The son of Rev. Billy Graham, Rev. Franklin Graham, declared on National Public Radio this weekend that pedophiles deserve the death penalty. He also declared that we are a nation of laws.
Not only is Rev. Graham’s first statement outrageous, it is undermined and contradicted by his second statement. Why? Because the laws in many states do not include the death penalty. Furthermore, most of the 31 states that do have a death penalty law do not apply that law to an individual who is convicted solely of a sex offense.
It is noteworthy that Rev. Graham made this outrageous statement during an interview that was not on the topic of either pedophiles or the death penalty. Instead, the topic of the interview was advertised as an evangelist’s view of President Donald Trump.
It is also noteworthy that Rev. Graham’s views on pedophiles appear to be based upon a common mistake. That is, he appears to believe that the term pedophile is synonymous with the terms sex offender, child molester, sexual predator, etc.
It is a mistake made by many people who should or actually do know better including at least one Superior Court judge in Long Beach, California. That judge, in fact, declared in a public court hearing that all of the terms were synonyms. He then added that if he asked 10 people on the street, 9 people would have agreed with him. He also said that all such individuals are monsters, they always do it again and there is no cure.
An important question for society is why educated individuals, including but not limited to, ministers and judges feel comfortable making such outrageous statements in very public places. The answer may be that those who know the truth — that pedophilia is a medical diagnosis and not a crime — are afraid to speak out.
Another important question is why educated individuals would advocate the death penalty for someone diagnosed with a medical condition. Do they advocate that individuals diagnosed with other medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes also deserve the death penalty? Of course not! Instead, they advocate for adequate medical care and attention. It’s time to speak out on this important topic.
It’s time to speak truth to power. You can do so by writing toRev. Franklin Graham at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 or calling him at (704) 401-2432.
His comment is at 10:00 in the downloaded recording