Franklin Graham Preaching from the Bible
Franklin Graham is suggesting his tour cancellations over his anti-LGBT views are tantamount to religious persecution and a potential free speech violation.

One of the most famous preachers in the world is either subject to religious persecution or getting a taste of his own medicine… depending on who you ask.

Evangelist Franklin Graham has decided to sue three venues after they canceled dates for his planned UK tour in May. Those cancellations came under pressure from pro-LGBT groups in the United Kingdom, on account of Graham’s biblical views on homosexuality. Particularly, Graham’s fervent opposition to same-sex marriage.

Graham is insisting that venues denying his business presents “alarming” implications for free speech and religious freedom.

“This disregard for principles of good faith and fair dealing, based on the mere suggestion that a person's sincerely held religious views or statements are 'hateful' or would result in public disorder, should be very alarming to anyone who is genuinely concerned about diversity, inclusion, and tolerance, let alone free speech and the free exercise of religious beliefs," declared a spokesperson for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

One venue said that Graham’s anti-gay rhetoric was “incompatible with our values.”

Is It Religious Persecution?

Graham had already admitted to being surprised over the cancelations.

“I'm not coming to speak against anybody and I don’t name any groups of people,” explained the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, who saw bus ads for his evangelistic festival pulled following a similar LGBT outcry in 2018. “I’m coming to tell people how they can have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.” 

Graham has argued that in BGEA's nearly 70 years of public evangelistic outreach ministry, never has public safety been endangered or public disorder been incited. He insists free speech is at stake. "There are lots of churches in this country that meet in public who are at risk. They could be kicked out, they could be forced to go somewhere else, just because of their faith."

Or a Taste of His Own Medicine?

If there’s an irony in there that all seems a bit rich to you, you aren’t alone. After all, Graham and other evangelicals have successfully fought to deny LGBT couples the right to purchase items as basic as a wedding cake, or the right to adopt children, using the same argument of religious freedom. And he even took a victory lap after the Supreme Court sided with the Christian bakers who turned away a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake.

Now, it seems, the shoe is on the other foot.

If gay people in this country can have private businesses deny them service on account of their beliefs or lifestyles, then what makes Graham any more special? 

Is Graham’s tour cancellation a healthy dose of just desserts? As Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist put it: “[Graham] isn’t owed a platform.”

On the other hand, should we really cancel everyone we disagree with? Is there an argument to be made that Graham's tour cancellation is a form of censorship?

 What do you think? Taste of his own medicine, or free speech violation?

30 comments

  1. Penelope Barrington's Avatar Penelope Barrington

    I am so tired of these hypocrites who are doing nothing but spreading hate and lies. Franklin Graham needs to go back to hole he crawled out of until he actually sees the light and realize we are all the same and to stop judging people based on his dark age beliefs.

  1. Rodney Knight's Avatar Rodney Knight

    Sounds like sour ,Grapes to me like father like son don't believe either truly understand the words that they are preaching "Hate can not drive out Hate only Love can do that Darkness can not drive out darkness only light can do that" Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King

    1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

      As far s I know how Source is and works, evangelicals are the spawn of the Devil. The UK is correct in cancelling this evangelical nonsense.

    2. Andy Anderson's Avatar Andy Anderson

      Each human being has a right to free speech, just as each human being has to right to sin against God's moral laws. If a person want's to be Gay, let them be Gay, and let them dwell freely within their on own LGBT groups and communities. Everyone is going to face God and be held accountable for their thoughts and actions. No one is going to escape judgment for the sins they committed unless they are proven to be worth of forgiveness by Jesus Christ. From what I see in the world today, very few are going to prove worthy of forgiveness. For those who have an ear, let them hear.

      1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

        Everyone has a right, in the US, to free speech. If you are hired (paid) to speak, and the venue decides to not have you speak, the right of the pursestrings says they have a right to deny you the venue.

        If you are a speaker who is getting canceled because the people organizing the event don’t want you to be there, then you need to rethink your message.

      2. Colleen Patrice Jones's Avatar Colleen Patrice Jones

        We will NEVER be worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ's forgiveness, that is why He went to the cross. Believe that and you are forgiven... done and done.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Well, that’s only if you believe in that story preached about by Christians. For those of other faiths, Judaism, Hindu, Islam, Krishna, etc., or no religion at all, there is no verifiable evidence and is just seen as myth and tales. Some like to believe it, others of course don’t, just like you don’t believe in the tales and stories of other faiths that others firmly believe in.

          🦁❤️

  1. Andrew James MacIver's Avatar Andrew James MacIver

    Being from the UK, and having friends and relatives within the LGBTQ+ community, i can only say that here in Britain, you can say what you want (free speech) as long as it does not incite hatred and or violence against others (which is a criminal act), the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) define a gender/orientation based Hate Crime as "“Any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person because of their sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity by the victim or any other person.” Laws in the UK ban incitement to hatred and violence, including on account of religion or belief, as well as harassment, victimisation, and discrimination by organisations against individuals on those same grounds. So the idea of preventing him from evangelising (which has never been popular in the UK, to be honest, it seems to go against our national psyche, lol), was always going to gain traction. and he should have realised (as a supposed intelligent man) that as a nation us British have a history of standing up to racists, fascists, bigots, homophobes and the like. From Jerry Lee Lewis ( having relations with a child under UK law) to Busta Ryhmes (US criminal convictions) From Eriche Gliebe (Neo-Nazi, far-right political leader) to L.Ron Hubbard (Founder of Scientology) Franklin Graham is just another name on a list of people whose Political, Religious and personal views are incompatible with the majority of a Nation of people who think a nice cup of tea is the answer to nearly every crisis.

  1. James E Griffith jr's Avatar James E Griffith jr

    This is reciprocity. His hateful teaching comes back to haunt him. He’s not being persecuted.

  1. Tabitha's Avatar Tabitha

    That bigoted asshat needs to be cancelled everywhere

  1. Deanna Carol Williams's Avatar Deanna Carol Williams

    Based on his actions, this is a Pharisee simply motivated by money. I imagine his Earthly father is rolling over in his grave looking at the harm done to God's children by the words coming from his son's mouth. Jesus has plans for him in the second judgement, I am certain. We are all responsible for our actions and words and the harm they do. I imagine Heaven will not be a comfortable place for this believer.

  1. Michael Jerome Johnson's Avatar Michael Jerome Johnson

    Now that travel between the US and the UK has been cancelled because of COVID-19, this situation is moot. As for the lawsuit, Franklin needs to swallow his pride and move on to taking care of his flock in NC that need him during this pandemic.

  1. Jennifer Elizabeth Ashley's Avatar Jennifer Elizabeth Ashley

    Well, he is free to speak his mind, and the venue is free to not rent the space to him, for any reason, as long as his contact didn't say other wise, and his deposit is refunded, he has no legal ground, besides why waste your time, he needs to move on and if this tour is important to him find a venue that supports his, beliefs, why would you want to rent a place that doesn't want to rent to you, sounds like alot of Bs , waiting to happen, I myself will not be attending any of his tours, but I am sure his followers would be just as happy hearing his, idea of God's words in a different place, as the venue, sounds more like he needs money, or he's trying to force his way with the venue, honestly just move on and find a different place,

  1. Jennifer Rebecca Lovsey's Avatar Jennifer Rebecca Lovsey

    LOL! He is nothing but a bigoted a-hole that karma paid a visit to.

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    To put it simply, "Awww, poor baby can't spew his hatred and misunderstood bigotry in other countries!" Sorry, but I do not feel sorry for the guy. Could it be that he is going to claim he is losing revenue in his blocking entry into the UK?

    Especially now, with the threat of COVID-19, he should not be going anywhere, anyway.

  1. arawngraalrd's Avatar arawngraalrd

    If his deposit was accepoted, he is owed that platform.

    1. Michael Jerome Johnson's Avatar Michael Jerome Johnson

      Even if his deposit was accepted, the venue can pay it back in full, if it hasn’t already.

  1. Darren 's Avatar Darren

    This is so wrong to de platform anyone , just because you disagree with their opinion you behave like a fascist. What Franklin says is his heart felt conviction, He doesn’t make his view of same sex marriage the main part of his mission it is to bring a message of love and salvation. It is not to cause division, the people who ban this are causing division ! Any who attend will not leave the venue with hate towards homosexuals at all and if you disagree with him don’t attend , he will not be inciting violence of any kind so should be allowed to speak . Tolerance should be shown by those demanding tolerance otherwise you are been intolerant and behaving like fascist What about the thousands who want to hear him are you not forcing your view point on them Not through debate but through censorship and removal of free speech. I definitely do not agree with de platforming anyone unless they specify promote violence which Franklin most definitely does not , If you are so scared of debate that shows something wrong . It shows you want to force your own view above anyone else’s which is Facist’s of doing things shut down any and all who don’t hold your view, that is so wrong I know many will disagree and no doubt will use the tactics of hate towards me as also is the way of Facist’s, but just because someone doesn’t hold the same view as you , respect should be shown to the person you disagree with as a human being, not just insulted and vilified, but some are so scared of a different view they do all they can to silence any who dare disagree with them, and to just resort to such a level shows a lack of tolerance completely! You should agree to disagree but always allow people to speak , All too often now if any disagree with a certain opinion they are bullied into silence that is not the way to have a free a fare society that is censorship and fascism , debate not shout down and show your own hate ,

    1. Aleta  Schulz's Avatar Aleta Schulz

      Your own hypocrisy is showing. These venues have the same right to deny services based on their values as Mr. Graham does ,and has done, based on his. These rights apply equally to everyone. They can’t just apply exclusively to those who express faith in your version of Christianity. Either the venues can apply the same rights Mr. Graham has fought for and won in the US Supreme Court or Mr Graham is the fascist that you have labeled those venues as being. You and Mr. Graham need to honor the same rights in others that you demand for yourselves.

    2. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Darren - Sorry, but your claim that it is "just his belief" is complete nonsense. First, NOTHING in KJV1611 even talks about this topic. If he EVER took an academic class in the historicity of Christian writings, he would KNOW that Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-30, 1Cor 6:9-10 and the Genesis fable of Sodom & Gomorrah have NOTHING to do with homosexuality. He wants to take modern perceptions of terminology to ancient writings and shoe-horn his fears into them.

      Shame on you, Franklin. If you want to actually discuss this, I am now living in North Carolina, about 50 miles north of where your "daddy" used to live. Contact me and I will be happy to teach you the facts.

    3. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Darren - While he may not be instigating acts of violence, he IS creating the following of hatred and bigotry.

      When I read the KJV1611, I could have sworn the rabbi, Jesus, taught to bring people together, NOT to divide.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Freedom of religion occurs in the US not in the UK.

    1. pjm's Avatar pjm

      Yes... and incredibly, it's gotten completely turned around in America. America was founded on the principles of freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion. History cannot be changed. The first settlers came to America from England to escape the persecution of a rigid State Religion. Now the Evangelical sect of Christians want to completely flip American values of religious freedom and force THEIR beliefs on everyone.

  1. Paul Ngei Kisilu's Avatar Paul Ngei Kisilu

    Yes, he has won the battle though lost the war. There is no reason for him to sue them since this demonstrates a sense of bitterness. The fact that the event were cancelled will attract many people to find out why they were cancelled. By cancellation of these event will give him a bigger audience than the people he intended to reach in boardroom meeting. Apostle Paul spent most of his life in prison. That did not stop him from spreading the Gospel. He wrote most of the letters in the new testament while he was in prison. Today 2000 years after, we are still reading his epistles. At the end he said " I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race"

  1. Donald Brown JR's Avatar Donald Brown JR

    He should sue

    1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Donald - Why? Of what benefit would it create for anyone by his spreading falsehoods about the teachings of his own KJV1611?

      (You do know that KJV1611 mentions NOTHING about homosexuality, right? Or, have you not studied the culture and historicity of your own holy book?)

    2. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

      himself.................

  1. pjm's Avatar pjm

    Typical of today's hypocritical evangelical leaders who intentionally use social hotbutton issues to generate hatred and rake in monetary donations: "When I criticize or discriminate against you it's called religious freedom." "When you return the favor it's called religious persecution."

    Jesus aptly described the hypocrites as "a brood of vipers".

  1. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

    Here in Baltimore, Tucker Carlson was supposed to speak at The Lyric Theater last year.

    When word got out, enough people called the box office to complain, They pulled him and then said it was due to a schedule conflict.

    Ha! The box office had heard from a large number of people that Carlson was not welcomed in Baltimore.

    https://baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/tucker-carlson-live-originally-set-for-oct-5-called-off-at-modell-lyric/

    And so it goes..........

    Ty Ford

  1. pjm's Avatar pjm

    This is why Jesus called the hypocrites a "nest of vipers."

    "If I discriminate against or criticize you, it's called 'persecution.' " But if you discriminate against or criticize me, it's called 'religious freedom' "

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