Today, anti-LGBT evangelist Reverend Franklin Graham drew a large crowd to the Montgomery Capitol steps for the Alabama stop on his Decision America Tour 2016. Graham, who plans to hold a prayer rally in each of the 50 states, encouraged Christians to vote against same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and the separation of church and state.
Graham, who recently called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies over its stance on LGBT issues, has become increasingly extreme in recent years. Expanding his vitriol from the LGBT community to Muslim Americans, Graham has been banned from the National Day of Prayer for his comments about Islam, which he has described as “evil” and a “religion of war”.
— Christian Roadhouse (@ChristianRdhse) April 14, 2016
Using the biblical story of Nehemiah as a parable, Graham began by calling on his audience to confess the sins of the nation.
“When I think of the sins of this country, well, where do you begin to list them? Abortion, the murder of children in a mother's womb. Millions. Same sex marriage, the flaunting and celebrating of this sin.”
Drawing on his childhood memories of the Cold War, Graham argued that “enemies” are engaged in warfare for the spiritual salvation of the United States.
“As the [Berlin] wall came down, secularism began to creep into Washington. It crept into our universities, into our state capitols, it got into our city government. There’s no difference between secularism and communism. They’re both godless. Both are godless. And godless secularism is now taking control of our governments.”
Graham acknowledged the irony of railing against secularism from the steps of the state’s capitol building, dismissing criticism of his call to vote for biblical principles as “politically correct”.
“You say, but Franklin, how about separation of church and state? What about it? Let me tell you that’s just a lie that the enemy uses to try to keep your mouth shut.”
Graham promised to fight that “enemy” by becoming increasingly intolerant.
“There will be progressives who’ll say “Ohhh you're so intolerant”. Yeah, well, so what? Let me tell you something I’m gonna get more intolerant.”
Graham charged his audience to do the same, encouraging them to take on leftist tactics by becoming “community organizers” and “activists” for God. Attendees were then directed to send a text to the organization and sign onto a pledge promising to vote for candidates who “uphold biblical principles” and to “prayerfully consider running for office.”
“Our schools, our public schools, are in trouble across this country,” Graham warned the gathered crowd.
“We need Christian men and women vying for school boards…. They decide the curriculum, the books! And I go to school districts and people, Christians, will tell me the books that their children are having to read which are pornographic. Now I’ll tell you it's wicked. But if we had Christian men and women controlling the school boards of America, think of the impact that that would have on the education system of this nation for the next 20 years. It’d be huge.”