-Guest post by Carol Price

I see that the Baptist church in Bristol has a sign up advertising an upcoming visit by Franklin Graham to Vermont. For those who don’t know, Franklin is the son of the evangelist Billy Graham and is the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He is also known for his hate speech and intolerance, especially toward Muslims and homosexuals. He has been quoted as referring to Islam as ” a very evil and wicked religion.” In 2018 Britain’s leading Muslim organization and some members of parliament requested that Franklin be denied a visa to speak in Britain because of his Islamaphobic rhetoric.

He has also said many anti gay statements, the most recent directed toward Pete Buttigeig, a self described gay Christian who is married to a man, is a war veteran, Rhodes scholar, mayor of S. Bend, Indiana, and Democratic candidate for president. Graham tweeted, “As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized.”

Compare this to Franklin Graham’s staunch support of Trump. From this I can only conclude that in Graham’s Christianity it is fine to be an adulterer with multiple women, including a porn star, but it is not ok to be legally married to someone of the same sex.

I hope that before considering going to hear Franklin Graham speak people will read more about his record of hate speech and intolerance. This is not the way we treat each other in Vermont. I would love it if Franklin came to Vermont and nobody came to hear him. Perhaps he could learn from us the lesson of “Love Thy Neighbor.”