An emergency field hospital serving those in desperate need of medical help, during global pandemics no less, are probably prepared for just about anything. But Samaritan’s Purse, set up in Central Park as a 68 bed overflow COVID-19 unit, was probably unprepared for "Reverend Billy" in a pink suit barging into a restricted zone to plant a rainbow flag.
“Today I tried to deliver a rainbow flag to the Samaritans Purse field hospital in Central Park. Franklin Graham and his Lords Army are here with their homophobic racist hustle. Help not hate," he wrote.
Reverend Billy was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Shouting “They are the virus” and “They have no business being in New York City,” the creatively described, “guerrilla theater activist” proudly pinned his arrest video on his verified twitter page.
After A. Timothy Lunceford-Stevens, a legacy Act-Up activist since 1987, stated he would volunteer for the organization but refused to sign the charity’s Statement of Faith, he filed a complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission. The Statement of Faith includes the apparently overwhelmingly outrageous statement, “[W]e believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.” Lunceford-Stevens feels this is a violation of human rights standards.
The document also lists a series of common Christian beliefs, but is merely providing official recognition of the organization’s core values. Refusing to sign it is similar to refusing to sign a company’s anti-discrimination or dedication to diversity letter upon employment. One does not need to believe in the values themselves, but it ensures there are no misunderstandings between employee/volunteer and the organization in terms of the work environment. This is what is so desperately unacceptable to LGBT activists as to warrant public protests.
Teri Wilder, a social worker and LGBT activist in New York City shouted at Mount Sinai at the protest, “So, are LGBTQ people only valued and provided a safe space to receive medical care when there isn’t a global pandemic like COVID-19 happening?” She demanded.
“Will you turn against the LGBTQ community the next time something like this happens? I’m angry and you should be ashamed of yourself.” Afterwards she and other demonstrators held signs and chanted “Help not hate.”
But what Wilder and other activists failed to recognize is the only hatred, bigotry, hostility and aggression was coming from her and her peers.
Despite absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any discrimination or disrespect towards LGBT volunteers, staff, hospital workers, city workers patients or their families, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman demanded, “With Graham’s record of hateful comments, requiring his organization to treat LGBTQ people with dignity and respect isn’t harassment—it’s the law.”
Graham had already addressed the concern telling Religious News Service, “We provide our services to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation.” He continued “We don’t discriminate. Period.”
The leftwing activist group Rise and Resist, who protested the organization with rainbow signs reading “Stop The Hate” tweeted, “Hate has no home in NYC. Members of Rise and Resist protested outside of the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in Central Park today. They’ve turned away volunteers who won’t sign their discriminatory pledge.” The Queer Liberation March, also known as Reclaim Pride Coalition, with “No Cops, No Corps” in their twitter bio, tweeted out "Samaritan's Purse uses charity as a cudgel for proselytizing, for coercing those who work with them, asking them to sign a statement of faith that denigrates other religions and targets LGBTQ+ communities for hatred."
Providing a look into the real motivation behind the nonsense, LGBT activist, going under the verified twitter name Chrissy in the Dumbest Dystopia, declared on Twitter, “Professional bigot Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse *may* treat all patients equally in its NYC field hospital (I have my doubts), but it is clearly exploiting the pandemic to advance a culture wars agenda.” Using the hashtag “EmptyThePews,” making the anti-Christian bigotry painfully clear.
Despite there being no apparent evidence of the veracity of any of the claims made by these activists, the hysteria appears to be growing. The LGBT media describes Franklin Graham as having a "long history of anti-LGBT hatred." They take offence at his statements and positions, but seem genuinely annoyed that Graham is not, in fact, harming any real LGBT people.
The charity has functioned exactly as advertised, being an emergency overflow field hospital helping patients with COVID-19 and their families. The only hatred, intolerance and bigotry is coming from what can only be described as obscenely absurd LGBT activists who seem determined to be offended regardless of the good work the charity does in New York City.