“Rev. Billy Graham Is Yet Another Bigoted Preacher”

Some straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter words about Billy Graham.

Be mindful that there were ministers during the time of slavery in this nation that also preached that owning someone else was proper.

Graham has a reputation as a diplomatic evangelist who has largely sought to avoid the scorched path of fundamentalists preaching fire and brimstone. But the evangelist’s near-endorsement of Gov. Mitt Romney, which included an affirmation of “the biblical definition of marriage,” should serve as a revelation that for all his moderate ways Graham is just another anti-gay fundamentalist who cannot tolerate the presence of gay and lesbian couples within Christianity.

Graham has long considered homosexual behavior to be a “sinister form of perversion,” a lifestyle choice that will lead gays to personal ruin. When a young woman wrote him about her sexual love for another woman in 1974, the evangelist replied with a threat: homosexual perverts will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. “Your affection for another of your own sex is misdirected and will be judged by God’s holy standards,” he answered.

For the content of God’s holy standards, the evangelist has typically turned to the Bible, concluding without reservation that the Word of God “praises the marriage of a man and a woman” but “speaks only negatively of homosexual behavior when it is mentioned.”

Driving this conclusion is Graham’s fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture, one that seeks to understand biblical passages just as they are, without subjecting them to the tools of criticism employed by credible biblical scholars.

Make no mistake about it: However warmly pastoral he sounds in his elderly years, however much he has played the role of healer and reconciler at various points in his lifetime, Rev. Billy Graham is yet another bigoted preacher spouting anti-gay theology grounded in outdated biblical interpretation — a parochial preacher who cannot even begin to conceive of the possibility that a God of love would make a place for gay and lesbian lovers.

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