Billy Graham Trades in Microphone for Pen, Saying No to London
Billy Graham won't crusade in London (or, probably, anywhere else)
A press release from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) suggests that Graham's New York evangelistic crusade three weeks ago was his last, but the statement does not say so explicitly.
Graham had repeatedly stated that he hoped to hold a crusade in London in November as a kind of capstone to his ministry. His 12-week 1954 crusade there launched his ministry as an international figure, ending in a Wembley Stadium event attended by 122,000.
But after consulting with doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the 86-year-old evangelist says he and his wife, Ruth, are getting too ill and too old to travel so far.
"After much prayerful consideration I determined I should not be that far from home," Graham said in a letter to London clergy who had extended the invitation. "This was a difficult decision because London has played such a significant part in the life of my ministry."
The BGEA says the decision was made before London's bombings and the announcement that the city would host the 2012 Olympic Games, but both incidents would surely make a Graham crusade in that city even more complicated.
In a press release, the organization says that Franklin Graham has already planned "an aggressive schedule of crusades" through 2007 and that the BGEA is planning "the most ambitious international broadcasting outreach in its 55-year history."
But the evangelistic ministry of the organization's namesake will be limited to "writing several books and contributing to other special projects he has begun in recent years," says the group.
Organization spokesmen, however, are repeating Billy Graham's frequent statement about future crusades, "Never say never."
"Right now, there are no other crusades in preparation," Billy Graham's publicist, A. Larry Ross, told The Charlotte Observer. But Franklin Graham's publicist, Mark DeMoss, told the paper that Billy has a standing invitation to speak at any of Franklin's scheduled crusades. As to whether Billy's stadium days are over, DeMoss said, "That's one I can't answer."
Today's Washington Post has an update on religious conservatives' opposition to a Supreme Court nomination for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. Religious conservatives, Charles Lane reports,
in recent days have switched from arguing that Gonzales is ideologically unreliable to asserting that he would have to disqualify himself whenever issues he worked on in the Bush administration came before the court.
Jan LaRue, chief counsel of Concerned Women for America, a conservative organization, distributed a memo to the group's members yesterday listing six social issues on which Gonzales might have to recuse.
"We don't think it's likely the president will nominate him," LaRue wrote. "It has nothing to do with Gonzales personally, and these recusal concerns are shared by others."
It'd be nice to credit Weblog for the change, since Tuesday's longwinded posting recommended such a change. But National Review Online's Edward Whelan has been hounding this story more than Weblog has.
War & terrorism:
- After bombings, Europe rushes back to moral basics | On Sunday they packed 'em ina circumstance you wouldn't have noted for a long while in English churches (William Murchison, The Dallas Morning News)
- Abu Ghraib tactics were first used at Guantanamo | Techniques were approved by Rumsfeld (The Washington Post)
- Report discredits FBI claims of abuse at Guantánamo Bay | A high-level military investigation into complaints by FBI agents about the abuse of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, concluded in a report released Wednesday that their treatment was sometimes degrading but did not qualify as inhumane or as torture (The New York Times)
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
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