Volunteers are asked to “support” Graham’s anti-LGBTQ beliefs, while a New York state senator warns the organization not to discriminate.
North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBTQ activist, Franklin Graham, a religious extremist who is closely tied to President Donald Trump, is behind the emergency COVID-19 field hospital in New York City’s Central Park. Graham founded and runs the evangelical ministry Samaritan’s Purse, whose mission is neither healthcare nor disaster relief, but “to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
It’s unclear how a far right wing anti-LGBTQ Christian evangelical organization was allowed to build a 68-bed field unit that will be managed by a top New York City hospital, Mount Sinai, which has Jewish roots and whose president is openly gay – both of which violate Graham’s mission.
The New York Times once described Samaritan’s Purse as an “American evangelical relief group that is using private donations and United States government money to help victims of two earthquakes,” and reported it “has blurred the line between church and state as its volunteers preach, pray and seek converts among people desperate for help.”
Graham wants only Christian medical staff, including doctors, to work in his field hospital.
If you are a Christian doctor, nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional interested in serving COVID-19 patients in our @SamaritansPurse Emergency Field Hospital in NYC, please visit https://t.co/EEw1jNtrrk. pic.twitter.com/5i7EeKxLDi— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 29, 2020
According to Samaritan’s Purse, volunteers are asked to support Graham’s extreme anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
“The primary mission of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we seek volunteers who have the same mindset. We ask that volunteers review our Statement of Faith and agree to support the ministry guidelines of Samaritan’s Purse.”
His Statement of Faith includes this belief:
“We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman on Monday warned Graham to not discriminate.
You know those medical tents being constructed in Central Park?— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) March 30, 2020
They’re being set up by notorious anti-gay bigot Franklin Graham.
Mr. Graham must promise to treat EVERY patient with dignity and respect. pic.twitter.com/9ynZ4jHvrU
Graham has also sent his “mobile ministry center” to NYC.
Written by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement. Image via NCRM