This is a study on hypocrisy. Hypocrites deceive us so easily, sad to say. They deceive themselves, worse to say. Hypocrisy is poison for everyone involved.
This series is based on two verses.
it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. (Matthew 15:11).
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28)
Waffling is a secular term that means changing one’s mind frequently on a topic. “For breakfast” means to do it easily. That defines world-famous evangelist and itinerant crusade preacher Billy Graham, whose going back and forth on theological issues so easily it is second nature to him.
It’s been 15 years since Graham’s last crusade. His heyday of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s was well before this latest generation’s knowledge and experience. Youngsters don’t know who Graham is, except for the name. Hence, this essay series.
As for the waffling, Graham’s pattern has been to say something in an interview or in print and when it causes a ruckus, then he apologizes, or says he was misquoted, or he didn’t mean it, or he doesn’t remember saying it. Back and forth the waffling goes, on issues like creation/evolution, baptism, AIDS, alien life outside the planet, and more, over every decade of Graham’s life.
Richard Nixon, who served from his election in 1969 until his resignation in 1974, met with and took phone calls from Billy Graham on a regular basis. They were personal friends and had been since before Nixon’s election.
Unbenownst to Graham, Nixon secretly recorded all his phone calls and visits inside the White House, and later, at Camp David, the presidential retreat. The recordings of course included calls to and from Graham.
In 2002, hours of the Nixon tapes were released to the National Archives. In one that was recorded on February 1, 1972, Nixon and Graham can be heard discussing Nixon’s and Graham’s true feelings about the Jews. This conversation was secretly recorded with H.R. Haldeman in attendance, who also kept a diary, (archives here) in which he further reported that Graham said that “the Bible says there are satanic Jews and that’s where our problem arises.”
In the tape under consideration today, February 1, 1972, Nixon is complaining about the Jewish dominated media. In researching Graham’s flip-flops on different theological topics, I’d read one in which great evangelist Graham is quoted as explaining why he chose NOT to evangelize Jews. (as stated in Christian News April 24, 1972, “The Conversion Of The Jews” where Graham said he does not judge the Jews as a people lost to salvation).
Really? So I researched further, googling “Graham evangelize Jews.” What I found was equally disturbing. The Nixon Tapes. I had not been aware of Graham’s recorded conversation revealing his thoughts on what he deemed as a Jewish problem.
Here is the (near) transcript I put together from various quoted articles and also some of the actual tapes. The conversation was held after Graham had led a White House prayer breakfast. The NY Daily News called the conversation “chilling and frightening.” I agree.
Graham had said he’d planned a meeting with editors of Time Magazine
Nixon: You meet with their editors, you better take along your Jewish beanie (yarmulke).
Graham: That right? /chuckles/
Nixon then said that media such as Life magazine, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and others, are “totally dominated by the Jews.” Nixon goes on to say that network TV anchors Howard K. Smith, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite were “front men who may not be of that persuasion,” but that their writers are “95 percent Jewish.”
Graham: This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.
Nixon: You believe that?
Graham: Yes, sir.
Nixon: Oh, boy. So do I. I can’t ever say that but I believe it.
Graham: No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something
Nixon: … not all the Jews are bad, the best Jews are the Israeli Jews
Graham: That’s right … but there’s a powerful bloc of Jews … opposing you in the media.
Graham: And they’re the ones putting out the pornographic stuff.
Graham later confides to Nixon how he acts when Jews are around.
Graham: I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all — I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.
Nixon: You must not let them know.
Graham’s actions of friendliness to Jews to their face and internal hatred for their control of media and their destruction of the country, in addition to being satanic, is hypocrisy at its worst.
In 1994 when the Haldeman diaries were published and Graham was questioned about Haldeman’s memory of events, Graham said flatly that “those are not my words.”
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish. (Proverbs 19:9).
Imagine, to lead a prayer breakfast so sensitively delivered that Nixon said people were in tears, and then for Graham to turn around and speak about the Jewish controlled media that is ruining this country, and colluding with the President to “do something about it” is venal beyond belief.
They are Graham’s words. In 2002 when the tapes themselves were released, it turned out to be true that Billy Graham had indeed spoken those words. He is either a deeply anti-Semitic man, or pretended to be in order to curry favor with a President and keep his seat at the power table. Either way, it’s gross.
In 2002 when the tapes were released, The Nation magazine sought reaction to Graham’s remarks from some prominent Jews. Here is one:
“He just showed that he was the pious hypocrite that we all knew that he was anyway,” says Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who had served in the Kennedy White House a decade earlier. “Sinclair Lewis wrote about all those fellows in the great Elmer Gantry.”
Schlesinger nailed it when he referred to Elmer Gantry.
Gantry is an incendiary look at hypocrisy from the inside. I don’t know how author Sinclair Lewis did it so expertly, but he showed us the very thought process and the slow hardening of heart of one pastor over a lifetime, who inside his whitewashed tomb was evil, lusty, craven, self-seeking, vainglorious, greedy, and more. Read that book.
Oh! The waffle? It came in a 2002 statement.
Although I have no memory of the occasion, I deeply regret comments I apparently made in an Oval Office conversation with President Nixon. They do not reflect my views, and I sincerely apologize for any offense caused by the remarks.’ NY Times