Billy Graham’s Wrong Idea: Atheists are Immoral

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Clearly Billy Graham‘s “letters” in his column with the The Oklahoman are shills; made up personae who “write letters” that are convenient devices for Graham to build an opinion on. I could be wrong. Perhaps “S.K.” is a real person who genuinely wrote a real letter to Graham. I doubt it, but here’s “S.K.’s” letter:

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: The kindest, most thoughtful person I know says she’s an atheist and doesn’t even believe in God. I always thought we needed to believe in God before we’d behave like she does, but I guess this isn’t necessarily true, is it?


Graham’s reply is basically that S.K.’s friend just looks like a good person and really isn’t since only a Christian can be moral. Here’s part of Graham’s reply. You can read the whole thing at the link below.

Why is she such a kind and thoughtful person? I don’t know the reason; perhaps she simply has a sunny personality (as some people do), or perhaps her parents taught her to be kind and considerate when she was growing up. But I do know this: She’s not this way because she’s an atheist. In fact, she’s this way despite her atheism — because a true atheist has no real reason to believe in right and wrong or to behave sacrificially toward others.

Read more:

Obviously Graham is completely and utterly wrong. If you accept his version, there were never moral people before Christianity and there are no moral Hindu, Muslim, Polynesians, Native Americans, Inuit, etc. To accept his version of morality, we must believe that prisons are full of atheists and not Christians.

Morality doesn’t come from Graham’s god and to believe such a superstition is a delusion or a willful lie.

But what’s truly interesting is this: if his letter writer is a shill (and I think it is), then that means Graham invented the letter by S.K. to bring up the topic. Even if the letter writer isn’t a shill, how many letters would Graham have had to choose from to pick this one?  The point is, the topic of atheism is one that he chose.

The new atheists and the “atheist agenda” have evangelicals like Billy Graham worried. We’re vocal and determined not to be marginalized. We’re standing up for Church-State separation issues (which is precisely antithetical  to Graham’s move to merge the two everywhere possible). And we’re hiding in the shadows less and less: bestsellers by atheists on atheism hitting the shelves each year, entire conventions being held on the topic of atheism, and the internet is our backyard.

Ironically, Graham’s efforts may have backfired. If the comments section of that article are any indication. Atheists in Oklahoma have spoken out against his bigotry and very few Christians have made any attempt to support his position.

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