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Franklin Graham cites Leviticus ‘death to gays’ verse when discussing Buttigieg

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The Christian right-wing has been losing their minds over Pete Buttigieg’s political rise onto the national stage.

Since announcing his candidacy barely a week ago, anti-gay protestors have showed up at his public events screaming about “Sodom and Gomorrah” and even putting on a bizarre display of a Buttigieg impersonator flogging Jesus as Satan watches.

Mentioning these protests, influential homophobic evangelical pastor Franklin Graham recently said, “I don’t agree with heckling anyone – I think we should be respectful.”

But then Graham mentioned Buttigieg’s response to one of the hecklers. Buttigieg said, “The condition of my soul is in the hands of God.”

Graham agreed, “Mayor Buttigieg is absolutely right. His soul is in the hands of God, so is everyone’s. He also says that he’s a Christian and wants to become the first openly gay president in America’s history. What’s wrong with that picture?”

And in answering this question, Graham dropped Leviticus 20:13, one of the Bible’s infamous “Seven Deadly Verses” against homosexuality.

Graham said: “In reality, being a Christian isn’t just a title we select or a church membership. It is a faith in God and His Word that transforms our lives to be more like the One we follow—Jesus Christ. Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). The Bible makes it very clear that homosexuality is a sin. ‘If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.’ (Leviticus 20:13).

"That’s what God says and that settles it for me. I stand with the Word of God. I care enough about people to tell them the truth and to warn them about the judgment to come for all sin.”

As Joe My God helpfully points out, “The full Leviticus 20:13 verse reads ‘If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.'”

Graham didn’t mention that death part and he didn’t need to: His audience knows full well what that verse connotes.

And here Graham’s trying to have it both ways: he says we shouldn’t heckle politicians speaking in public, but that Christians should tell gay people the “truth” that they’re sinners who are responsible for the violence directed against them — in fact, it’s un-Christian not to do so.

In a related story, responding to former President Jimmy Carter’s statement that Jesus would support same-sex marriage, Trump supporter Graham launched a blistering attack on Facebook - Jesus wouldn’t bless gay couples, the far right minister said. Instead, God would kill them all.

Editor’s note – Franklin Graham’s father, Rev. Billy Graham, made his first big splash into the Evangelical crusade pond when he spoke Madison Square Garden, New York City on May 15, 1957. Esteemed journalist and columnist Murray Kempton covered the event. He wrote in his column (paraphrase) – If there are 4,000 religions in the world, somebody’s got to be wrong.