A little over a year ago, I awarded my coveted Idiot of the Week award to Mr. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, and a most deserving recipient of my idiot award. Today, I find that he is trying to spread his brand of idiocy, or narrow-minded “Christianity”, if it can be so-called, to our friends across the pond, and they, frankly do not want him!
US evangelical preacher should be banned from entering UK, critics say – The Guardian, 07 December 2017
MPs call for Franklin Graham to be banned from UK ahead of Blackpool visit – Premier, 08 December 2017
For those who may not know who Franklin Graham is, a quick recap. He is a televangelist who is controversial for his far-right, bigoted ideology. He has spoken brutally against Islam referring to it as “a very evil and wicked religion”, and has claimed that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” (not true, but so what if it was?) and had allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the US government at the highest levels during his presidency. He has taken on the LGBT community, saying that the mythological ‘Satan’ is behind same-sex marriage. In every possible way, he is a bigot extraordinaire. He is, not surprisingly, a big supporter of Donald Trump. Of Trump’s election, he says …
“While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.”
So, with such outlandishly bigoted views, is it any wonder that the Brits don’t want him in the UK? I think not, for I don’t want him in the U.S., either, but he seems to play well in the south, so as long as he stays in the south, and off my radar, I can simply ignore him.
Graham is scheduled to speak at the Lancashire Festival of Hope at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in September 2018, but the protests began nearly a year ahead of the event.
A number of Members of Parliament, including a government minister, have urged the home secretary to consider refusing UK entry to Franklin Graham, with some suggesting his comments contravene British laws on hate speech. An online petition has, as of this writing, garnered 6,150 signatures.
Blackpool MP, Gorden Marsden has called on the home secretary to consider refusing Graham entry, and said the evangelist may have broken UK legislation on hate speech. “I think frankly the evidence is piling up that his visit to the UK … would not be a good thing and not probably in my view a very Christian thing.”
Afzal Khan, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, said, “His views are not welcome, and I will make representation to the home secretary if it looks like he is intent on coming,”
Two opponents of Graham’s visit, the Blackpool vicars Andrew Sage and Tracy Charnock, have written an open letter to the bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, calling on him to distance himself from the US evangelist. They say they are nervous about the damage the proposed visit will do to interfaith relations.
Nina Parker, the pastor of Liberty church in Blackpool and the organizer of the petition, said: “As a Christian and as a leader of a church that particularly welcomes LGBT people, I’m horrified that other local churches are inviting someone with this record of hate speech.”
Just as our friends on the other side of the pond, for the most part do not wish to welcome Donald Trump for a state visit next year, nor do they wish Franklin Graham to visit, bringing his message of hate, fear, and every phobia known to mankind. Personally, I don’t blame them … I don’t want either of them, either! And if he were sensible, Franklin Graham would cancel his visit, but … well, I just said if …