Billy Graham was a dangerous influence on the White House


In life and in death, Billy Graham has been depicted as a benign counselor to presidents. On Wednesday, he became the first religious leader to lie in state at the US Capitol.

Now, we owe ourselves a reckoning with Graham, who spread his brand of evangelical Christianity around the world while having unfettered access to the Oval Office for decades.

Graham first rose to prominence after World War II, pitching tent revivals and crusades all over the country. He was propped up by William Randolph Hearst, and by 1951 Graham was well in the pocket of Texas billionaire Sid Richardson. It was Richardson who dispatched Graham to Paris to convince Dwight Eisenhower to run for president.

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