Donald Trump’s favourite ‘hate preacher Franklin Graham will preach in Sheffield despite fierce opposition
Christian preacher Franklin Graham, who once claimed gay people existing are causing a “moral 9/11”, is set to preach at an English town and people are not happy about it.
Delivering a speech around 35 years to the day of his father, Billy Graham, spoke in the city of Sheffield, England, Franklin will speak at the FlyDSA Arena in June as part of his nationwide tour.
But Franklin’s visit is always fanning the flames of controversy, with community leaders branding his impending visit as “risk to the social cohesion” of the city, reported the Sheffield Telegraph.
Franklin Graham has anti-LGBT record.
Franklin, a member of US president Donald Trump’s inner circle who even preached at his inauguration, is no stranger to drumming up controversy especially around his views on LGBT+ people.
Franklin, an evangelical Christian, has previously praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws and told crowds in Russia that homosexuals “cannot have children, they can take other people’s children.”
He said in 2015: “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.”
He has also claimed there had been a “moral 9/11” in America due to homosexuals and has declared that gay people are “the enemy” of civilisation.
In 2016, Franklin accused LGBT activists of “trying to cram down America’s throat the lie that homosexuality is okay,” alleging that anti-discrimination laws will mean that “your children, and your grandchildren will be at risk to sexual predators and perverts.”
As a result, Franklin’s visit has provoked outrage from residents, with Bishop of Sheffield Pete Willcox commenting: “I’m afraid I cannot support the Graham Tour mission event at the FlyDSA Arena on June 6 next year, at which Franklin Graham is due to speak, and so will not be encouraging parishes in the Diocese of Sheffield to support it either.
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“Mr Graham’s rhetoric is repeatedly and unnecessarily inflammatory and in my opinion represents a risk to the social cohesion of our city.”
While Ben Miskell, Labour councillor for Park and Arbourthorne in Sheffield, condemned event organisers for not cancelling the speech: “I simply cannot understand and we won’t tolerate,” he tweeted.
I'm disappointed to hear that @SIV_Social have opted not to cancel @Franklin_Graham’s booking of the @SheffieldArena. He advocates gay conversion therapy & calls Islam an "evil and wicked" religion. It's a decision I simply can't understand & we won't tolerate pic.twitter.com/8C7Uc2dGHQ
— Cllr Ben Miskell (@benmiskell) January 9, 2020
The tour will take in eight UK towns and cities – Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and London.
The preacher will be “sharing the hope of Jesus Christ”, the tour website states.