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Friday, March 31, 2017

Billy Graham rule: Goose and gander

Graham in 1966   (Public Domain)
What’s being called the “Billy Graham rule” stems from this:  Back in 1948, Graham realized that sexual immorality had brought down many a well-intentioned evangelist, and therefore decided to never “travel, meet or eat alone” with a woman other than his wife.

This rule is now making headlines because Mike Pence adheres to it.  Twitter users have accused Pence of being misogynist, dehumanizing, patriarchal, and even anti-gospel (because Jesus had maintained close friendships with women).

Now there’s something to be said for guarding against weakness.  And there’s something to be said for acknowledging the power of temptation.  If you’re tempted by, say, ice cream – why make it easy to snack on when no one’s around?

Granted that women are different from ice cream, but the concept of avoiding temptation is somewhat similar.  So the concept itself may be valid, but its one-   way application may not.  In other words, why isn’t there also a “Ruth Graham” rule?  Aren’t monogamous females subject to temptation?  Why single out men as the bad guys in the marital scenario?

Sin (or, as some prefer, “missing the mark”) does not discriminate.  It is an equal-opportunity oppressor.  If you’re breathing, chances are (100 percent?) that you’re subject to its wiles.  So why not include both genders within this important conversation…


Copyright March 31, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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