Monday, March 5, 2018

Billy Graham, Mr. Rogers and Reputation vs. Reality

A fallacious sort of respect attaches to the dead in
our culture: don't speak evil about the dead.
Based on notions of fair play, the idea is that
the dead cannot defend themselves against
scurrilous attacks. But there are exceptions
to almost everything; compelling  reasons do
exist to point out less than perfect behavior while
certain famous folk, now departed, are extolled
without a balanced critique.

Billy Graham, said to be America's preferred
preacher, died recently amid public praise.
Not one of the media outlets I checked dared
to include the unhappy fact that Mr. Graham
was an unrepentant anti-Semite--unrepentant
and dishonest until audio tapes revealed the
Rev's disdain for Jews. In 2002 The National
Archives released tapes of conversations
Reverend Billy had in 1972 with then President
Nixon, also an anti-Semite. Rumors of
such un-Christian attitudes circulated for
years regarding Graham, who stoutly and
steadily denied them until the Archives
published the damning tapes, whereupon
Rev BG profusely apologized.

Then there was Mr. Rogers, friend to
children and normal middle-class values.
My daughter and I enjoyed his show for
years, thinking he really did love children,
loved to be surrounded by them. In 1990
I worked for La Leche League, the mothers'
group promoting breast feeding. One day
my boss told me a surprising story: at an
event sponsored by the League, Mr. Rogers
asked that the children be kept away from
him...what? They had come to interact with
their "friend", Mr. Rogers. But thinking back,
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood did not usually
feature a goodly group of kids, no, just
puppets and grownups.

Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar, observed that
the good men do often gets interred with
their bones. I submit that, all too often,
the bad they do is buried there as well.

All the admiration for the public face
of the man (or woman) can't whitewash
any dark side...

Reputation vs. reality, often at odds.


  1. The late Dr Billy graham was an evangelist. He seemed to perform his duty/ calling very well for a long time.Mr Rogers had a nice children's program. I often watched it as a child myself. I will say I feel programming for kids and adults was much better than the Programming to steer our minds in certain directions is today.

    Having stated that I will state this.I know all you stated here is correct Amber.On a DAILY basis EVERY SECOND it seems e all must thoroughly investigate many things and people.I have MANY problems with many in CHURCH so called Christiandom. I feel many walk one way and talk another. I feel too many are

    concerned with MONEY, MEMBERS, STATUS and politics!

    Ii will not mention it here. I have heard some things seen that disturbed me about The late Dr Graham and the late Mr Rogers. I have many problems with PBS and am not a fan of what is left of the former CHILDREN;S TELEVISION NETWORK. I watch little tv on and off tv / computer etc. I believe little that I HEAR. Careful of what I see. There is a verse in the bible . I believe in the new testament ( PROVE ALL THINGS >) That is what I constantly do, Research, think, pray PROVE all things It can be and often is A LIFE SAVER. I urge all of us to PROVE ALL THINGS! THIS IS EARTH NOT HEAVEN. I could go on but ENOUGH SAID. Thank you. good day!

  2. One more thing. REALLY in the times we all are in now and how Ii see our society going or headed WE ALL must be careful of having( A favorite, person, sex, rae, etc GOING HEAD LONG into things people etc) I feel.