By Jonathon Van Maren
I wasn’t going to write anything about Billy Graham’s passing simply because I don’t have anything new or interesting to say about him. I never met him, although my grandmother went to hear him out of curiosity at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam in 1955 with a fellow nurse. I attend a conservative Reformed church, and so our theology runs to the George Whitefield tradition as opposed to the more Wesleyan tradition of Billy Graham, who apparently preached directly to more than 210 million people—the largest number of anyone in human history.
But the response to Graham’s death was interesting, in that it proved a point that many of us who are engaged in the culture wars have been making for quite some time: The “Love Wins” activists of the LGBT crowd have only vitriolic hatred for anyone who refuses or refused to embrace the redefinition of marriage and the trashing of 2,000 years of Christian belief on sexuality. Canada’s Michael Coren, who is rather renowned in media for being a nasty fellow, has penned a column solemnly urging those mourning Graham’s passing to also remember that Graham didn’t change his mind on gay marriage, and thus unfortunately is consigned in history to standing with pipsqueaks like St. Augustine and G.K. Chesterton, rather than giants like the adept mind-changer Coren himself.
And Coren’s pitiful offering was only the least of it. John Semley, the freelance writer who penned a sloppy and slanderous takedown of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson in the Globe and Mail, tweeted hopefully that Billy Graham is now “reading the scripture in hell, baby!” Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca tweeted “Have fun in hell, b****.” The Independent announced that the “outpouring of grief for evangelist Billy Graham is disturbing given his homophobic views,” because apparently nobody is allowed to cry when someone who doesn’t agree with gay marriage dies.
Aside from those few examples—I could go on, but they all say more or less the same thing—countless tweets, all wishing that the Hell these activists presumable do not believe exists, would briefly come into being in order to receive Rev. Graham. And why? Because he preached the simple truths about marriage and the human person that Christianity has held since the Crucifixion. There is no simple “live and let live” in a society where gay activists have, for the moment, won the majority of the cultural victories. Even the death of someone who disagrees with them must be greeted with hatred, derision, and the wishes of eternal pain. Don’t cry, they warn everyone. It’s just another dead homophobe.
It’s a shame that “Love Wins” was just a pathetic hashtag.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.