Franklin Graham once again is attacking the LGBTQ community. The Christian evangelical minister who is closely tied to President Donald Trump took to Facebook this week to blame gay people for a nationwide rise in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
“God made us male and female and gave sex for us to enjoy inside a marriage relationship between a man and a woman—not two men, not two women. The Bible says that anyone who sins sexually, sins against their own body. How true,” Graham wrote.
He points to CNN’s reporting, which notes that for “the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States, according to a Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Tuesday.”
Graham notes, “An incredible 2.4 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed across the U.S. just last year alone. Hollywood is busy promoting promiscuity to the world—almost every movie, every television show is focused on sex. The saying goes, ‘sex sells.’ Well, the statistics in the CNN article verify that there’s a price to pay, and it is a very heavy price.”
In addition to blaming gay people and Hollywood, Graham manages to lay blame at the feet of the Democratic Party, calling the rise in STDs “a topic that probably won’t be mentioned in the upcoming Democratic debate.”
Young people aged 15-24, CNN notes, are experiencing the largest rise in STDs. But rather than call for an increase in fact-based sex-ed classes, Graham is silent. He also neglects to mention that President Donald Trump’s budget slashes sex education classes. while funneling $75 million to abstinence-only and “personal responsibility” sex-education programs, which have been proven to not only not work, but cause harm to teens.
The CDC report attributes the rise in STD rates to “multiple factors,” including:
- Drug use, poverty, stigma, and unstable housing, which can reduce access to STD prevention and care
- Decreased condom use among vulnerable groups, including young people and gay and bisexual men
- Cuts to STD programs at the state and local level – in recent years, more than half of local programs have experienced budget cuts, resulting in clinic closures, reduced screening, staff loss, and reduced patient follow-up and linkage to care services
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‘I Have Stood Against Same-Sex Marriage’: Roy Moore Is Running for the US Senate on a Platform of God, Guns, and Gays
Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who lost his 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate, is back on the ballot, and he’s urging Republican primary voters to keep in mind that “I have stood … against the removal of God from society—and the Ten Commandments—and I have stood against same-sex marriage and for traditional marriage.”
That statement came near the end of a 40-minute interview Moore gave to Birmingham’s WTVM-TV, a broadcast affiliate of NBC, which posted the video on Monday. While the interviewer questioned Moore on a wide range of policy areas, Moore’s answers repeatedly pointed back to the nation’s “moral problem.” And the answer to the nation’s moral problem, he said, is having the country and its schools turn back to God. The interview included echoes of a speech he made last fall to the Huntsville Republican Men’s Group, when he said America needed to return to the days when abortion and sodomy were illegal and public schools had morning “devotionals.”
In response to a question about gun violence, Moore argued that “gun violence is not a proper term” because people, not guns, are responsible for violence. And stricter gun laws, he said, are not the solution to the nation’s moral problem.
“Congress has never been good on moral problems, if you will, and solving those moral problems is very simple,” Moore said. “You turn back to the God and the basis of religion upon which this nation was founded.” In answering a question about safety and security in the nation’s schools, he said, “Well, one thing they should do is teach the laws of God.”
Moore also emphasized his states’ rights view of the Constitution, saying it is not the business of the federal government to make schools secure or oversee the elimination of discrimination in schools in areas like discipline and hiring. “I think the segregation issues have been addressed,” he declared.
On environmental protection, Moore said clean air and water are being taken care of “privately” and by the states. “Environmental protection is just another way for the big government to interfere,” he added.
Moore also said that state trial judges’ interpretation of federal constitutional issues is just as authoritative as rulings of federal appeals courts.
Moore, who has argued that faithful Muslims are not fit to serve in Congress, blamed divisiveness on the country’s lack of acknowledgment of God:
Divisiveness is a big problem in our society. We need to go back to the recognition that we’re one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We forget when we forget God and exclude God from the conversation, you take away, and you create divisiveness. Hatred, divisiveness, that comes from a lack of realization that you’re created by an Almighty God.
When we’re a nation that thinks we can’t acknowledge God, we forget what we’re founded upon. We forget the meaning of the First Amendment. And certainly we need to go back to that.
When asked by the interviewer the things on which he would not compromise, Moore said, “I will not compromise on the acknowledgment of God. I think the courts started making law. This same-sex marriage is not a law made by our Constitution or by our legislature. It was made by courts. And courts have no business making law.”
At times, it sounded as if Moore envisioned himself in an even higher office than the U.S. Senate. In talking about his military experience, Moore said, “you need somebody with military experience in command—or in charge of the Senate. You need somebody that’s gone through these things.” The other candidates in the Senate race have not served in a war, Moore said. “I’ve been trained as a military leader – a highly regarded military leader. And that’s one of the chief jobs as the president.”
Moore is clearly still angry about his 2017 loss, which he attributed to a “disinformation campaign” that he said amounted to federal government interference in his race. He likened sexual misconduct allegations against him to those made against Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, a comparison he has made before. He called on the New York Times and Washington Post to release their copies of an “after-action report” on “Project Birmingham”—a group that reportedly spread misinformation in the 2017 Alabama Senate election—repeating a call he made last April.
Moore also appears to be bitter about his treatment at the hands of Republican leaders who distanced themselves from his 2017 campaign, portraying their refusal to back him as stealing the election:
I can win. They know I can win. In fact, I did win, until Richard Shelby came out and put out that people should not go to the polls and vote or should vote for another candidate. Over 22,000 voted for another candidate besides the Democrat, and I lost by less than 21,000. So it was ridiculous. They stole the election then, and they’re still trying to steal the election by keeping me out of Washington. I have opposed the establishment, and they do not like it. And they have vowed to keep me out.
Regarding election security in general, he said the biggest threat to voters is “letting illegals have drivers’ licenses.”
Moore said he opposed the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and he treaded lightly when asked about Trump tweeting last year that Moore probably couldn’t win the Senate race. He suggested that Trump was being pressured by Washington insiders. “They’re driving the president because they have the power in the Senate to remove him,” Moore said. (It was one of a couple indicators that the interview was conducted before the Senate impeachment trial.) “And he’s subject to forces up there in Washington, and with all deference to the president, I can win.”
It’s worth remembering that while much of the Republican establishment wanted nothing to do with Moore, religious-right groups and right-wing activists rallied around his 2017 campaign, pouring money into last-minute ads and traveling to Alabama to hold a press conference backing Moore and attacking his critics. After Moore lost the 2017 race, Trump-promoting “prophet” Lance Wallnau criticized Christian voters for “giving the devil a free pass” by not supporting Moore and warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “You’re going down.”
Right Wing Watch noted in November:
For the record, it was Moore’s unorthodox view of the Constitution—notably his refusal as a state judge to abide by federal court rulings on church-state issues and marriage equality—that got him ousted twice as the state’s chief justice. Moore has been supported by Christian nationalists and embraced by some of the country’s most extreme anti-abortion activists.
One of the primary funders of Moore’s political career has been Michael Peroutka, a Christian Reconstructionist and neo-Confederate activist. Peroutka has also been a backer of Moore protégé and current Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker, who has called on state courts to actively push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
Recent polling puts Moore far back in the crowded primary race, in which former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions is favored to win the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. The primary will be held on March 3.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Fox News Pastor Defends Trump for Ignoring Jesus’ ‘Love Your Enemies’ Plea and Attacking Pelosi at Prayer Breakfast
Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress is defending President Donald Trump for ignoring a plea from a conservative Christian speaking directly to the president, to “love your enemies” as Jesus preached. Trump refused to observe the request, made to him Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, where instead he attacked and threatened Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sitting mere feet away from him.
“This president absolutely hates phoniness, he can smell it a mile away, and the president thinks there’s something inherently phony in saying that you’re praying for him while you’re working 24/7 to destroy him,” Jeffress, a Fox News contributor, said on the right wing cable channel Friday morning (video below).
“By the way, the Bible supports his skepticism,” Jeffress claimed, using a passage from Scripture to overrule the Sermon on the Mount.
He also suggested the left hates Trump and is trying to “destroy him” because he speaks “truth” about “the sanctity of life and religious liberty.”
Jeffress, who sits on Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and is a member of the president’s White House Faith Initiative, has been a top defender of Trump since the 2016 election. He has stated that Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and Hindus are going to hell for worshiping a “false god.” He has said President Barack Obama was “paving the way” for the anti-Christ. Jeffress’ 2008 sermon, “Gay is Not OK” has been widely criticized.
A Fox News pastor who believes that Jews are destined to burn in hell for eternity recalls the conversation he had with President Trump, citing the Bible to defend his political attacks at the National Prayer Breakfast. pic.twitter.com/S9mtUex5jQ
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 7, 2020
Franklin Graham Cries ‘Discrimination’ as UK Venues Ban Him Over His ‘Divisive’ Anti-LGBTQ Extremism
Franklin Graham‘s planned tour of the UK has run in to a snag: It appears few in the UK want him there. The far right evangelical Christian leader with strong ties to President Donald Trump had announced a UK tour starting in June, but as word spread venues started canceling on him, or pulled out of negotiations. At issue: Graham’s anti-LGBTQ extremism.
ACC Liverpool, a convention center adjacent to the John Lennon Peace Monument has blocked Graham, calling him “divisive” and saying he is “incompatible” with their values.
“Over the past few days we have been made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values,” the ACC Liverpool said in a statement, as The Guardian reports. “In light of this we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.”
The mayor of Liverpool supports the decision:
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
A London venue has also backed out of negotiations in the wake of “an All Out petition calling on The O2 to refuse to host Graham, with the petition gaining more than 8,500 signatures by early Tuesday morning,” Newsweek reports.
Graham is accusing his UK opponents of discrimination – while falsely suggesting all Christians support him and his beliefs.
“We feel that we are being discriminated against because of our religious beliefs,” Graham said. “Cancelling venue contracts based on the demands of one very vocal group, without consideration for the views and rights of the Christians who contracted for the venue, including the views of thousands of other Christians who support it and who would be negatively impacted, does far more to harm and divide society than simply letting the events go on as planned.”
He also called it “wrong for venue managers and local officials to make a decision that disadvantages Christians,” as if all LGBTQ people are not Christian.
“The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes,” he told his 8 million Facebook followers. “But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners—myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death—separation from God for eternity.”
“I invite everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible. You are absolutely welcome,” he claimed.
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