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Quote of the Day: What Billy Graham Said About the Jews and Then Lied About It

billy graham 1951
Billy Graham, 1951

President Richard Nixon recorded Evangelical evangelist Billy Graham saying the following about Jews:

They’re [Jews] the ones putting out the pornographic stuff. The Jewish stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.

I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal (A.M. Rosenthal) at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all — I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.

Graham lied about the quote, saying:

Those are not my words. I have never talked publicly or privately about the Jewish people, including conversations with President Nixon, except in the most positive terms. (May 1994)

After the Nixon/Watergate tapes were revealed, Graham was forced to confront his antisemitism. In 2002, Graham stated:

I don’t ever recall having those feelings about any group, especially the Jews, and I certainly do not have them now. My remarks did not reflect my love for the Jewish people. I humbly ask the Jewish community to reflect on my actions on behalf of Jews over the years that contradict my words in the Oval Office that day.

I, for one, tend to believe what people say the first time. Graham’s apology was a CYA moment. He knew that he would lose Evangelical support if his true feelings about Jews were known. Evangelicals love the Jews, even though their Bible says God plans to slaughter them during the Great Tribulation.

These quotes should put an end to post such as this one from Charisma, How Billy Graham Avoided Scandal His Entire Life. He didn’t, as this post makes abundantly clear.

Quotes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar
    dale m

    We shouldn’t have to fear these people. They have, in reality, no real god to protect them, despite their belief. It’s only in our failure to prepare ourselves against their animosity that we fail ourselves. Take them at face value? I don’t see any real resistance to them. I see only words. And they have little circulation. We’re like the Jews in 1930s Germany. Wrong nation. Wrong place. Wrong time.

  2. Avatar

    Billy Graham also said Jesus would return in his lifetime. Whoops. By the way Pat Robertson recently stated that the Holy Spirit will intervene January 6 and give Donald Trump the election win. I guess it won’t take long to give this one a whoops. By the way Kenneth Copeland claimed defeat of Covid 19 last spring. Whoops. Etc Etc

  3. Avatar

    I don’t think evangelicals really love Jewish people – evangelicals love Israel because of their eschatology, and evangelicals know they aren’t really supposed to mess with Jews because God promises to curse those who curse “his people”, but evangelicals think Jews are going to hell and that Christians are “grafted onto the vine” of those favored by God aka his chosen people. Or at least that’s what I picked up un evangelicalism so that may not be an overall representation.

  4. Avatar

    Billy Graham was a product of his time and region. I’m a bit impressed that he was as decent as he was, though he and his family won’t be going on camel back through any needle eyes.
    His children in the ministry are deplorable though.
    Interesting, from the Bible the prophets would call out the king when the king was in the wrong. But Franklin can only sing the praises of Trump.

  5. Avatar
    amy b

    Ugh, Billy Graham was a mediocre preacher and a shill for the dominionists who used him to gain influence and power in this country. I was pretty pissed off at the lavish funeral he was given.

    Of course, it’s ok to be anti-Semitic if your preaching gives unequivocal legitimacy to the colonial settler state of Israel. I’ve always loved (/s) how he called the ancient Israelites “Israelis”. The man really wasn’t all that bright, and he might have been marginally more decent than his kids, but who raised them??

    ETA: “And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.” What the heck does that mean? How would he have handled them, and under what circumstances? The only thing that needs “handling” is the Zionist lobby, and dog knows he had no objections to THEM.

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Bruce Gerencser