exclusive interview with Huff Post
In just the first 60 seconds of this interview with Franklin Graham, the son of charismatic preacher Billy Graham, viewers are treated to his condemnation of gay adoption as “recruitment,” fear-mongering about a political gay agenda, as well as a strong endorsement of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s harsh policies towards LGBT individuals.
The interview, conducted by Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk, stands in stark contrast to the statement released earlier this week by major Christian charity World Vision, which announced that it would treat gay job applicants the same way that it would consider straight ones.
“Gays and lesbians cannot have children,” Graham commented. When Funk pointed out that they could adopt, he retorted, “Yeah, they can recruit.”
He went on to imply that gay adoptions are tantamount to exploitation of children:
You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children, OK? From exploitation, all exploitations.
During the interview, Graham insisted that he was simply speaking out the way his father once did, despite the unpopularity of his views.
“You talk about controversy – my father stood with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s,” Graham told Funk, according to the Charlotte Observer. “My father never worried about polls. I don’t care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today – if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I’m speaking out on them.”
Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer, author of The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond, questioned Franklin Graham’s assessment of his father’s civil rights record in an email to The Huffington Post:
Billy Graham, to my knowledge, never stood publicly with MLK. He did invite King to give the invocation one evening at one of the gatherings during his 1957 revival campaign in Madison Square Garden, but Graham was conspicuously absent during the March on Washington or the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in the wake of the police shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson in nearby Marion.
For Franklin Graham to compare the Civil Rights movement to his opposition to gay and lesbian rights is not only laughable, it is, frankly, odious.
Graham’s comments over the course of the interview are not limited to jabs at the LGBT community — he also warns of the threat posed by American Muslims, the left-wing media, and the Obama administration.
Watch it above, if you can stomach it.