In 1953, in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Rev. Billy Graham saw that his crusade audience was segregated in roped-off sections. He personally tore the barriers down.
Over the next six decades, he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more than 200 million people in 185 countries. Without giving an inch of theological ground, he adjusted his message to the moment, for example, dropping the name “crusade” for his rallies so as not to offend Muslims that he was trying to reach for Christ.
Scrupulously nonpolitical, he did something in 2016 for which the Left will never forgive him. He came out for God’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and urged Christians to vote their “biblical values.”
His death at age 99 last Wednesday garnered plaudits and appreciation around the globe. But it also revealed how deeply some on the Left hate all things Christian. Teen Vogue writer Lauren Ducas actually called Mr. Graham an epithet and said he was “evil.” I was going to share other examples, but why give them any currency?
As a thoroughly orthodox Christian, Rev. Graham was in good company with Christian organizations falsely labeled as “hate groups.” The biggest perpetrator of this slander is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the media’s go-to source.
Last week, the SPLC, a far-left foundation headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, issued a report with this lengthy title: “The Year in Hate: Trump buoyed white supremacists in 2017, sparking backlash among black nationalist groups.”
The report identifies 954 organizations as hate groups, up from 917 in 2016. Buried deep in a Washington Post article is the detail that Ku Klux Klan chapters have dropped from 130 to 72.
A number of good and decent Christian organizations like Family Research Council are still on the “hate” list and “hate map,” along with MassResistance. This conservative parents group is led by a Jewish father, Brian Camenker, who became active after discovering his children being brainwashed with pansexual propaganda in his local public school in Massachusetts.
Also on the hate list are Nazis, white nationalists and even some black nationalist groups. The report says the latter groups should not be equated with “black activist groups such as Black Lives Matter that work to eliminate systemic racism in American society and its institutions.”
Really? Black Lives Matter (BLM) has worked overtime stoking racial animosity and fomenting hatred against police. On August 29, 2015, protesters with the local St. Paul branch of BLM chanted, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” hours after a sheriff’s deputy was ambushed and executed in Houston.
The SPLC report also lists a number of “anti-government groups,” for whose rise the SPLC blames – who else? – President Trump: His “radical views and bigotry may be energizing them in the same way he has invigorated hate groups.”
Over the past few years, the transgender movement has become the new spear point of the Left’s relentless assault on America’s foundational Judeo-Christian culture. Just when you think they have gone too far, they push harder when encountering little or no resistance.
At this past weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, the LGBT activist group Log Cabin Republicans were welcomed, even though they promote the radical homosexual and transgender agenda embraced by the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, MassResistance, one of the few conservative groups fighting the LGBT agenda in the schools, was sent back its check and told it was not welcome. The stated reason was remarks from a 2015 event in which Mr. Camenker urged parents and conservatives to take a harsher tone against those who would corrupt and endanger innocent children. He did not sing from the go-along, get-along songbook that has accompanied conservative acquiescence to moral decline.
In Ohio on Feb. 16, Hamilton County Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon, who ran as a Republican in 2010, actually took a 17-year-old girl away from her parents because they refused to allow her to be given hormone treatments as part of a female-to-male transition.
Not wanting your precious daughter turned into a faux male now counts as child abuse.
And there’s this. Radical LGBT activist Chai Feldblum, who crowed that “gays win, Christians lose” when rights conflict, has been reappointed by President Trump to the powerful Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was first seated by Barack Obama and has aggressively advanced an LGBT legal agenda aimed at criminalizing Christianity. Millions of Christians turned out to help elect Mr. Trump. They deserve better. Her current term ends soon and the re-nomination should be withdrawn.
In his last years, Billy Graham often spoke of his belief that America’s only hope lay in a Christian revival against the rise of a coldly pagan culture that devalues life and families and rejects God’s love.
His son Franklin, whose Samaritan’s Purse charity has aided countless people in dire circumstances around the world, has picked up that mantle and run with it. May God grant him protection, wisdom and influence.
Robert Knight is a Washington Times contributor. His latest book is Confronting Lies and Hate: Responding with Truth and Grace (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018).