The Reverend Billy Graham’s Life & Legacy

Charlotte, NC — From presidents to the people, thousands have lined up to pay respects to Billy Graham. He preached to millions across the world, and when he died at the age of 99, praise, prayers and good wishes poured in from all over. Charlotte was his hometown, and where he came home to rest – after being chosen to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, a very rare honor, indeed.

Besides his impact on spirituality, a particular kind, Billy Graham also was associated with politics. So, what does his death mean for the future of the role of religion in politics?

Opinion: After Billy Graham, the Deluge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s difficult to ever imagine another faith leader being dubbed “America’s Pastor.” That’s because of the person Billy Graham was and the current political, social and cultural divisions in our country. And there is also the question of whether pluralistic America wants, needs or should have a pastor — now, then or ever.

Graham was never the universally revered and uncontroversial figure that many of those who now praise him remember. But in reviewing the legacy of a man who lived through much of a century that defined American change and who died at the age of 99 on Wednesday in his home in the North Carolina mountains, it is important to give him his singular, flawed due.

Why Sarah Palin is here to stay

CHARLOTTE – Merry Christmas spoken here.

That could have been the slogan at Sarah Palin’s book-signing on Friday at the Billy Graham Library. As she greeted admirers, surrounded by the lights, trees and decorations, her message came across loud and clear.

“She’s gorgeous,” someone said, after she appeared to loud applause from the crowd. And she was, dressed in black pants and a black patterned lace top – glasses on, hair up and pen ready.

Many of those waiting in line wore a pin that read “It’s OK to Wish Me a Merry Christmas,” carrying through the theme of Palin’s book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” which sees the freedom to express the Christian values of the season under siege.

Billy Graham’s legacy and the thin line between church and state

CHARLOTTE — Visitors to Charlotte often travel from the airport to the city center via the Billy Graham Parkway. It can startle the first time, seeing a public roadway named for a major religious figure. But you get used to it once you’ve lived here awhile. You realize how much the region takes pride in its native son, though the life and history of the man called “America’s Pastor” illustrates — in even his own judgment – how tough it can be to maintain a separation of church and state. Should America have a pastor at all?