Rev. Billy Graham:
The Rev. Billy Graham urged North Carolina voters Wednesday to support an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, a move that an observer said was highly unusual but another said was in keeping with the minister's moral beliefs.
"Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern," said Graham, 93, who lives near Asheville. "I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected." His complete statement about Amendment One will be part of full-page ads slated to appear in 14 North Carolina newspapers throughout the weekend... "At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage," Billy Graham's statement said. "The Bible is clear — God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment" Tuesday...
The elderly evangelist preached often on the need for sexual purity, but rarely spoke about same-sex marriage, (biographer William) Martin said. "I am somewhat surprised that he would take that strong a stand," said Martin, professor emeritus of religion and public policy at Rice University. "In the past, I have heard him say with respect to homosexuality, there are greater sins. Franklin (Billy's son) has been more outspoken about it, but it sounds as if this is Mr. Graham expressing his own will..."
North Carolina already outlaws gay marriage, but adding that ban to the state constitution would make it much harder to change in the future. Opponents to the amendment argue the language is vague and it could have wider consequences beyond those for gay couples.I've been a friend of Andrew Marin from the Marin Foundation, a bridge-building program between the Christian and GLBT communities, for a few years now. Andrew himself was greatly influenced by Rev. Graham and usually cites Graham when describing the Kingdom Job Description of Christians:
There are no two ways around it. The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict; God’s job to judge and ours to love. Billy Graham said that in defense of his love for our President after being accused by a Christian magazine that he was capitulating to President Clinton’s agenda after the sex scandal. That sex scandal.Unfortunately, Graham is unwilling to extend the same grace to gay and lesbian families that he willingly offered to President Clinton during the height of his adulterous sex scandal and resulting impeachment trial. According to Graham, there is a state of moral decline in this country and the way to halt it is to vote for a draconian constitutional amendment that will constitutionally ban something that's not legally possible and to eliminate other relationship except one. Marriage and home must be protected by all costs, argues Rev. Graham, unless your marriage is too queer and unless your home is owned by a couple of homos. Then Rev. Graham will gladly set aside the love for those immorally declining queer families and declare himself judge and jury.
There is still time to contribute time and money to the effort to fight back Amendment One. Go to Protect All NC Families website and see how you can help protect ALL of North Carolina's families -- even the ones that Rev. Billy Graham declares to be morally repugnant. I donated money tonight in Graham's honor. I encourage you to do so, also.
Updated on 08/04/12: Here is one more Chick-Fil-A offering from me. Check out this link for more information about the anti-gay controversy involving this fast food chicken chain. I was participated in a Chick-Fil-A discussion over on Andrew Marin's blog, which prompted me to remember Billy Graham's reputation as an apolitical uniter versus his recent actions siding with anti-gay and anti-gay family culture warriors.
That's right, Billy Graham proudly dined at Chick-Fil-A this past Wednesday during Mike Huckabee's "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day":
“I've known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-Fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values... Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage.”Graham's spokesman later confirmed that the 93-year-old retired pastor dined on a "Chick-Fil-A sandwich, waffle fries, sweet tea, and a chocolate shake. He chose to order take-out instead of eating at the restaurant.