Oh Washington Post, if you weren’t so wrong, how would we ever know what’s right?
Billy Graham died yesterday at 99, after a life (very) well-lived. So how is “America’s Pastor” being remembered in today’s “Acts of Faith” section? William Martin’s piece in the Post chooses to paint the evangelist as an absent father, whose dedication to preaching led to his kids to drugs and divorce, and caused his wife much suffering.
That’s it. That’s all “Acts of Faith” has got.
Martin writes that while “Graham’s crusades took him throughout the world, little was left for Ruth and the children — Gigi, Anne, then Ruth (long called Bunny), Franklin and Ned.”
According to Martin, Graham was crusading during the birth of his first daughter, and tragically, he didn’t recognize her when she visited him on a mission. “He stared at the toddler with a blank look, not recognizing his own daughter.” He would be gone for months, and the children would notice. Martin describes Graham’s daughter watching airplanes in the sky and saying, “Bye, Daddy! Bye, Daddy!”
Martin asserts that because of his absence, the kids weren’t the model of decorum growing up. (The Post might want to be careful here, lest it inadvertently validate the beneficial role of fathers in kids’ lives.) Either way, Ruth tried her best to be strict. Gigi recalled, “I got spanked nearly every day. Franklin, too … But Mother had a great sense of humor.”
On one occasion when Billy was home trying to discipline the kids, his daughter confronted him, crying, “Some Dad you are! You go away and leave us all the time!” Billy’s eyes filled with tears. Afterwards, he was never harsh with the kids again.
The Graham brothers lashed out like typical rebellious boys. Franklin “was always a handful. As an adolescent, he smoke, drank and drove fast,” and Ned, the youngest, developed a serious drug problem. It took him years to correct it.
Because “Daddy was burdened, Mother was overwhelmed. It was easier to send us away.” The children describe having to attend boarding school when they were of age. Bunny, Graham’s other daughter described how she wanted to become a nurse, but her parents simply refused. They instead encouraged their daughters to become mothers and a homemakers. “There was never an idea of a career for us.”
Three out of the five children have been divorced as well. Ruth describes the heartbreak, saying that, “At first I resorted to my familiar pattern of denial — covering over my hurt with spiritual platitudes. I prayed. I fasted. I forgave. I claimed Bible promises. I did all I’d been taught to do.” But Graham initially encouraged her not to divorce, because it would hurt the millions who believed in his message.
Martin writes that the children say their “father’s relation with the family has been awkward,” because of his job. Ruth states, “We were footnotes in books -- literally. Well we’re not footnotes. We are real, living, breathing people.”
While Graham’s family life may not have been perfect, why is it that liberals will slam him after death, while praising pillars of misogyny and pornography upon their deaths? The progressive media offered glowing remembrances of Hugh Hefner after he passed away, even though many agree that his life’s work was unsavory.
Progressives call Hefner a “giant of cultural influence.” But what about a good man, who tried to influence the culture with teachings of God’s kingdom? Screw him, He’s a bad father.