Franklin Graham Shares Trump’s Affections for Putin
Franklin Graham, son of the iconic evangelist Billy Graham, is a more intensely anti-gay right-wing version of his father, and reflects the continuing spiral of America’s right wing into anti-Muslim conspiracy-theory paranoia.
Like Trump, Graham is a fan of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, praising Putin’s anti-gay policies and defending his support for the Assad regime in Syria. Graham went to Russia in 2015, where he praised Putin while criticizing secularism in America. While in Russia, Graham told a reporter that President Obama was “leading America down the wrong road” and “taking a stand against God.” Graham also planned to host a conference in Moscow with the Russian Orthodox Church to address anti-Christian persecution, but had to cancel after Putin outlawed evangelism from Christians who aren’t members of the Orthodox church.
Although Graham maintained that he was not formally endorsing a presidential candidate in 2016, he held rallies around the country during which he made it clear what he thought Christians’ duty was at the ballot box. Graham, who has said the advance of legal equality for LGBT people is a sign of the coming End Times and invites the judgment of God, repeatedly said that 2016 was the last chance for Christians to save America from godless secularists and the “very wicked” LGBT agenda being promoted by the Obama administration.