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The Bigotry That Billy Graham and Barack Obama Share

Billy Graham is often promoted as a preacher that all Americans can feel comfortable with, the representative of a common tradition that we can all look back to with fond nostalgia. The people who promote this idea, though, are of a certain sort, belonging to just one religious point of view, and one political point of view, in both cases harshly conservative. The truth is that many Americans don’t come from the tradition that Billy Graham represents, and don’t share his beliefs and opinions. Billy Graham represents a domineering agenda, determined to extinguish cultural diversity, not a common ground.

both oppose equal rights for American homosexualsSo, I wasn’t really surprised when I read that Billy Graham is joining a campaign to pass a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages from other states. It’s always disappointing to see a person promote bigotry, but Billy Graham has been promoting bigotry for a long time – even before he was caught on audio tape discussing how Jews were conspiring to destroy America with President Richard Nixon.

A spark of surprise did race across my mind upon seeing this news, though. I suddenly remembered that Barack Obama had met with Billy Graham. How can Barack Obama reconcile Billy Graham’s opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians when Obama believes…

… and that’s where the thought fizzled out. Barack Obama, of course, has expressed opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians himself. Obama has said that he opposes same-sex marriage rights – an opinion he hasn’t contradicted as President.

Still, there’s some part of my brain that equates Barack Obama with a progressive attitude, with tolerance and respect for diversity, with support for equality. There’s something about Barack Obama’s political personality that suggests forward-looking ideas, even when Obama embraces harshly regressive policies. I find myself wanting to believe that Barack Obama shares my liberal values, even though he’s proven over and over again that he doesn’t.

The gap between the image and the reality of Barack Obama is quite similar to the gap between the image and the reality of Billy Graham. Wise voters will remain skeptical of the image and pay attention to the facts… but how many American voters are really that wise?

7 comments to The Bigotry That Billy Graham and Barack Obama Share

  • Mike S

    The problem is he is closest thing we progressives have to a true progressive president. Yes, he fails miserably in some areas, but the alternative, which for some reason seems to be the only alternative America can produce, is far worse. And so, progressive sort of embrace Obama, grudgingly, and end up projecting their ideals onto him. I’m as guilty of it as the next progressive.

    • Here’s where you’re wrong, Mike: Mitt Romney is not the only alternative to Barack Obama that America can produce. There’s also Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate.

      Jill Stein supports equal marriage rights for LGBT Americans! Barack Obama opposes marriage equality. Mitt Romney opposes marriage equality.

      So, who are you going to vote for, Mike? How is it progressive to choose a candidate who opposes marriage equality?

      See: JillStein.org for more information.

  • Tom

    Well, Mike – i had the same problem when i insisted on voting for Nader TWICE as a better candidate to GWBush, but was constantly reminded that i was “throwing my vote away” and “giving the election to the Republicans” for doing so.

    So vote for Jill Stein, but don’t be surprised if one of the two assclowns gets in.

    • Dove

      The “vote wasting” problem seems to be at an all time low to me considering how similar (waffly) both major candidates are. Perhaps we overestimated Gore while we suffered under Bush, but since 2000 there has been ever less contrast between the 2 major candidates for Pres. To the point where even though Obama is more likely to Say something decent, they’re both likely to approve policies that do not match their rhetoric on the biggest issues.

  • Wentra

    It is typical ultraliberal-speak to call a difference of opinion bigotry. Homosexuality is a perversion of the natural reproductive and child-rearing roles of males and females. It is hardly bigotry to be smart enough to realize this and speak for traditional marriage, which is designed for reproduction and protection of children, not the happiness of confused people.

    • No, we’re not talking about difference of opinion. We’re talking about denying people their legal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. That’s not opinion. It’s oppression.

      Billy Graham isn’t just speaking for what you call “traditional marriage”. He’s also calling for kinds of marriage that he doesn’t personally approve of to be legally outlawed.

      By the way, did you know that there are traditions of same-sex marriage? Same-sex marriage is traditional too.

    • If this is really all about the children, then why isn’t there a social movement to outlaw the marriages of sterile or post-menopausal people, Wentra?

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