FFRF protesting Franklin Graham rally in Madison

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is picketing the Franklin Graham noon rally at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Wednesday, June 15.

Franklin, son of Billy, is visiting all state capitols to “urge Christians to vote” and to “stand up for the things of God and his Word.” Madison is his 28th stop on his nationwide tour with the purpose of fusing religion and politics. Graham Jr. has made outrageously anti-gay and anti-immigrant statements in the past. For instance, he has warned members of the LGBT community “that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you.” After the Orlando nightclub massacre, Graham renewed his call to tighten the borders.

FFRF will be meeting on the public sidewalk on the inside square at 11:50 a.m.
in the Capitol Plaza area (King Street). The purpose is to make sure that the secular voice in opposition to religious fundamentalism gets heard. Protesters will be offered “I’m Secular & I vote” placards, “Fan of Reason” fans and sunglasses. A good number of area members are expected to turn up to swell the ranks and promote state/church separation.

FFRF has taken on the Graham ministry in the past, challenging the annual National Day of Prayer, a law enacted by Congress at Billy Graham’s suggestion in 1952, when he said he wished “to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before the Almighty God in prayer.” FFRF won a historic ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in 2010, who wrote that government could no more proclaim a day of prayer than “encourage citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic.” (The victory was mooted when the appeals court ruled FFRF had no standing to sue.)

FFRF has also taken umbrage at public funding of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization Franklin Graham heads.

Among protesters of diverse backgrounds are expected to be some state legislators, including Rep. Chris Taylor.

“Contrary to Franklin Graham’s hysterical claims, the LGBT community is not a threat to the United States—but his campaign to legislate religion-fostered discrimination is,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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