Billy Graham, the minister who evangelized George W. Bush, was not a supporter of Martin Luther King. Now that the voters have struck a strong note against religious fundamentalism in government, this is something worth thinking about.
Using previously unpublished documents, religious studies professor Michael Long says that the popular evangelist largely opposed King's tactics of civil disobedience. He never dreamed of or worked for a world of racial reconciliation, economic justice and peace.
In the November 16 issue of the New York Review of Books, religious author Gary Wills writes that religious fundamentalism has as strong a hold on the current administration as big business does. He writes that Bush "was converted during a stroll with Graham on his father's Kennebunkport compound?Bush promised his evangelical followers faith-based social services, which he called 'compassionate conservatism.' He went beyond that to give them a faith-based war, faith-based law enforcement, faith-based education, faith-based medicine, and faith-based science."
Wills goes on to say that "it is common knowledge that?lobbyists have a say in the drafting of economic legislation?it is less known that for social services, evangelical organizations were given the same right to draft bills and install the officials who implement them. Karl Rove had cultivated the extensivenetwork of religious right organizations, and they were consulted at every step of the way as the administration set up its policies on gays, AIDS, condoms, abstinence programs, creationism?"
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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