By Scott Myers, Contributor
Why do evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham continue to enable Donald Trump?
Maybe it is because Donald Trump likely throws money at Franklin Graham’s charity – Samaritan’s Purse.
Or maybe it is because Franklin Graham and his ilk are very much like Donald Trump – con men extremely skilled at taking money from the less fortunate, and for a very long time.
Now it’s true that Donnie Bone Spurs has the well-documented additional character flaws of infidelity and sexual misconduct. But keep in mind that he has to find something else to do with his spare time as he does not work 80 hours per week as does Franklin Graham, allegedly.
In reviewing the IRS 990 forms for Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) for the year 2014 (last year for which BGEA filed a 990 form), one sees that Franklin Graham claimed to work 40 hours per week at each of the two charities (80 hours per week total) and received total compensation of $888,498.
But it is not hard to believe that the then 62-year old Franklin Graham could easily work 80 hours per week, since his then 96-year old father, Billy Graham, was claiming to work 40 hours per week at BGEA and was paid $242,934. Not to mention that Franklin Graham’s spouse, daughter, and two sons were paid a total of $366,683 during the year 2014 as well.
In 2015, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was reclassified as an “Association of Churches” and no longer provides a Form 990. BGEA’s financial information can now be found online. This report divulges no information of salaries and benefits paid to members of the Graham family for the years after 2014. I wonder why the move to less transparency was made.
However, this note from page 25 of the report is of interest because Billy Graham at the beginning of 2018 was 99 years old. The Association entered into a purchase agreement with Dr. Graham, Board Chairman Emeritus, to explicitly assign certain intellectual property rights to the Association (see Note 9).
The transaction was reviewed in accordance with the Association’s Conflict of Interest policy, with Board approval of the purchase agreement supported by the opinion of an intellectual property valuation expert. Under the terms of this agreement, annual payments to Dr. Graham of $120,000 commenced in 2015 and will continue for the duration of his life.
Well, we no longer have to wonder if 99-year old Billy Graham is still building up his 401K account, as he just passed on 2/21/2017 with a net worth of $25 million.
Billy will get to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda, an honor historically reserved for the truly honorable.
And I guess that Jesus and God have been so unfulfilling for Franklin, Billy, and other family members, that they continued to pay themselves extremely well from the donations of the faithful, year after year, to fill their spiritual void.
Maybe, there is scant difference at all between Franklin Graham and Donald Trump.