As noted in Short Takes, Billy Graham shuffled off this mortal coil at the age of 99. The commentariat is full of remembrances of “America’s pastor” and how he gave advice to presidents starting back in the 1950’s and how he gave comfort to millions through his ministry.
But he also gave rise to the horde of hucksters, bigots, and thieves disguised as ministers who raked in millions of tax-free dollars from the gullible while peddling bullshit bottled as salvation. He also endowed his son Franklin with a nasty right-wing agenda of arrogant hatred; Torquemada in Prada.
That’s not to say that without Billy Graham there wouldn’t have been evil masquerading as holiness; some other enterprising Elmer Gantry would have emerged just as easily in our get-rich-quick culture of ballyhoo and miracle cures. But I’d just as soon he had stuck to some other line of work.