The New Billy Graham? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The New Billy Graham?

It turns out that gay rights leaders and other social liberals are as angry with Barack Obama for choosing Rick Warren to give the invocation — a decision Nicole Russell blogged about yesterday — as some evangelicals and other social conservatives are with Warren for accepting. In addition to opposing abortion, Warren supported Proposition 8 in California. Welcome to the culture wars, 2009.

Some chalk it all up to Obama’s religious outreach and Warren’s desire for publicity. Others point to the younger evangelicals’ interest in getting beyond the culture wars and focus instead on so-called “social justice issues” where they have common ground with the left and the wider culture. Some might even wonder if this isn’t the most extreme example of the religious conservative leaders’ place-at-the-table mentality.

There’s probably something to all of the above, but I wonder if Rick Warren isn’t taking a page out of Billy Graham’s playbook. Although Graham was not exactly silent on social and political issues, he subordinated them to preaching the Gospel. Graham also prayed with and implicitly gave his blessing to such liberal presidents as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He took on a role as pastor to the presidents and juggled his role as a Christian evangelist with his place in American civic religion.

This approach had its ups and downs. On balance, I think it did expose Graham’s message to a wider audience as well as communicate the idea that Christianity was bigger than any political party or movement. But there are plenty of cases where the need for access kept Graham from speaking truth to power as forcefully as he perhaps could have, from some of his trips to communist countries to his taped conversations where Richard Nixon was saying ugly things about Jews. In any event, I won’t say the torch has been passed but I do wonder if Franklin Graham would have been as willing to give the invocation.

UPDATE: Whatever it says about Warren, A.C. Kleinheider thinks this was a political masterstroke for Obama.

Sign Up to receive Our Latest Updates! Register

Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link:

Be a Free Market Loving Patriot. Subscribe Today!

Stop the Inflation Grinch From Stealing Christmas!

That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign. 

Gas: 40%+
Beef: 20%+
Used Cars: 20%+
Lodging: 17%
Eggs: 13%

What hasn’t increased? The cost to subscribe to The American Spectator! For a limited time, we are offering our popular yearly subscription for only $49.99. Lock in the lowest price of the year by subscribing today

The Grinch Stole Christmas Sale
Commander-in-chief of Christmas inflation