Franklin Graham, the son and heir of 95-year-old evangelist Billy Graham, is no stranger to bigoted, controversial statements. For example, the younger Graham once said that President Obama "may or may not be a son of Islam" and recently called the Obama administration "anti-Christ;" he also claimed that the Sandy Hook shootings were the result of America "turn[ing] its back on God."
Pretty repugnant, right? But yesterday in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham sank into Anita Bryant territory, claiming that gays and lesbians "recruit" children "into [their] cause."
"Gays and lesbians cannot have children. Biologically, it's impossible," Graham says, snickering. "Right," the reporter replies, "but they adopt." Graham corrects him: "Yeah, they can recruit."
The reporter presses for clarification and Graham, perhaps realizing that he'd just slipped up and inadvertently revealed his true animosity toward homosexuality, stammers:
"Well, I think you can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. And so I believe in protecting children from exploitation, all exploitations. So that's all that is about."
He then reiterates his defense of Russian president/dictator Vladimir Putin's draconian ban on so-called "gay propaganda" and claims that President Obama and Congress are in thrall to the Super Secret Gay Agenda.
And Graham has the audacity to state that he -- not the LGBT people who are smeared, slandered, and scapegoated by his jaw-droppingly bigoted and outdated claims -- is being victimized and "persecuted."
"As far as persecution, I'm attacked all the time, because of my religious beliefs, what I believe and what I say. And there are people who are very quick to demonize you if you disagree with them. The left, the gay lesbian movement. If I disagree with a gay person, then I'm a homophobic [sic]. I'm intolerant. It's not that I'm a homophobe, I'm not afraid of 'em. I'm not intolerant, I just have a different opinion, a different view."
Holy privilege tantrums, Batman! Graham goes on to assert that he "believe[s] the Bible from cover to cover... the Old Testament as well as the New Testament." That's about as close to a call for the state-sanctioned murder of gays as one gets, short of explicitly saying "fags deserve death."
This interview has to be seen to be believed. Watch, after the jump.