Opposition to evangelist Franklin Graham’s UK visit gains momentum

Opposition to evangelist Franklin Graham’s UK visit gains momentum January 27, 2020

RIGHT now, around 100 people are using one of Premier Christian’s News’ newfangled ‘prayer panels’ to ask God to iron the ever-increasing wrinkles out of Graham’s upcoming visit to the UK.

Franklin Graham. Image via YouTube.

They are reacting to a Premier report today that the anti-gay and Islamophobic hate preacher has been “dealt a blow” by having his planned mission in Liverpool cancelled by the ACC conference centre.

The panel reads:

Father God, we thank you for the ministry of Franklin Graham. We know that there are many who oppose him but we know that you have used him and are continuing to use him for good all over the world. We pray for a resolution in this situation. Amen.

He was due to visit the ACC on June 12 but the venue blew him off because of:

The divisive impact this event is having in our city.

A petition was launched against his visit, while the city’s Anglican bishop Rt Rev Paul Bayes has spoken out against him.

Concerns relate to Graham’s links to comments previously made about homosexuality and Islam which have been deemed “hateful”.

Most recently Graham warmly congratulated the Church of England for stating that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage, and that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings”. The statement last week has been described as “staggeringly stupid” and thousands are claiming that the church has turned itself into “a laughing stock.”

Image via YouTube

In a letter to the Guardian, my long-time friend Keith Porteous Wood, above, President of the National Secular Society, wrote:

The Church of England’s position that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage highlights the need for church and state to go their separate ways. The church’s heartless, discriminatory and repressive stance will only accelerate its decline in public support and relevance – and the state should respond accordingly.

An organisation claiming that so many have no right to a sexual life should have no official ties to the state, no automatic right to seats in our legislature and no role in running state-funded schools.

But back to the Graham. In a statement, the ACC said:

Over the past few days we have 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 organisers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.

We are proud to represent all communities and will continue to move forward with our aim as a business to drive profile, major events and economic impact for Liverpool City Region.

With his UK tour just months away, the booking of London’s O2 Arena is also in doubt.

More than 8,400 people have signed a petition calling on event organisers cancel the O2  event. The petition says:

He persuades audiences that LGBT+ people don’t deserve to have families. He stands on stages in huge arenas warning people of the consequences of being gay, threatening impressionable young people with the ‘flames of hell’.

In short, he spends a lot of time and money telling the world that our love is a sin and encouraging those who want to hurt us. And now he is coming to the UK.

Asking signatories to help “send a clear message to this US hate monger that he is not welcome in London or the UK,” organizers say:

If enough of us act quickly, we still have time to pressure the management of the O2 to cancel this hate event.

The petition is addressed to Alex Hill,  Chief Executive and President of AEG Europe.

Dear Mr Hill, Franklin Graham is due to appear at the O2 Arena in 2020. Graham is a hate preacher. His message is deeply divisive, encourages violence and has been condemned by UK Christian leaders.

London is a proudly diverse city and the O2 should not be a venue that amplifies and facilitates hate,. We call on you to send a clear signal that AEG takes LGBT+ equality seriously and to cancel Franklin Graham’s event at the O2 Arena.

Graham has long been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump’s, speaking out in the President’s defence in the face of criticisms from others within the evangelical community.

After the magazine Christianity Today, which was founded by the late Reverend Billy Graham in the 1950s, published an editorial calling for Trump’s removal from office in December, Graham defended the president against the criticisms.

Trump offered his thanks to the preacher while speaking at the launch of the Evangelicals for Trump coalition in Miami. He said:

I appreciate everything that Franklin has done over the last two weeks. Right, he fought very hard for us.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

"whinge, v (informal British and Australian). complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way."

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Pete

    Frankie Graham is nothing but a freeloader.

  • Lauren Greene

    He’s a garden-variety xtian wh*re grifter on the xtian wh*re grifter circuit.

  • barriejohn

    If it weren’t for his father, no one would have heard of him.

  • johnsoncatman

    Franklin Graham is the perfect example of the christians that support The Orange Toddler-Tyrant: full of hate and disdain for anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.

  • Lauren Greene

    No one is more obsessed with what other people do in their bedrooms than Frankie and his ilk.

  • Lauren Greene

    Sorry for all the near-duplicated posts. They disappeared after being flagged and now here they are.

  • Jane Ravenswood

    so, when the prayer panel fails, what will the excuses be?

  • Broga

    While Franklin Graham chooses to unload his poisons on us, the USA refuses to send a diplomat’s wife, who killed someone by crashing into them in her car, to answer the charges. She may not even have diplomatic immunity. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew, who said he was prepared to be questioned by the FBI about what he knew about his paedophile friend in the USA, has decided to change his mind. The USA lawyer for the woman victims in an interview says Andrew has ignored all requests for an interview either here or in the USA. We have heard lots of praise from the press about “the Queen taking charge of the mess” and “steadying the royal ship.”

    If she really wants to “steady the royal ship” part of her “taking charge” must involve her son answering the questions that the USA legal team want to put to him. Or the question of the victims’ lawyer this morning, “is he above the law” can only have one answer.

    As Head of the Church of England, the Queen could stop Franklin Graham. Forget about her not influencing political decisions. That is a convenient fiction.

  • Broga

    Except in his own bedroom, I assume. The more vicious and unforgiving the attacks, the more likely to find the attacker disguising the same behaviour.

  • Broga

    And thrashed children and violence to wives. There is even a book by one of them encouraging child beating – and other horrors.

  • Lauren Greene

    The book encouraging child beating would be by Elizabeth Johnson (Johnston?) aka Ramen Noodle head, right?

  • Broga

    I’m not sure Lauren but you may well be right. I thought it was written by a man. My wife was doing some research quite a few years ago and came across it. I didn’t read it but she showed me some pages. From what I remember, the author recommended beating even very young children according to the “spare the rod, spoil the child” formula. The pages I read were horrific. He even encouraged parents to encourage the child to misbehave so that the child could be whipped.

    As part of the same research she came across advice which was followed in England by many parents. This advice was never to go to a crying baby except at intervals decided by the parent. The baby was left to cry, often in a pram in the garden. This advice was followed by many upper class parents. Further research discovered that the advice was based on the rearing of calves – as in baby cows.

    She probably still has that book somewhere. (In the attic where it belongs.)

    Others reading this may be familiar with these books.

  • Lauren Greene

    No doubt there are several religious crackpots who have written books encouraging child abuse.

  • Robert Anthony

    I wish a link to the petition was posted. I’m in Canada, but I’d sign in solidarity if it would allow.

  • Old Harry

    Well, their political system with the first-past-the-post and execrable opposition gave them Bo&#8203Jo and Moggy the Child Catcher to Rule Them All with Brexit.

    It’s only fair they get to make a pointless, useless gesture like this.

    It’s like flip&#8203ping the bi&#8203rd to a snowboarder as you carom down the slope on a toboggan, towards the cliff.

  • Michael and Debi Pearl, “To Train Up A Child”.

  • persephone

    And STIs and divorce. Quite the example for us godless heathens to follow.

  • Lauren Greene

    And opioid addiction, too.

  • Jason Carpp

    Franklin Graham should be banned from the UK, not just Liverpool.

  • barriejohn

    Hold on everybody – he’s sent us a letter! We’re all sinners; he’s bringing us a message of Good News; God loves us; if you don’t believe it you’re going to fry in hell for all eternity!!!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7939831/Evangelical-Christian-preacher-Franklin-Graham-responds-UK-tour-event-cancelled.html

    Heard it all before.

    Franklin, we don’t give a damn!

  • Broga

    I can’t be sure but that sounds familiar. The benefit in identifying these catalogues of cruelty, supposedly bible inspired, is being able to warn parents to keep clear of them.

    Thanks.

  • Broga

    He is worse than that, Pete. He is also, like those of his kind, a con artist preying on the gullible via religion which inspires their trust. His victims are perfect religion fodder: ill educated, low earners, poor (allegedly blessed) and ready to shove whatever cash they have into the maw of religion. They are promised their “Treasures in Heaven” which means there can be no come back.

    Religion really is a wonderful racket. A scam of genius inspired by greed.

  • gedediah

    Well the petition seems to have worked. It’s organiser says O2 has cancelled the event.

  • barriejohn

    As has been said before, many still live in the past, and fondly imagine that because a person styles himself a “minister of the Gospel”, he must be sharing Bible teaching about “God’s love for all”, and “the example of Jesus”, along, perhaps, with a healthy dose of Vincent Peale-type “positive thinking” to encourage and help his listeners. No harm done! Thankfully, many more are now waking up to the reality – especially in the light of our knowledge of priestly sexual scandals. Franklin can only dream about the sort of reception that met his father in days gone by (which he obviously remembers), and he hasn’t the personality, charisma, intelligence or drive, himself anyway. No wonder he’s bitter!

    https://youtu.be/XWO6e29qtq8