Graham walked a fine evangelical line. Now his son is veering toward partisanship
Billy Graham speaks in 2004 as part of his “Heart of America” crusade. After his death on Wednesday, evangelicalism is at a crossroads, Curtis writes. (Larry W. Smith/Getty Images file photo)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s difficult to ever imagine another faith leader being dubbed “America’s Pastor.” That’s because of the person Billy Graham was and the current political, social and cultural divisions in our country. And there is also the question of whether pluralistic America wants, needs or should have a pastor — now, then or ever.
Graham was never the universally revered and uncontroversial figure that many of those who now praise him remember. But in reviewing the legacy of a man who lived through much of a century that defined American change and who died at the age of 99 on Wednesday in his home in the North Carolina mountains, it is important to give him his singular, flawed due.