Franklin Graham Tries To Explain Necessity Of Filling Central Park Field Hospital With Bigots
In late March, it was announced that Samaritan's Purse, the non-profit "humanitarian aid organization" run by evangelist Franklin Graham, would be setting up a field hospital in Central Park in order to help people sick with COVID-19. This would have been a very lovely thing for them to do, were it not for the requirement that any doctor or nurse who wanted to volunteer to work at the facility sign a contract swearing that they not only believe in Jesus, but that they also believe abortion is bad and gay people don't deserve the right to get married.
Beyond anything else, this just seems like an inefficient way of going about things in the middle of a pandemic. There can't be too many doctors and nurses out there who are both still really steamed about gay people getting married — especially in New York. One would think that in a situation like this, they'd take what they can get. But choosy beggar that he is, Franklin Graham is doubling down on this. He explained in an interview with the Charlotte Observer that this was fine and normal because he also wasn't allowing "drunks or drug addicts" or people who swear or try to pick up girls to volunteer either.
"All of our doctors and nurses and staff, (they're) Christians," he said. "We believe it's very important that — as we serve people and help people — we do it in Jesus' name. [...]
"Of course, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That's part of who we are. So we have a long list of things we want people to understand and agree with before we take them to work with us. I don't want a person who is going to be on the job and drinks; that's not a good witness. I don't want a person who's going to be using drugs to be part of our team. I don't want someone who's going to be swearing to be part of our team. I don't want someone who is trying to pick up girls, and using this as an opportunity to do those kinds of things.
"So, we try to screen the people that work with us. And we want men and women who believe the way we do and have the same core values that we have."
Now, one can see why it might be a bad idea to have drunks or drug addicts working in a field hospital. My mom worked in an ER and I've heard some stories! I can even see why one might think it was a bad idea for doctors and nurses to go around swearing. or picking up ladies. That's not really appropriate professional behavior. But what on earth does Graham think is going to happen if people who don't hate gay people — or even gay people themselves — volunteer? Or people who believe in abortion? What on earth does that have to do with anything? What possible scenario does he think this could lead to?
His anti-gay bullshit isn't just hurting gay people, it's hurting sick people as well. They would have far more volunteers at their field hospital if they weren't being gross bigots. An Episcopal church that is considered to be the largest cathedral in the world was going to be used as a field hospital — until church leaders found out that Samaritan's Purse was involved and requiring all volunteers to be gross bigots.
In the interview, Graham also expounded on some statements he made during an appearance on Judge Jeanine Pirro's Fox show about how COVID-19 was a punishment for all the sinning people have been doing.
"When God made man, he never intended for man to have disease. And to have death. He put us in a perfect world. The climate was perfect. The conditions were perfect. The food to eat. But man rebelled against God. And the Bible is very clear that, as a result of this rebellion against God, we live in what we call 'a fallen world.' So we have cancer. We have the coronavirus. We have diabetes. We have all of the other problems we have as a society. We have murder, we have thefts. [...]
"But that wasn't God's intention. That's why God sent his son Jesus Christ to take our sins. And Christ died for our sins. That's why we celebrate Easter."
Let me get this straight. God invented man and everything was good and perfect, but one day Adam and Eve "rebelled" by eating an apple they weren't supposed to eat, so God was like "That's it! You guys all get cancer now! And diabetes! And coronavirus!"
That then continued on for however many years, until 2000 years ago when God sent his kid who was also himself down to earth to be crucified, in order to "take our sins," but we still get cancer and diabetes and coronavirus? And then just a few months ago, God was like, "That's it! People are not paying enough attention to me and doing stuff I don't want them to do! I'm gonna give them all a super deadly virus!"
Shit, no wonder these people love Donald Trump. He acts exactly like they imagine God does.
It should be noted that this field hospital Franklin's group set up is the field hospital where the QAnon people think all of the "mole children" are being held. I'm not sure that any of these things are related, but you never know.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse