New Yorkers discover Franklin Graham's extremism

The Gothamist published a piece this morning on Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse ministry setting up shop in Central Park to test and treat COVID-19 victims.

And, they pointed out the group's history of using these medical crises as an opportunity to against LGBTs and Muslims.

The mayor did not mention that the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda.

Graham, the son of prominent minister Billy Graham, has specifically sought to recruit Christian medical staff to the Central Park facility. According to the group's website, all volunteers, including health care workers, should read and adhere to a statement of faith, in which marriage is defined as "exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female" and the unrighteous are sentenced to "everlasting punishment in hell."

Asked whether the Mayor's Office considers this problematic, a City Hall spokesperson said the field hospital will operate as a Mount Sinai facility, and must adhere to the hospital's policy against discrimination. The spokesperson did not say whether the city was concerned that volunteers on the project are expected to agree with the group's anti-gay faith statement.

Some New Yorkers are questioning the effort:

"I don't want to demonize people who are volunteering their time, but it is a concerning thing," said Amy Martin, a Brooklyn resident and former nursing assistant.

"On the one hand, this is absolutely an all hands on deck situation," she continued. "On the other hand, as an LGBT New Yorker, I would be hesitant to make that my first choice of care. I'd much rather be seen anywhere else."

The article didn't mention the work of Graham and his ministry in promoting anti-LGBT legislation in Russia, Africa, and right here in NC. Remember Uganda's death penalty for gay sex? Graham's ministry was one of several US evangelical groups mixed up in pushing that idea in the country. Graham met with Putin and has promoted anti-LGBT laws in the country with religious leaders there. Graham was a prominent spokesman for NC's HB2 and was temporarily banned by Facebook for anti-LGBT hate speech. More recently, several cities in the UK cancelled appearances by Graham's ministry because of the group's extremism.

If you find this partnership between the city and hate-monger Graham inappropriate, you can contact Mayor Bill de Blasio's office and give them a piece of your mind.

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