MCC leaders lift up the family, friends, and congregations of Rev. Billy Graham in prayer, as it was announced that at 99 years old, Rev. Graham died after a long life dedicated to ministry. It is impossible to diminish Rev. Graham’s impact in the Christian community throughout the world. The work he and his organization did to connect people to their local churches, once they had given themselves to Christ at his rallies, gave churches tools for growth over his decades of work.
That growth came at a cost to the lives of LGBTQ people who suffered great discrimination under his teachings. Rev. Graham was known as the pastor to past presidents of the United States and a queen, but he never accepted that God created some people to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Even today, the Graham Organization adheres to the teaching that being homosexual is a sin, and continues to harm children, families and adults who want to be faithful to both God and themselves.
Many people in MCC have attended Rev. Billy Graham revivals over his 60 years of work and found them deeply moving and spiritual. Yet, it cannot be minimized that too many MCC members have had to wade through the fundamentalist, biblical, literalism promoted by Rev. Graham and his group that relegated LGBTQ people to being unrepentant sinners.
Many LGBTQ persons of faith in MCC can tell stories of spiritual abuse by people who claim the love of Jesus as their reason for being. Today, while we empathize with those who mourn, we encourage all MCC members and all people of faith to continue to live their highest value of love for God and love of neighbor. We urge the Graham Organization to revisit Rev. Graham’s stance on LGBTQ people and realize that God’s vast diversity of humanity includes differences that are to be celebrated and not condemned.