Ross Olson's Web Site

Social Issues: Letters

May 19, 1996
Editorial Department
Star Tribune
425 Portland Avenue South Minneapolis MN 55488

Dear Editor,

Coleman McCarthy self-righteously condemned Billy Graham and criticized the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal (5/19/96). It does not matter to Dr. Graham, whose real rewards come from a higher source, but needs response for Mr. McCarthy's sake, as well as those who look to the Star Tribune for spiritual guidance.

McCarthy scans 50 years of a public ministry, remarkable for freedom from moral and financial scandals, and finds a few quotes and actions he finds unworthy. At least some are out of context. Billy Graham's comments on Civil Rights marches must be understood in light of the fact that his crusades were already integrated.

Feeling Graham should have unequivocally supported law-breaking for protest seems hypocritical from one who would not allow it for abortion foes. I wonder if Mr. McCarthy's statements, over a much shorter span of time than Graham's, could stand close scrutiny.

My biggest concern, however, is the glib rejection of Billy Graham's real message, the gospel of Jesus Christ, as "otherworldly" and "risk-free." Even a fair-minded secularist has to conclude that our country, which is going full tilt over the brink, jumped the track at the point where somebody said, "I guess there is no God; everybody do as you please."
I feel genuine compassion for Mr. McCarthy and those of like mind. His understanding of this world is marginal and his ignorance of the next is complete. Yet, some day, he and they will all be confronted by the Truth and their roles as both deceivers and deceived.

If you want to find out what generates the controversy, I suggest hearing Billy Graham for yourself. As the atheist said, two seconds after death, "Oops!"

Ross S. Olson

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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