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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The beam in Franklin Graham's eye


Franklin Graham posted this on Facebook the other day:

PayPal gets the hypocrite of the year award! This company says they’re not coming to North Carolina because the legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory have passed a law to protect women and children against sexual predators by not allowing men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. 

Congressman Robert Pittenger made a great point yesterday: “PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to the women’s bathroom? Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.”
PayPal operates in countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Yemen for Pete’s sake. Just last month PayPal announced they would be expanding in Cuba, a country in which homosexuals and transgender people have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed.

Actually, there’s seven nations where being gay can get one severed from his head- eight if one includes ISIS. Franklin Graham has had operations in two- Sudan and Afghanistan.

Franklin Graham is lying about giving two slaps about LGBT civil rights anywhere on the globe. 

In fact, Franklin Graham called for boycotts against gay-friendly corporations in June, 2015, when he moved his pelf out of Wells Fargo Bank for putting two lesbians in a commercial:

“This is one way we as Christians can speak out — we have the power of choice,” Graham, who heads the Charlotte, N.C.-based BGEA, wrote on Facebook over the weekend. “Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”

For Franklin Graham to be slagging a gay-friendly company for shunning North Carolinians only ten months after Franklin Graham called on North Carolinians to shun gay-friendly companies is, at best, morally flexible on a par with the most skilled of circus contortionists. 

Franklin Graham is clearly a man who has no trouble wrapping his mind around any position at all. Or several at once.

But let’s assume Franklin Graham is sincere saying it’s bad when nations making homosexual behavior illegal and bad to do business in those nations. After all, he wrote in USA Today- in June 2015,

In fact, it may surprise some to learn that I think every business should be gay-friendly. By that I mean businesses — like individuals — should be friendly to gay customers and citizens.

Assuming Franklin Graham is not just a festering meat puppet of hypocrisy, I’m keen to hear him explain how it’s OK, then, for his Samaritan’s Purse organization to run operations in thirteen “countries where homosexual behavior is illegal”: Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Zambia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea, and a dozen more where it is not illegal but is treated as illegal by combinations government and religious forces.

The thirteen are among the nations Samaritan’s Purse lists as locations for its hospitals and other facilities. 

In 2015, Christianity Today reported Samaritan’s Purse has operations in over one hundred countries, so it’s likely he is comfortable with a number of others of the 76 nations that make homosexual activity illegal.

Graham also has operations in the Dominican Republic, where the Catholic hierarchy and right-wing evangelicals are clamoring to expel the gay US ambassador. 

He does business in China, too, where- like Cuba, it is officially legal but, in practice, a bad idea to have known about oneself. 

In Honduras, where Graham also has operations, police, and right-wing armed groups routinely terrorize and murder LGBT citizens. 

The gay Peruvian murder rate in 2015 was one per week. Franklin Graham does business there too, where the antigay campaigns are run by right-wing evangelicals and the Catholic Church. Things are much the same in Bolivia.

In Mali, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon- where Graham also has field operations, there is no apparent need to make homosexual behavior illegal. People enforce that on their own initiative, and with vigor.

He doesn’t have any field operations in Russia, but Franklin Graham is a frequent and welcome visitor to Russia. In 2014, he wrote,

"In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues," Franklin Graham writes of Russia's controversial prohibition on gay "propaganda." "Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda."

A year later, in an interview with the Moskoviskij Komsomolets newspaper, Graham criticized President Obama for supporting “policies that contradict the teachings of God” and repeated his praise of Putin for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda,” adding that “homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children,” according to a transcript the newspaper provided of the interview:
Q: I heard that you called Barack Obama ‘the leader of the antichrist movement.’ Is that true? What do you think about the current president of the United States? 
A: I have met the president on several occasions. He’s a very nice person. But he supports and promotes policies that contradict the teachings of God. As a Christian I believe that abortion is murder, he supports it. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage — those are sins against God, and the president is promoting them. I’m not against homosexuals as people. But God commanded that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And I very much appreciate that President Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda. If only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves. Again, homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children. I believe that President Obama (and I’ll repeat, he’s a very nice person) is leading America down the wrong road. He’s taking a stand against God.

The only explanation that makes sense is that Franklin Graham believes in making homosexual behavior illegal. 

In a 2016 radio interview with James Dobson, he called gay Christians “the enemy” and has his corporate HQ in a state that legalizes antigay discrimination. 

So what’s the big deal picking up the slack of medical care nor being provided by the presidents-for-life and kleptocrats in the nations in which Graham finds a happy overlap of his antigay views with those of the locals? He adores HB2, and before it was passed, declared on Facebook that the Charlotte antidiscrimination ordinance his law was wicked, filthy and ludicrous and would “allow pedophiles, perverts, and predators into women’s bathrooms.”

And that, really, is all you need to know about what Franklin Graham believes about LGBT rights.

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