An American pastor has claimed that Oscar-winning film, Moonlight is an attempt to convince young people to make “homosexual lifestyle choices”.
The comments come from Franklin Graham, one of the pastors invited to preach to millions during Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Graham lamented the victory of the gay-themed drama, Moonlight, which took the Best Picture gong at the Academy Awards last week.
He claimed: “Many who had never heard of the film Moonlight, which received best picture, have heard of it now. From the reviews I have read, Moonlight portrays a young gay African American coming of age and it stereotypes him as violent, a drug dealer, and a convict.
“Hollywood is notorious for glorifying sin. This is just another example of the LGBT’s agenda to make lifestyle choices that God defines as sin seem more and more culturally acceptable. I warn families and the church–don’t allow your young people to be sucked into Hollywood’s dark plan.
“We love all people, but we have to be honest about sin’s consequences. Sin is sin—it doesn’t matter if it gets an Oscar or not.”
Given Graham apparently hasn’t watched the film he is attacking, it’s no surprise he completely mangles both the plot and his own argument.
For one thing, the main character Chiron does not make “homosexual lifestyle choices”. He gets an awkward hand-job on the beach as a teenager and then abstains from sex for the rest of the film.
The film also does not glorify drugs, but instead portrays the shocking harm they do to the local community. And as for convincing “young people” to be “sucked into” the dark plan, it’s rated R in the US… so we’re not sure what kids it is helping to convince.
But what’s a little honesty worth in this post-truth world?
Graham is the President of international charity Samaritan’s Purse. He is listed as a trustee of Samaritan’s Purse UK, which runs the annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal. Last year, Graham declared gay people are ‘the enemy’, attacking churches that have become LGBT-inclusive.
He accused LGBT activists of “trying to cram down America’s throat the lie that homosexuality is okay”, alleging that anti-discrimination laws will mean that “your children, and your grandchildren will be at risk to sexual predators and perverts”.
In a 2015 interview with a Russian newspaper, Graham praised Vladimir Putin’s support for anti-gay laws – and claimed that homosexuals “take people’s children”. Parroting disturbing rhetoric often used by anti-LGBT vigilantes in Russia, he said: “Homosexuals cannot have children, they can take other people’s children.”
He added: “I very much appreciate that President Putin is protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda. If only to give them the opportunity to grow up and make a decision for themselves.”
He was selected for Trump’s inauguration despite his slew of extremist comments.