Culture Clips: Remembering Billy

A giant has passed. Billy Graham, the evangelist who travelled the world inviting millions to follow Jesus Christ, has died at the age of 99.

Christianity Today, the magazine that Graham himself founded, invited prominent evangelicals to weigh in on Graham’s momentous cultural influence, both among evangelicals and in the broader culture. CT‘s Marshall Shelley penned the magazine’s official obituary, writing, “Billy Graham was perhaps the most significant religious figure of the 20th century, and the organizations and the movement he helped spawn continue to shape the 21st. During his life, Graham preached in person to more than 100 million people and to millions more via television, satellite, and film. Nearly 3 million have responded to his invitation to ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ at the end of his sermons. He proclaimed the gospel to more persons than any other preacher in history.”

Others voicing their praise for Graham’s singular life included J.I. Packer, Philip Yancey, Rick Warren, John Stott and Lauren F. Winner. Focus on the Family president Jim Daly also reflected on Graham’s culture-shaping legacy, reiterating one of the evangelist’s most famous quotes: “My home is heaven. I’m just traveling through this world. Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”


Elsewhere in this eventful week, another mass shooting continues to spur conversations about the factors that contribute to such tragic events. Florida students marched on that state’s capital, urging lawmakers to enact stricter gun-control laws; but The Federalist contributor David Marcus asked whether turning to students themselves for leadership on this charged issue really helps them in his article “Stop Putting Traumatized Teenagers on Television.” Some pondered whether many boys today are “broken” and parsed the concept of “toxic masculinity.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott focused on the link between mental illness and gun ownership, saying, “If somebody is mentally ill, they can’t have access to a gun.”

Still others, however, pointed to the deeper problem of evil. Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe said in a Facebook post, “Evil is real. As long as humans have walked the earth, people have chosen to do evil things. This is what happened in Florida. A nineteen-year old man chose to do an evil thing. He planned it. He executed it. He succeeded.”

Black Panthers roaring, record-shattering box-office success—it’s only the fifth film ever to top $200 million in its first three days—has Hollywood rethinking what works and why at the multiplex. But despite receiving praise for its almost entirely African-American cast, others are chastising the filmmakers for not including LGBTQ characters in the film (even though there are same-sex attracted characters in the most recent iteration of the Black Panther comic book series). Elsewhere, Black Panther actress Letitia Wright has been talking about how God called her to Hollywood as her mission field.

USA Today asked the question, “How common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood?” The study conducted by the news outlet to answer it produced a sobering answer: Of the 834 women in the entertainment industry surveyed, 94% reported some form of sexual harassment.

Finally this week, if you really want to be happy in life, aiming to come in third—to claim the bronze medal—might be a helpful strategy, according to the NBC’s article “Want to be happier? Think like a bronze medalist.” Which is probably good advice for a U.S. Olympic team that’s often struggled to reach even the third tier in this year’s games.