Propaganda? Really?

While Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrates his success in taking Crimea away from Ukraine and using his bully pulpit to excoriate the West, Franklin Graham is endorsing Putin’s campaign against homosexuals. 

Graham, who now leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association founded by his father, wrote the lead article in the March issue of Decision magazine, which also featured Putin on the cover. He doesn’t agree with all of Putin’s actions, but praises him for having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”

One would think that gay and lesbian persons are standing on street corners in seedy overcoats, looking for children they can recruit as potential partners.

It doesn’t work that way. 

People do not choose to become homosexuals because a gay-rights evangelist has persuaded them to forsake their heterosexual nature, or because it’s a popular thing to do. When people acknowledge that they are wired toward a different sexual orientation, it is often despite cultural and religious pressures against coming out, and normally a very hard thing to do.

Here’s what frightens Putin and other homophobic folk: they know that if nations are more accepting of gays and lesbians, it is only natural that many people who have lived in fear may feel the liberty to come out of their culturally-imposed closets. A more tolerant society does not create more homosexuals: it simply allows them to live in peace. 

That is why Russia’s new law, like recent decrees in Nigeria and Uganda, pretend to be directed against “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors” when they are really about intolerance. For those who promote anti-gay legislation, the simple act of seeking acceptance and respect amounts to propaganda. As a result, gay people who are minding their own business can end up being arrested, beaten, imprisoned, or killed (see stories from Nigeria, Uganda, Russia).

At least Graham’s anti-gay rhetoric has not reached the levels of Fred Phelps, now reportedly near death. Phelps’ virulent “God hates fags” preaching made him such an icon of hate that he probably did more to encouage sympathy for gays than to turn people against them. 

And this is why draconian laws designed to “protect” children, marriage, or society from the imagined dangers of accepting gay and lesbian people are bound to do more harm than good, even for their own cause.

People of good will may disagree on whether homosexual relations meet biblical or Quranic or Stalinist standards of morality, but refusing basic rights to anyone betrays the standards of humanity.

6 Comments

  1. Amen Tony!

  2. Being humane is fundamental to Christianity.

  3. Mr Cartledge

    What "basic rights" are being refused by the "propaganda" limits Putin has proposed? How do you know what frightens Putin? Your article has little to say about the actual nature of what Putin or Russia are doing regarding homosexual "agenda", but quickly moves into the " choice" area, tolerance , "pretend" laws and Fred Phelps. You seem to suffer from the same issue you want to accuse Graham and Putin of.

  4. 1. I have no brief to present in behalf of homosexual behaviors, any more than I have of heterosexual behaviors that run counter to biblical teachings: intercourse before marriage, intercourse outside of marriage, rape, incest, etc., etc., etc.

    2. I have never been able to find a copy of the "homosexual agenda." Just what is the homosexual agenda? Just who composed the homosexual agenda? Just who is advocating the homesexual agenda? And where does one find a copy of the homosexual agenda?

    3. The Constitution of the United States prescribes equal rights and protections for ALL citizens. How does a nation whose constitution prescribes equal rights and protections for all citizens carve out a select group of citizens on the basis of left-handedness, green-eyedness, curly-hairedness, homosexuality, or any other specific condition or trait to be excluded from the full rights and protections of its constitution?

    4. Churches may not endorse, or even like, all provisiions of a secular constitution for a secular society, but it is my understanding that churches are not empowered either to write or interpret the Constitution of the United States or laws based upon it.

    5. As for Mr. Putin, he may or may not have constitutional or legal power to advocate and/or enforce a ban on "homosexual propaganda"–whatever that is, but normally "propaganda" refers to speech, and when people can be bullied, abused, or jailed for the exercise of their speech, something is seriously amiss and it little behooves Christians to endorse that bullying, abuse, and jailing. Christians, of all people, should recognize that our very existence depends upon our ability to speak without byllying, abuse, or threat of incarceration. And if we want those rights and privileges for ourselves, how could we in good conscience deny them to others? "As ye would that men should do unto you . . . ."

    I don't trust any person who wants a right or privilege for himself that he would deny to me!!!

    But that's just me.

  5. Thanks for posting this. I wonder if F. Graham regrets publishing that article? Putin is a brute, has been a brute and will be a brute. It has been clear with anyone with eyes and ears. Why Graham would hold up this character as a poster boy for morality is beyond me, unless he identifies with him on some level. Is Graham envious of Putin's legislative power when it comes to discriminating against gay people? Does he wish our Presidential office had that kind of power over it's citizens?

  6. While Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrates his success in taking Crimea away from Ukraine and using his bully pulpit to excoriate the West, Franklin Graham is endorsing Putin's campaign against homosexuals. 

    Herein lies the purpose of the blog—castigation of Graham, whose biblical interpretations regarding homosexuality do not conform to the politically correct agenda, which has been adopted in “progressive” Baptist circles. You have no more idea than the proverbial man in the moon regarding Putin's celebration of anything or his mindset about anything else. Putin's excoriation of the West is no more vituperative than Obama's excoriation of Putin, also using a bully pulpit, notwithstanding his unprovoked, un-Constitutional destruction of Libya over seven months in 2011, with great loss of life—Libyan women and children. Crimea was a part of the Soviet Union 1921-1954, when it was ceded by Kruschev to Ukraine for reasons never given, though the consensus is that he did it because he had Ukrainian roots. What one dictator gives, another takes. Simple! The vast majority of the people involved in Crimea are happy about the whole thing. As for Graham, he just goes about his mission of actually doing good works throughout the world, and I agree with him concerning homosexual behavior—scripturally condemned as unnatural and unclean in both testaments.

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