What Franklin Graham Thinks About Progressive Values

franklin and billy graham

Billy Graham, often considered America’s pastor, generally kept his nose out of politics. Billy focused on preaching his version of the Christian gospel and rarely publicly addressed the political issues of the day. In recent years, Billy has become more outspoken politically and I suspect this is due to his outspoken right-wing political hack of son being in charge of the Graham empire.

Franklin Graham is no Billy. He is arrogant, caustic, and doesn’t shrink from preaching his version of fundamentalist Christianity, a Christianity that is joined at the hip with right-wing political ideology.

In the March 2014 issue of DECISION magazine, this is what Franklin had to say about Russia, Vladimir Putin, President Obama, Secularists,  LGBT people, and same-sex marriage:

Americans hold the lowest view of Russians and their president that they’ve had in more than two decades…

…American distaste for Putin and his policies, however, hasn’t diminished his global standing. Last October, Forbes magazine declared Putin to be the most powerful man in the world. Anyone who watched the recent Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, could see why. More than any of the gold medal winners, Putin was the commanding presence.

The Olympics were a $51 billion spectacle, but the days leading up to the Games were overshadowed by a controversial issue—a law Putin signed in 2013 to protect minors (children) in Russia from homosexuals promoting their lifestyle. Specifically, the law bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”

American media and liberal activists were outraged that the Olympics would be allowed in such an “intolerant” culture. Even though Putin said that gays and lesbians would be allowed at the Olympics, the fact that he took a stand—simply to protect children—ignited a worldwide cultural firestorm. He further explained the law by saying, “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia.”

In some ways, the Winter Olympics has become like the Cold War…

…America’s response to Putin’s law was sadly predictable. President Obama intentionally included homosexuals in his official U.S. delegation to Sochi. Then his attorney general stole headlines from the opening weekend with an announcement to the Human Rights Campaign (a major gay-rights group): As far as the federal government is concerned, there is no longer any difference between traditional and same-sex marriage—even in the 33 states that outlaw those marriages.

It’s obvious that President Obama and his administration are pushing the gay-lesbian agenda in America today and have sold themselves completely to that which is contrary to God’s teaching.

So how are Americans to understand Putin, who has come to dominate the world stage even more than our own president? Is Putin right on this issue?…

…I have never heard Putin quote the Bible, but during his 2012 election campaign, he met with church leaders in Moscow and vowed to protect persecuted Christians around the world. That is one justification for his support of the Assad regime in Syria.

Syria, for all its problems, at least has a constitution that guarantees equal protection of citizens. Around the world, we have seen that this is essential where Christians are a minority and are not protected. The radicals in Syria want an Islamic constitution based on sharia law…

…To be clear, I am not endorsing President Putin. To survive in the KGB and rise to power in Russia, you have to be tough. His enemies say he is ruthless. To some, he is a modern version of a czar. His personal life has its own controversies.

Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own?

In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. 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.

Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful…

…Today, we’ve abdicated our moral leadership. We defeated communism, only to relax and see secularism and progressives take over our country. Secularism is as godless as communism. Secularists and progressives have taken over our schools, media, and local and federal government. And it has all happened in the twinkling of an eye.

But the Bible makes it clear that one day, “all nations will be gathered before [God]” (Matthew 25:34) for judgment, and that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:10). Now is the time to repent of sin and place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Just remember this at Christmas time when a local church wants you to put together a shoe box and put five dollars in it so it can be given to a child overseas. The man behind this is Franklin Graham, a man who hates progressive values, Muslims, President Obama, LGBT people, and secularists.

In a December 2012 DECISION article titled No Room for Compromise, Graham made his position clear:

As America moves closer to the presidential election, the political debate has intensified. Republicans, Democrats and independents have all been promising what they will do to make our nation a better place.

I have met all of the leading presidential candidates. When I consider who to vote for, I am most interested in the policies they espouse, and how they follow the clear teaching of God’s Word where government policy intersects fundamental moral and spiritual concerns.

For example, I cannot support any candidate or party that favors abortion. Since 1973 when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, more than 54 million American children have been slaughtered. Abortion is wrong. It is the murder of unborn children, and no law of the land and no party platform can ever legitimize it. How tragic that a mother’s womb has become a killing field for the innocents!

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe this is a non-negotiable issue. I trust that Christians will never grow weary in boldly speaking out on behalf of the unborn, persevering in prayer for God to transform the hearts and minds of our sin-sickened nation.

Same-sex marriage is another moral flashpoint. Who would have ever thought a few decades ago, that eight states would have passed legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as legal? Yet in all 28 states where the issue of same-sex marriage has been put to a statewide vote of the public, it has been roundly defeated and rejected.

This May in my home state of North Carolina, we voted on a constitutional amendment that affirms and upholds the traditional, biblical definition of marriage.

President Obama, who has said in the past that he is open-minded on gay marriage and civil unions, has inserted himself directly into the issue in North Carolina by announcing his opposition to the amendment.

The Bible clearly defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. There is absolutely no gray area.

Indeed, the Scriptures reveal that when people forgo God’s truth for Satan’s lies, they become increasingly immoral. The consequences are frightening: “God gave them over to degrading passions” including homosexuality, and “gave them over to a depraved mind” (Romans 1:26, 28, NASB)…

…However, there is no place for compromise on straightforward moral issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. God has given us clear, biblical direction that we must follow and obey.

Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord. Anyone who calls himself a Christian must not only trust Jesus as Savior but also humbly obey Him as Lord. That starts with acknowledging His authority in every realm, including His clearly revealed moral will.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people”

Let this be a reminder to those of us who espouse secular, progressive values…Christian fundamentalists, bound to their literalistic interpretation of the Bible, will never compromise. Far above justice, fairness, civil rights, and privacy is their unflinching belief in the Fundamentalist God and absolute authority the Bible. Graham is right, for the Christian fundamentalist, there can be no compromise. To do so would mean admitting that they were wrong or that God has changed his mind, and, as all of us former fundamentalists know, that ain’t gonna happen.

Comments (10)

  1. Paula

    Who would have ever thought that Americans would hate a president so completely that right wing nuts of all stripes would be lining up to praise a Russian leader. Creepy, arrogant Franklin can rant all he wants, but his father has claimed in print to be a registered Democrat more than once!

  2. NeverAgainV

    The conclusion of the whole matter you hit right on Bruce, ” for the Christian fundamentalist, there can be no compromise. To do so would mean admitting that they were wrong or that God has changed his mind, and, as all of us former fundamentalists know, that ain’t gonna happen.”

    They have the “truth” and nobody will tell them differently. It’s scary.

  3. brbr2424

    Maybe Billy Graham is just trying to get out in front of his followers which requires a leap off the right wing cliff.. Or maybe he is a Fox News watcher. Anti abortion crusaders use the statistic of 50 million babies killed. I find it more shocking that they would want 50 million of our mothers, sisters and daughters hauled off to prison.

    1. mikespeir

      “I find it more shocking that they would want 50 million of our mothers, sisters and daughters hauled off to prison.”

      Or worse. If it’s murder, it’s premeditated murder. In a lot of jurisdictions premeditated murder still brings the death penalty. But I’ve actually seen some of these people, realizing the need to be consistent, insist that, yes, women who have abortions ought to be imprisoned and/or executed. What a horrible thing when your faith railroads your reasoning that way!

    2. Stephanie

      Prison overpopulation is already a problem. With extremist nuts we might as well throw everyone in there. Wait…that’s why they love the death penalty so much!

  4. Stephanie

    One more time: banning abortion does NOT decrease the abortion rate. They just want something to feel good about so they can ignore it. At least if something is illegal then they are upholding “morality.” Consequences to real people be damned. As for same sex marriage, I am still trying to figure out what that hurts other than their religious beliefs. Does banning gay marriage stop gay relationships? I think it goes back to the moral superiority thing. Your church doesn’t have to marry gay couples and you can still speak against it. Religious freedom and free speech still exist in the U.S. It just means you aren’t given a free pass from criticism from those who think differently. At least find some new fodder…geez.

    1. Becky Rogers Wiren

      There are moderate pro-life people and I was once one of them. However, I remember during a recent election in North Dakota, I think, the moderate pro-lifers joined WITH the pro-choice people. The current pro-life movement is moving to the extreme right: no abortion at all, no contraceptives at all. That is where they are heading. It is chilling.

      1. brbr2424

        Some of the pro-life groups object to the Personhood movement which has failed in the reddest of red states. I think there is a strategic element to that objection. I don’t understand the exception for rape and incest. If it is murder, why would that be ok. The pro-life movement has tipped its hand by objecting to birth control and pushing abstinence only education. It is not a pro-life movement but an anti female sexuality movement.

        The anti-abortion groups are a victim of their own success. We are about to see a pre Roe v. Wade dystopia in Texas, and reproductive rights will be restored fro the same reasons they were affirmed by the Supreme court. There will be a lot of collateral damage before that happens.

  5. Casey

    I find ironic how American right-wingers have started to defend Putin now that he has pursued anti-homosexual policies and Obama is President, whereas when Bush was President Putin was seen as the reincarnation of Josef Stalin who needed to be stopped at all costs. I think there’s a similar dynamic with Christians in the Middle East: the Evangelical community and American conservatives as a whole largely ignored the persecutions and violence Iraqi Christians suffered after the US invasion of Iraq but now that Obama’s President we hear everyday about how the President is supporting Islamists slaughtering Christians in Syria and Egypt. Do you think so, Mr. Gerencser?

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I think your assessment is correct.

      And you can call me Bruce. You are making me feel “old.” :)


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