Not today, Satan…
Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham is in a panic to find new venues in the UK after all eight of the locations he reserved for an upcoming tour of the country backed out over the controversial American pastor’s stances on LGBTQ issues.
ACC Liverpool was one of the eight venues to cancel Graham’s tour stop, noting it had been made aware of a
“number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values.”
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.”
Graham said in an interview with Religion News Service,
“This attack on me is an attack on religious freedom and freedom of speech. For any Christian group that wants to rent a venue that believes the Bible is the word of God, they’re in danger of being canceled.”
Graham promised to file lawsuits against seven of the eight venues for allegedly breaching signed contracts. He also vowed to find new venues for his Graham tour, which originally was set to start in late May.
Graham wrote on Facebook after the first few venues canceled,
“It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes.”
“The controversial speaker has publicly promoted homophobia, claiming that homosexuality is a ‘sin,’ that Satan was the architect of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights and that gay people are causing a ‘moral 9/11.'”
Graham’s father, evangelist Billy Graham, was warmly welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1955, the younger Franklin has earned a reputation in the U.S. and abroad for controversial remarks against gays and Muslims.
In 2010, Graham, now a close ally of Trump, said former president Barack Obama was “born a Muslim,” echoing the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that the first black president was born somewhere outside the U.S. and was lying about his religion.
After the 2017 repeal of North Carolina’s transgender “bathroom bill,” which banned trans people from using restrooms matching their gender identity, Graham tweeted,
“Thanks to the gov, people of NC will be exposed to pedophiles & sexually perverted men in women’s public restrooms.”
And just last year, Graham denounced the sexuality of presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, saying the Bible defines homosexuality as
“something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized.”
(Photo, YouTube; via NBC News)