Should There Be A Statue of  Billy Graham in the Capitol?

BRENT MOORE is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The state must complete 10 steps to install a Billy Graham statue.

Scarcely a day after Reverend Billy Graham’s body lay in the rotunda of the US Capitol, GOP members of Congress have requested a stature of the televangelist be installed inside the Capitol building. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, apparently wants the same: he asked a statue of Charles Aycock, a former governor of the state, to be taken down and a statue of Graham installed in its place. This change was actually approved by legislators in 2015, but the formal request was not done at that time as it could not be done until the death of who many people regard as a Christian icon.

Graham, a Charlotte, North Carolina-born televangelist pastor, preached to worldwide audiences. He was known to have provided spiritual advice to a number of US presidents. Many world leaders also admired him. After a career spanning about 60 years, Graham breathed his last on February 21 in his Montreat home.

After Graham died, Governor Cooper took the statue process on to its next step. In his letter, he asked the Library of Congress Joint Committee to approve the request made by State of North Carolina to substitute Governor Charles Aycock’s statue presently located in Statuary Hall Section with a new statue of late Reverend William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr. This is one of the many needed steps in a 10 step process which must be completed in full to replace the statue.

The first step among 10 steps was done in 2015 when North Carolina passed the needed legislation on the specific statue to be replaced and whose statue will be put on the pedestal. A commission was created to choose a sculptor. It was also decided at that time who would manage the finances of this particular activity.

A letter carrying the same intention was sent by Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest to the Architect of Capitol on February 27. He asked the official to approve North Carolina’s request for replacing Governor Aycock’s statue with Reverend Graham. The process cycle ends with choosing the new statue’s permanent location. This must satisfy a number of strict parameters like material, size, and weight.

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