On Easter morning on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Martha Raddatz interviewed the Rev. Franklin Graham and other Christian evangelical leaders (including Ralph Reed), questioning them about the decreasing numbers of people attending church and religious services these days.
Rev. Graham, when the discussion turned to same-sex marriage and gay adoption, I had to take issue with you when you said you agreed with Vladimir Putin that we need to protect the children and not allow gays to adopt. You believe only a man and a woman in a "traditional" marriage can properly raise a child up in to the way they should go.
This outdated viewpoint reminds me of a book I read in the 1960s entitled Your God Is Too Small. The author, J.B. Phillips, talks about how man has created God in his own image. In this case, I believe that you, Reverend, are clinging to some Old Testament version of God as a vengeful deity condemning homosexuality as a sin.
My God is an awesome God who so loved the world that he gave us his son, Jesus, to die for our sins. My God created me just as I am, a gay woman who is, first and foremost, a human being who wants to fall in love, marry, and raise a family and teach my children (if I ever have any) to love and respect all God's creatures, great and small.
Are you saying that people like Robin Roberts, or Ellen and Portia, or Neil Patrick Harris, or Ricky Martin would not make good parents because they were born gay? Are you saying they should be deprived the basic human right of having or adopting and raising children?
Rev. Graham, I have some close lesbian- and gay-couple friends who are fantastic parents. They love their children very much, and all their lives are very enriched by it. I played with my brass quintet for the wedding of two gay men in the 1990s. They are both devout Catholics, one being an organist and composer. I cried at their ceremony because I felt their strong love for one another. Gay marriage, at that time, was considered blasphemous, yet here they were, exchanging vows in a Catholic church. It was very moving to me and, as it turns out, a premonition of things to come, with same-sex marriage now on the threshold of being accepted nationally.
They recently adopted a beautiful baby girl, who just turned 1. (I attended her birthday party.) I cry every time I think of how much love they have for their daughter and how they spoil and shower her with affection. Do you really think your God would want to deny these loving parents the joy and blessings this sweet child has brought them?
I am disappointed in what you said, because I actually attended a revival meeting that your father, the Rev. Billy Graham, led when I was in junior high school. I went forward to accept Jesus as my savior then, and it changed my life. I know that you, Dr. Franklin Graham, have brought many to Christ and done so much good, including founding Samaritan's Purse, which supports those in need all over the world (including in Haiti after their earthquake). But I would like to suggest to you that many gays are today's Good Samaritans of the world.
Having had to face religious persecution and being accused of causing hurricanes and earthquakes and told we are going to Hell has caused many of us to have to search inwardly spiritually. I know that is my case. My Baptist church told me homosexuality was a sin and a sickness like mental illness. So it took me a while to face my truth. But when I did, God was there for me.
As you and others on the show acknowledged, we are all sinners, and gays can get into heaven if we repent. But I really like what commentator Cokie Roberts, who was raised Catholic, said: "Gays would agree that they are sinners, but not because they are gay."
Bravo, Cokie. You get us and see that love is the way, and here's hoping more eyes will be opened to the truth that has set us free.