Westboro Baptist Church protests Billy Graham, library

KLTV News-7, Texas/June 12, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina -- A controversial church group that is known for its extreme stance against homosexuality, often picketing funerals - especially military funerals - is taking on one of the biggest named evangelists.

Westboro Baptist Church spent a portion of Monday afternoon protesting Billy Graham and his Charlotte-based library.

According to the website for the Westboro Baptist Church, the independent Baptist church based in Kansas, is picketing what it calls the "lying whore false prophet Billy Graham."

The group says Graham should use his platform to tell the world "that it's not okay to be a fag, it's not okay to divorce and remarry, it's not okay to fornicate, it's not okay to kill your babies." Instead, the group says he used his "substantial resources and influence to not only be silent on issues of importance, but to actually put forth the notion that hell isn't real."

Last month, Graham publicly urged North Carolina voters to support a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage.

"Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern," Rev. Graham said in an email to WBTV. "I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected."

The 93-year-old Graham said the Bible is clear in that God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

"The central message of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association today is the same message Mr. Graham has faithfully preached for more than 70 years," a statement from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to WBTV read on Monday evening. "It's a message of God's love for all people and the hope that only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ."

The WBC picketers say the Billy Graham Library is nothing more than a den of thieves, calling it ridiculous.

"It's not about preaching the gospel of Christ. It's about how much money you can connive the gullible people who come through there into spending," the group asks. "How much will they spend at the snack bar? How many children can you lead to Satan through Bessie the talking cow? How many books can you sell? For shame!"

The group even stated that Graham will end up in Hell, saying he would join his wife, Ruth, there. Ruth Graham died on June 14, 2007.

"While they have the right to express themselves," the statement from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association continued. "We don't share their opinions or condone their methods."

Westboro Baptist Church plans to continue its protest of Graham on Tuesday morning at "The Cove" in Asheville, NC where the BGEA holds it's Rapid Response Chaplain Training and at Graham's home in Montreat, NC.

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