Lightning rod. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Reverend Graham. He certainly lacks the panache that his father had all those years ago. But then, Billy Graham was a preacher in a different world. Though clearly the godlessness and anti-Christian waves were flowing even then, on the surface America at least gave lip service to its Christian moral roots.
Still, even then, Graham was dealing with a nation where outward assaults on Christian liberty and Christian belief were considered controversial. They may have been reduced to controversial in the sense of 'we can believe what we want to believe', but they were controversial nonetheless. So when Sinead O'Connor dissed on Pope John Paul II, it was still enough to cause push back on her career.
But no more. Today, a celebrity can say almost anything about Christianity, religion, or traditional values and experience nothing in return, save perhaps praise and recognition. Those who stand for traditional Christian values, on the other hand, at best can expect to be mocked, ridiculed and cause the same controversy that Ms. O'Connor caused all those years ago. At worst, they can expect to face fines, termination from employment and even, in one case so far, jail time.
Once upon a time, people thought abortion would be the wedge issue. But too many liberals, hippies, atheists and new agers ,who in all ways accepted everything about our modern hedonistic, narcissistic age, still resisted abortion. Some were staunchly against abortion. Meanwhile some from more traditional, conservative backgrounds were at least willing to allow for abortion in the gravest of circumstances.
But with homosexuality, the lines are clear. Only if you hold to the most traditional reading of morality do you object. Otherwise, if you accept any amount of the modern heresies and premises of the Left, you'll have no problem accommodating, or even celebrating, this new approach to human sexuality and human identity. Even in the Catholic Church, there are some who act as though as long as there is no penetration involved, everything Dr. Drew says about non-heterosexual normality is spot on accurate. That's not counting those Catholics - a majority in the United States - who fully support gay marriage.
Therefore that's where the hammer has fallen. That is the dividing line, the issue with which the historic Christian Faith can be marginalized and even ostracized. That is the issue over which those with stars on their bellies can properly be separated from those without stars on their bellies. It's the issue that can be used to start punishing a failure to conform to the New Order. As a result, I must say go Rev. Graham. I might not like the style, but I prefer someone in today's muddled world of long, slow retreat to stand up and warn our nation where we are heading, both spiritually and practically. Especially since it won't be us, but likely our children and their children, who pay the price.
Once this issue has effectively segregated the right from wrong thinkers, other issues will begin to be added to the list. That's obvious. Any thinking person can see that one coming. But for now, gay rights is the issue of Christianity's eradication, and at least Rev. Graham is willing to raise a sword and charge into the fray. If only more Catholics would do the same, rather than attempt to accommodate was has absolutely no intention of accommodating.