Donald Trump’s inauguration preacher Franklin Graham has insisted that Christians should have the right to discriminate against gay people.
In January, Christian evangelist Franklin Graham was controversially invited to preach to millions by Donald Trump at his Presidential inauguration.
But once again the pastor has demonstrated why no sensible politician would go near him with a barge pole.
In a Facebook message this week, Graham led a rallying call to reject people in the LGBT “lifestyle”, openly calling for Christians to discriminate against them in business.
He said: “Why can’t Christians have the freedom to say ‘No’ to what they want to say no to?
“The LGBT community continues to target Christians to try to get us to accept their lifestyle. It ain’t gonna happen.
“God calls homosexuality sin—take it up with Him if you don’t like it. He is the one who defines sin, not me.
“As a Christian of course I don’t hate gays, I love them and want them to know the truth.
“If they choose to live that lifestyle, they certainly have the freedom to do so in this country—but don’t tell me what I have to believe or participate in.”
In March, the head of Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse claimed that Oscar-winning film Moonlight – which he didn’t bother to watch – is an attempt to convince young people to make “homosexual lifestyle choices”.
He said: “Many who had never heard of the film Moonlight, which received best picture, have heard of it now. From the reviews I have read, Moonlight portrays a young gay African American coming of age and it stereotypes him as violent, a drug dealer, and a convict.
“Hollywood is notorious for glorifying sin. This is just another example of the LGBT’s agenda to make lifestyle choices that God defines as sin seem more and more culturally acceptable. I warn families and the church–don’t allow your young people to be sucked into Hollywood’s dark plan.
“We love all people, but we have to be honest about sin’s consequences. Sin is sin—it doesn’t matter if it gets an Oscar or not.”
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In May he picked a fight with Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson, claiming she was defying God’s definition of gender by accepting a Best Actor award from MTV after it abolished gendered categories.
Hitting out at Watson, Graham wrote: “Genders are a part of God’s design. He created us male and female. No matter how much MTV or others want to change or redefine it, they’re never going to change the fact that God made us male and female.”
The same month, he urged Churches to follow the lead of the Mormon Church in pulling funding from the Boy Scouts of America because it accepts gay people.
Graham said: “I think the Mormon Church—and all churches—should pull out of the Boy Scouts organization completely.
“Two years ago the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow gay leaders and then this year began to allow members based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex, opening the door to transgender members.
“They need to get their younger boys out. I would not want my child or grandchild to be influenced by the lifestyle of a gay Scout Leader that goes against God’s design for creation.”
The sinister comments are hardly new ground for Graham. In a 2015 interview with a Russian newspaper, Graham praised Vladimir Putin’s support for anti-gay laws – and claimed that homosexuals “take people’s children”.
Parroting disturbing rhetoric often used by anti-LGBT vigilantes in Russia, he said: “Homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children.”
He added: “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.”