Anti-LGBT evangelist Franklin Graham thinks coronavirus is caused by sin, nudge nudge wink wink
Franklin Graham, the anti-LGBT+ evangelist best known for blaming gay people for a “moral 9/11”, has claimed that coronavirus is caused by the world “turning its back on God”.
The avowed opponent of equal marriage, same-sex adoption, transgender rights and civil rights protections is currently facing scrutiny over his role in a COVID-19 ‘relief’ effort in New York City that forces volunteers to sign up to an anti-gay belief statement.
Amid the row, the fundamentalist preacher opted to go on Fox News, where he promptly blew the world’s loudest dog whistle by claiming that COVID-19 is caused by people abandoning Biblical values.
Franklin Graham has some ideas about what caused coronavirus.
In the toe-curling interview with Jeanine Pirro, he declared: “I don’t think it’s God’s plan for this to happen, it’s because of the sin that’s in the world.
“Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him and we need to ask for God’s forgiveness.
“Jesus Christ came to save sinners. He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save the world, and if we put our faith and trust in him, he’ll forgive our sins and heal our hearts and change the course of our lives.
“This pandemic, it’s a result of a fallen world, a world that has turned its back on God.”
Graham deployed similar language in 2016 when he directly blamed “gays and lesbians” for the “moral implosion” of the US.
He said: “The country is imploding. We are seeing a moral implosion. Just like we saw the World Trade Center on 9/11 when the planes hit the tower, they imploded, they fell from within, and this is what’s happening to our country, we’re falling within.
“Our foundations have been weakened by immorality and it’s beginning to crumble… so many school districts now are controlled by wicked, evil people, and the gays and lesbians, and I keep bringing their name up, but they are at the forefront of this attack against Christianity in America.”
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Central Park tent hospital forces volunteers to sign anti-gay statement.
Despite assurances from New York City mayor Bill de Blaiso that Graham’s evangelist group Samaritan’s Purse would not discriminate while assisting in COVID-19 relief efforts, it continues to require all medical and non-medical volunteers for its 68-bed tent hospital to sign an anti-gay belief statement.
All volunteers are forced to agree: “We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other.
“God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”
Graham has refused to compromise on the issue, making clear: “We are evangelical Christians and we hire Christian men and women to work in our hospitals. We are there in Jesus’ name. That’s just who we are. We don’t compromise on this issue.”
Graham’s charity has previously been criticised for exploiting relief efforts in order to convert people, and is also running a “mobile ministry centre” in the city.