There seems to be some misconception about what constitutes "homophobia" amongst the Evangelical community.
Franklin Graham, who once blamed the LGBTQ+ community for a "moral 9/11", has now said he does not consider himself homophobic.
Laura: Why are you being attacked for opening a field hospital? Franklin Graham: We believe marriage is between a mâ�¦ https://t.co/sZMRwZl0Ix— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1586918845.0
After his charity staffed an emergency tent hospital in New York City's Central Park, Graham reportedly forced volunteers to re-affirm their opposition to same-sex marriage and to "sign a pledge" agreeing that the LGBTQ+ community faces "eternal damnation."
After being questioned on this, his justification was:
"I'm not homophobic and I'm certainly not going around bashing people because they may be homosexual...I believe that God loves all of us, he created us all, but we also are sinners and our sins separate us from God. And I want people to know how they can have a relationship with God, and that's through faith in his son, Jesus Christ."
People were not feeling terribly charitable toward Graham's words.
@Acyn Tax exempt, going to get subsidies no doubt and many hospitals who take care of the poor won't.— Andrea R MD (@Andrea R MD)1586919931.0
@Acyn https://t.co/m8M2MXTDoZ— Rosanne ð��©ð��©ð��© (@Rosanne ð��©ð��©ð��©)1586919377.0
@Acyn anytime someone says, "I'm not _________" They are 125% that thing.— the abridged john (@the abridged john)1586919219.0
@Acyn Thatâ��s not even close to the example Jesus gave of how to treat people. He ministered to the marginalized peoâ�¦ https://t.co/4V5IlNEGBj— Enough Is Enough (@Enough Is Enough)1586919652.0
In addition to comparing gay people to drug addicts, he went on:
"I don't bash homosexuals. I want homosexuals to know the truth: that God does love them, and Christ died for their sins. And if they would repent and put their faith and trust in Christ, God would forgive their sins like he forgave me. I'm a sinner too. I'm no different than anybody else. I'm a sinner that was saved by God's grace."
@Acyn Are they going to question my sexuality at the door?— Jaye for Joe! ð��ºð��¸ (@Jaye for Joe! ð��ºð��¸)1586919964.0
@2020visionhope @Acyn Oh theyâ��ll turn you away even if they suspect youâ��re gay. My favorite moment in a church wasâ�¦ https://t.co/xJ4lc9zfMz— Idiot (@Idiot)1586922029.0
@Acyn Narrator voice: He in fact was homophobic— BÃ o Del (@BÃ o Del)1586919588.0
@Acyn This mofos first concern is not the ill/dying patients.— duchess of enoughð��³ï¸�â��ð��� (@duchess of enoughð��³ï¸�â��ð���)1586919249.0
@Acyn Conservatives: https://t.co/5qmotQWsSS— Orwellian Times (@Orwellian Times)1586919384.0
Graham has since said he's been "harassed" because his hospital staff are opposed to and sometimes refusing to treat LGBTQ+ people.
"It seems tone-deaf to be attacking our religious conviction about marriage at the very moment thousands of New Yorkers are fighting for their lives and dozens of Samaritan's Purse workers are placing their lives at risk to provide critical medical care."
Yeah, not at all tone-deaf to be refusing treatment to critically ill people based on sexual orientation.
@Acyn Jesus wept— Denise (@Denise)1586919821.0
@Acyn For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: â��Love your neighbor as yourself.â�� Galatians 5:14â�¦ https://t.co/y4zYFGUNxO— Jason Butterill (@Jason Butterill)1586919859.0
@Acyn Because Jesus made the people fill out a questionnaire before passing out the loaves and fishes or before he healed anyone.— Julie (@Julie)1586921363.0
@Acyn "I'm not homophobic but i hate the gays" is very on brand for Christianity because it makes no sense and is bigoted ð���— Earl of Funk, Duke of Cool, Ayatollah of Rock (@Earl of Funk, Duke of Cool, Ayatollah of Rock)1586919257.0
@Acyn Seriously, what the Hell is wrong with evangelical pastors that they are soooo damn fixated on the sex livesâ�¦ https://t.co/5rAgKy8VoS— hypatia (@hypatia)1586965354.0
There is no room for discrimination, especially in times of crisis.
And while Graham hopes people will "applaud" his efforts, Americans are facing a virus that does not discriminate based on any factors.
For a deeper look into the unholy alliance between white evangelical leaders and the Republican party, check out The Immoral Majority, available here.