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O brother Billy Graham, where art thou?

By       Message Richard Mathis     Permalink
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"I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."

Rev. Billy Graham, Parade, 1981 February 1, 1981

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Dear Rev. Graham:

Where are you, brother Billy? America needs you more than ever. As you recently wrote "We live in a topsy-turvy world where there is so much confusion. The average person on the street is more bewildered today than at any time in history." That's because the wolves have been pastoring the flock and teaching the lambs how to slaughter in the name of the Lamb.

I'd certainly agree with you that "War and wickedness have made our generation wild." And what could be more wicked and depraved than to claim that God wants us to wage wanton war in His holy name? As you pointed out in your article, humanity has yet to solve the problems which have haunted us from the start. Like James wrote, we want, we don't know how to get it in a proper way, and we wage war to get what we want.

The Bible is a history of those problems that have persistently plagued us. The Holy Book is also the answer to the first question a human asked God: am I my brother's keeper? Rev. Graham, I have no doubt you personally know God's short answer to Cain's question.

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Part of the problem right now is that there has been an unholy wedding between religious fundamentalists and the political right. Even worse, it's a menage-a-trois when soulless corporations are thrown in. Makes for what I call the unholy trinity of Mammon which teaches that we are not our brother's keeper. Even worse, the gospel of Mammon preaches that we can be our brother's taker if there's something in it for me. In the United State of Mammon, a man's worth is his possessions and let every last Lazarus rot with the dogs at the gates of the well-to-do.

I don't know if you have noticed or not, but, brother, the wolves are running wild among the lambs. Things are so muddled that the dog-eat-dog proponents aren't even trying to cover up their bloody sheep skins as they hijack the institution of Christianity in their lust to dominate the world. Instead of preaching love your neighbor, these false prophets are teaching loath thy neighbor and cast the first Bible at him. They are not teaching Jesus as the Prince of Peace but as the armed avenger of Armageddon. Further, they are acting as if they are commissioned to personally bring about the end of days. I saw a marquis in front of a church that read "prayer here on earth activates God's power in heaven." I didn't know God was helpless and needed us to enable Him. Funny, I always had heard it the other way around.

Then again, I'm so old that I can remember when avarice was a sin and moderation was a virtue. I can remember when getting mad and calling names were seen as character flaws, not strengths to be flaunted on national television. Forget about making a living off spewing such shameless slime as a syndicated scribe. I can even recall when preachers were more concerned about people being cast into hell than being concerned about how they cast their votes. And I have no doubt you remember, brother Billy, that the good news is of love and salvation for one and all. Doing on earth as in heaven is to love as one would be loved. The Divine will is not hate and condemnation. God is love, wrote John. And as I understand it we are to even love and pray for those who have differing political or religious views than our own. Brother Graham, if you could be so kind as to once again warn of the dangers of mixing religiosity and politics, the nation surely could benefit from your words.

There are a lot of good folks out there, waiting for someone they trust to reassure them with words of love and hope. There are plenty of folks who remember that Jesus was about bringing us together, instead of turning us against each other. Unfortunately, there are many who think all Christians and evangelists are full of condemnation, hate and self-righteousness. They've learned what they've seen. That's why America needs you, the Reverend Billy Graham, to once again bear witness for the message of Jesus and to loudly proclaim that no matter how many sheepskins worn, crosses carried or flags waved, unless we are truly loving as God does when casting the sunshine and rain on all without discrimination then we are perpetuating the problem and feeding Mammon.

Godspeace,


Richard Mathis

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B. 1952, GA, USA. D. To Be Determined. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover, confidant and friend of many from bikers to Zen masters; American writer and speaker, known for his criticism of Mammon's unholy trinity of big business, big (more...)
 

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