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Earlier this week evangelical preacher, Franklin Graham, posted a message addressed to all LGBT people claiming that they are being told lies by enemies of God but he wanted to tell them the truth because he loved them “enough.”

Graham’s truth is that LGBT people are sinning if they fall in love and marry someone of the same sex. His truth is that a sincere prayer can “set them free.”

But LGBT people and their friends and family weren’t feeling the love and many of them have responded to Graham.

Many of the moms of LGBT children in my private Facebook group wanted to respond to Franklin Graham’s Facebook post. I am sharing some of their responses here with their permission but without their names.

These moms know what it means to love “enough” and they are certainly no enemy to God.

I hope you will take some time to listen to what they have to say to Franklin Graham.

Their voices need to be heard.

Love is just a word

 

I first gave my life to Christ at a Billy Graham revival sometime in the early 70’s. I have had an intimate walk with Jesus ever since. I have always loved your father. A few years ago our family went on a mission trip with your ministry to Kenya. We had a wonderful time! All four of my children ministered beautifully to the sick children in your hospital in Kijabe. I have felt very close to God most all of my life and have known God as Abba (Daddy) I’ve never been a rebel or had a time of great separation from God, I’ve been blessed that way and do not take credit for that myself. I have a very high sense of what is right and wrong, as does my husband. I have a sensitive Spirit to hear the Holy Spirit. My understanding of God grew exponentially after becoming a mother, because God is a parent and knowing Him this way made me see how He feels towards me. But, one night LOVE broke through and washed away all self-righteousness and my traditional understanding of God. It began the night my son told us he was gay. Absolutely no one wants what’s best for their child more than a parent. I am not the “Enemy of God’ you proclaim me to be by affirming and loving my child. I am the apple of God’s eye and a coheir with Christ-as is my son. I have prayed, fasted, sought counsel and prayed more. And when I say pray, I am talking about deep groans from deep in my spirit petitioning God to protect me from error. I am not a weak person and would have no problem standing firm if I thought my child’s soul was at risk. The parents of gay children are the closest thing this world has to the heart of God towards the LBGT community. I honestly doubt that anyone, including you, Mr. Graham, have stormed heaven’s gates over this issue more than Christian evangelical parents of gay children. I believe some heterosexual people as well as some homosexual people may be called to celibacy but it will be a call. However, most people (homosexuals and heterosexuals) will be called to marriage. There is not an institution on this earth that can carve and mold a person into the image of Christ quite like marriage, the melding together of two souls, be it opposite sex or same sex. Gal 3:28 says that in Christ there is neither male nor female but all are one in Christ. Unity and Love is Father’s business. Pointing out the sins of others is the work of the accuser. Being gay is not a choice, it is not a sin and Jesus adores these beautiful souls and He does not ever stand beside the religious who oppress the marginalized. Ever!

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I am not a theologian or Bible scholar. I am a simple person trying to figure out, through understanding the word of God, how to best serve God as the person that he created me to be. When I struggle to understand what the Bible is saying to me, I use 3 passages as a lens, or litmus test, 3 passages that Scripture tells us to apply to all other Scripture.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Mat 7:12)

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Mat 7:15-20)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Mat 22:37-40)

Is treating someone as a second class citizen, as so many of the LGBT community have been, the way that you want to be treated?

Looking at your understanding of what the Bible says about the the sin of being homosexual or transgender, I fail to see any good fruit. But there is plenty of bad fruit. An obscenely high suicide rate within the LGBT community resulting from the stigma and stress placed on them by a poor understanding of Scripture. A homeless rate among LGBT youth that is 10 times higher than non-LGBT youth, because kids are kicked out of their homes and shunned by families who incorrectly believe they are following God’s law. Thousands of LGBT Christians being driven out of their church communities and away from relationships with God by church leadership following “the law”.

There is no love in telling someone that the way that they were created and cannot change is sinful.

I have often been asked, “What if I’m wrong, what if I’m leading people astray?” My response is that if I’m going to error, I’m going to error on the side of love. And I have to ask, what if you’re wrong? Isn’t it better to welcome people into God’s family as the people that God created them to be rather than push them away from a relationship with God because they are not the people that we want them to be?

I believe that we, the Christian community, need to reevaluate how we understand these few passages in Scripture that we use to cast judgement on the LGBT community. Just as Peter and Paul reevaluated there understanding of excluding Gentiles and cleanliness laws, just as the reformers reevaluated the need for intermediaries, and Christians reevaluated the morality of slavery and the domination of women as property. And, just as in all of these instances and many more, reevaluating the way we understand a few passages does not mean reinterpreting the Bible. It just means that we allow ourselves to understand a few passages in a way that will free us to better treat one another how we would want to be treated, to bring forth good fruits, and to better love our neighbor, and thus, better love God.

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Mr. Graham, I can read the compassion you have tried to express in your post. I appreciate your call to repentance for all who have strayed from God’s desire for their lives. I also know, however, that your position on LGBT people is scientifically wrong, medically wrong, and spiritually damaging. The Bible says that we will be known by our fruit. The fruit of the kind of position you hold (“all LGBT people are a special kind of sinner and need to repent and deny who they were born to be”) is alienation, self-loathing, self-harm, spiritual pain as they realize that, no matter how much they pray and beg God to change them, they are still LGBT, and frequently spiritual and/or physical death. This is not good fruit! We have misinterpreted certain passages in the Bible many times in human history. We are fallible creatures. We got it wrong on slavery, big time! The church tortured and killed people for saying the the earth was not the center of the universe. The church killed people for daring to translate the Bible into accessible language. I believe that many Christians have it wrong here, as well. Yes, we all need to repent of our sins. But gay people cannot and should not be told to repent for being who God created them to be. I have a gay daughter who loves God with all her heart and has placed following God at the center of her life. She also is still gay, because this is not a choice and therefore not a sin. Please stop harming God’s children and go back to focusing on the good work you do helping God’s children. Better yet, try to learn something about the appalling treatment LGBT Christians receive at the hands of their so-called spiritual brothers and sisters. May God forgive you for the damage you words cause to those who cannot change who they are!

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No matter where you stand religiously, historically and/or scientifically there is too much information out now to not be better educated on this subject and no one has searched this matter out MORE than a parent with a gay (me) child or the gay Christian (my child). We are accountable too! Precious people please for the love of God and all humanity get educated even if you look only the scriptures! Dig deeper!

 

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As the parent of a gay son I wonder if you, Franklin Graham, have ever taken the time to talk to a gay man or woman – my son, a precious gift from God- a God who makes no mistakes- is a Christian who prayed for years and years for God to take the “gay” away- is not an abomination nor is he “choosing a lifestyle” – who in the world would “choose” to be singled out in posts like this, ridiculed, bullied, discriminated against and forced to live in fear based on who they were created to be? If this post is to share the love of Christ with “all” why is it addressed to specific people?

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Mr. Graham,

Can you say AMEN to the following?

“You see, the Church Jesus established is to be a house of worship for all people, and that includes LGBTQ individuals. The Church exists to be a safe place, a place where people can come and connect with God, and a place where people can find love and healing from the wounds of this world– and that too, includes LGBTQ individuals. The moment they’re excluded, ostracized, or shunned instead of being embraced and loved, is the moment such a body ceases to be the Church.” By Benjamin Corey

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In the church of Franklin Graham all who sin are welcome except those in the LGBTQ community. Even those who continue to sin, which pretty much is every single one of us. Here is a great example regarding adulterers. How many people do you know in the church that are not married to the person they lost their virginity to? How many in the church are divorced and remarried because of a reason not excused by the bible? Considering the rapidly rising rates of STDs amongst young adults and high school students, and a 50% divorce rate in this country there are plenty of people who fall into one of those groups. Now unless these people pray for forgiveness and return to their proper biblical spouses (or never have sex again) every single one of them is a non-repentant serial adulterer. And yet they are welcomed with open arms. LGBTQ people on the other hand are cast out from their homes as children and then aren’t even given a place at most homeless shelters because those places are run by faith based organizations. They are told they have no place in the church, bullied at school, fired from jobs, refused housing. Families are being torn apart by this and people are dying. This is not the love of Christ.

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I believe what this Dr says, because so many of us have seen the nature of the child. The good, sweet child, designed and loved by our creator.

http://www.joanileajack.com/people-and-parts-and…/

 

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God created everyone. My daughter was born gay. The way He made her. Nothing turned her gay. She is the most beautiful, loving, accepting person I’ve ever known. I do not believe God makes mistakes. To suggest that her life is somehow wrong is not only hurtful and very un-Christian, but is questioning how God himself could have made a mistake. I don’t believe God makes mistakes. Mistakes are left to us humans to make.

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As a Lutheran, I could choose to argue theology with you, but I don’t really see the point. Here’s what I know- God created my gay son exactly the same way he created my straight son- he’s a beautiful baptized child of God, sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. Like all of us, he lives in the unconditional love of God, shown to us in Christ- the overflowing grace of God given us day after day.

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I’m wondering if your message from God regarding homosexuality has greater value than mine. Because after praying, weeping and begging God for literally years for an answer about my daughter’s soul, I not only received a message from Him that He has her in His hand, He made her and she is perfect. Your message contains Bible quotes, but I have studied the Bible, too, and find some things you left out. I believe in Jesus and his message which was to love God with all your heart and to love others as yourself. I’m sorry – I don’t see that commandment showing up anywhere in your messages. Blessings.

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I have to wonder why Franklin is so intent on condemning the LGBTQ community when, at best, there are only 6-7 verses in the whole bible concerning them. The verses are questionable to boot. I don’t hear him condemning divorce, same bible. I think Franklin must remove the giant plank in his eye, so he can more clearly see the speck in the eye of the ones he condemns.

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Do you really believe that the only way a gay person will make it into God’s Kingdom is if s/he stops being gay (same-sex attracted)? And the only way s/he can stop being gay is by God removing the same-sex attraction? Have you ever considered dialoging with the founders of the former Exodus, International about the reality of this never happening? You can put brown contacts in your blue eyes and call them brown, but the reality is your eyes would still be blue. Sexual orientation is innate and does not change. Behavior changes. So if you are saying that people who engage in same-sex sexual activity are outside God’s Kingdom, that’s one thing – but if you are saying that people with an inborn sexual orientation toward their same gender are outside God’s Kingdom simply because they are are born with something they didn’t chose, cannot change, and which not even Almighty God changes, then you are judging, adding burdens which Jesus has warned us not to add, and defiling the Gospel.

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Dear Mr. Graham, I am a Christian. As such, I am your Sister in Christ. Because I have a son, this means you also have a Nephew in Christ. Your Nephew’s name is Joshua, and he is an enormously giving, loving, and talented child of God. He also happens to be gay. At this point, based on the nature of our relationship in Christ, you can either choose to love your Nephew because you follow Christ, or you can choose to hate your Nephew because you do not follow Christ. I choose love. God is love, Christ modeled love, and love always wins. ♡ I’m looking forward to sharing a feast with ALL of my Brothers and Sisters and Christ at Heaven’s banquet table. Incidentally, your Nephew will be dining with us.

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To assume LGBTQ are not Christian is a grave error as over 40% hold Christianity as their faith. I knew my son was gay when he was 3. I never told a soul, not even my husband. How can a child of 3 choose a ‘lifestyle’? How can a child of 3 choose their orientation? They cannot. My son went through hell in his teenage years suffering from deep depression and suicidal thoughts. He prayed for YEARS for God to ‘take the gay away’ and he didn’t. I wish I could have been a better support for him then but I had no idea how to help because I was so filled with fear from evangelical teachings about homosexuality. My son unfortunately turned his back on God due to flawed interpretations of the scripture. Please, please, please people get educated. Re evaluate what you have been taught. Search the scriptures and the heart of God on this issue. So many comments on the post are simply filled with fear and fire and brimstone. It makes me want to turn and flee…I wonder how LGBTQ who read this are feeling? This is not the Jesus I know, love, and serve.

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I know you mean well, but you have obviously never sat across the table and had conversation with one of these “sinners” as you call them. Sin is when I choose to do something like lie, steal, have an affair or murder. For these precious people, their sexuality is no more a “choice” than yours was for you. Do you know that one in 1500 people are born “intersex,” that is having two genders? Life is not quite as simple as you make it out to be. It is not simply “male and female.” Ask any OB/Gyn, geneticist, or parent of a LGBTQ child. Please get back to the work you do well – helping children – and leave our precious children where God has put them, in his arms, loving them unconditionally.

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Dear Mr. Graham, I believe you believe with all your heart that you are honoring God by warning and calling lgbtq to redemption. I would have been very understanding and agreed with you at one time — before my son came out at age 38 (after trying to deny and pray his homosexuality away most of his life). Please please I beg you to open your heart and see the truth that hundreds of Christians have discovered. The unconditional love I have for all and freedom from judging makes my heart sing – and yes, in thankfulness to God for my gift of a gay son.

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Dear Mr. Graham, I didn’t feel any love in your letter nor any sense that you have taken time to understand the LGBT community. If there had been love, I am convinced you would have said, “my heart breaks for the pain you have experienced at the hand of Christians.” If there had been love there would have been a lot more seeking to understand, to listen, to recognize the struggles and issues for someone who identifies as LGBT. All you gave was the salvation message, which is needed by all, not just this group. Likewise, you seem to assume that people who are LGBT are not already saved, when I assure you is not the case. I am thankful to know many wonderful individuals who are LGBT and Christian. Their faith, their willingness to hold on to Christ despite the way they have been treated by Christians, amazes me. If there is any group in American being persecuted I think this would be it, and sadly, it is being done by Christians.

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Mr. Graham, you are making a major mistake assuming that because someone is LGBT that they have not prayed the sinners prayer. I can assure you that there are many LGBT people who have spent too many agonizing years imploring God to change them into the “image “the church assures us is God’s intention. These poor people have contemplated suicide, and sadly some have succeeded. All because the church says they are damaged. You have taken very limited references in the Bible to condemn people who you haven’t even tried to understand. Mr. Graham, have you even spent time with these struggling Christians who God has made clear that He has made them exactly the way He wants them to be? Why should you talk about sin and sex within marriage without addressing the rampant heterosexual pre-marital sex? Why condemn a group of people who want to be in a loving, long–term relationship when divorce of straight couples are at an all-time high? Sir, I realize you think that you are doing God’s work, but judging is to be left with God, we have been told that the greatest thing we can for God is to love one another. You are most definitely not showing love by continuously judging a group of people you know nothing about. I hope you’re prepared to meet God and explain why you felt the need to condemn some of His creation and push some into taking their own lives. Shame on you. My God is so much bigger than your small god who obviously condemns love. Your words hurt those who are already struggling in church and who are not sinning. Being LGBT is not a choice No one would choose to be on the receiving end of such vehemence!

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I pray God shows you more love and mercy then what you have shown those you judge.

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Have any of you shouting Amen ever sat with an LGBT person as they agonized over how to tell their “christian” family that they are gay because they knew they would no longer be welcomed at home? Have you sat with an LGBT teen who wants to end their life because they just can’t take the hate they feel from so many who claim they speak for God one more second? Have you talked to parents who can no longer attend their church due to the shunning they feel from people who used to be friends? You haven’t. You feel you have the “truth” and love to shout it at this community with your “love the sinner hate the sin” attitudes. They don’t feel your love. They feel contempt from you. They feel marginalized. And YOU ARE CHASING PEOPLE AWAY FROM GOD. People are leaving the churches in droves because of this kind of thinking and behavior. Shame on you Franklin Graham and your barely veiled hate for this community. You say you love them above but you have singled them out every where you can and “taken a stand” against this “sin”. You don’t model love. You don’t model compassion or grace towards a group of people starving for it. What you do speaks so loudly that what you say we can not hear.

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Mr. Graham, I’m sure you’ve prayed about this and studied the scriptures. However, I propose you extend your life learning to become more knowledgeable in how God created us. I didn’t “choose” to be heterosexual, anymore than LGBTQ’s “choose” to be how they were born. Perhaps you may wish to read “God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines, or “Torn” by Justin Lee. May the peace of Christ be with you.

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If you want to preach about sin don’t call out the LGBT community. ..I am shocked by all the people supporting you in this post. Let me ask you a question …are you married? Loving and being loved is a human need we all have and if you are blessed with the opportunity to love someone who are you to take that right from another human being? God created LGBT the way they are as much as he created you to be heterosexual. No one understands the complexities of it unless someone you love is LGBT. THEN a light comes on in our heart and mind and most of us realize they are just like us and they need love and support and acceptance…yes they sin, we all sin… but their sin is not being LGBT or loving someone! Until you have an LGBT loved one keep your preaching private so you don’t cause more pain then they already endure, and if you already have an LGBT loved one shame on you for calling them out and making them feel less than you!!!

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To all hypocrites who call themselves Christians. There are many people who claim to be Christians and will tell everyone that’s what they are and then they set about to act in in hateful destructive ways, stirring up hate and harm, and secretly revelling in their ugly work. It is not too late to act as Jesus ( the one you claim to follow) instructs. Love. That is what we are called to. There are much greater problems that our world is facing. Stop your obsession with who loves who and work on loving your neighbour instead of judging them and deliberately causing harm.

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I prayed that prayer years ago and asked God to heal my gender identity and intersex condition. Instead He healed my understanding of scripture and of Himself. Messages like this only serve to alienate people from a God who seeks to love them. My heart hurts for all who may read this and rather than take a step closer to God as you intended, take their final step away from Him. My heart also breaks for a church that loves their own comfort and ideas more than the God whom they claim to serve. My prayers are with you, sir. It would take a great deal of humility for a man in your position to acknowledge your error on this issue, but that is a change I have seen God work in the lives of many.

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I know you mean well, but you have obviously never sat across the table and had conversation with one of these “sinners” as you call them. Sin is when I choose to do something like lie, steal, have an affair or murder. For these precious people, their sexuality is no more a “choice” than yours was for you. Do you know that one in 1500 people are born “intersex,” that is having two genders? Life is not quite as simple as you make it out to be. It is not simply “male and female.” Ask any OB/Gyn, geneticist, or parent of a LGBTQ child. Please get back to the work you do well – helping children – and leave our precious children where God has put them, in his arms, loving them unconditionally.”

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Mr. Graham, some of us don’t think it’s the gays who need saving, but the very people who claim to be saved and yet hate their brother. (as demonstrated by many comments posted) I think this blog addresses the core problem with what Christians think salvation is. I hope you will read it, and reconsider your important message.

 

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Franklin Graham-I challenge you to read your fanbase comments to the LGBTQ community. They are full of some of the most nasty, disgusting and sometimes even violent comments. Are you inspiring the love and grace of the Christ you proclaim to follow?”

I am so saddened sometimes over this stuff.

It really makes me not love the fundamental crowd…which includes a large percentage of our family.

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As the parent of a gay son I wonder if you, Franklin Graham, have ever taken the time to talk to a gay man or woman – my son, a precious gift from God- a God who makes no mistakes- is a Christian who prayed for years and years for God to take the “gay” away- is not an abomination nor is he “choosing a lifestyle” – who in the world would “choose” to be singled out in posts like this, ridiculed, bullied, discriminated against and forced to live in fear based on who they were created to be? If this post is to share the love of Christ with “all” why is it addressed to specific people?

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If you are an LGBTQ person reading this post, please know Franklin does not speak for all Christians. I am a “born again” Christian and I do not agree with his stand on this issue. I believe you are wonderfully and beautifully made by the God who loves you just as you are. There are “affirming churches” that will recognize this and truly love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be You can find these churches through the Internet. My prayer for you is to know and love the God who loves you

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Well intended evil. ..words either give life or death. ..and You Mr. Graham have contributed an immense amount of vitriol which has caused bullying. ..suicide. ..discrimination. .you have blood on your hands and you do it in Jesus’s name…….

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All I can say is shame, shame shame on you…..how horrid and awful!

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Wrong. People are born LGBT. It’s not a choice. Therefore not a sin. Time to get educated in regards to what the bible is really saying and not saying. So many LGBT people are ostracized by the church and are told “hate the sin not the sinner” and sent on their way. What a load of dung! Why is it that this “sin” has a spotlight on it, yet divorced people are serving in leadership positions, pastors remarry and still lead etc etc….Jesus says NOTHING about homosexuality because He finished the work of the law. We aren’t under the law, if we were we wouldn’t be eating shell fish or pork or having sexual relations at certain times of the month, and the list goes on and on. All that aside it doesn’t matter anyway because the word homosexuality wasn’t even put into an English speaking bible until about 65 years ago and the original word is questionable to what it really meant. Scholars can’t even say definitively. Please educate yourselves people. Jesus loved the marginalized not the religious people. Use your God given brain and see through the eyes of love. People are hurting and mistreated for something they have no say over….their sexual orientation. I know because I have two gay kids and a straight one. We have loved them and raised them to love God. They haven’t been abused. They have Mom and Dad at home and we are both present. We noticed they were different when they were about 3 years old. I hope you take what I’ve said to heart as this is something the church really needs to start understanding and educating themselves on. Human beings bearing God’s image depend on it. Love one another

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Franklin Graham-I challenge you to read your fanbase comments to the LGBTQ community. They are full of some of the most nasty, disgusting and sometimes even violent comments. Are you inspiring the love and grace of the Christ you proclaim to follow?”

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And here are some blog posts they wrote responding to Franklin Graham’s Facebook post:

About Loving People Enough To Tell Them The Truth

An Open Response To Franklin Graham

Dear Franklin Graham: A Plea

 

There are more than 800 moms of lgbt kids in my Facebook support group. It is a place where moms of lgbt kids find and give a lot of support and share a lot of information. If you are interested in joining the private Facebook group for moms of lgbt kids send an email to lizdyer55@gmail.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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