Billy Graham Dead—This Faithful Servant of U.S. Imperialism Will NOT Be Missed

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Billy Graham, who died on February 21, was a faithful servant for the U.S. ruling class for over 70 years. He should be remembered as a devoted supporter of criminal presidents and as someone who preached poison to millions of people for many, many decades.

In his lifetime, Graham went to 185 countries and preached to some 200 million people—with the message of submitting to a non-existent god and living your life according to the Bible. A Bible which upholds slavery, the extreme subordination of women, the death penalty for homosexuals and disobedient children, and all kinds of other reactionary shit.

Graham was a staunch ideologue for U.S. imperialism—promoting free-market capitalism and decrying “godless communism.” As early as 1949, Graham was taking his toxic message to thousands. In downtown Los Angeles he held a three-week “mammoth tent crusade” in a 6,000-seat “canvas cathedral.” His message, combining conservative religion with Cold War anti-communism, was that “Communism has decided against God, against Christ, against the Bible, and against all religion. Communism is not only an economic interpretation of life—communism is a religion that is inspired, directed, and motivated by the Devil himself who has declared war against Almighty God.”

In 1954 he preached to huge crowds in Germany—25,000 in Düsseldorf and 80,000 in Berlin. A recent op-ed in the New York Times called Graham “God’s Cold War Machine” and said that he “described these trips as ‘crusades’ and saw West Germany as ground zero in what he called ‘Battleground Europe,’ a Cold War fight to redeem the ‘land of Luther’ from its Nazi past and secure its future as a stronghold for American-style democracy, capitalism and evangelicalism.”

More than anything, Graham’s life underscores how exploitative states use religion to carry out and justify oppression. Think about slavery in the United States—how Christianity was used to insist on unthinking obedience to authority, hand in hand with justifying white supremacy and male supremacy. One of the main things cited by defenders of slavery was the Bible—specifically, the story of how Noah’s son Ham incurred the wrath of God and was cast into Africa, a curse put on his descendants.

In his book Away With All Gods!, Bob Avakian (BA) talks about why oppressive ruling classes need religion, and specifically why they need to promote it among the masses of people. BA paraphrases Napoleon Bonaparte: “Society is impossible without inequality. Inequality cannot be sustained without a morality to justify it. And morality in turn cannot be sustained without religion.” What has been, and is, this morality for U.S. imperialism? One of wars of empire, repression, white supremacy, patriarchy and male supremacy, and the most anti-scientific thinking. This is the religion and morality Graham stumped for in the service of oppression all around the world.

Graham provided “spiritual support” for a dozen U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democratic. He was a personal counselor to Richard Nixon (1969-1974), giving him “spiritual strength” as the U.S. bombed and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people in the Vietnam War and when the CIA directly aided in the murderous military coup in Chile in 1973 to install the pro-U.S. dictator Augusto Pinochet. (See the American Crime series for more on the Vietnam War and the coup in Chile.)

Graham had a close relationship with Ronald Reagan, who played a major role in promoting Christian fundamentalism and who backed the born-again Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt, responsible for carrying out wanton murder and terror among the people. (See American Crime Case #95.) In 1991, George H.W. Bush invited Graham to spend the night at the White House the day before the U.S. began bombing Iraq. Graham gave a prayer at Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Obama went to North Carolina in 2010 to pay homage to Graham.

The U.S. capitalist-imperialist system, which Billy Graham so faithfully served, has brought forward a fascist regime into the White House. It is fitting that after Graham died, Trump tweeted: “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.”




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