In a tweet last week, evangelist Franklin Graham blasted Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for having the nerve to be publicly gay. Homosexuality, said Graham, was not something to be “flaunted.”
It was a typically ripe bite of bigotry from Graham. Some things to remember:
Graham does not represent most Americans. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this month showed more than two-third of Americans — 68% — are either enthusiastic or comfortable with a presidential candidate who is gay or lesbian. About the same numbers believe that homosexuality should be accepted and same-sex marriage should be legal.
Graham also doesn’t represent most Christians. An American Values Atlas survey released last month showed that Christians overwhelmingly support protections for the LGBT community. That support ranged from 71% of white mainline Protestants to 54% (with only 38% against) of white evangelicals.
Graham is not the Christian leader he once was. He’s a man whose organization does wonderful work, but he’s also one whose words have become increasingly and gloriously irrelevant.
In part, that’s because his perspective on homosexuality has been pushed to the fringe, but it’s also because of how he has marginalized himself with his vocal support of President Donald Trump. Like other supposed faith leaders, Graham has been caught in the trap of politically supporting a man with so many moral failings. How do you tell a gay candidate to repent but utter hardly a peep about the philandering, dishonest man who now holds the office?
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER