Chely Wright: Billy Graham’s LGBTQ Stance Was ‘Devastating to Millions’
Chely Wright turned to social media to share some very complex emotions after hearing the news of Billy Graham's death on Wednesday (Feb. 21), based on his stance against homosexuality.
The world-renowned evangelist died at the age of 99 after several years of various health struggles, and while country singers including Charlie Daniels, Sara Evans and Reba McEntire shared praise for his life and legacy, Wright turned to Twitter to address his public stance that homosexuality was a sinful perversion.
"I can appreciate that #BillyGraham made a huge impact on faith communities around the world while at the same time, recognizing that his message about LGBTQ people was devastating to millions of people; me included," she writes. "I'd like to think God has already corrected him for his errors."
Billy Graham's Country Music Influence Is Heavy
Though he served as a spiritual advisor to a number of U.S. presidents, Graham tended to avoid addressing political issues head-on during his six decades as one of the most prominent religious leaders in the world. But he met with Mitt Romney during Romney's campaign for president in 2012, and issued a statement saying, "I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms.”
His position on homosexuality was no secret long before that. Replying to a letter from a young gay woman in 1974 in a magazine piece titled 'Homosexual Perversion: A Sin That's Never Right,' Graham told her, “Let me say this loud and clear! We traffic in homosexuality at the peril of our spiritual welfare. Your affection for another of your own sex is misdirected, and will be judged by God’s holy standards."
Graham's website disputes the notion that there might be a scientific genetic predisposition toward homosexuality, saying, "Even those who argue this believe that certain environmental factors would also have to be present for the tendency to develop. In any case, other scientists have challenged these studies, and there is presently no generally accepted scientific evidence that the homosexual inclination is inborn. Also, in a broken world, the discovery of a genetic link would not prove that such a condition was God’s intent ... It must be emphasized that even if a biological predisposition to homosexuality in some people exists, it would not change God’s opposition to the behavior. Neither would it change the fact that through the transforming power of Jesus Christ freedom from sinful behavior is always available."
Wright became the first openly gay country star when she came out in May of 2010, and she's since become a very vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights and a broad range of other progressive values.
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