Bryce is clear that the Billy Sunday
revival was part of the problem; from the other available evidence we can surmise that a disagreement developed between those who thought Sunday's anything-goes tactics necessary for stoking religious renewal and those who resented attacks on the devotion of long-time church members.
Confronting the terrible contradiction to such values in real life--in the random slaughter of World War I and the hypocrisy of Billy Sunday
, or, more abstractly, the implicit assumptions of readers about revolution, Reed constantly invokes an ironic mode in his narrative.
Bruns should not be regarded as an apologist for Billy Sunday
, though he is clearly not without sympathy for his subject.
Taunted, and challenged by trainer Billy Sunday
(Robert De Niror), he suffers a crippling injury, but unexpectedly joins forces with Sunday to battle the Navy's bureaucracy.
But training officer Billy Sunday
(Robert De Niro) has other ideas.
Robert De Niro is so far over the top as gung-ho US Navy diver Billy Sunday
, he's like Barnacle Bill on rocket fuel.
When he actually manages to get into diving school, he immediately finds himself up against instructor Billy Sunday
(Robert De Niro), a former master diver no longer able to dive because of an injured lung.
Then, with the help of Master Chief Navy Diver Billy Sunday
(a fictional composite of men Brashear had encountered in his career), he proves himself capable of resuming diving duty when, in front of a Navy tribunal, he painfully walks a dozen steps in full diving gear.
De Niro plays Brashear's training officer, the fictional Master Chief Navy Diver Billy Sunday
, who is described as "a composite of various Navy men Carl Brashear met during his career".
Baseball, of course, was the first to get into-the act, thanks to Billy Sunday
, the Billy Graham of the early 20th century, though Sunday was talented enough to play several seasons in the major leagues.
Traditionalists" like the evangelist Billy Sunday
predictably decried "'the moral miasma of unbelief oozing from our higher institutions of learning,'" but even such "progressive" intellectuals as youth-advocate Ben Lindsey understood that the Loeb-Leopold case was inextricably related to "'joy rides, jazz parties, petting parties, freedom in sex relations and the mania for speed on very turn.
After three-quarters of a century, Carl Sandburg's most controversial poem--a diatribe in free verse against Billy Sunday
, the Elmer Gantry-like evangelist who preached fire and brimstone and was a forerunner of today's televangelists--has been published in unexpurgated form for the first time.