Franklin Graham

via Daily Beast

Franklin Graham is displeased with Taylor Swift’s endorsement of the Equality Act. Tuesday evening, Graham wrote on Facebook:

Shame on Taylor Swift for using her platform to try to push the socialist left’s so-called Equality Act, which has nothing to do with equality, but is about pushing the LGBTQ agenda down the throats of the American people.

Franklin Graham is obsessed with how LGBTQ people live their lives. Never mind that sexually diverse folks have no effect whatsoever on Graham’s life.

Graham is a cynic (a greedy cynic) who knows that anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes his cash registers ka-CHING. Graham arrogantly postures as the nation’s arbiter of decency without a second of consideration for his indecency towards LGBTQ people.

In case you have not caught on, Mr. Graham will never be a member of Mensa. Were his father not Billy Graham, Franklin might have a job requiring him to ask: “You want fries with that?” But let’s go back to what he has written.

Graham’s uninspired reaction is not spontaneous speech. It is written material which can be edited and considered before clicking “Post.” Graham started out by parroting the talking-point du jour, labeling as “socialist” things one does not like. IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, and a number of other business leaders have come out in favor of the Equality Act. These are not socialists. Neither am I.

Indeed, as of this year nearly 600 of America’s largest companies score a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. They ensure, for example, that their health insurance plans include things like gender confirmation surgery. The CEO’s of those companies are not socialists. Most are probably Republicans.

Mr. Graham is also lying when he says that the Equality Act is not about equality. The Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide LGBTQ people with the same nondiscrimination protections that he enjoys due to his religious choices. He is not lying so much as parroting the words of others. Originality is not part of Graham’s repertoire.

I am tempted to offer a crude reference regarding what needs to go down Mr. Graham’s throat but Graham is so repellent that such a reference might provoke nausea. What I think he is saying in his cliched way is that we are demanding approval.

One of my greatest wishes is that these self-absorbed, sanctimonious, pompous asses would get it through their seemingly impenetrable skulls that we do not give a crap about their approval or disapproval. That is not what nondiscrimination means.

In fact, the quest for nondiscrimination protections is premised on the fact that there are people, like Mr. Graham, who do not approve of us. We do not seek approval. We sure as hell do not require approval.

What we are entitled to is Equal Protection. Mr. Trump will pander to the religious right in spite of the fact that he is as Christian as the late Osama bin Laden. With a wink and a nod Mr. McConnell will place his own beliefs and political expediency over and above that very inconvenient Establishment Clause. For religious reasons it is unlikely that the Equality Act has the potential to become law until 2021.

Franklin Graham goes on to say:

This bill is the most crushing threat to religious liberty in our nation’s history.

What Graham is saying is that religious liberty is dependent upon the right to discriminate against people that one disapproves of. In point of fact, religious liberty is defined in our Constitution as a right to “Free Exercise.” That does not equate to free imposition or free infliction. The most crushing threat to religious liberty are self-righteous blowhards like Graham. They imperil their own status.

In the 1920s the Klan had some five million members. A number of governors and senators held elective office only because of the endorsement of the Klan. Texas Senator Earle B. Mayfield ran for office as a “klandidate.” By the 1980s they became politically irrelevant and their endorsement might guarantee the defeat of a candidate, even in the Deep South.

Am I comparing Franklin Graham to a Klansman? Yes and no. No in the sense that he is not directly encouraging violence. Nevertheless violence can be attributed to the kind of rhetoric that Graham spews. And yes, Graham is quite similar to a Klansman as a self-appointed defender of Christianity and views on LGBTQ people that are not dissimilar to the Klan’s views of blacks, Jews and, of course, the same LGBTQ people.

There is no shortage of mindlessly bigoted rhetoric. Graham writes that the Act will allow “perverted men access to women’s private spaces like dressing rooms and restrooms.” So people with a medical condition are “perverts” per se.

Eventually Graham confirms what I wrote earlier:

…this bill would do a lot more damage. It’s about trying to force those of us who don’t agree to accept and approve the LGBTQ lifestyle, and I’m not going to accept that.

Aside from the fact that we really do not care whether or not Franklin Graham approves of us, Graham trots out the “lifestyle” smear. An appeal to stereotype. I can do the same thing but my stereotypical characterization of fundamentalist Christians is far more accurate than Graham’s image of LGBTQ people. Behold:

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.