Obama's visit to the West Bank took him into the center of the Palestinian tragedy where outrage over Israel's military occupation and civilian settlements has been punctuated by bursts of terrorist violence, quiet oppression, and demoralizing acquiescence.
Many folks assume that Billy Graham is a right-wing ideologue because he shares many of the most literal interpretations of the Bible espoused by Christian fundamentalists. But as an evangelical, his beliefs are more nuanced.
Machiavelli understood, arguably better than anyone of his age, that religion can be an effective tool for buttressing the prince's stature and advancing his politics. The sharp-minded Italian theorist also counseled the prince to wield religion as a political weapon.
"Rev. Graham is a man of character," Gomes told me, with an easy smile. His high assessment of Rev. Graham stemmed from a terribly difficult period that began when Gomes announced in 1991 that he was "a Christian who happens as well to be gay."
If he were to return to his own comments about poverty, if he were to write his own statement and if he were to recall his own Bible-based lobbying for the War on Poverty, he could finally fulfill the role that has long eluded him: a truly biblical prophet.