February 6, 2020 update to this post added as an Addendum
Hoisted on his own petard, Franklin Graham’s eight-city UK crusade is shrinking. At least three venues canceled on him since he sought to exploit the Church of England’s statement on sex outside of heterosexual marriage.
Graham on Facebook soon after the Church of England issued a statement reaffirming sex is permissable only with heterosexual marriage:
The Church of England has publicly reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and woman—and that sex belongs only within…
The mayor of Liverpool tweeted:
Our City is a diverse City and proud of our LGBTQ+ community and always will be. We can not allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects. It’s right we have banned from the M&S Arena Franklin Graham.#Love conquers hatred always
— Joe Anderson (@mayor_anderson) January 26, 2020
The City of Sheffield also cancelled Graham’s use of its arena.
At https://grahamtouruk.billygraham.org/ , location is “TBA” in seven of the eight cities.
The Charlotte Observor in an editorial, Franklin Graham’s deceptive defense of bigotry:
It turns out Franklin Graham isn’t anti-LGBTQ after all. That’s what he said, at least, in the face of someone standing up to his Bible bullying in a big way last week…. In a response on Facebook, Graham said it’s all a big misunderstanding. He’s not coming to the UK to speak against anyone in particular. He’s against all sin — and that includes his own. “My message to all people is that they can be forgiven and they can have a right relationship with God,” he wrote.
Our Bibles say that Graham is right about all of us being sinners. But there’s a Sinai-sized hole in his suggestion that he’s an equal-opportunity sin-hater. Graham might say he’s “coming to speak for everybody” in the UK, but he has history of spending an awful lot of time talking about one community in particular. We know this because we counted.
In the last six months alone, Graham has singled out the LGBTQ community in at least 19 Facebook posts. He’s railed against the “LGBT agenda,” mocked gender identity, and frequently reminded folks that marriage should be between a man and a woman only. That’s far more time than he spent on sins like pride and lust — or the bigger ones like stealing or bearing false witness or coveting thy neighbor’s wife.
Thankfully, Graham’s selective pulpit pounding on homosexuality has become a relic as Americans have largely moved the opposite direction, and Graham’s status as a spokesman for Christians has been diluted by his laughable insistence to look the other way at Donald Trump’s immorality.
“This attack on me is an attack on religious freedom and freedom of speech,” Graham told Religion News Service by phone. “For any Christian group that wants to rent a venue that believes the Bible is the Word of God, they’re in danger of being canceled.”
He said he would sue all seven sites where he signed contracts and expected to win.