So much for turning the other cheek.
So far, we’re talking about lawsuits against:
- FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield (a case that involves the city council and the Sheffield City Trust)
- ICC Wales (a case that involves the local government).
- Scottish Event Campus (which owns the Glasgow Hydro, in a case that also involves the Glasgow City Council)
Legal arguments aside, that statement is quite ironic, considering it’s “religious freedom” that arguably allowed those venues to cancel Graham in the first place.
“The actions taken by these venues and those responsible for them to publicly repudiate these contracts are clear efforts to distance the decision-makers from [Billy Graham Evangelistic Association], Franklin Graham and other Christians who hold similar beliefs,” he continued. “There is no question that this was done under pressure from those with opposing views who have demonstrated a relatively predictable pattern of harassment and bullying of those doing business with BGEA.”
We say it a lot on this site, and it bears repeating once again: Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Graham is free to keep spewing his anti-gay rhetoric at any venue that will have him — and there are still plenty out there that will gladly host him. He doesn’t have an inherent right to speak at any place he wants if that venue deems his views offensive, or at least bad for business.
These lawsuits show an extreme, almost childish, sense of entitlement — quite the opposite of the pious martyr persona he strives to create.
It’s also a weak reaction from Graham, who could have easily marketed the tour as “Christian Preaching They Don’t Want You to Hear” or something of that nature. A smarter salesman could’ve used the rejection to his advantage. But Graham would much rather play victim than spread the Gospel.