Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228484
Title: AMERICA’S PASTOR AND AMERICAN SOCIETY: AN EXAMINATION OF BILLY GRAHAM’S POLITICAL AND SOCIAL POSITIONS
Authors: GERALD KOH ZHEN YUAN
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2022
Citation: GERALD KOH ZHEN YUAN (2022-03-30). AMERICA’S PASTOR AND AMERICAN SOCIETY: AN EXAMINATION OF BILLY GRAHAM’S POLITICAL AND SOCIAL POSITIONS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to explore one significant, and occasionally overlooked aspect of Billy Graham’s legacy – namely, his involvement with American politics and broader social concerns. Specifically, the angle by which this thesis is examining Graham’s positions is to ask whether Graham can be categorised as a precursor to the ‘Religious Right’ during the peak of his career, or even whether he was an actual part of such a group. This thesis argues that such categorisation is largely inaccurate in describing Graham. In his expressed political and social positions, there were certain areas where he had alignment with the ‘Religious Right’; however, he differed from them in numerous key areas as well. This displays how Graham’s approach to politics and social concerns was rather complex and nuanced, and ultimately defies easy categorization. There are three primary areas where Graham’s positions can be closely examined. The first is with his extraordinary record of associating with eleven consecutive Presidents during his lifetime, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush. While functioning as a de facto ‘White House Chaplain’, he went about this role in a bipartisan spirit, not prioritising Presidents of one party over another, and focusing on acting as a spiritual and pastoral guide rather than a political advisor of any sort. The second is with his uncompromising opposition against Communism, particularly in the earlier stages of the Cold War, although he did mellow on that front in the later stages of the Cold War. The third is his complicated, although generally positive approach towards the Civil Rights Movement, and the racial issues that led to it.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228484
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