NPR

Billy Graham Walked A Line, And Regretted Crossing Over It, When It Came To Politics

The evangelical preacher sought to be seen as above the partisan political fray. But in his actions and associations, Graham often proved how difficult such an attitude can be to achieve or sustain.

American politics have always been rife with individuals who invoked the Almighty and sought divine leverage to achieve their own agendas.

Partisans on both the right and the left have revered such figures – when they agreed with their ends – and reviled them when they did not.

But it is hard to think of any clergy in any era who have ascended quite so far in the national political consciousness as Billy Graham.

It may be hard for younger Americans to appreciate the degree to which Graham mattered, or appeared to matter, in the politics of an era now past. Although he never ran for office or hosted a TV show or headed up a religious

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