It’s hard to imagine a more fascinating encounter. Two men, from worlds that couldn’t be further apart, met together on national television in front of a live audience. One, a New York comedian and playwright who, in many ways, represented a culture of nihilism, instant gratification, and neurotic self-focus. The other, a revivalist evangelical preacher born on a dairy farm in North Carolina.
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Decades later, Woody Allen would later reflect on their meeting in 1969:
“Years ago I was on television with Billy Graham and I was taking this position, this bleak outlook position and Billy Graham was saying to me that even if I was right and he was wrong, and there was no meaning to life and it was a bleak experience and there was no god and no afterlife or no hope or anything, he would still have a better life than me, because he believed differently and even if he was 100 percent wrong, our lives would both be completed and I would have had a miserable life wallowing in a bleak outlook and he would have had a wonderful life, confident that there was more.”
[via Denny Burk]