Gay Rights Activists in Iceland Have Found the Perfect Way to Protest Evangelist Franklin Graham’s Festival

Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, has done everything in his power to tarnish his father’s legacy by associating his family’s name with homophobia. Last year, he used his dad’s image and name to urge North Carolinians to vote against same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, he told an interviewer that “there’s no way you can have a family with two females or two males”:

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay rights recently, Graham expressed his disappointment about that, too:

It was God who created and defined marriage, and any person or institution that attempts to redefine it is ultimately challenging Him.

So what do you do when he plans a huge festival in your city?

Well, a group of pro-LGBT-rights protesters in Reykjavik, Iceland — where gay marriage has been legal for a few years now — have come up with a brilliant way to fight back against his event there next month:

In a social media-fueled protest against the avowed anti-gay-marriage evangelist, Iceland residents are reserving hundreds of tickets to Graham’s sermons with the intention of leaving the seats empty.

The tickets were free, you could reserve up to four at a time (or more, if your group had 20+ people), and gay rights supporters appear to have gotten to them first :)

The site where you could reserve your tickets now says this (translated):

Order tickets online has been put on hold. Bedi is sorry, working on solving the case and arrangements will be announced soon. Please be patient while.

Love it. The tickets were “sold out” as of last Friday and there’s no indication from the Graham crew that they plan to give away more.

Shortly after tickets became available Wednesday, users on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit began spreading the word that protesters were reserving seats for the event, but not planning to show up. Protesters say the goal is to leave the controversial Graham with an empty venue when he appears at Reykjavík’s Laugardalshöll arena next month. One Icelandic software developer, Elvar Thormar, wrote on Facebook that he’d reserved 500 tickets.

I can’t wait to see pictures from the event. Graham is in for a wonderful, silent surprise if he thinks Iceland natives will be receptive to his bigotry.

(Thanks to Thor for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • sam

    “Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, has done everything in his power to tarnish his father’s legacy by associating his family’s name with homophobia.”
    Wait a minute, was Billy a strong defender of gay rights? How exactly does one tarnish raw human sewage?

  • The Other Weirdo

    It was God who created and defined marriage, and any person or
    institution that attempts to redefine it is ultimately challenging Him.

    Even if true, so what? There are plenty of biblical accounts(OT, anyway) of people challenging God and calling him out on his dickish–and murdery–behaviour.

  • Stev84

    Maybe they shouldn’t have announced this before the event.

  • Adam Rubin

    He didn’t devote his life to fighting it, though I suppose he really had no need to.

  • Cyrus Palmer

    Lol, love it! Fuck this guy.

  • Rain

    TIME magazine did a cover story on Franklin once or twice. Apparently they were very bored or it was a slow news week. What could he possibly have to say that wasn’t completely empty-headed? Him or his dad for that matter. They might as well interview a pile of rocks.

  • C Peterson

    Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, has done everything in his power to tarnish his father’s legacy by associating his family’s name with homophobia.

    His father’s legacy is already pretty damn tarnished to anybody with decent morals, and anybody who values secularism. And for those who respect the father? I expect the actions of the son are simply polishing his reputation, not tarnishing it.

  • just somebody

    > the Perfect Way to Protest

    I beg to differ. I’m not fond of Grahams’ viewpoint. But I am in favor of free speech.

    I recognize that the law may be different in Iceland, but I’m commenting on the ethics of this behavior and the general human right of free speech.

    It is ethical to not attend and to encourage others not to attend (boycott). It is ethical, if you are a service provider, to not provide services (e.g., catering), as long as you are not declining the services just on the basis of religion (that is, if you, in general, do not discriminate against Christians per se). It is ethical to hold a protest to express your disagreement with his position. It is ethical to publish in the media (print, broadcast, online) to register your disagreement and to hold meetings/gatherings to express disapproval.

    The above activities do not interfere with the rights of others to free speech.

    But this behavior is taking away the free speech rights of other people who may want to attend the event.

    I think this is unethical.

    Think how you would feel if Christians pushed an effort to take up all the seats at a Richard Dawkins talk or all the free seats at Skepticon — and then not show up.

  • Buckley

    Well the promoters of the event set up the ticket reservation rules. Look, no one is preventing him from speaking, he’ll just be doing it in front of a sparse audience. He can still speak, youtube the event, etc. It’s just people wont be there. How is this any different than if they all showed up and the minute he starts talking they stand up and walk out or stand up and turn their backs. That’s the exercise of free speech as well.

  • Composer 99

    Nothing is stopping Graham from showing up and doing his thing.

    Nothing is stopping his team from letting in whomever is willing to show up, ticket or no, to take part.

    Nothing is stopping his event from being broadcast/live streamed/whatever.

  • toth

    What are you talking about? No one’s speech is being supressed. Graham is free to say whatever he wants. To an empty room.

  • Makoto

    Then that’s the Christian’s free speech in action, too, taking up the seats and then not coming. I see no problem in either direction… the speeches still happen, the event still goes on.

  • katiehippie

    I figure if we know about this, the people there do as well and they may encourage people to just show up.

  • flyb

    Yeah, it will be interesting to see what their “fix” for this will be. I think it would have been better for the protesters to actually show up, sit in their seats for the first couple minutes, then all get up and leave at once.

  • trj

    It was God who created and defined marriage

    Hm, where exactly in the Bible does it say either of these things? AFAIK there’s no reference anywhere that marriage was instituted by God, and the Bible is also perfectly fine with several different kinds of marriage, especially polygamy.

    In fact, the Bible is remarkably short and vague on the subject of marriage, which seems odd if it’s really such a big deal to God.

  • iamfantastikate

    He’s devoted a nice little portion of his elderly life to fighting against gay rights:

  • Guest

    never is a loooooong time frank

  • Without Malice

    The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Franklin is his daddy’s boy through and through; there’s not a dimes bit of difference between them. The only difference is that Franklin is trying to preach his daddy’s sermons in a more enlightened world, so he comes across as more hateful than his dad.

  • islandbrewer

    Edit: I just got back from driving half a thousand miles and can’t read!

    Please ignore any incoherence and pretend I’m thorough and witty.

  • Artor

    Better yet; challenge him on every bit of unfounded bullshit that he spews from his pie-hole.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    I am also a supporter of free speech, and I see your point, but I am also a believer in the right to protest… So Graham is going to have his free speech, and Iceland will peacefully protest his ideas – It’s a win for everyone! ;)

  • the moother

    Is there any other country in the Developed World that gives so much airtime to bigots so that they can vomit their bible stupidity at TV and radio audiences?

    I’d like anyone to weigh in here and mention a country name if the have ever lived in such a place and witnessed that for themselves.

  • Beadknitter


  • observer

    This is probably immature, but…

  • Spuddie

    The point of free speech is not to protect what is popular but what isn’t. Popular speech protects itself.

    The entire Developed World is not averse to airing bigots in their media. Its just that in some places it has less of an audience than others.

  • Cheryl in Tucson

    I met some gay rights activists from Iceland at SF Pride one year. They told me that the small country has a population of 250,000 most of whom live in Reykjavik, and that during their gay pride celebration a quarter of the country comes to the party.

    I wonder if the LGBT action was necessary?? I hope the country would have stayed away anyway …

  • Mitch

    Equating homosexuality with adultery and murder. Classy move there, Graham. *keyboard soaked with sarcasm*

  • Emenoe

    No, Thank you – I’d rather drink sulphuric acid. Thank you for the offer.

  • Emenoe

    How much money is he going to get for tickets that were handed out for free?

  • Stev84

    Another one who has no idea what “free speech” means. Nothing is stopping him from saying his stuff. But he doesn’t have the right to an audience.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    It’s always amusing when marriage equality opponents cite [passage I can't be arsed to remember from the NT] to “prove” that homosexuality stayed forbidden even though Leviticus no longer applies. Read it in context and it turns out that it’s specifically saying that divorce is evil and adulterous, not buttsmex.

  • Edmond

    If God wants marriage benefits administered a certain way, then why is he putting this task into the hands of humans? Especially when he KNEW in advance how they would administer them? He should do the administering himself, if he wants in done in some specific way.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    When I read the article, I thought it was funny, but wondered if it was ethical. I’m thus far of the opinion that it is, because the protestors had actually made no attempt at sabotage. They made their goals and methods transparent and very public, accomplishing them AND leaving an escape route in for Graham and any supporters, which is to simply show up without tickets and be let inside anyway.

    It would be unethical I think if the programmer who reserved 500 tickets had kept the fact secret. That would be sabotage. It would also be unethical if the protest cost Graham money.

  • baal

    And concubines and female slaves who may be used for sex.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    This reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day: that Christianity could have been a pretty decent religion if opposing commands from on High for moral reasons was considered a virtue instead of a flaw. The Bible could have even contained most or all of the same stories and it would have worked with a different emphasis. It could have described things such that mortals were moral to resist what they believed to be wrongful commands from God, even if those mortals were mistaken.

  • Paula M Smolik

    Yeah, sit “boy boy”, “girl girl”……

  • Paula M Smolik

    Of course if they alternated couples you wouldn’t be able to tell who’s the couple, unless they start making out

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Even I know that my stockers are going to do everything wrong if I don’t touch base with them fairly often AND work side by side with them instead of making easily-forgotten pronouncements and then walking away, and I lack omniscience… yet. *plugs in prototype Omnisciator collander*

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Is it wrong that I think it would be really funny if everyone who reserved no-show tickets for the first couple of events showed up anyway, planning to film the “empty” arena for YouTube?

  • The Other Weirdo

    The morality failure didn’t start with Christianity, however. Abraham&Isaac, as well as Job, predate Jesus by centuries, and they are moral failures of such colossal proportions that it takes my breath away. Not to mention Noah’s Flood.

  • islandbrewer



  • flyb

    Now THAT would be one hell of a protest!

  • Anna

    Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, has done everything in his power to tarnish his father’s legacy by associating his family’s name with homophobia.

    Does Billy Graham even have what atheists could consider a good legacy? He might not have been as overt about his homophobia, but it was still there. I actually think it’s a good thing if the younger Graham is tarnishing their name, since their name is associated with the promotion of fundamentalism. If the anti-gay stuff makes mainstream people think less of the Grahams, then I don’t have a problem with that. A career in evangelism isn’t something that should have been respected in the first place.

  • KMR

    It’s a shame really that Franklin Graham has wrapped politics into his charity work. I used love the showbox ministry he does at Christmas but will no longer participate due to his devoting money to anti-gay propaganda.

  • Frank

    Keep up Gods work Franklin! The more pushback you get from those that have rejected God or His existence the more confirmation you have that you are doing God’s work.

  • walkamungus

    This isn’t a free speech issue, as others have explained — it’s gaming the system instead, and it’s perfectly fine.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Actually, Job is my favorite OT book because Job gives Yahweh lip and Satan is a major character who hangs around with Yahweh like they are members of the Rat Pack, tossin’ cards into a hat in their hotel room, waitin’ for Sammy and Dino to show up with the broads.

  • JET

    Dressed as flamboyantly as possible… just for the *hell* of it.

  • Mario Strada

    This is not Franklin Graham’s blog, Frank. Why would you write a post directed at him on an atheist blog instead of his Facebook page or his website?

    The reason is that you are prideful and obnoxious. You see this as an “us Vs. Them” game where you score points if you can troll the other people’s site.
    Ands when you do, you think of yourself as a warrior for god. A martyr. Almost in the tradition of those Christians the Romans did not feed to the lions.

    How’s this sin of pride working for you Frank? From what I know about your Messiah (and it’s quite a bit), his most popular quotes would seem to castigate those that acted in his name for personal advantage and self aggrandizing. To look “holier” than everyone else.

    Although, in many other cases, there are NT passages, less famous ones, where your Messiah managed to act pretty dickish toward those he didn’t like or didn’t deem worthy.

    So maybe you are on the right track. Have fun watching more brainless sitcoms with gay people marrying and living normal lives. Have fun strolling alongside gay families and their kids.
    You know it’s already happening and eventually it will spread more.

    Maybe you can move to Uganda. I hear they still keep the gays in their place there and I feel you’d fit right in.

  • RobMcCune

    If each protester only only got one ticket I don’t see a problem with it.

  • Mario Strada

    There is no free speech among regular citizens. If the government had purchased the tickets that would have been a free speech issue. This is not.

  • RobMcCune

    You talking to yourself there Frank? It would explain a lot.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    The more pushback you get from those that have rejected God or His existence the more confirmation you have that you are doing God’s work. The more the Allies bomb our factories, the more it proves that our cleansing was justified.


  • blasphemous_kansan

    Frank: do you know what caused me to reject god’s word, from right here in the middle of the good old American Bible Belt?

    It was people just like you. Please keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Your passive aggressive non-comments, baseless insults, and prideful nature create a more perfect vision of Christian intolerance than has ever been caricatured here. A good demonstration of the harm of willful ignorance is a great springboard to toss the chains of religion, and you provide demonstrations every time you comment.

    People like you who insist on inserting themselves into the lives of strangers and telling them how inferior they are, you are creating more atheists every day. From me to you: thanks for making me see the folly of your cult, and all cults by extension. I truly appreciate it.

  • the moother

    The point of free speech is not what you think. It’s actually a limitation on government. Government is not allowed to tell you what to say or how to express yourself. So, basically freedom of speech allows you to criticise the government without them sending goons to you door.

    But, aside from the fact that there are assholes everywhere, reread the question. In every other developed country I’ve spent enough time and been able to understand the language (I speak several and understand many more), I have NEVER seen anything like the amount of bigotry that flows out of Murca. In Europe, where I’ve spent the majority of my life, fuckwits do not get a forum and, on the rare occasions that they do, they are shouted down loudly.

  • Frank

    You have the choice to accept or reject God. No one else is responsible for your choice except you

  • ZenDruid

    You’re a gullible jackass and your mother dresses you funny.

  • Frank

    A jejune analogy at best.

  • Frank

    The intelligence and maturity I have come to expect here. Well done!

  • Guest

    Yes, that’s what Fred Phelps says too.

  • Spuddie

    Its also freedom to criticize others provided it is not fraud, an incitement to violence or defamation. If its the truth or a political opinion, it has a right to be heard. Even if it is unflattering to some.

    In Europe the bigotry tends to be a lot less obvious but not less present. Especially when it comes to race/ethnicity. There is also a far greater degree of accepting open racism into political platforms than in the US.

  • busterggi

    I was rather hoping that their protest involved tossing Graham into a volcano but …

  • ZenDruid

    You fit right in, don’t you?

  • Guest

    It would be funnier if they brought disco balls and had a big gay party…

  • busterggi

    I dunno – people will confuse it with ComiCon.

  • UWIR

    It would be rather difficult to organize this without word getting out.

  • MD

    Why on earth is Franklin Graham going to Iceland anyway? It’s not a particularly religious country, and as other have said, LGBT friendly. Or maybe Graham wants to feed his persecution complex because no one will take him seriously in Reykjavik.

  • UWIR

    Free speech and the First Amendment are not the same. The First Amendment protects free speech, but that doesn’t mean that free speech does not exist separate from the First Amendment, or that private actions can’t be worrisome from a free speech point of view.

  • UWIR

    The only thing “jejune” is your defense mechanism of interpreting all disagreement as somehow proving that you are right.

    An analogy is when two different situations are examined, are a common trait is identified, and asserted to be a proper basis for analysis. Normally, that trait is only one of many that the situation have, and criticism of the analogy can argue that the trait in common is not the controlling issue. However, in your post, not only did you assert that the amount of opposition is a proper basis for analysis, you asserted that it is proper for it to be one’s only basis for analysis. Therefore, this must be the controlling issue, because it is the sole issue presented in your post, and any analogy that focuses on someone thinking they are right because others disagree in another situation is valid.

  • fett101

    Like Elvar Thormar who said he reserved 500 tickets?

  • Jeff

    Nope, it’ll be a geyser.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Um, yeah, that’s exactly what I said: I made the decision, and the point was that I was guided to see the wisdom of that decision during my formative years by people just like you. And I am reminded almost daily of the wisdom of that decision by people like you. The responsibility for my decision is indeed mine, as are the responsibilities carried by all my decisions.

    I also appreciate your not contesting my assertions that your nature on this blog is insulting, passive aggressive, non-substantive, and prideful. I’ll take this as an affirmation, on your part.

    I’m glad we’re agreeing on so many things today, Frank! Maybe it’s a new beginning for you here at FA.

  • RobMcCune

    No, that guy was being a dick.

  • Frank

    Meh. If you want to use hyperbole to make a point that’s really not relevant then go for it.

  • Frank

    I wrote it because there is nothing wrong with what Franklin Graham is doing and he deserves some support. If you cant take an opposing viewpoint then the internet is not for you.

  • Frank

    You can take whatever you like and put them blame anywhere you like. It doesn’t make it true however.

  • just somebody

    I was referring to the free speech rights of the folks who want to attend the talk and to assemble and talk among themselves before and after the conference.

    Thought experiment:

    Imagine that a set of Christian churches in Springfield, MO, decide to protect their young adult children and the children of all their neighbors in the city and the area and the local colleges from the satanic atheist influence of Skepticon.

    So they register for as many free tickets as they can. And some people acknowledge that they’ve snagged some, but most people just get a few and don’t say anything because, hey, aren’t we doing a great thing by trying to shut this down?

    The Skepticon folks thus have *no* idea who is a valid registrant and who is not. So they have no idea where to cut off registration and how many people to plan for.

    Imagine that the Skepticon event planners and donors have invested a lot of money to get the facilities and materials.

    Imagine that the speakers have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to make presentations that they have worked hard on.

    Then imagine that, at the opening keynote speech, almost all the chairs are empty or, alternatively, they are full, but full of protesters, and the protesters all rise up at once and walk out.

    Would you think this is a fair way for the churches to register their disapproval of the subject matter at Skepticon?

    Would you say, “Well, no one’s speech is being supressed. No one is stopping Seth Andrews or JT Eberhard from speaking. Matt Dillahunty and AronRa are free to say whatever they want. It’s just that people won’t be there. That’s the exercise of free speech.” ?

    Would you say, “Well, the Skepticon promoters set up the ticket registration rules. They can just figure out another way, or just let people travel from up to hundreds of miles and make unrefundable hotel reservations, but might find that the conference is actually full of real attendees, because who knows? But hey, that’s just free speech.” ?

    Would you say, “They can just record it and upload it to YouTube and livestream it, so nobody really loses out.”

    Would you say, “No one’s speech is being suppressed.” ?


    I’m completely in favor of free speech. But I believe it has limits.

    I believe this action goes beyond those limits, because it restricts the free speech rights of the people who *do* want to attend.

    Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court judge said, ”
    “Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
    Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927).

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Wow. So you’re saying that just because a person believes something, that it might not necessarily be true. Groundbreaking stuff right there. And, yet again, we find ourselves in complete agreement! You and me are just BFF’s aren’t we, Frank? At least until you change your username.

    I’m going to leave Futurama quote right here, for no reason at all:
    “Things don’t exist simply because you believe in them. Thus sayeth the Almighty Creature in the Sky!”

  • Tor


  • Tor


  • Tor

    You are absolutely correct, Anna. However Billy Graham was an adviser to Presidents. Franklin, not so much. We may be talking levels of prestige here.

  • Tor

    there is always a donation plate somewhere.

  • just somebody

    Responded above.

  • just somebody

    Responded to you via reply to Composer99 above.

  • just somebody

    Via reply to Composer99 above, I responded to you .

  • just somebody

    Please see above my reply to you as part of my reply to Composer99.

  • just somebody

    In my reply to Composer99, I replied also to your comment.

  • Astreja

    He’s lobbying to deprive LGBT people of equality under civil law, and you think there’s nothing wrong with that? (Springy G shakes Her head and wanders off, muttering rude things in Old Norse)

  • Robster

    Iceland, as it’s name suggests, a cool (but broke) country in every way.

  • sJames6621

    this idiot is just making trouble. Iceland in 2010 voted 49 to 0 in tehir one house parliament to put in marriage in place of half ass partnerships

    There was one nutjob evangelist high school prinicpal who said gays deserve death. He and his family were expelled from the country, rumor is to the soviet gulag.

    BTW the Lutheran church in iceland (and all of scandanavia except finland) will do gay marriage ceremoneis. About 80% of their priests – its their choice will participate

    I was at pride in Reyjavik in 2011. 90000 of hte 220000 population showed up, many with thier younger children, as I was told to teach the kids tolerance for all people.

  • sJames6621

    Noah and the boat- he put on it 2 of each sex of the millions of different creatures -t ust have been as big as a small city. And its hard in many speicies to figure out what the sex is

    To say nothing of having the proper types and amounts of food for all the critters

    Noah and hiis boat are just another BS story from an age of ignorance, stuporstion etc etc.

  • Cassiopeia

    The most obvious solution to that would be to not have tickets available to be reserved free online.

    Or institute a secret atheist handshake.

  • sJames6621

    I’ll bring my cross – made out of t two dildoes.

  • sJames6621

    you pour in the lube and I’ll let you know what fcuking an ass (in more then one) way feels like.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Glacier crevasse works, too.

  • spellwight

    That’s what I was thinking. Him knowing in advance that the “Gay Agenda People” had taken control of the event puts the power in his hands. Him getting there, thinking the whole thing was sold out, and finding an empty auditorium makes more of a statement. But he’ll still get to blame teh gayz. Better they should show up and boo. What do they call that? Some sort of group veto?

  • Ella Warnock

    That god guy is a lazy son of bitch. If we humans are such colossal fuckups, why does he keep on wanting us to do all his work? You’d think he would want a more competent and dependable work force, you know, than the one he created to be so deeply flawed and worthless without a lot of bloody sacrifice and soap-opera worthy melodrama to make up for it. The problems of this little ol’ backwater planet should be a snap for someone who created a whole universe all by himself! Oh well, his ways are mysterious and all that. I’ve really got to start using that line more often in my own life. Seems to get you off the hook for a multitude of, ah, sins. ;->

  • Fanraeth

    My family’s asshole-ish brand of fundamentalist Christianity is a big part of why I left the religion. Well, that and having a functioning moral compass that considers things like genocide to always be wrong, no matter what sky daddy tells you to do it.

  • Buckley

    I believe in free speech having absolutely no limits. As far as your thought experiment goes, there is only one problem and that is the ticket promotion. I worked for an evangelical college and when ever a speaker was coming the college and many, many local churches would handle the ticket give-outs. This is how they prevent an Iceland-like event from being protested against like this.

    As far as the Justice Brandeis quote: he later cam out and regretted that he ever made that argument.

  • just somebody

    In this thought experiment, how would you propose that Skepticon arrange for its free tickets to be gotten by people coming from hundreds of miles away, in a way that would avoid these Christians getting them with no intention to attend?

  • just somebody

    Buckley wrote: …many, many local churches would handle the ticket give-outs.

    So you would be fine on attendance to Skepticon being limited to people that are familiar to the few and far between local atheist, free thought, and skeptical groups? So closet atheists would be excluded — those who would lose their jobs or get kicked out of home if local folks found out they were atheists, so could only anonymously attend an out-of-town conference?

    Remember, whatever tactics we think are perfect to use against Graham, we are also saying are valid to use against us.

    Buckley wrote: I believe in free speech having absolutely no limits.

    Do you believe that someone or some group has the absolute right to shout around you constantly so that you can never be heard?

    Do you believe that libel and slander should not be illegal?

    Do you believe that you have the free speech right to falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater or to call in a false bomb threat?

    Do you believe that you have the free speech right to shout to an angry mob, “Let’s lynch this SOB right now !” ?

    Do you believe that a public school teacher has the free speech right to lead hir students in prayer or to teach creationism in a science class?

    Do you believe that a government official has the free speech right to lie to the people (absent legally justified state secrets)?

    Do you believe someone has the free speech right to talk about details of kinky sex to your three-year-old daughter and how s/he’d like to do them to hir?

    Do you believe, if you were a rape victim, that opposing counsel has the free speech right to publicly talk about every single sexual encounter you have ever had ?

    Really? You believe in free speech having absolutely no limits?

  • just somebody

    So then are you saying it’s “perfectly fine” for Christians to do exactly the same kind of “gaming the system” to interfere with the right of atheists, skeptics and free thinkers to peacefully assemble and discuss their point of view?

    So you’re saying it would be “perfectly fine” for Christians to conspire to RSVP en masse to all atheist on-line meetups so they spend money getting larger venues for people who won’t attend, or so they have no idea how to plan for attendance, or so they end up having to be being suspicious of instead of welcoming to new on-line members?

  • Buckley

    When one exercises their free speech they have to accept the consequences of their actions. They have to be prepared to accept those consequences, weather there they are fired from their job, arrested for causing physical or mental harm to someone, or protest someone speaking and getting arrested while causing a disturbance. If I taught creation and was trying to get people to convert to Christianity I would have to accept the consequences that I may be fired.

    Keep finding every extreme example and go off the deep end and you still reveal yourself to be a totalitarian that wants to keep speech contained in a well defined box.

    This is how religion keeps the sheeple, if you don’t permit them to talk and debate and speak about things they know to be false, you keep them in church and ignorant of the truth. And isn’t this what all religion wants: ignorance is bliss.

    Love to keep debating, but I have to work. Glad we could keep it civil.

  • just somebody

    If the hosting organization and Graham were planning on paying for the event and his travel expenses via a collection at the event — which is the usual case in such events — but almost no one attended because all the tickets were taken by protesters, then Graham and the organizers lose money.

    Their methods are transparent but there is no way to know how many people are doing this. One person getting 500 tickets has the same effect as 500 people each getting one ticket. They interfere with the free speech and freedom of assembly rights of those who do want to attend. This is exactly equivalent to protesters blocking the entrance instead of standing peacefully to the side with their protest signs.

    In addition, the organizers have no idea about how many tickets have been reserved by valid attendees, so they have no idea how much security to hire and how many ushers to hire or how much catering to buy, so this is losing them money.

  • DavidMHart

    And you have the choice whether to be a good ambassador for your god, or a bad one. At the moment, I’m afraid, what with all the supporting this pro-bigotry circus, you come across as on balance a rather bad one.

    Of course, if there were any good evidence that your god actually existed, he wouldn’t need you or anyone else to be an ambassador for him at all – he could simply say to us all, clearly and unambiguously: “Here I am; this is my plan for the universe, do you want to get on board”.

    The fact that he does not do this (or does this only to a tiny minority of people most of whom come away reporting extravagantly different and incompatible versions of what God’s plan actually is) ought to worry you more than it does.

  • Jim Jones

    > Billy Graham was an adviser to Presidents.

    And an anti-Semitic adviser to one.

  • Jim Jones

    < To say nothing of having the proper types and amounts of food for all the critters

    And the shit. Mountains and mountains of shit.

  • Jim Jones

    Like a movie musical?

  • Jim Jones

    The shoebox fraud is disgusting. it’s one of the vilest things imaginable.

    Never let this near your schools or any children.

  • just somebody

    You are the one who brought up absolutely no limits to free speech. You were the one being extreme. I was trying to remind you that there must be some limits to free speech — in cases where unrestrained speech would significantly and unfairly limit the rights of others. I was trying to moderate your extreme position.

    You are the one who thinks its fair to keep Graham’s speech “contained in a well defined box” of a deceptively-caused empty auditorium, and to limit the freedom of speech and assembly of people in Iceland who want to gather to hear him and discuss his views.

    As I wrote above, there are many ethical ways to protest Graham’s positions. Boycott, civil protest, blogging/media, etc. Plenty of ethical free speech ways to protest and attempt to change hearts and minds.

    What I am saying is this deceptive ticket fraud is not an ethical way to protest.

    Use the Veil of Ignorance to consider: If this tactic if it were used against you and your beliefs and your rights, would you consider it to be fair and ethical?

  • Tor

    I didn’t say he was a good one…..

  • Frank

    And things do not exist just because you say they don’t. See how pointless this little game is?

  • Frank

    Upholding Gods created order is always the right path.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Aww, Frank, you’re hurting my feelings. I thought we were getting along really well. Too bad your anger had to get in the way.

  • Frank

    I see reading comprehension is not a strong point for you? Neither is the dictionary it seems.

    I am hardly angry. You have said nothing that would make me so. Why do you feel the need to make false accusations?

  • blasphemous_kansan

    If you aren’t angry, then why do you feel the need to insult me personally? Your insecurity is quite sad, and your hypocrisy is showing. Best zip that up before you go into public next time.

    Have a good one, buddy!

  • Frank

    I simply shared an observation. I guess it hit too close to home.

    Projecting much?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    The Bible makes it plain that YOU are responsible if your actions turn people from God.

    Good luck explaining that one to Jesus.

  • C.L. Honeycutt


    It’s YOUR game, Mr. Ed. You brought it up as if it were a competent argument. You’re complaining about yourself.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Aww, poor Mr. Ed, ‘oo can’t actually refute it so ‘oo must has be all angwy!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Then why aren’t you sacrificing bulls to Osiris, as properly prescribed?

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Again, with the insults. Angrums Frank makes me sad. Again, thanks for all the great atheists that you have created, and will continue to create and support as long as you visit here!

    Now I insist you take my earlier advice and have a good one. Just give it a try.

  • Ogre Magi

    Evangelical Hicks are America’s number one export!

  • Discordia

    Free speech has to have limits. Or do you believe it is OK for someone to scream “FIRE!!” in a crowded room or heap verbal abuse upon other people?

    I am sure you have seen how many people there are who don’t have a lick of common sense or compassion who would be more than thrilled to stir up a panic or talk hate to anyone different from them. (Dude, most of them are licensed to operate motor vehicles.) Free speech needs limits to protect us from idiots, seeing as how it is illegal to shoot someone who gets their kicks out of screaming “Fire!” in crowded rooms.

  • Frank

    Yup too close to home.

  • Frank

    Thanks for letting us know about the things you do not understand. That’s the first step towards wisdom.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Matthew 18:1-7.

    Good luck explaining yourself to Jesus.

    And before you prevaricate and blaspheme some more: “Child” does not only refer to literal children. It’s a metaphor for a member of His church.

  • Frank

    I don’t know if its funny or just plain sad when someone posts scripture they don’t believe nor understand to try and make a non point.

    I guess atheism does make people dumber.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    I accept your implicit admissions that you know you:

    Fail at comprehending the Bible;

    Are being pissy about the Bible;

    Are declaring that you don’t have to adhere to the Bible if you think someone is being mean;

    Can’t actually refute the point;

    Know how horribly you failed right there and are trying to camouflage it with deception in order to soothe your ego, and in doing so again failing to comprehend or adhere to the Bible.

    Jesus loves you anyway, despite your hatred of His ways.

    However, I’m not prone to forgiving unrepentant liars like yourself, so I’m going to keep reminding you of how foul and immoral you are until you have a meltdown or I get bored. It’s usually the former that causes the latter. Enjoy.

  • RobMcCune

    If that’s true, how come you haven’t taken the second step already? You’ve been posting here a long time, does that mean you still haven’t shown the full breadth of your ignorance?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Just as something that only God could is an ocean too vast to cross, so is Francis’s ignorance and immorality.

  • Frank

    How terribly sad when someone displays such an abundance of cognitive dissonance. And how tragic when they see it as a source of pride.

  • RobMcCune

    So what does it mean? Or is it just scripture of convenience that isn’t understood correctly only when it applies to your actions?

    But more to the point would Jesus approve of you making christianity look unpleasant and arrogant?

  • Frank

    I wonder if your repertoire includes anything other than the 3rd grade mantra “I know you are but what am I?”

    So far, no.

  • Frank

    More cognitive dissonance displayed. You are the one that looks unpleasant and arrogant.

    What it means is that we should not lead people into sin (of course that’s exactly what vocal atheists are doing) because there are consequences.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Snerk. Mr. Ed, you just misused the term “cognitive dissonance.” You weren’t even close. Your wrangler needs to do a better job with the peanut butter.

    Also, you’re morally corrupt, and don’t actually believe in Jesus. Otherwise you wouldn’t be complaining about the Bible as you just did.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    No, Mr. Ed, that’s only Matthew 18:7. 18:1-6 directly refute your distinctly Unchristian claims about blasphemous_kansan. You are in fact your brother’s keeper in Christ.

    Why don’t you read your Bible, Frank? I read mine, starting from the age of four, being fairly precocious, and kept going. It led to greater understanding that you lack in your immorality and contempt towards the words of Jesus.

  • RobMcCune

    It does, though I try to tailor my messages to the understanding of my audience. If your posts were anything other than “Nuh uh. Christianity is so real :P” you’d get something else. So far you haven’t shown a willingness to engage on any higher level.

  • RobMcCune

    More cognitive dissonance displayed. You are the one that looks unpleasant and arrogant.

    I wonder if your repertoire includes anything other than the 3rd grade mantra “I know you are but what am I?”

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    No, U are the dumbzors!!!!!111!!!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Never seen a talking horse actually slap himself silly trying to count with his hoof. Impressive job there, Ed.

  • Frank

    I don’t think we are even having the same conversation.

  • Frank

    Ok but you are displaying your lack of understanding about it so maybe you should go back and study some more.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Yet oddly, you can’t explain that lack of understanding, only claim that it doesn’t say what you’ve been shown it does say.

    Why do you hate the Word of God enough to claim it doesn’t exist, Frank?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Quite correct. Mine is in fluent English. Yours is in Peanut-Butter-In-A-Horse’s-Mouth. That was unexpectedly astute of you.

  • Frank

    This conversation reminds me of trying to have an adult conversation with a toddler. Let me go get some toys and a picture book and get back to you.

  • Frank

    Gosh I love you. You are the best reason to reject atheism that there is. Thank you for saving me the time and energy of having to put real work into this conversation! Wow!

  • RobMcCune

    Quite odd that when you encounter someone using your own conversational style you immediately find it juvenile. The irony is that your behaviour is the being refelected back to you because that’s how you sound in most of your posts.

    Since we atheists don’t understand the bible, I’ll leave it you remember the relevant passages about hypocrisy, reaping what you sow, etc…

  • David Conrad

    At first, I was thrilled by this, but after a bit of thought I have to agree that this is a violation of the freedom of expression of Graham and his supporters.

    I see many arguing against that, and saying that the people who are playing this, shall we say, prank, are just following the rules for reserving tickets. Let me point out a contrary case.

    In many places there are free newspapers. College papers are often free, and many metropolitan areas have free weekly papers supported solely by advertising. From time to time people, objecting to some story that has appeared in one of these papers, have tried to suppress them by going around and taking all the copies from the places they’re distributed.

    The argument in that case is the same. The paper is free, and there are no limits on how many copies you can take. And no rule that says if you take it, you have to read it. So they take them all, with no intention of reading them, just with the intention of preventing anyone else from getting one.

    Courts (in the US) have found this to be illegal. I think it’s just about a perfect analogy for what is going on here. There are a limited number of items available, the people taking them don’t really want them, but by taking them, they keep someone who might actually want them from obtaining one.

    The right to freedom of expression, if it is to mean anything, must comprehend the right of some audience to hear that expression. Otherwise, free speech becomes meaningless.

    I think the tactic used here is very clever; too clever by half. Funny once, but I hope it won’t be repeated.

  • Starshadow666

    Thanks for that link. They’re no better than the “Church” (spit) of Scientology which also preys on families and destroys them. Disgusting, all of them.

  • Nigel Woodcock

    turn up, flick him the V-signs, and then leave. Otherwise they might give your seats to some bloody Christian.

  • :D

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20
    Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55
    Jesus Loves U all!!!

  • yougogirl

    Billy Graham is a great man of God. He has always preached of God’s love. He has always preached that we should love one another as God loves us. For anyone to try and say other wise is just plain wrong.

  • Vikram

    What a ‘bright’ way to oppose somone.

  • Vikram

    For those who are saying that Franklin is different than his father Billy Graham, are not fully aware of the facts. Both Franklin and Billy are preaching the same message that the Christians (at least those who believe in the Bible as Gods word). The message is that all of us are sinners. Sin is a barrier to having a relationship with a Holy God. Unlike other religions where people make effort to reach God, in Christianity, God takes the initiative of reaching out to humanity. Jesus is God in human form and his sacrifice on the cross on behalf of a sinful humanity is acceptable in God’s eyes to mend the relationship with God.