Saturday, August 20, 2016

Vancouver Christians Oppose Franklin Graham's "Crusade"

Franklin Graham, hate merchant
I often complain about the silence of "good Christians" in the face of the hatred that a pillar of the Christofascists' religious dogma.  Hence, when the foul agenda of the Christofascists and professional Christian class is in fact challenged by other Christians, the challengers deserve recognition.  Winning kudos today are both Catholic and Protestant church leaders in Vancouver, Canada, who are condemning a "crusade" to be held by Franklin Graham - a many who has made a lush living peddling hate and religious extremism - in that diverse and tolerant city.  The Vancouver Sun looks at the opposition Graham is deservedly facing.  Here are highlights:
Metro Vancouver Christians are colliding over the coming crusade of televangelist Franklin Graham, who is known for criticizing homosexuals, Muslims and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Saying that Graham is often “incendiary and intolerant,” some evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics are opposing his participation in the three-day Festival of Hope event at Rogers Arena in early March 2017, which many of the city’s mega-churches are supporting.
“Rev. Graham is a polarizing figure … His ungracious and bigoted remarks have the potential to generate serious negative impact on the Christian witness in Vancouver,” says a statement from five prominent evangelical and Catholic leaders.
“We … denounce the frequent incendiary and intolerant statements made by Rev. Graham, which he unapologetically reiterates,” said the letter, signed by Marjeta Bobnar of the Catholic archdiocese, City in Focus president Tom Cooper, Tenth Church pastor Ken Shigematsu, Calvary Baptist pastor Tim Dickau and First Baptist pastor Tim Kuepfer.
Franklin Graham, son of 97-year-old retired televangelist Billy Graham, has said homosexuals are “the enemy” and will “spend eternity in hell” if they don’t repent.
Earning more than $1 million a year as an evangelist and head of the charity Samaritan’s Purse, Graham led a crusade in Toronto in 2014 that was attended by 40,000 people of diverse ethnic origins.
After the Toronto event, Samaritan’s Purse terminated a Canadian volunteer because she refused to sign a standard statement opposing abortion and homosexual marriage.
In North Vancouver, another endorser of the Festival of Hope, Valley Church Pastor Owen Scott, declined to comment on the controversy other than to say, “I know Franklin is not the same as his dad. His dad is a pretty gracious person.”
While the opposition statement was signed by Catholic ecumenical relations official Bobnar, Paul Schratz confirmed the archdiocese also formally declined an invitation to take part in the Festival of Hope.
“Initially we were supportive of next year’s event, since it was intended to draw a large number of people to hear the gospel and grow closer to Jesus,” said Schratz, spokesman for the archdiocese, which includes more than 400,000 Catholics.
“While we obviously acknowledge Mr. Graham’s zeal in preaching the Gospel we had second thoughts about participating when we noted that American evangelicals, whom we were trying to work with on this event, were criticizing Mr. Franklin for various comments and stances that didn’t promote religious tolerance.”
The formal letter of opposition to the Festival of Hope’s leadership committee was signed by Christian leaders in Metro Vancouver whom the Billy Graham Association had asked for endorsements, including Cooper, Shigematsu, Dickau and Kuepfer.
Cooper — the president of City in Focus, which specializes in ministering to businesspeople —said those who signed the letter “were willing to provide suggestions for an alternative speaker. But the Festival of Hope leadership committee was content with having Reverend Graham give the major talks.  “We therefore, reluctantly, decided we could not endorse this event.
Franklin Graham is little better than a parasite who is living well living off his father's fame while peddling hatred and intolerance. 

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