50 Years Ago: See the Conquering Hero
The significance of Dr. Graham’s success is not lost on English church leaders. Though his antiquated theological views are so discredited and exploded that anyone holding them would be turned out of any self-respecting theological college, leaders of the Anglican and Nonconformist Churches rush to climb on his bandwagon. Prominent Methodists like the Rev. E. Benson Perkins, and Anglican prelates like the Bishop of Barking, would three years ago have sooner joined the Rationalist Press Association than had any truck with anyone holding Dr. Graham’s fundamentalist views. But nothing succeeds like success, and a man who gets as many thousand dollars a year as Billy Graham does merely for preaching must obviously be on to a good thing. So on to Dr. Graham’s platform troop Benson Perkins and Dr. Gough of Barking: in the fabulous company of the Graham gospel-singers and cheer-leaders the reverend gentlemen find that they can swallow not only Jonah but also his whale.
The church leaders who support Dr. Graham are, from their own point of view, on the right lines. For it is only by filling the churches again that the leaders of organized religion can win back their former high place in society.
(From an article by Alwyn Edgar, Socialist Standard, February 1956)