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Separation of Church and State Starts With Kicking Billy Graham Out of the Rotunda

Graham, a champion of war, whispered into the ears of presidents and emboldened their villainy.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to honor Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister Billy Graham February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. A spiritual counselor for every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama and other world leaders for more than 60 years, Graham died February 21 at the age of 99. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) quotes George W. Bush with the words, "God's work within me began with Billy's outreach."

He was, of course, referring to the recently deceased luminary, Billy Graham. Just what work does the former president refer to in this comment? Could it be his work repeating lies to the World about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? Could he possibly mean the Shock and Awe he rained down on the Iraqi people after Congress transferred to him their powers to wage war? Perhaps he credits his deployment of mercenary killers—like the thugs from Blackwater—to the spiritual inspiration he garnered from conversations with Rev. Graham.

The evidence against "America's Pastor" includes memos he wrote calling for the combined destruction of hundreds of thousands—even millions—of human lives.

How about that Patriot Act? Did Bush come to the light just so that he could use it to spy on his fellow Americans? As the Guardian's Ross Barkan stated so eloquently last October, "The blood on George W. Bush's hands will never dry."

Well, if Bush's hands are still wet, then Billy Graham's are drenched through and through. With no direct ties linking Graham to Bush's political policies, the sins on Graham's soul seem to be sins of association. In this case, Graham's more like the criminal who goes to jail for murder even though during the robbery his buddy did all the killing. Graham just encouraged Bush down the crusader's path.

Still, Graham's long list of fiendish deeds span many presidential administrations and are most easily identified with the Nixon Administration. In the case of Vietnam, Graham's bloodthirsty role is well documented. The evidence against "America's Pastor" includes memos he wrote calling for the combined destruction of hundreds of thousands—even millions—of human lives.

This begs the question: How can political pundits and the media confer the title of American Pastor on a Christian Minister who encouraged policies resulting in—not just the deaths of millions world-wide—but hundreds of thousands of U.S. casualties? Even if Christians want to wash the blood of his presumed enemies off his hands, how do they wash away the blood of their own fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers and children?

Leaving the discussion of whether or not Billy Graham was a good follower of Jesus to the Christians, these questions remain: How dare the United States Congress revere his alleged godliness by setting his mortal remains in a U.S. Government building? Shouldn't Rev. Graham's casket be in a church? Why are the halls of Congress welcoming to Rev. Graham when they were not to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Rev. King, a man of peace, marched for freedom and equality. Rev. Graham, a champion of war, whispered into the ears of presidents and emboldened their villainy.

Graham, now the fourth non-governmental person Congress has honored by displaying his coffin in the Rotunda, joins civil rights leader Rosa Parks and two Capital Security Officers, Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson, killed in the line of duty. All three showed great courage as they dedicated their lives to protecting their fellow Americans from assault. And now all three of them have been significantly insulted by Congress as they are forced to share the honor with an unholy harbinger of war.

A necessary and renewed separation of church and state starts with kicking the Reverend Billy Graham out of the Rotunda.

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Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche is an author, activist and advocate. She is the author of "Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States."  Her new novel, The Magic Diary, is due out in late spring.

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