With a friend like this, who needs enemies? Franklin Graham says the LGBTQ community is destined for the ‘flames of hell.’ (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Franklin Graham was born to well-known Evangelist missionary Billy Graham in Asheville, North Carolina nearly seven decades ago. Since then, he has stayed close to his roots, placing the Franklin Graham Headquarters in Charlotte and maintaining a residence in Boone. 

Not everyone in Boone and Charlotte is particularly thrilled that Graham spends as much time as he does between the two locations. His Christian-centric views and intolerant views have earned him the reputation of being a bigoted, racist and homophobic opportunist. 

Within the past year, Graham led Samaritan’s Purse, a missionary-based organization that aims to provide humanitarian aid, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly well-intentioned, the organization created a 68-bed field hospital for COVID-19 positive patients. However, the illusion of benevolence came toppling down when Graham announced that the hospital was looking for a specifically Christian staff of doctors, nurses and paramedics. 

Although Graham apologized for this particular incident, he has no remorse for having published “[The] LGBT agenda wants to force everyone to accept and condone their lifestyle, which God’s Word defines as sin,” in 2016.  A 2014 interview also shows Graham arguing that gay and lesbian individuals cannot have children because it is biologically impossible. He then reasons that, despite not being able to naturally create their own children, members of the LGBTQ community are “recruiting children.” Graham rationalizes, “you can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause and I believe in protecting children from all exploitations.” 

In a more recent turn of events, Graham has been awarded reparations from the city of Blackpool in England for what Graham has referred to as “an important moment for religious freedom in the UK.” The case began in July, 2018 when Graham purchased bus ads that read “Lancashire Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham: Time for Hope.” These advertisements were not religious or homophobic in nature, but the Blackpool Transport Services felt that they did not send a message of support and acceptance to the LGBTQ community and removed them. 

Graham subsequently sued Blackpool for acting in a way the judge deemed as discriminatory on the basis of Articles Ten and Fourteen of the European Council of Human Rights Act. Graham will receive £84,000 to cover legal fees and £25,000 in “just satisfaction” damages (just over $150,000). 

According to Graham, it’s not about the money. The outcome of this case was significant to him for one specific reason: to set precedence for a lawful combining of free speech and religious freedom.

But it is certainly a tidy little sum for Graham to add to his coffers: he has an estimated worth of $10 million dollars and earns a salary of over $622,000 every year. 

In comes as a particularly disturbing thought that Graham has succeeded in spreading a taste of his toxic blend of philosophy into the UK, but not surprising from an individual who has repeatedly said over the years he loves gay, lesbian and transgender individuals “enough to care to warn them that if they … continue living as they do, it’s the flames of hell for you.”

If those words come from a man who thinks he’s loving and compassionate, just imagine what’s going on in his head when he’s feeling contemptuous.  

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