Add Franklin Graham to the long list of Christian right leaders who are gushing with praise of Vladimir Putin because of Russia’s crackdown on any pro-gay expression in the country. He only wishes President Obama were more like that instead of the pro-equality radical he imagines him to be.
Graham, who now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started by his famous father, praises Putin in the March issue of the group’s Decision magazine for signing a bill that imposes fines for adults who promote “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”
The Russian law came under heavy criticism from gay rights activists, and from Obama, ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In response, Obama included openly gay athletes as part of the official U.S. delegation to Sochi.
“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham writes. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”
Wrong. What he has done is used the protection of children as an excuse to violate the free speech rights of gay people. Isn’t it ironic how the Christian right screams bloody murder over their imagined violations of their right to speak out against homosexuality — which they do very loudly, every day, in a million different ways and with no attempt to censor them whatsoever — and then praises a law that puts people in prison for speaking out in favor of LGBT equality? They gleefully demand actual persecution of those they oppose while expressing outrage at the mythical persecution they claim to face.
“Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.”
I know, right? Of course, the entire nation “turned our backs on God and His standards” the moment we allowed non-Christians to run for office, guaranteed religious freedom for other religions, and refused to punish people for blasphemy, adultery, making graven images, having premarital sex, wearing clothing of mixed fabrics, eating shellfish and a thousand other imaginary “crimes” that their God allegedly demands punishment for.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: