Franklin Graham prepares to give the invocation before the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 auto race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., May 24, 2009.
Chuck Burton/AP Photo

Franklin Graham sees Putin with moral high ground

As U.S. conservatives started expressing their admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin with more enthusiasm, there were two broad groups. The first likes Putin’s governing style and willingness to launch invasions without a lot of planning or forethought.
Rudy Giuliani, for example, is part of this contingent. Putin “makes a decision and he executes it, quickly,” Giuliani recently told Fox. “Then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader.”
The second group hasn’t been as vocal lately, but it’s been around longer: social conservatives who celebrate Putin’s social agenda in Russia. As Aaron Blake noted, we were reminded of this latter group in a high-profile way today.
A top evangelical leader in the United States has some supportive words for Russian President Vladimir Putin – at least when it comes to his crackdown on gays and lesbians in Russia.
In a column in Decision magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, says Putin’s record on gay rights is far better than that of President Obama.
“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Franklin Graham writes of Russia’s controversial prohibition on gay “propaganda.” “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”
Graham kept going, wishing U.S. leaders would adopt Putin’s cultural approach: “Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.”
Graham added:
Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue – protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda – Russia’s standard is higher than our own?
Just so we’re clear, on the heels of Putin’s aggressive military moves in Ukrainian territory, on the brink of what could be an even more serious military crisis, the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association believes the Russian president has the moral high ground – because Putin hates gays.
Reiterating a point from two weeks ago, it’s not unusual, during a time of crisis, for Americans to rally behind a president. Regrettably, for now, it appears some on the right are rallying behind the wrong president.