Billy Graham has pneumonia

December 4, 2011

Not uncommon for a man his age (93) but so far his spirits are fine, even if his lungs are not.

Doctors at the hospital in Asheville said Graham was able to stand and walk Friday during a physical therapy session.

Dr. Mark Hellreich, a pulmonologist treating Graham, said he’s making good clinical progress and looks better since treatment with antibiotics began.

Graham has suffered from several ailments in recent years. He was admitted to the hospital Wednesday night after suffering from congestion, a cough and a slight fever that was later diagnosed as pneumonia.

I have a history in this blog of mocking challenging his advice. It’s kind of been a once-a-month habit for me to put an atheist spin on various questions “asked” on his column. (I put that in quotations because it’s been debated that questions are assembled by staff and aren’t specific letters sent to him.) If he takes a turn for the worse, he’ll be missed for that reason, if nothing else.

In 2007, Christopher Hitchens called him a “self-conscious fraud” who didn’t believe what he preached and was instead in it for the money. Time Magazine took Hitchens to task for that, suggesting that his proof for that was erroneous. The article further notes that Graham has since apologized for his comments and attitude toward Jews back in 1972.

When we asked Graham about the conversation, his shame was obvious, and he confessed to the other fault at work that day — his sycophancy, the courtier’s habit of trying to win favor with the king by embracing even his most odious ideas. “I think I was just trying to agree with what he[Richard Nixon] said or something,” Graham told us. Hitchens may reject Graham’s many apologies if he chooses, and discount his remorse more evidence of fraud. But rational people should have a hard time accepting Hitchens’ characterization of Graham as “a disgustingly evil man.”

His preaching on radio and television reached millions and there’s little doubt he changed lives; Wikipedia notes the number his staff reports: at least 3.2 million born-again Christians on account of his efforts. Not evil, maybe, but people could debate the good, depending on what kind of Christians they ultimately became. I don’t like to come down on the group as a whole because that’s how unfair generalizations start. Of course there are terrific and kind people who happen to be Christians, just as there are terrific and kind people who happen to be atheists.

His last Crusade was held in New York in June of 2005. His health had already been an issue, with water on the brain, Parkinson’s and prostate cancer on top of that. He was expected to speak each of the three nights to a crowd of 70,000 or so and here it’s reported that 250,000 turned out to hear him over those days. He’s always been open to all stripes of Christians coming by, too, not just the Baptists. The Fox article linked to at the start of this paragraph also notes his unwillingness to paint Islam with a dirty brush.

his son, Franklin Graham…called Islam “a very evil and wicked religion,” the elder Graham has refused to join in and denounce it.

“He simply will not engage in the demonizing of Islam,” Cox said. “[He believes] that the real struggle in the clash of civilizations is in poverty and disease.”

He’s contradicted himself in terms of who should get into heaven, though, according to the In Plain Site article linked in the same paragraph. The author of that mentions Graham saying God will decide and it’s not up to men to say, and that he’s also said that people need Jesus in order to get there.

Either way, I’m sure Graham expects he’ll get there in the end. Whenever the end is.


Taking a snow day

November 6, 2011

Actually, I’m just bloody lazy. I had fun last night at the dance. A lot of people took the costume suggestions to heart and came well kitted out with period outfits. I cheated with jeans and a white T-shirt but that’s been an icon of “fashion” since at least the days of Rebel Without a Cause, so I blended into the 1950s quite nicely. They were giving away free condoms and had several raffle prize baskets made up with stuff donated by 302’s and beginner, intermediate and expert sex toy sets. I don’t hold out hope of winning any of them but who knows.

It is snowing here though, first of the season, and likely to be sticking around until spring now. I bought a dorky looking ear-flap toque that ties under my chin but I had to slice and sew around a couple slits near the ears so I could wear it comfortably with my glasses. It looks even dorkier now, but I’ll be the warm one while those laugh just to keep from freezing…

For those who have to be out on the roads today, good luck and drive safe.


We celebrated the not end of the world with a little karaoke

October 22, 2011

But nobody got up to sing “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine” because nobody felt they could keep up with the lyrics no matter how big they may have been typed on screen.

I’m going back to bed now. I don’t even know why I woke up this early anyway. Oh right – because my brain’s set for 5:30 AM most days anyway and now it thinks I’ve “slept too long.” Not when bedtime was 2AM, foolish brain…


One good day

October 15, 2011

and it’s like giving the rest of them the finger…

My post about witch doctors in Uganda got 390 hits that day, thanks mostly to unexpected popularity via Reddit. Makes my typical 42-70 hit days look even more pathetic. Ah well, I’m not in it for the glory. I just like writing. I’d be writing whether anyone saw this or not.


Your favourite Minion gets email

September 27, 2011

and it looks like this:

Dear Opinion Minion -

Hello form a fellwo Canaidan. I thought you might like my new ebook, “How to Talk to Your New Age Relative”. It’s pretty straight up – some funny bits but essentially full of practical advice!

Kind regards,

Hoagy

Dear Hoagy;

Thanks for the book suggestion. I hope your spell checker worked better for that than it did for your email.

Minion.


I need this awesome font

September 6, 2011

Oooh. Scary! Let that be a reminder…

(via)


Proper posts resume…

September 5, 2011

Nice little break to get out of the big city of Saskatoon, even if the break meant a few days with dial up. The folks wound up getting themselves a new computer this weekend to replace their dud, so I had to do a bit of tech training even though I’m not overly familiar with Windows 7 yet myself. I expect a few facebook messages or phone calls will be in my future. Any questions they ask me will help me, too. There’s always a lot to know.

I got that etre the cow book read and found a list of questions at the back for discussion purposes which I’ll use for a blog post sometime this week.

But now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Doctor Who and Torchwood to catch up on…


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