Sunday, June 26, 2005

Graham Crackers

Scene 1: Entering Flushing Meadows—Corona Park, 4:43 p.m. yesterday.

MOM, disgusted at the sight of a group of about 12 people holding rainbow-colored signs screaming "THANK GOD FOR 9/11," "GOD HATES AMERICA," "GOD HATES BILLY GRAHAM," and worse: What's that?

ME, sighing, equally disgusted: That's Rev. Phelps. He gives "Christians" a bad name.

* * *

Scene 2: Three hours later, seated in the overflow section, we watch the giant video screen as the lead singer of Jars of Clay introduces Billy Graham. Cheers. The camera shows Graham's smiling face.

Cut to Bill Clinton's smiling face.

Pan to wider shot of Bill and a gloating windup-doll Hillary.

BILLY GRAHAM, as the cheers subside: I am so happy to have my good friends the President and Mrs. Clinton here. [Scattered cheers. One indeciperable malign yell from the row behind me.] I have been friends with them for so long that I just think of them as Bill and Hillary. I have always felt that Bill should be an evangelist.


BILLY GRAHAM continues: He would make a very good evangelist. He has a natural gift for it.

[Pause. Video screen shows Bill's grinning, unrepentantly adulterous mug.]

BILLY GRAHAM continues: Then, while he's doing that, Hillary could run the country. [Scattered whoops and hollers.]

* * *

Scene 3—Five seconds later

MOM, turning to me, deadpan: I'm beginning to side with Rev. Phelps.

* * *

UPDATE: Here's a news account with a closer approximation of Graham's words. My memory wasn't far off.