We’re all flawed, of course. Indeed, I had intended to write a a piece, and I still will, that talks about my personal relationship with another famous evangelical, Hyman Appleman, whom Graham acknowledged as a mentor and teacher.
I don’t know if you saw the story about Appleman that I originally posted on Quora, but I knew him rather well when I was a child. To this day I reserve a well of personal affection for him.
I understand that both of these influencial figures were flawed human beings first of all.
As I said, if Graham were a figure from the past, I wouldn’t have felt motivated to write anything.
Additionally, though, if he weren’t being awarded one of the most significant honors available to an American, I would also not feel motivated to write anything.
It’s not Graham himself I’m condemning in my article so much, as the singular honor being payed to him.
He doesn’t deserve it.
His homophobia and his rather more than severe condemnation of us queer people must disqualify him from the highest formal public accolades.
His flaws don’t make him a devil, to be sure, but they certainly stain him enough to require a private funeral rather than a ceremony of State.
If not, if we’re to simply overlook such a major flaw as if it’s of no consequence, then we’re admitting that homophobic bigotry doesn’t matter.
Remember that Graham wasn’t a mild homophobic bigot. He preached soaringly about the wrath of God raining down punishment on our republic in response to the sin of Sodom.
Make no mistake, Graham spread hatred, and he did it with full consciousness of his actions.
Was he simply an anachronism in that respect?
Probably. He was certainly no Jerry Falwell.
In the end, though, he still harmed very many people very badly.
Seeing him honored, lying in state at the Capitol, is too much. It’s a slap in the face to every queer person living in our nation.
We don’t need to demonize the man. I’m not arguing that. I’m just saying it’s wrong to make him a saint.
It’s doubly wrong to render him the same honor afforded to Rosa Parks, who actually deserved it.