Evangelist Franklin Graham helps set up COVID-19 facility in NYC, but makes helpers pledge to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, and accept his Christian beliefs

April 12, 2020 • 9:00 am

This is the kind of thing that ticks me off about Christian “charity”: there are nearly always goddy strings attached. When believers tout the noble acts committed in the name of their faith, they never mention these strings. In contrast, when humanists or atheists do organized charitable acts, they never ask the recipients to abjure God or give up their faith.

And so, when Franklin Graham donated money to help set up a Covid-19 field hospital in New York’s Central Park, he required volunteers to adhere to the oppressive strictures of his brand of Christianity. Read (and weep) by clicking on the screenshot below, an article in the Charlotte [North Carolina] Observer:

Franklin Graham is of course the son of evangelist Billy Graham, and head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The news report is notable for highlighting not only Graham’s “strings,” but also his crazy Biblical explanation for the pandemic. The virus spread and killed, of course, because the world is FALLEN. (In a later post today, we’ll see another faithhead who attributes the virus to SATAN.) Here’s what the Observer found out in a phone interview with Graham:

Asked about a comment he made to Fox News personality Jeannine Pirro last Saturday contending that COVID-19 has spread “because of the sin that’s in the world,” the 67-year-old evangelist said:

“When God made man, he never intended for man to have disease. And to have death. He put us in a perfect world. The climate was perfect. The conditions were perfect. The food to eat. But man rebelled against God. And the Bible is very clear that, as a result of this rebellion against God, we live in what we call ‘a fallen world.’ So we have cancer. We have the coronavirus. We have diabetes. We have all of the other problems we have as a society. We have murder, we have thefts. …

“But that wasn’t God’s intention. That’s why God sent his son Jesus Christ to take our sins. And Christ died for our sins. That’s why we celebrate Easter.

“So I see the coronavirus, I see the wars of this world, I see the economic problems — I see all these other things — as just a result of the fallen world in which we live. And that’s as a result of sin that came into the world and has infected the entire human race.”

Let me get this straight.  God sent Jesus to die for our sins so that he could raise up the Fallen World created by Adam and Eve and their consumption of fruit.  So why is the world still afflicted? If “God’s intention” was to rid the world of death and disease, why does he still let it go on, even after his gallant effort of assuming human form and getting himself tortured and crucified? I suppose theologians would say that we’re still victims of original sin, and must pledge fealty to Jesus to partake of salvation, but how is a baby who dies of disease or starvation “sinful”? For what is it being punished?

Clearly, Graham is a loon. But even a blind loon can find an acorn, and so Graham is practicing “Christian charity” by helping set up a Covid-19 treatment unit in New York.  But there are those pesky strings. . .  (my emphasis)

. . . [Graham] had no qualms about his feelings on another — the one involving Samaritan’s Purse, the Boone-based evangelical Christian organization that he leads.

Samaritan’s Purse recently worked with the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, to set up a small field hospital in Central Park comprising 14 tents and 68 beds (including 10 ICU beds equipped with ventilators).

As with all of its volunteers, Samaritan’s Purse has required those wanting to help out in New York City to agree that “marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female,” per its statement of faith.

That statement of faith also opposes abortion: “We believe that human life is sacred from conception to its natural end; and that we must have concern for the physical and spiritual needs of our fellowmen.”

Now it’s not clear whether everyone who helps at that facility must sign and adhere to the statement of faith, but that’s what it seems like:

On Thursday evening, Graham elaborated on the anti-LGBT requirement regarding Samaritan’s Purse volunteers:

“All of our doctors and nurses and staff, (they’re) Christians,” he said. “We believe it’s very important that — as we serve people and help people — we do it in Jesus’ name. …

“Of course, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s part of who we are. So we have a long list of things we want people to understand and agree with before we take them to work with us. I don’t want a person who is going to be on the job and drinks; that’s not a good witness. I don’t want a person who’s going to be using drugs to be part of our team. I don’t want someone who’s going to be swearing to be part of our team. I don’t want someone who is trying to pick up girls, and using this as an opportunity to do those kinds of things.

“So, we try to screen the people that work with us. And we want men and women who believe the way we do and have the same core values that we have.”

And so, it seems, Mount Sinai, which began as a Jewish organization but is now secular, must go along with Franklin’s ludicrous strictures. No swearing, no belief in gay marriage, no sex outside marriage, opposition to abortion, and belief in the Trinity (read the Samaritan’s Purse statement of faith to which volunteers must adhere).

New York state Senator Brad Hoylman, however, tells it like it is (he’s a Democrat, of course, and also is gay):

The strings of Samaritan’s Purse, it seems, are long and tortuous.
h/t: Ken

51 thoughts on “Evangelist Franklin Graham helps set up COVID-19 facility in NYC, but makes helpers pledge to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, and accept his Christian beliefs

    1. Speaking of loons, I like to take every relevant opportunity to recommend the wonderful album Classical Loons. It is classical music, with loons calling in the background.

  1. But man rebelled against God.

    “Man” is everyone. Two people are “man”, and everyone is “man”, therefore two people are everyone. Welcome to the idiocy of Franklin’s religion.

    1. I wonder why Graham doesn’t call his organization “Christian’s Purse.” After all, Graham is a Christian, and I take it that Samaritans were not Christians. Were a Samaritan to apply to help at this facility, would he pass Graham’s righteous scrutiny?

      1. Graham needs to become more familiar with the New Testament and the relationship between Jews and Samaritans. They were totally separate groups and religions who had some history in common. Jews hated Samaritans so much that they would not travel through Samaria. The temple in Jerusalem was the paramount place of worship for Jews. For Samaritans, it was Mount Gerizem.

        The New Testament verses about Jesus and a Samaritan is in John when Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman of ill repute at a well where he was tired and she gave him water, as I recall. Given that Jew males didn’t speak to women, particularly bad women, especially not Samaritan bad women, there is a very important lesson here that one would think Graham might learn in a different light than he has.

        The conflicts between Jews and Samaritans had nothing to do with Christians, except insofar as Christianity has chosen to use Jewish history in ignorant ways.

        Also, given that Christians have been charged with going out into the world to proselytize, spread the word, to people of totally different beliefs, wouldn’t you think that Graham would be much more flexible?

  2. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the pandemic has on religious belief in America. At first glance, one could think the pandemic would result in more people losing their faith because as much theologians may try, it is impossible in any rational way to square the extraordinary suffering with a benevolent deity. Yet in times such as this rationality tends to go out the window. People need solace and hope and many find it in religion despite its inherent absurdity. So, I would not find it surprising if loony views such as Graham’s gain popularity. In almost all matters, people want to hear things that provide them comfort. It doesn’t matter whether they are true or false. This is why religion or some other irrational belief system will never entirely go away because human nature is a constant that has little likelihood of changing.

  3. This is the idiot who claimed that tRump was elected in 2016 because “God showed up”. A serial adulterer and self-proclaimed pussy-grabber might seem an odd choice, but then doubtless Graham relies on the “mysterious ways” get-out.

  4. There is nothing one can say to convince these fundegelicals otherwise.

    But this yet another example of what true xtianity actually stands for that is serving to drive young people away from organized religion and to keep them away.

    So by all means let’s keep hammering away at inhumane idiocy like this but take heart in the fact that nothing is driving xtianity and organised religion in general into oblivion more than the the religious themselves.

  5. “But that wasn’t God’s intention. That’s why God sent his son Jesus Christ to take our sins. And Christ died for our sins. That’s why we celebrate Easter.”

    So, Jesus did such a bad job that absolutely nothing changed? Wow, you go, Jesus.

    As for the rest of this, I’m too irritable to write out my thoughts on it. I don’t want to break Da Roolz.

      1. I’m doing the best I can, and thank you very much for asking 🙂 The important thing is that I and my loved ones are all safe and healthy right now.

        How about you? Is everything OK in Yazikustan?

        1. Glad to hear it. Strange times, these. Things are well here – my lab is considered essential and so on the one hand, it is business as usual. We aren’t open to the public, which is nice. Other than that, just hanging out in the forest, running, taking pictures of bryophytes and lichens, so it could be much worse.

          1. Wow, sounds like you’ve basically got the good life! You must live on some very nice property or near a lot of state/national parks. Your life definitely sounds like it’s stayed a lot more normal than most. Glad to hear it!

            1. Thanks, BJ, I’m feeling very lucky. I live on 25 wooded acres, so even though the parks are closed I can tromp around all I like. Really never a better time than this for rural forest living. The hardest part was sending the kiddo down to stay with my folks now that school is out for the year and I’m keeping my regular work schedule. Miss him terribly. But, the highway reader board changed today (it has been reading: Stay Home, Limit Travel, Save Lives) – it read “Staying home is saving lives. Keep it up, WA!”. So that was nice.

    1. I’ve always figured that if Big J died for my sins, I should try and make it worth his while by indulging in some really spectacular and horrendous sins.

      Unfortunately laziness, inertia and my rudiments of a social conscience have totally inhibited my attempts.


  6. Go Senator Hoylman!

    As for “original sin”, I think it’s “original” because it’s not based on anything prior – such as being based on evidence.

  7. Graham is really someone who rubs me the wrong way. Was gifted his autobiography for xmas some years back, and I read it, and left feeling rather less charitable towards him than I did before.

    He is one of those people with a large amount of power, who pretends to be using it for good, and is instead lining his pockets and taking advantage of the poor and weak.

    1. I thought Billy Graham was bad enough, but everything I’ve read about Franklin gives me the impression that he is far more religiously-deranged and loathsome than his poppa.

    2. His father had a certain charm and certainly a veneer of sincerity – even though I don’t doubt he reveled in the fame and fortune.

    3. Yup, these guys are happy be take passages from the Bible about homosexuality literally. When it comes to wealth, however, they suddenly cut themselves rather more slack.

    1. Quite! I just checked on Luke 10:25-37 because I couldn’t remember it in detail and, whaddya know, the Samaritan didn’t demand a signature to his statement of faith, nor did he ask the poor beaten-up fella what his sexual orientation was – he just got on with tending his wounds, getting him to an inn and paying for his upkeep there. The crass hypocricy of these loons turns my stomach on this day of all their so-called holy days. Pfft!!

  8. Easter is the equivalent of a man driving his Ferrari off a cliff, coming out of the wreckage with several broken limbs, and telling me I don’t have to pay car insurance anymore because of his “sacrifice.”

    1. Good metaphor. Speaking of car insurance, I guess we could all drop our insurance now since we won’t need to go anywhere. Why keep the insurance companies in dosh when they aren’t needed?

  9. I heard a few days in a podcast that maybe up to 10% of our genome is “dead viruses”, which makes me think that, given that Adam’s and Eve’s genomes had 0% of dead viruses, are we still the same species?

  10. I find it somewhat ironic that the charity is called Samaritan’s Purse. I suggest Graham should take time out to read the story of the Good Smaritan and ponder on its meaning.

  11. Professor – PLEASE check out the COVID-Insights newsletter, put out by Bill Rodriguez, M.D. (formerly of the Harvard Global Health Delivery Project). Easily the most insightful and informative source of info I’ve found on Covid19 from the global perspective of epidemiologists, pandemic experts, and front line health care workers.
    This week: an in-depth look at testing, a review of how we got to where we are, and ongoing analysis of what will be needed to “restart.”

    All the previous newsletters are worth reading as well.


  12. I wish Billy Graham had shown up in Selma or at The March on Washington. Some spiritual leader. He was mostly AWOL during the civil rights movement.

  13. I wish Billy Graham had shown up in Selma or at The March on Washington. Some spiritual leader. He was mostly AWOL during the civil rights movement.

  14. Franklin Graham: ” I don’t want someone who’s going to be swearing to be part of our team. I don’t want someone who is trying to pick up girls, and using this as an opportunity to do those kinds of things.”
    How come he’s accepting one of them as his president?

  15. NYC should tell him to f*ck off. If, perchance, he’s right and I’m wrong about celestial matters, I would at least remind him that St Peter is recording this extortion of faith, and it might be sufficient to deny him entry at the pearly gates as a distinctly un-Christian act.

  16. His arrogance, his certainty, and yes — his lunacy!!! I almost wish I had not read this post, it’s so irritating. But at least it gave me the opportunity to like Senator Hoylman’s tweets.

  17. The loon doesn’t acknowledge that humans evolved from common ancestors, and that diseases like,say, cancers can be attested to at least 240 million years ago [https://www.livescience.com/64711-ancient-turtle-bone-cancer.html ].

    1. I forgot to note that I suspect the reason here is to eventually get more aid money from various sources and divert it to various means. This is after all what statistics of sect money collection tell us.

      It should not be encouraged.

  18. It is interesting that Graham is not aware that Jesus never condemned homosexuals or even commented on them. Jesus told us to love each other—without qualification. The last thin Jesus would want are sanctimonious blowhards attribute to him positions he never took! As for abortion—nobody wants it. We want family planning and the availability of oral contraceptives to allow women to avoid pregnancies until they are in a financial situation to best raise a child. Passing a law again abortion won’t stop desperate pregnant women from seeking them. And, when they do seek them via back alley docs, coat hangers, or self induction, not only the babies will die—the women would too. Get that through your numbskull brain, Mr. Graham—more deaths would result by banning abortions compared to keeping the abortion option open.

Leave a Reply