Monday, June 15, 2015

Franklin Graham: Religious Crackpot and Second-Generation Swindler

Whether deliberate or not, as noted in a previous post, Franklin Graham has thrust himself into the media spotlight and underscored the anti-gay animus and general bigotry that are increasingly synonymous with "conservative Christians."  In moving his snake oil ministries accounts from Wells Fargo, Graham accused the banking giant of furthering the "gay agenda" when in fact Wells Fargo was only doing what any company in the business of making money would do: advertising to and courting a customer demographic that might use it goods and/or services.  With almost every auto maker advertising to the LGBT market, is Graham going back to using horse and buggies?  The man is a bigoted ass and an idiot (like Jeb Bush who condemns single mothers).  A piece in Salon rightfully skewers Graham.  Here are highlights:
Franklin Graham, the religious crackpot and second-generation swindler, is in the news again. This time he’s taking a triumphant stand against the banking giant Wells Fargo. Why Wells Fargo, you ask? According to Graham, one of their recent ads “went beyond being gay-friendly to being a public advocate.” The ad itself is hardly provocative. It features a lesbian couple learning sign language as they prepare to adopt a deaf child. Apparently, that was too much sin for Graham to bear.

Of the many injustices done by Wells Fargo, it’s illustrative that Graham disowned the banking institution for one of the few things they’ve gotten right; it really highlights just how distorted his moral compass is. The world is awash in actual evil, and he’s indignant about an ad celebrating a couple’s commitment to adopting an orphaned child. What an egregious waste of human energy, and what a thoroughly stupid thing to be exercised about.

Graham wrote: “Have you ever asked yourself – how can we fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay and lesbian community?” That sentence was almost interesting until he casually associated gay people with the moral decline of America – something unthinking evangelicals love to do. This is Graham’s shtick, though. He’s not interested in real problems and real suffering; he’s interested in being seen, in finding a stage for his self-aggrandizement.

Like his father, Billy Graham, Franklin is a very rich and fatuous firebrand. Also like his father, his preachments are bigoted and totally devoid of moral logic. You may recall that last year he earnestly praised Vladimir Putin for his archaic anti-gay laws  . . . . Anyone who fancies Vladimir Putin a moral visionary has disqualified himself from adult conversations about ethics. 

Graham, like so many of his ilk, insists that he’s not full of hate, that he actually loves gay people. That’s bullshit. It’s obscene to say you love someone right before condemning him or her to an eternity of hell. This is the move too many Christians try to make in moral discourse today: They say it’s God’s business to judge, but they condemn; they say they hate sin but love the sinner, but they embrace laws that demean and punish those who don’t share their values; Graham’s virulent anti-gay rhetoric is a particularly disgusting example of this.

It’s no accident that Graham uses words like “lifestyle” and “choice” when denouncing homosexuals. He wants you to think he’s attacking gay people for what they do rather than for who they are, but that’s a ruse, because that’s exactly what he’s doing. Dismissing homosexuality as a choice makes it easier to judge and discriminate against, and it ignores the simple truth that gay people no more chose to be gay than I choose to be right-handed. But Graham doesn’t want to deal with this truth, because it runs counter to his religious ideology.

Herein lies one of the worst, most unethical teachings I know: to tell someone that they’re born broken, sick, and unworthy; such nonsense is pitilessly peddled by people like Graham, and much suffering results because of it.Religious entrepreneurs like Graham are perfunctorily treated like moral authorities in this country, and that’s a shame. Graham has a very high opinion of himself, but he deserves our ridicule; he’s a faith-based huckster and an organ of hate.

Very well said!!   It is conservative Christians who make a "choice," not gays.  We are born gay, while the choose to embrace ignorance and bigotry in order to provide their sick psyche's with a sense of superiority over others.  They DO deserve ridicule ans scorn. .

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