It was a long weekend so by now, a lot of us have heard about the recent speech from Franklin Graham at the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Walls conference in which he said that pastors must be willing to "get their heads chopped off" for opposing lgbt equality and that he loves gays so much he is willing to tell them to "stop what they are doing." He even added the old customary inference of "don't get angry at him because God said so."
There are so many things to be said that I think I shall comply a list:
1. Pastors are free to oppose lgbt equality and at no time will anyone have to fear getting martyred for it. Of course we all know this but that never seems to stop folks like Graham from conjuring up that image constantly.
2. What exactly are gays doing that Graham is opposed to. Is he talking about SEX? In that case, I haven't a thing to worry about. And I say that in a depressed tone of voice.
3. The last I checked, potential martyrs never sat in exquisite ballrooms, dressed in nice clothing, and listening to men in expensive suits and large bank accounts talk about how they will be persecuted.
4. SPEAKING of number three, I have never heard of a man dressed in an expensive suit and a large bank account (courtesy of his prominent family) talk of being a martyr. In fact, I have never heard of anyone make a speech about becoming an martyr to an unfair situation and then reaping the benefits of the speech without said "benefits" being arrest, torture, and execution. Let's put it another way - John the Baptist, Simon Peter, and Paul of Tarsus were all executed for their faith. At the very least, Graham will receive a rebuke from blogs like this for his hubris. Oh yeah. THAT'S balance.
5. Most importantly, what is the deal with the Christianity practiced by Graham and the folks who applauded him? What's up with any type of religion in which making assumptions about the nuances of someone else's life before examining your own is acceptable? What type of Christianity encourages a person to condemn someone else to hell for supposed behavior in front of enthusiastic audiences while ignoring the things that Jesus actually talked about such as basic human kindness, forgiveness, and most importantly the type of love in which you give and expect nothing in return. The type of love Graham claims has for lgbts is the type which makes one see an analyst every week. It's a type of love we can all do without.