barefooted's picture

    Who Could Argue?

    I was a child in the sixties, and grew up with Billy Graham on our little black and white TV.  We weren't an overtly Christian family (far too admittedly dysfunctional), but he was my parental attempt at being mainstream, I suppose.  My Mom loved him, so I did. 

    In a past life I was very close to someone who worked for  Samaritan's Purse as first a missionary and then, eventually, a numbers cruncher.  As the former, his family suffered due to his long absences and meager pay.  The latter came to pass because four kids and a wife finally said no more to both.  Even as true believers, the family complaints (and questions) were eventually enough to make the difference.  He was able to stay closer to home, though his pay was still minimal.

    Samaritan's Purse is a worthwhile organization ... I truly believe that it was intended to be just that, and hope that it still is.  Due to working for his parents for an entirely different business, I was involved in packing boxes, etc. for their various programs around the world.  I saw them work to collect used eyeglasses, shoes, coats - anything and everything.  My friend (their son) and his fellow missionaries flew around the world whenever a crisis hit - I saw the anxiety when there was an earthquake, a tornado ... a hurricane.  A tsunami, a political uprising ... a coup.  Incredibly dangerous places called to them and they went.  Courageous people left faithful people behind to make a difference, to save lives.  They did.  We simply cannot ignore or discount the important work that has, and is still being, done by so many people who just want to help.  Please remember this paragraph as I move along.    

    Franklin Graham is the head of a corporate organization that shrouds itself in a Christian cloak.  Samaritan’s Purse, under his leadership, has done wondrous work.  Just don’t work for it, because the employees don’t find it quite so wonderful.  You won’t find anything about it on Google … which isn’t unusual if you’re accustomed to searching for negative about the positive.  Franklin is a rich man; his employees are anything but.  Rinse and repeat.  My knowledge about the organization is anecdotal, and qualifying it with data is difficult at best – but I do have second-hand knowledge about what it means to give your life to their cause.  I don’t know if it’s the case with all or most charities that those who drive the good works are treated as nothing more than boots on the ground, but I sincerely hope not.  Those boots are the reason that good things happen – that people are really and truly helped.  But I suspect that the people at the top, like Franklin Graham, didn’t necessarily make personal millions through good works and dirty boots.  They got there on the backs of those who believed in their cause.  They got there with an idea that could only be realized through the use of good people willing to do much more than they would ever do.  Graham, perhaps as an extension of his father, knows this.

    Charitable giving via a website, text, or a check in the mail is obviously a worthwhile thing to do.  Who could argue?  But maybe something local … a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, after-school program … you know your neighborhood.  All I’m suggesting is that if you don’t want to spend time and money on places you’re not sure about, spend that time and money on your local necessities.  Franklin Graham and those like him have enough.


    Thanks . Clearly you wanted to be fair and it seems to me you were successful.

    Probably all charitable orgs are A flawed and B probably  do good.  There's not too much of B around so maybe we have to just live with A.

    Consumer Reports refers to Charity Watch and Charity Navigator as two organizations that can help determine how much charity actually reaches people in need.

    I was fortunate enough to work with a missionary in a land far away, and besides having an amazingly optimistic outlook all the time combined with endurance for 3rd world obstacles, he had some impressive technical chops as well that came in handy. He certainly made my job easier - file that as "success instead of gross failure". I consider him rather unique, but I'm no longer as flippant or negative about these evangelicals. Another time a guy in Mississippi stopped to help my friend and me out in the middle of nowhere, went to quite a bit of trouble for us, & when afterwards I asked him what he was doing, he responded, "well, my wife was working, so I thought I'd drive around and help people". There's a lot of evil in the world, even or often under the name of goodness, but sometimes you have to dig out the little sparks to keep some hope up.

    My friend and his family (including his parents for whom I worked) consider themselves old-school Southern Baptists.  I vehemently oppose a large majority of the teachings offered by that particular Protestant group, but they have a deep belief that goes beyond evangelicalism (though I suppose that depends on your definition of it).   In spite of my cynicism, though, I tried to measure the good works that they did, and the lives they tried to lead against other beliefs that appalled me.  For example: women should be subservient to their husbands in the home ... homosexuality is a sin against God ... etc.  Funny how that sort of thing ends up all topsy-turvy in the real world, even for the most devout; his younger brother came out as gay and divided the family while his oldest brother was married to a woman who dared anyone to call her subservient - and proved why they couldn't every day.

    There's a lot of evil in the world, even or often under the name of goodness, but sometimes you have to dig out the little sparks to keep some hope up.


    I thank you too.

    There are at least 360 sides to any existence.

    Many charitable/religeous organizations accomplish much in feeding the poor, housing the homeless, protecting the pregnant waifs....

    It is just that this heir to the family business is just a corporate, conservative, racist prick.

    Obama was not born in America.

    Obama may be a Muslim....

    yada yada yada.

    After all, I was a Bishop Sheen fan as a kid.

    Sheen left no heirs (I assume, hahahahah)

    Nice, short bio.



    I was a Bishop Sheen fan as a kid.

    Oh my to remind of that! For me, just like with barefooted, I ending up watching Sheen because my mom was a fan (she would later change a great deal on that front, but that's neither here nor there.)

    But unlike barefooted, or you--you must be a few years older than me to have been able to fully understood what he said and what he was about--I remembering thinking of him as: sort of like Dracula! Hushed and spooky, wearing a black cape and speaking softly and enticingly from a dark interior with soft lighting! Oooh, something important and scary going on, be quiet, like church.

    More seriously, later I realized she liked him because he was always taking a moderate "good pastor" view as opposed to the influence of loony tunes commie fighting ultra right going on in the Catholic church at the time. Great fears that the commies were trying to kill the church, he wasn't like that, he was about how to blend living the faith with modern life. God wasn't dead, he would help you figure it all out and be a good person.

    In case I wasn't clear, Dick:  I can't abide Franklin Graham.  He is all you say and more.  I guess I wanted to say that while he's a prick the people (in my anecdotal and limited experience) that work towards the ends he espouses for the purpose of money, power and god-knows-what-else actually are worth our respect.  Not really sure why I wrote the piece to be honest with you, but the elder Graham's death made me look backwards a bit even as I realize the present is pretty screwed up.  ;-)  Just don't let yourself forget that good people are out there, okay?

    You have provided nice links.

    I just read this:

    My problem with these huuuuuuuuuge Christian enterprises is that the families involved end up reaping all these monies.

    Successful folks make a lot of money.

    But Jeeeesus H. Christ, when they make money selling themselves as Christians...

    It pisses me off.

    Maybe, I have some lizzard brain (id as Freud might put it) that makes me jealous of those rich folks.



    Sometimes the families reap other things, too.  There's just no way to tell how life screws with us, Dick, until we look backwards and sideways.  As for looking at other folks and their screws, maybe we're better off assuming we're better off.

    An article that's dealing with both your points, barefooted and Richard:

    Billy Graham Built a Movement. Now His Son Is Dismantling It.

    If you want to understand the evangelical decline in the United States, look no further than the transition from Billy to Franklin Graham.

    By Stephen [email protected], February 24, 2018

    Thanks for that, AA.  It's spot on.

    Well, your thumbs up review is worth a lot, too.

    This WaPo piece about Graham being laid "in honor" at the Capitol Rotunda is interesting.  I didn't know, for example, that:

    Graham joined civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and two Capitol Police officers killed while on duty to lie “in honor” at the Rotunda. The designation is different for presidents, statesmen and war heroes, who lie “in state.” In total, 32 people have been granted the honor, starting with Henry Clay, the former House member and senator from Kentucky and secretary of state.

    The next paragraph, though, reflects my immediate reaction:

    Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the Miller Center for presidential and political history at the University of Virginia, said she thinks honoring someone whose primary service was the conversion of people to a certain faith with a Rotunda ceremony violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    My bold, of course.

    (oops, forgot the WaPo link)

    If these motherfuckers could physically assault the Constitution with an AR-15, they would. Just another lazy day at Trump Ranch, where outrage is as plentiful as prairie dogs and scabies.

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