By Pierre Tristam
What’s the difference between Koran-burning Terry Jones in Gainesville and Franklin Graham in his North Carolina Boone? Jones is a firefly fanatic, his lasting value about equal to a larval life form. He’s already forgotten. Graham has his father’s name. His father’s congregations. His father’s reputation. He’s soiling and shredding all three fast. But immensity of Billy Graham’s breadth, admirable in so many respects, takes time to demolish. Especially when you still get invited to national television shows and treated with the deference your father commanded.
There is no difference between Terry Jones and Franklin Graham, except this: Graham is more dangerous. He’s the fanatic in respectability’s guise. He’s the fool with a following. That following gives him the legitimacy of the Sunday chat shows (though Louis Farrakhan’s following is proportionately larger in the United States, but you don’t see him allowed to wince it up on the Sunday chat shows).
Graham and Graham’s types must be heard: you don’t let a guy with a following like that do his bit in the shadows. It’s necessary, even vital, to know fanaticism intimately in order to demolish it. Hear him. But don’t let him get away with it, unless you’re his willing accomplice.