The LGBT lobby group Accountable for Equality has launched an attack on Christian pastor Franklin Graham for recruiting Christian volunteers for coronavirus relief work in New York.
As part of their “No Time for Nonsense” campaign, Accountable for Equality issued a press release accusing Rev. Graham and his Christian outreach Samaritan’s Purse of “putting New Yorkers’ lives on the line” by recruiting Christians who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Samaritan’s Purse has erected a 68-bed field hospital in Central Park staffed by 60 to 70 medical professionals to care for patients battling COVID-19.
The many Christian volunteers working for Samaritan’s Purse adhere to a statement of Christian principles, including on the nature of matrimony, which basically sums up the traditional view of marriage that reigned in the United States and the rest of the Western world until roughly 2015, and which is still a core teaching of the Catholic Church as well as many other Christian denominations.
“God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”
The gay lobby wants Graham’s money but they do not want the Christian worldview that inspires people to give money to his organization or to volunteer their time to serve others. Accountable for Equality and other LGBT advocacy groups have expressed their revulsion at the idea that a Christian charitable organization should openly appeal for Christian volunteers as Franklin Graham does.
Chris Fleming, spokesman for Accountable for Equality, stated that this behavior is “despicable and flat out blasphemous.”
On its website, Samaritan’s Purse offers a list of frequently asked questions, including: “Do I have to be a Christian to volunteer?” The response is this:
The primary mission of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we seek volunteers who have the same mindset. We ask that volunteers review our Statement of Faith and agree to support the ministry guidelines of Samaritan’s Purse.
In other words, as an overtly Christian association, Samaritan’s Purse requires that volunteers share the same values and ideals that inspire the group. Groups like PETA and Greenpeace do the same thing, looking only for volunteers who share their commitment to animal rights and the protection of the environment. Apparently, this commonsense principle does not apply to Christians.
LGBT groups have viciously suggested that as a Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse volunteers will “turn away” gays and lesbians infected with the virus, “leaving them on their own to find care elsewhere.”
“Graham has long fought for religious hospitals, or even individual staff members, to be able to do just that,” wrote Ross Murray, senior director for GLAAD.
Gay Star News similarly wrote that Samaritan’s Purse may be able to force volunteers “to refuse treatment to LGBT+ people.”
In response to such groundless accusations, Graham said that “Samaritan’s Purse treats everyone we help the same.”
“We do not make distinctions about an individual’s religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. We certainly do not discriminate, and we have a decades-long track record that confirms just that,” Graham stated.
Hostility toward proponents of traditional marriage was foreseen by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in his powerful dissent in the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that made gay marriage the law of the land in the United States.
Alito prophesied that the misguided decision would be used to attack citizens who do not share a contemporary view of marriage as an elastic arrangement between an unspecified number of unspecified persons.
“It will be used,” he wrote presciently, “to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”
“I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools,” he wrote.