By Todd Beamon
The Rev. Franklin Graham has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his stance against homosexuality and slammed President Barack Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.
“To be clear, I am not endorsing President Putin,” Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said in the March issue of Decision magazine.
The magazine in published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, based in Charlotte, N.C. Franklin Graham is the association’s president and CEO.
“To survive in the KGB and rise to power in Russia, you have to be tough,” Graham said of Putin. “His enemies say he is ruthless. To some, he is a modern version of a czar. His personal life has its own controversies.
“Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?
“Putin is right on these issues,” Graham continued. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”
Last year, Putin banned the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” Graham said. The restriction was highlighted by the Russian president’s critics leading up to the Winter Games in Sochi last month.
“American media and liberal activists were outraged that the Olympics would be allowed in such an ‘intolerant’ culture,” Graham said. “Even though Putin said that gays and lesbians would be allowed at the Olympics, the fact that he took a stand — simply to protect children — ignited a worldwide cultural firestorm.
“He further explained the law by saying, ‘We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia,’ ” Graham said.
The evangelist called the American response to Putin’s crackdown “sadly predictable,” noting that President Obama sent gay and lesbian athletes to Sochi. He also mentioned Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement last month that his office would push forrecognition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states — “even in the 33 states that outlaw those marriages.”
Graham then charged Obama and Holder with having “turned their backs on God and his standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.
“The world used to look to America for moral leadership,” Graham said. “But those days are long gone.”
He said that the United States has “abdicated our moral leadership” — at home and abroad.
“We defeated Communism, only to relax and see secularism and progressives take over our country,” Graham said. “Secularism is as godless as communism. Secularists and progressives have taken over our schools, media, and local and federal government. And it has all happened in the twinkling of an eye.”
He ended by quoting portions of Matthew 25:34 from the New Testament.
“But the Bible makes it clear that one day, ‘all nations will be gathered before [God]’ for judgment, and that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,'” Graham wrote.
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