The Rev. Franklin Graham, who is preparing to lead three days of revival meetings in Pittsburgh this August, wrote a cover story in his magazine this month decrying the backlash against "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson over his condemnations of homosexuality.
"Robertson’s orthodox, biblical view on the sin of homosexuality was immediately met with disdain from the intolerant gay community and its vast network of immoral, liberal allies," wrote Rev. Graham, who succeeded his father, the legendary evangelist Billy Graham, as head of the latter's evangelistic association.
Franklin Graham's used the "Duck Dynasty" controversy -- in which the A&E network suspended and then re-instated him from the hugely successful reality show about the Louisiana family behind Duck Commander, the hunting-gear merchandisers -- to illustrate what Rev. Graham termed a Satanic war against Christianity.
And Rev. Graham contrasted the backlash to Mr. Robertson's explicit comments favoring female to male anatomy to what he called the lack of outrage over an incident Rev. Graham said he witnessed involving President Obama and Vice-President Biden. Rev. Graham said he witnessed "crude speech by our country's second highest elected official, and a flippant dismissal by the commander in chief."
Franklin Graham is headlining "Three Rivers Festival of Hope" -- revival meetings held Aug. 15-17 at the Consol Energy Center. Like his father, he holds revivals at the invitation of local religious leaders, and Pittsburgh-area organizers of the event recently held an official launch for the revival with hundreds in attendance.
At the same time, Rev. Graham is bringing a history of controversial comments, calling Islam an evil religion and denouncing Hindu devotion to the elephantine Ganesha and other deities. The Pentagon rescinded an invitation to Graham to speak at a 2010 prayer event.
Rev. Graham has spoken out on other culture-war controversies, supporting Chic-fil-A when it was embattled over its founder's opposition to gay marriage and opposing same-sex marriage in a recent referendum in his home state of North Carolina.
In the cover story of Decision -- the long-running magazine of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association -- Rev. Graham said the "Duck Dynasty" controversy was about more than America's culture wars but rather a "rising tide of evil and iniquity that threatens to engulf our nation."
"But perhaps the real reason people were offended by Robertson was because the Scripture he quoted brought them face to face with their sinful state and the fact that God hates evil," Rev. Graham wrote.
"This is a full-scale assault against Christianity and the followers of Christ. When prayer is banned from the public square, when our President fails to defend biblically defined marriage, and he openly and zealously advocates for gay rights; when legislators rush to overrule existing laws to promote gay marriage; when schools and courts consistently suppress religious freedoms; we know we are locked in a war against the Christian faith, not culture.
"The architect behind this offensive is none other than Satan himself. The Scripture says that the devil, our archenemy, is bent on as much destruction as possible. 'But woe to you O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short' (Revelation 12:12)."