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Friday, June 12, 2015

In which Franklin Graham tries to get himself and his money through the eye of a needle, and other tales

Franklin Graham is everywhere today: On Facebook he compares himself to The Runaway Bunny. He says he will not follow a Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality in a big ad buy. And- after several days' silence- he tries to explain his choice of banks.

Franklin Graham says the difference between Wells-Fargo and BB&T is Wells-Fargo does gay-friendly customer ads on national TV- where he might see them, and BB&T- a regional bank- doesn't.

Box Turtle Bulletin reports on some contorted BB&T explanations about how it supports community events without necessarily supporting what they stand for, and wonders if there are some wink-winks/nudge-nudges that came with the deal to get Franklin Graham's millions.

BB&T may have attracted Franklin Graham's affection because its former chair, John Allison, spent millions of BB&T Foundation money endowing college and universities with business programs that require the study of Ayn Rand, and classes on capitalism taught by professors vetted by Allison:
Allison, an Ayn Rand devotee, told the Seattle Times in 2011: "We have sought out professors who wanted to teach these ideas. It's really a battle of ideas. If the ideas that made America great aren't heard, then their influence will be destroyed." 
Allison became the president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank founded by industrialists Charles and David Koch. The Koch brothers have made numerous inroads into higher education with donations with numerous stipulations. That includes the University of Louisville, which accepted $6.3 million from the Koch Foundation and Papa John's founder John Schnatter to create the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise.
Read more here:
In  a USA Today piece, Franklin Graham engages in some contorted mansplaining about how businesses can be gay-friendly and still discriminate against them, as part of trying not to look like a doofus for not being able to find a bank that would commit, on the record, to the kind of in-your-face antigay positions the perpetually-irritable  son-of-a-legend-insists upon.

It all makes little sense, but, at the end of his article, Franklin Graham reveals the entire fuss is all pointless:
Finally, while I believe millions of Americans share my views on this matter and my beliefs about same-sex marriage, I also realize, based on polls and trends (and a pending Supreme Court decision), I might soon find myself in the minority. 
Which may be why Franklin Graham was also one of the "key signers" of a full-page Washington Post ad yesterday, in which the usual collection of zanies and mountebanks waved their clenched fists and stamped their feet at the Supreme court (one can only imagine the teeth-gnashing and wailing over at The Washington Times over that revenue loss, given The Times' slavish water-carrying for any and all right-wing causes).

That ad announces- with the now-requisite invocation of Martin Luther King, Jr., with which conservative religious sorts convey victimhood on themselves and communicate that gay rights are not really civil rights at all- that the signers will be forced by the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality to choose between the law of the state and the law of God.

Among Franklin Graham's co-resisters are a gaggle of  Eastern Orthodox types; some second-and third tier evangelist who see the gays as a ticket to bigger market share (the Jacksons- Harry and E.W.-, not that other lot; Jim Garlow; Alveda "defending all three past marriages" King; James and Betty Robison; Rod Parsley; John Hagee;  the professional antigay obsessives (Mat and Anita Staver, Rick and Karen Santorum, Donald and Tim Wildmon, Brent Bozell, Matt Barber; and Elaine Donnelly); fringe politicos (Tom Delay, trying to deal himself back into The Show; Mike Huckabee, Ken Blackwell, Alan Keyes, Judson Phillips, Michigan state rep. Garry Glenn); old fire horses shuffling in their stalls at the sound of the bell (James Dobson, 80; Lou Sheldon, 81; Morton Blackwell, 75); reality show carnies Jason and David Benham and The Duggars; and flat earthers like World Net Daily's Joe Farah, who recently called for some governor- any governor- to open his or her state's borders to Americans fleeing marriage equality.

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