Monday, February 4, 2019

Franklin Graham Channels his Inner Frank

So, according to Australian journalism's number one Israel fanboy Greg Sheridan, he & Tony did Billy Graham in 1979:

"With Tony Abbott and an evangelical friend, I went to see Billy Graham at Sydney's Randwick racecourse in 1979. He was compelling and brilliant, with his dramatic gestures, magnificent voice, Hollywood good looks. Neither Abbott nor I felt impelled to join the throngs coming forward to commit their lives, simply because we were already Catholics... So we watched the performance with some admiration from the bleachers." (God and GrahamThe Australian, 2/2/19)

That little confession comes in what is essentially a promo for Billy's son Franklin, who'll be touring Australia next week.

As does this telling prognosis from Franklin Graham himself:

"I think, as a nation, our culture will descend eventually into chaos. In parts of the world where the Christian faith has not had much of an influence, such as the modern Middle East, it's scary what people have to endure."

Now in light of that, it's worth remembering what actually happened the last time the medieval forbears of Tony, Greg, and the Grahams 'toured' the Middle East - at various times between the 11th and 13th centuries centuries

Take, for example, the conquest of Jerusalem by those soldiers of Christ, aka Crusaders, aka Franks in the late 11th century. Forget "influence," 'impact' is the word here, and "scary" doesn't even begin to do justice to what Jerusalem's inhabitants had to "endure" in July 1099:

"With the fall of Jerusalem and its towers one could see marvellous works. Some of the pagans were mercifully beheaded, others pierced by arrows plunged from towers, and yet others, tortured for a long time, were burned to death in searing flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet lay in the houses and streets, and men and knights were running to and fro over corpses." (Raymond of Aguilers, quoted in Thomas Asbridge, The First Crusade: A New History, 2004, p 316)

"After a very great and cruel slaughter of Saracens, of whom 10,000 fell in that same place, they put to the sword great numbers of gentiles who were running about the quarters of the city, fleeing in all directions on account of their fear of death: they were stabbing women who had fled into palaces and dwellings; seizing infants by the soles of their feet from their mothers' laps or their cradles and dashing them against the walls and breaking their necks; they were slaughtering some with weapons, or striking them down with stones; they were sparing absolutely no gentile of any place or kind." Gesta Francorum, ibid, p 317)

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