the rest of us for you to assert that a family is less valuable simply because it has fewer parents, more parents, or parents that do not meet your gendered expectations?

          Maybe your dad beat you or your mom was a drunk, and abandoned you, maybe you hate them.  Most of the problems we face in adulthood come from problems we were forced to deal with as children. Traced back to how our own selfish, selfcentered or ignorant parents treated us…. the problem is  we want to do whatever we want and hate it with a passion when others tell us otherwise…

          And then you have the gall to tell me that there’s no need to make it personal, when I simply indicate that you’ve given no reason for any of us to think you have never considered any of the counter-arguments to your position?

          Let’s be clear about this: Under the circumstances I’ve been shockingly nice.

          I agree a single parent who loves the child is better than 2 who do not, BUT, a mother AND father who love their children is better than a single parent situation.  Do you disagree with this?

          There’s two components to this claim of yours.

          1) Setting the specific number of parents at 2
          2) Specifying both a male and a female gendered parent

          I disagree with each of these as requirements for what makes a family unit valuable.

          What I think is important is an environment of love, safety, support, intimacy, and encouragement.

          I know from personal experience that one parent alone is capable of delivering this. You’ve already implicitly accepted the possibility.

          Given that a single parent is capable of meeting the requirements to provide a sound environment for a child, I do not think that adding additional parents to meet a specific quota adds anything meaningful to the assessment of the family structure.

          Additionally, I think that the appropriate place to look for gender role models is in the prevailing culture, on grounds that the spectrum of gender expression is too broad for a tiny family unit to cover everything. A parent should of course aim to be a role model of what it means to be a responsible adult – I’m just pointing out that gender is too wide a category for one, two, or even six people to ever cover everything adequately. Gender role models are an orthogonal issue to family units.

          “You need both to have children” is a red herring because reproduction is a biological function, but parenthood is a cultural construct. We should not conflate the two as if they were equivalent.

          I cast your mention of the Bible aside as it is religious in nature, and you said ‘religion aside’ earlier than the reference to the bible in your comment.

          Everything else other than these two snippets was a direct critique of your perceptions and assumptions regarding the character, motivations and backgrounds of those who disagree with you.

          That’s it. Nothing is left over. Every supporting remark you have written in the last two comments has been considered and justly dismissed.

          As you have not supplied a rational argument to support your argument, I have nothing further to critique.

          • Hanson05

            Hi Daniel, nice reply.  I don’t respond on these sites much.  I was raised in a 2 parent christian home.  so I would say our world views are vastly different.  My view and I think that of many christians is clouded by the fact that most of the people we are in contact with believe that our nation is still christian. It does have christian roots but is definitely moving to  a secular post christian position,  letting go is never easy.  My comments were admittedly naive in some respects.  I wasn’t meaning to devalue your upbringing or your parent, My apology. That being said my beliefs stand as stated in regards to the family (no offence intended).  

            • Daniel Schealler

              Apology accepted.

              • Hanson05

                Just speaking from my own personal experience and what I have observed in many family situations. Sorry, no stats to back it up.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Do you know any same-sex-parent families?  If not, then perhaps your experience is limited?

                • Hanson05

                   no experience with same sex families, I admit my experience is limited in this regard.

                • Daniel Schealler

                  Speaking from my own personal experience with what I’ve observed in several family situations, I disagree.

                  See what I did there? ^_^

                  That which is asserted without evidence may be denied without evidence.

                  But it seems we’re at the end of this little thread, so unless you have anything additional to add in support of your position, I think we’re done here.

                  If so, all the best.

                • Hanson05

                  Daniel, I speak truly from what I have seen and have experienced in regards to families, it’s great if your experience is different. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I would agree that two adults are preferable to one, but would further argue that more extended family available to help (grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, family friends) all contribute.  The most important thing is love.  The sex of the people providing the love is irrelevant.

      • Daniel Schealler

        Note that if we granted this line of reasoning, it would follow that a polyamorous family with three or more parents would be preferable to a monogomous family with two.

        That said: I think that while it would make life easier on the parent(s) to have help available on-hand, I don’t think that this is a sufficient reason for us to consider a family with two or more parents to be superior to a family with a single parent on grounds that it pales into insignificance when contrasted against the other significant element that you acknowledge as more important: Love.

        Note that love alone isn’t enough either: Parents who pray for their children with treatable and potentially fatal diseases instead of getting them adequate medical care love their children too. They’re just criminally negligent in their duties as parents. So there’s more going on than just love too. (I expect that you probably already know and agree with this – I just thought it was worth spelling out explicitly).

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          No, I don’t think that (polyamory) follows.

          Taking care of a child is a really tough job.  Like any really tough job, it helps a lot to be able to share the load.  My mom raised me mostly on her own, and I feel immensely fortunate that my wife and I can share the job.  I can’t tell you how many times one of us is busy, or tired and frustrated, and the other steps in without a word and seamlessly slots in as the person handling things at the time.  That’s huge.  Sometimes you have to go it alone.  Utmost respect to those who do.But, I don’t think the sex or the sexual practices of those doing the care-giving matter.   All I’m saying is that parenting is a job that is better shared- all other things being equal.  I don’t care if or what kind of sex the parents are having.

          • Onamission5

            Parenting can certainly be easier when equally shared, that I will not contest. However, there are many parents raising children inside of adult relationships who will attest to the fact that parenting solo doesn’t just happen to single parents.

          • Daniel Schealler

            I misspoke. I should have said polygamy*, not polyamory. 

            Sorry about that. I assume it doesn’t change the nature of your response. But it might, there is a meaningful difference.

            No, I don’t think that (polyamory) follows.

            How can it not follow?If it is better to distribute the workload between two committed parents in a long-term relationship, then surely it would be better still to distribute it among three or four.Presumably diminishing marginal returns would kick in sooner or later. But it’s kind of implied that this doesn’t magically start at two when you acknowledge that assistance from grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, and family friends is always welcome.If it is good distributing the load across a group of two husbands, an aunt and a grandparent, then why would it be less good to distribute the load across two husbands and two wives? Or four wives? Or four husbands?Seems to me it’s an entirely sequitur conclusion based on information presented thus far.—However, this is slightly off the point of my main oppositon to this idea.I don’t deny that having more than one parent to distribute the responsibilities of parenting and running a household is probably going to make life easier (providing the right assumptions are held to be true, of course) for everyone involved.I just think that this, while important, is far far less important than many of the other factors involved that I’m sure we both agree are very important, like love, support, security etc.So with that in mind, consider a single-parent family vs. a two-parent family, and assume both families are doing everything right.I’m happy to acknowledge that life for the parents in the two-parent family is going to be easier. And I don’t underestimate the benefits of less-stressed parents on the rest of the family unit.But it seems like a slap in the face of the single-parent family to suggest that this makes the two-parent family better than them. I think that’s not just a bit insulting, but also an highly flawed assessment of the value of family in the first place.That’s my interpretation of this line of reasoning. Of course, how you frame the question has a big impact on how you answer it, so it’s possible I’m being unfair in my framing here.But as someone who grew up in a single-parent family, that’s how it feels to me when someone suggests that two parents are better than one because it makes life easier for the parents involved. It’s the natural lens through which I and (I suspect) nearly anyone who is part of a single-parent family will naturally view the question.It’s a valid perspective and I think it needs to be addressed.—* Note that I don’t think that polygamy is a problem in and of itself, so I don’t consider that a reductio ad absurdum or anything like that.It should be acknowledged that the implementations of polygamy with which I am personally familiar are usually patriarchal polygyny, which is where one man may marry multiple wives (but not the other way around) within a cultural context where a wife is considered to be subordinate to her husband. Needless to say, this is a really shitty implementation and that’s not what I have in mind when I use the term.Regarding polygamy in and of itself, I think it would come down to the individuals involved and the quality of the relationships between each of them. If it can be done in a way that is mutually respectful and consensual and everyone’s needs are regarded with equal importance (just as a regular monogamous marriage should be) then I think that’s something that could work out just fine.I don’t think it would be a good fit for me personally, but I wouldn’t want to rule it out for anyone else.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Sorry, but I think we’re mostly on the same page, and perhaps nit picking over details.  I’m sure we agree that families can’t be ranked and scored.  Different things work for different people, and yes, you’re right, “how many parents” is just one of many important factors.  I guess it does sound like I’m saying “my way is better”.  My feeling is more “HTF to single parents cope? And I wish we had some local family to babysit now and again.”

              Forgive me, but my wife and I shoveled 2.5 yards of sand today for our son’s awesome new sandbox (that she designed and we built).  So now I can barely hold up my arms, and if Disqus decides to eat my line breaks, I’m gonna say “fuck it!”

              • Daniel Schealler

                Heh. We probably are splitting hairs at that.

                What? It’s fun. ^_^

                Rest your arms. I have software that needs debugging. *groan*

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Actually, I had two mothers. My parents are a lesbian couple. I find your arrogance and sense of smug superiority off-putting, to say the least. My family was not “broken” and it did not bring me any pain. Families come in many forms, and many kinds of families can produce healthy, happy, successful children. It doesn’t have anything to do with the gender or sexual orientation of the parents. It has to do with their parenting skills. Your Bible, which labels people “sinful” and inferior based on their sexual orientation, is part of the problem, not the solution. I’ll thank you to keep your Bible to yourself and let other people live their lives, not tell them what to do based on your personal beliefs.

      • Hanson05

        Hi Anna, I humbly accept your rebuke. I actually am trying to learn something by posting on this site.  FYI somebody raised in a 2 parent christian family and believes in it’s values are  no different than someone like yourself who was raised in a completely different (not wrong) family setting and believes in its values. In many ways we go with what we are taught and the environment we were raised in.  You had 2 loving mothers thats great, all we can ask for as children is to have a parent or parents that love and value us.  I did, and i am glad you did to.  
        As for the reference to the Bible, it refers to all mankind as being sinful, not based on sexual orientation, but on nature. Our human nature is what the Bible says the problem is.  And that is why in Gods eyes it doesn’t matter how good or bad we are.  Everyone is in the same boat. It doesn’t matter if you are the pope, gay, straight, truck driver, evangelical christian…we are human and need (according to the bible) of forgiveness.  So God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.  And just so you know the bible is written for, and obedience expected from professing christians, not those who don’t believe it.  Most of Jesus harsh words were for the religious leaders of the day, and I suspect if he was here today things would be no different. If someone is a TRUE follower of JESUS, they will not judge, they will love unconditionally. The Jesus of the Bible was in the company of “sinners” most of the time and heaped verbal abuse on the religious leaders for their hypocracy.  He showed nothing but grace to the “sinners”, but contempt on the so called “righteous”. There are “some” good followers of Jesus  out there, just as there are many good atheists and homosexuals. Blessings!

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          Hanson, thank you for your apology. I have no problem with people holding different opinions, but I do take exception when they try to interfere in my life and the lives of those I love and care about.

          By coming here and making stident proclamations that your way is “the best way” and that the Bible is not the problem, it erases the real problems that your beliefs can cause for people who do not follow your religion. If, as you say, the Bible is only written for professing Christians, then why are religious people trying to base our country’s secular laws on the Bible? America isn’t a theocracy. Not everyone in our country is a Christian. I don’t care what people do in their churches. But I do care when they go to the voting booth and try to take away rights from my family based on what they think their god wants. I don’t believe in any gods, and I have a right to live my life without interference from various religions, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or any other religion.

          As for sexual orientation and the Bible, it seems quite clear to me that Christians use their opinion that homosexuality is a “sin” to deny gay people not only legal civil rights, but also cultural and social acceptance. You can try to get around that by proclaiming all of humankind “sinful,” but it is not heterosexual couples who are being stigmatized and denied rights based on the Bible. It is only gay and lesbian people who are targeted. As an atheist, I don’t believe in “sin,” and I don’t really care if people think my family is sinful, but I do object when they try to take away rights based on their religious opinion. Again, it’s not my religion, it’s theirs. Their opinion might hold sway in their churches, but it should not have anything to do with our government.

          • Hanson05

            Hi Anna, I think you give christians to much credit for the difficulties homosexuals face in society. You could definitely place some of the blame there but not all of it.  I am a christian and honestly it’s not on most christians radar nearly  as much as what you think.  Reading many of the posts on this site you would think christians hate gay people…simply not true. When issues like voting for the definition of marriage happen, I will vote according to how I believe. Just as you will vote for how you believe. I am not voting AGAINST you, I am voting FOR what I believe. 

            • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

              I disagree. The organized anti-gay movement is entirely religious in nature. I wouldn’t just place some of the blame on Christianity. I would place all of it there.

              Reading the posts on this site simply confirms my personal experience that Christians like to use their religious opinion to deny rights to people. When you go to the voting booth, you are voting to take away rights from my family. That is ugly and bigoted. You are using your privileged majority status to delegitimize your fellow citizens. These are people who work hard, pay their taxes, raise their children, and contribute to their community the same as you do. They do not deserve to be denied equal rights because of what some people think a religious book says about their sexual orientation. They have a right not to have their lives negatively affected by someone else’s religion.

              The rights of minority groups should not depend on the opinion of the majority. It is unacceptable to vote to take rights away from people. How would you feel if a bunch of people voted to take away your marriage? Voted to take away your right to adopt children? Of course it will never happen, because you are in the majority. You may not be able to see it, but you have the luxury of majority privilege, and you would not be at all pleased if the shoe were on the other foot.

            • Daniel Schealler

              (Trigger warning for references to bigotry against LGBT persons)  

              If you’re not happy with the way that Christianity is preceived in relation to its stance towards LGBTs, then the appropriate place to take that criticism is to the Christians that are vocally putting that image out there.

              I suggest you start with a letter to Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Ind about  this little gem of a recording.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

    All you have to look to see what Billy Graham is really about, is to look at his press materials, some of his books, and ads. It’s always his face looking up and outward. He uses this sort image all over the place.  It’s as if he’s the icon being worshipped. At the very least it seems to scream “Look at this blue-haired paragon of virtue! Whenever the world needs help, Billy ain’t far behind! Why, he’s practically God in motion on Earth!”

    And he has clearly gone political over the last decade. He surely rode the coattails of the notion that he didn’t choose sides, but there’s little doubt where he has fallen on the scale, over the last 30 years at least.


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