Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Carroll
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Henry Foresman
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • J.J. Hayden
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Blakely
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Pat Norman
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philecta Clarke Staton
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Allen
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Stephen Wingeier
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    singing 'bout satan

    Man Of Peace

    by | 5 | Dec 29, 2017

    Man Of Peace by Bob DylanLook out your window, baby, there’s a scene you’d like to catch
    The band is playing “Dixie,” a man got his hand outstretched
    Could be the fuhrer
    Could be the local priest
    You know sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

    “Man of Peace” Bob Dylan, 1983

    Saturday, August 12, 2017. Another lazy, muggy morning in Northeast Georgia. On my way back to Atlanta. A Chevrolet pick-up, vintage mid ’70s, just ahead, is plodding along even slower than my car. As I pass the truck, I can’t help but read a sticker stretching across the back of the cab. In all caps, the sticker proclaims, “JESUS PAID THE PRICE.” The driver expresses his gratitude to a loving Jesus Christ, but on the truck’s rear window are two Confederate flag stickers. Really, that’s no surprise in rural Georgia. Many in the hinterlands of Georgia wear their religion on their sleeves. The same goes for their political and social views, no matter how hateful and contradictory their politics are to the message of the Man who paid the price.

    80% of the voters in the congressional district along that stretch of 365 voted for Donald Trump in November 2016. The remaining 20% there must shiver and quake, or at least keep their political opinions to themselves, just as part-time residents like I do, unless kindred souls are around. Besides, I go up there to do the chores, push a mower across an acre or two, and when finished, enjoy the quiet, with Hank Williams singing his lonesome blues on the CD player inside. Just rock to the music on the porch; don’t rock the boat.

    Arriving back home, where our local precinct went for Hillary Clinton by numbers approaching 90%, I stop in front of the TV with the ubiquitous CNN on, bringing news of violence at a White Nationalists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Counter-protestors showed up to shout down the racists. Charlottesville, like my community, is a liberal enclave, where voters chose Clinton by a wide margin. And so Charlottesville is invaded by riffraff with their Confederate and Nazi flags, spewing hatred and getting physical with those who say this sort of behavior isn’t welcome here. But they would hear nothing like that. Scout Finch wouldn’t be able to shame these 21st Century Bob Ewells. Instead, it’s America that’s shamed.

    Already the United States of America had just gone through its most tense week since 9/11. The President of the United States, the aforementioned Donald Trump, had spent the past several days sabre-rattling, shaking up the world with his talk of nuclear war with North Korea. Trump, who never recovered from a severe case of arrested development before entering grade school, was stepping across the line that former presidents would never approach, at least not publicly. But these are very different days. Trump makes them so. Like the rabble gathered in Charlottesville, 62,984,825 U.S. citizens, so distressed by eight years of the nation’s first black president, decided they must take their country back. As if this was Romania in the early ’90s. The hard-core Trumpers want to take their country back alright, way back to the 1850s, when the Barack Obamas of the world were kept in their place, shackled and chained when necessary.

    Could Be The Fuhrer …  With his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Trump was widely thought to be harking back to the 1950s, not one hundred years prior, when James Buchanan was president. The shackles and chains of the 1950s were the Jim Crow laws, which were coming to an end, but still there was enough legally-enforced segregation for many Trumpers to look at that decade as the last golden age for America. Trump didn’t have to say it, his messages and the company he kept more than implied it. Always the salesman, he could persuade moderate Republicans (known to exist here and there) he wanted to be president for all Americans. Never mind such company as Steve Bannon, friend to hate-mongers. As with Satan in Bob Dylan’s song, “Man of Peace,” Trump’s “got a sweet gift of gab” and “a harmonious tongue.” He knows “every song of love that ever has been sung.” Or at least Trump thinks he does.

    Written in 1983, the same year Trump Tower opened in Midtown Manhattan, “Man of Peace” has Satan swaggering through your door. He lays on the BS, with compliments and accolades flowing freely. If he thinks your cause is worthy of his support; he’ll write out a check here and now. Dylan’s Satan is endowed with all the blustering characteristics easily associated with Trump.

    He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist
    He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed
    He’ll put both his arms around you
    You can feel the tender touch of the beast
    You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

    Though “Man of Peace” wasn’t included in Dylan’s trilogy of Christian albums, its imagery is straight from the New Testement. In verses 13 and 14, chapter 11 of Second Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is bemoaning — some 2000 years before televangelism — those who exploit the Gospel for their own material gain.

    (13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
    (14)And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    The false apostles of the modern age, namely televangelists, exploit their followers, begging for money to maintain their lives of luxury. Historically, the TV con-artists hawking the “prosperity gospel” and other perversions of the Christian message have gained their largest following in the 15 so-called Sun Belt states, 13 of which went for Trump. Desperate viewers are desperate voters. And as Stephen Stills wrote, though with a different scenario in mind, “Paranoia runs deep, into your life it will creep.” Paranoid and resentful, millions of Americans, thinking they’ve lost their shot at the American dream due to the advancement of minorities and a more liberal social order, believed they could make America great again. That’ll show those college-educated seculars. So they vote for an ill-tempered lout whose personal behavior exceeds the worst examples they ever heard about in Sunday School. Many of them, supposedly committed to the tenets of fundamentalist Christianity, are also the ones most devoted to President Trump. They ignore the 5th chapter of Matthew and other parts of the four Gospels in which Christ made plain his love for humanity. The Fundamentalists rally behind Trump’s hateful remarks about Mexicans who come to work in this country. They cheer on his administration’s moves to weaken environmental regulations which protect the air and water, all part of the world they believe God created in six days. Just as they sacrifice their hard-earned money for cheats like Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen, they set their brains free for Donald Trump. And they think Trump gives them their money’s worth even if they realize Trump’s lifestyle more resembles the late Hugh Hefner’s than their own. But that doesn’t matter. Just like Satan, Trump knows just where to touch them. Trump knows full well many exurban and rural church-goers are uncomfortable socializing with black Americans, sending their kids to school with black kids and, much less, supporting a health care law that supports black people too. Face it, a vast amount of support for Trump is rooted in prejudice toward African-Americans. Trump’s presidency, as was his campaign, is a hate-thy-neighbor enterprise. He knows they understand why David Duke, formerly a KKK Imperial Wizard, and still an extreme white nationalist, supports him.

    I Can Smell Something Cooking … Yet the notion of some Christians proclaiming a love-centered faith while supporting a political movement attracting Neo-Nazis and Klansmen ultimately offends leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), a denomination founded for the convenience of slaveholders. Over the last quarter century, Southern Baptist leaders have at last gained a sense of decency regarding race relations. The SBC was compelled to speak out on what was happening in the homeland. For their annual meeting in Phoenix last summer, wording for a resolution condemning white supremacy and the alt-right was proffered by Dwight McKissic, a Texas pastor who happens to be black. McKissick’s verbiage was tough, but right on the money:

    “there has arisen in the United States a growing menace to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classicism, and ethnic cleansing.”

    McKissick’s resolution went on to denounce the “toxic menace” that is white nationalism, the alt-right and their “totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples.” It all sounded reasonable enough but it had to get through a committee hesitant to offend any Southern Baptists who might share the alt-right’s worldview. After all, 81% of white evangelicals, a good share of them Southern Baptists, voted for Trump. Not wanting to create a schism within the Church, especially among politically conservative white members, the resolution failed to get through the committee. Those white conservatives didn’t want their church knocking even the most vile Trumpers — and besides, the denomination, in their opinion, had done enough placating to the liberal crowd. In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) finally apologized for its advocacy of slavery (remorse coming a century and a half too late). Then in 2015, the SBC called for racial reconcilation, and the next year called on “brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole body of Christ, including our African American brothers and sisters.”

    Perhaps the words solidarity and reconciliation weighed heavily on the hearts of many SBC leaders and church messengers as they gave more thought to McKissick’s resolution against white supremacy. So later the same day, the resolution was reconsidered and affirmed by the committee. Approval by the SBC, unaminous even, came the next day.

    The Tender Touch Of The Beast … Even while SBC members can feel proud of what would have been truly courageous — or in some Baptist circles as truly blasphemous — three and four decades earlier, they still have renegade reverends like Franklin Graham, hustling the Word in his Man of Peace disguise. All the while, Graham blames Satan for the confusion he himself creates. Consider the explanation of Trump’s election victory he offered to Emma Green of The Atlantic.

    “He did everything wrong, politically,” Graham told me. “He offended gays. He offended women. He offended the military. He offended black people. He offended the Hispanic people. He offended everybody! And he became president of the United States. Only God could do that.” Now, there’s “no question” that God is supporting Trump, Graham said. “No president in my lifetime — I’m 64 years old — can I remember … speaking about God as much as Donald Trump does.”

    So there you have it, Franklin Graham knows that God supports the Trump administration. Did God tell him that or did Trump tell Graham of a conversation he had with God? Whatever, knowing that God is on Trump’s side, Graham, on August 13, posted a defense of Trump on Facebook, without mentioning the death of Heather Heyer, run down by a white supremacist at the Charlottesville protest. Why grieve for an innocent woman when Trump’s legacy is at risk?

    Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started? Instead they want to blame President Donald Trump for everything. Really, this boils down to evil in people’s hearts. Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity. I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God. It was good to hear that several Virginia and Charlottesville leaders attended church today at Mt. Zion. CNN said, “The racial divides that fueled Saturday’s violence were replaced by unity Sunday…” Continue to pray for peace and for all those impacted by Saturday’s tragedies.

    Graham puts the blame on Satan, but comes to the defense of President Trump, whose verbal tirades seem influenced by the Man of Peace. Guided by hubris, Graham conveniently overlooks the entanglements his father, the great evangelist Billy Graham, created by getting too cozy with President Nixon, especially in the wake of Watergate. Basking in the glow as friend and advisor in the Oval Office, he wallowed in Nixonian depths, hooked by the president’s obsession over Jewish domination of the media. The reverend jumped right in, telling Nixon, “This stranglehold’s got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.” Graham went from Nixon’s spiritual advisor and friend to sycophant, allowing the president to vent his paranoia and bigotry. Serving Nixon proved a disservice to Graham’s ministry and to his own image, so carefully crafted. The fallout from the Graham-Nixon relationship would last for decades, peaking in 2002 when the Nixon White House tape of his shameful comments was released by the National Archives.

    Stung by Watergate and sordid revelations of Nixon’s character, Billy finally learned his lesson and from then on served as “Pastor to the Presidents” more privately. The humble approach better-served his ministry. But a new wave of Bible-thumping, politically-minded, and acquisitive preachers, like the televangelists, took a different approach. Humility was for losers. They would serve the Lord wearing the finest clothes and jewelry while driving their luxurious cars to and from their sprawling homes. They’d connect with their followers by offering a dash of Jesus, some right-wing politics, and a story of starving souls in Third World countries that viewers could help by sending contributions to their TV ministries.

    As Dylan points out:

    Good intentions can be evil
    Both hands can be full of grease
    You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

    Franklin Graham works the good-intentions circuit. In the mid-70s, he joined the world relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse. Founded by Bob Pierce, who also founded World Vision in 1950, Samaritan’s Purse has done laudable work providing humanitarian aid to people in over 100 countries. In the last few months, they’ve been working in Texas, Florida and the Carribean after the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. As the organization’s website declares, “Whether in the United States or abroad, we come alongside hurting people to bring emergency relief aand practical help in the Name of Jesus Christ.” Nothing wrong with that. But Franklin Graham, who as president and C.E.O. of Samaritan’s Purse since 1979, has not only “come alongside hurting people,” he’s also made time to hurt people. People like the members of the Islamic faith. In 2010, he was quoted in Time magazine as calling Islam “a religion of hatred. It’s a religion of war.” The next year, in comments to CNN‘s John King, he seemed to cast doubts on President Barack Obama’s Christian faith: “Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That’s what he says he has done. So I just have to believe the president is what he has said.”

    Playing to the Psycho-Baptist wing of American Evangelicalism, Graham knows his audience well. They’re the type of people who root against the Trapp Family when watching The Sound of Music with their kids. Graham, so unlike his father, who worked to build bridges with those of other faiths, goes after the other. Whatever the other may be at the time, like Hinduism. He wows the Psycho-Baptists, observing that “no elephant with 100 arms can do anything for me. None of their 9000 gods is going to lead me to salvation.”

    There’s Going To Be A Feast … Graham is certain of his salvation and he’s certain of colossal paydays. As CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, his earnings from 2009 through 2013 totaled $2,599,658.00. As CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), his other full-time gig, his earnings from the same period exceeded $500,000.00. There was also another $97,000.00 he made with BGEA and related organizations. Nice work if you can get it. That is if you can get away with convincing two major employers you’re a fully-engaged full-time CEO. The Charlotte Observer reported Graham’s 2013 compensation from Samaritan’s Purse alone made him the highest-paid CEO of any international relief agency based in the U.S. The Observer went on to report Graham made more with Samaritan’s Purse in the fiscal year ending in June 2014 than the $597,000 earned by Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross, even though its budget was seven times larger than Samaritan’s Purse’s.

    While preaching for the BGEA, Franklin Graham appears genuine as he describes the suffering of those living in poverty-stricken countries. Obviously, he’s moved by the starvation and lack of hope. That’s to his credit. He decries the human-trafficking and its attendant exploitation by rich businessmen, but to retain the interest and cash donations of his fawning fundamentalists, he delivers fire and brimstone against secularism in the USA. Graham and his bitter zealots long for the days in which Christians could dominate public school classrooms: Make the kid participate in prayer and Bible study or send him out in the hall with the other heathens. Secularism and Communism are the same thing,” Graham bellows from the pulpit, setting aside his TV anchorman bearing as he calls on Christians to become politically-involved.

    The Psycho-Baptists, dreaming the United States will become a theocracy, abandon the spirit of love and mercy Jesus shared in his three-year ministry some 2,000 years ago. “Love thy neighbor as thyself”* is so old hat when it’s deemed imperative to keep Muslims out of the country. Or when putting the clamp down on Mexicans and Central Americans, be they striving to work on America’s farms, or children escaping violence in their own nations. They disregard Jesus’s admonition that “all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”** The Psycho-Baptists instead support taking their guns to church and stockpiling the ammo. They shuck off their vestiges of decency in public discourse and social interaction to support a presidential candidate whose meetings with women could easily turn into a fondling festival. That candidate becomes president and their support of one Donald Trump calls for embracing lies while easily forgetting “the truth shall set you free.”*** The debauchery Travis Bickle lamented in Taxi Driver is a Sunday School picnic compared to the low ebb that Trump, Graham and the Psycho-Baptists have delivered to our country.

    The seventh verse of “Man of Peace” captures the fear, the loathing, and the downright insecurities of the Trump era:

    Well, the howling wolf will howl tonight, the king snake will crawl,
    Trees that stood for a thousand years suddenly will fall.
    Wanna get married? Do it now.
    Tomorrow all activity will cease
    You know, that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

    With guitarists Mark Knopfler and Mick Taylor joining in, “Man of Peace” swings. It’s a straight-ahead, mid-tempo rocker that keeps chugging along. “Man of Peace” was the first studio recording by Dylan to feature four instrumental breaks. Knopfler takes a guitar solo, Taylor takes a couple, then Dylan comes in with a harmonica solo. One comes away from listening to the song noting that Dylan’s message is serious but that doesn’t keep him from making the music lively and entertaining. After all, Dylan says Satan is in the background first and “then he’s in the front,” with “both eyes looking like they’re on a rabbit hunt.” So you better stay lively.

    The Man of Peace is far slicker than any televangelist and most convincing to those who want their own biases confirmed. That’s where a guy like Franklin Graham slips in, as with his support of defeated Alabama Senate candidate, Roy Moore, an alleged child-molester. The Roy Moore who scouted young talent in shopping malls when he was in his 30s. Think of Jethro Bodine stalking the Brady Bunch girls. It’s the same Roy Moore who voiced support for a constitutional amendment voiding constitutional amendments 11 through 27. That would mean no voting rights for women, black Americans, or citizens of 18 years old. And oh yes, Moore’s constitutional designs could legally entail the return of slavery. The pistol-packin’ “Ayatollah of Alabama” argues that God is the “sovereign source of our law.” But that’s all Ten Commandments law; forget the Beatitudes. One would think this might concern the son of Billy Graham, but no…..

    Franklin Graham also looks askance at even the slightest type of gun control laws, such as keeping it difficult to purchase silencers. That — in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. Or, as covered earlier, when he showed his support for the policies of President Trump after the violence in Charlottesville, even as the alt-right’s enmity and violence that invaded the town walked hand-in-hand with the Trump philosophy.

    Writing in the Huffington Post, Derek Penwell called Franklin Graham “the worst thing to happen to God in a while.” No kidding. Graham, by association, has God’s Son on the side of gun-totin’ bigots who revere Jefferson Davis and accept even the most ludicrous lies about Barack Obama. Satan can take it easy for awhile. The Man of Peace is getting plenty of help from Franklin Graham.

     

    *Matthew 22:39

    **Matthew 26:52

    ***John 8:32

    ###
    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran worked in advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years before accepting a buy-out in the Summer of 2008. In the seventies/early eighties, he handled advertising for Peaches Records and Tapes' Southeastern and Midwestern stores. He also wrote record reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a ground-breaking underground newspaper based in Atlanta.

     

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

     

    • Sidney Lanier

      Super good. I’d only suggest that the denizens of the religious states of America suffer from a pervasive inferiority complex which may well be artificially induced by the remnants of a Puritan ethic that posits a need to be saved. And the saviors’ glitter is actually evidence of success. The flock is gilt by the reflected glory of its leaders. Oddly enough, Putin is also being touted as a savior now that he’s opened the churches and sports a gold cross on his bare chest.

    • David Lewis

      Nice piece. I’d always taken the song as a criticism of the peace movement, and found it hard to like -- but your interpretation has cheered me up!

    • Fred Jones

      Satan is subtle. Donald Trump and those in question are just dumb and greedy. Many have been left behind in America and now jump on any train they think heads in the other direction. When the wheels fall off, new hucksters will reign. Same old story, but more dangerous all the time.

    • Ernest

      Well written…..now can you do one on Hillary…..the other “wonderful” person of peace alternative?….

  • Worthy of Comment






  • Bruce Springsteen Sings "Robert Mueller's Comin' to Town"



  • Come Back, Barack - SNL



  • Indivisible at One

    Green Day - Back In The USA



  • The Most Honest Three Minutes
    In Television History


  •  
     
     
  • %d bloggers like this: