Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jon Winters Meets Billy Graham ~ The Interview Part 4

CONTINUED from Previous Blog Entry

JW: I’ve just finished a little book called “It’s No Fun Being a Protestant.” The Jews and the Catholics and the Muslims, ... It’s not sacrilegious. I don’t make fun of Christ. I tell people I’m a Christian. and kind of a paper mache Episcopalian.... The book starts out with my meeting Billy Graham, which really happened. And he said, as he came into the Green Room, 45 years ago,

BG’s Voice: I’m Doctor Graham. Are you who I think you are?

JW: I’m Spanky McFarland, Our Gang comedy.

BG: No, no, who are you? Aren’t you Jonathan Winters?

JW: I know who you are. You’re Dr. Billy Graham.

BG: May I ask, What are you?

JW: I’m Caucasian.

BG: I know that.

JW: No, you don’t. I have brown eyes. Our people got across the river first.

BG: Be serious. What denomination are you?

JW: That’s what you should have asked me. See, driver’s license says Caucasian, and other little items I’ve had to fill out. But what denomination? I’m Episcopalian.

BG: Let me ask you something seriously. And try to be serious. What do you find the difference between my being an evangelist and you being an Episcopalian?

JW: Now Billy, when we go to Yankee Stadium we go to see a ball game.

He didn’t get it.

And I said, when you go to Westminster Abbey, you go to a church second to St Peters. See, when your people get to second base, we’re already home.

So, that’s the book. See, to me, I really do my homework, especially writing a book like this because you’re going to offend a lot of people. But what these people have done on television seven days a week is frightening to me... that you walk up to a man who has cancer in his right arm and you say, “Jesus is going to heal you.” And two thugs, some guys from Harlan County, catch him and supposedly the cancer is gone.

I turned to a guy the other day who is re-born, and he said to me “What are you?” and I told him -- this guy with silver gray hair on CNN or something -- I said “Why don’t you come up here to the Cottage of St. Francis and heal the cancer people there?”

“We don’t do that kind of work.”

JW: It’s not a ballpark or an amphitheater. It’s sixteen kids with cancer. You’re a phony. Get out of my way, Jack.

It’s a big business. A very big business. There’s a lot of guys who are very bad cats who are sucking it in. and the poor public... these people go, wheelchairs ... I don’t know. It’s frightening.

You don’t see Jews out there coming up to my door. You don't see Catholics. Who are these people beating on my door, asking me if I accept Christ? I said to a Jehovah’s Witness, “Do you people ever salute the flag?” and they said, “No, we don’t believe in the flag.”

Get lost, Jack. I don’t need that.

It’s a lot of strange things... people yelling and screaming, going across the stage throwing the Bible up in the air... To me it’s bizarre.

Jon Winters photo courtesy Christina Bergstrom

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