Rev. Randy Lewis, a former Student Minister at All Souls now residing in North Carolina, responds in an official statement to Rev. Franklin Graham’s recent anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric at his Raleigh stop on his Tar Heel State Tour.
The son of the late Billy Graham spoke out against the LGBT community, stating, “God made sex, created sex, and he wants us to use it and enjoy it,” Graham said. “But it’s to be used and enjoyed in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Not two men. Not two women.”
Rev. Randy Lewis responded to Franklin Graham’s speech with a statement:
“The church history is full of tragic examples of biblical misinterpretations that throughout centuries led to calamities and suffering. And today, some of the violence directed at the LGBTQ+ community stems from the religious rhetoric of those who, like Franklin Graham, may claim that they love us but whose stated intent is largely overshadowed by the devastatingly negative impact their words, actions, and promoted legislation have had in the lives of LGBTQ+ people.
“Rhetoric can be harmful and violent indeed.
I deeply resent Rev. Graham’s bringing into question the sanctity of my 18-year-long committed relationship, of which the last 4 years we’ve enjoyed having the legal marital status as affirmed by the Supreme Court of this Land, and I will vehemently oppose any attempt to dissolve this right.
The value and dignity of all humanity.
“There is a growing number of Christians who recognize that Christ did not seek aligning himself with the powerful and influential of this world but with those who were disenfranchised, persecuted, and mistreated. At the core of Christ’s subversive message was divine love and reconciliation. More and more people wake up to the notion that the true, Christ-like version of Christianity, as well as many other religions and faith traditions, upholds and honors the value and dignity of all humanity demonstrating an unconditional love that transcends all barriers and gives hope to those longing for acceptance. It is in this spirit and with this mandate that I serve my community as a minister and as the board chair.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh stands in solidarity with numerous community organizations and countless allies in the area who unequivocally raise their voices against all forms of bigotry and discrimination – whether it is religious or political.”
Credit to CBS17 for publishing the statement unabridged.
Rev. Randy Lewis is a proud, passionate liberal thinker, social-justice advocate, entrepreneur, creative thinker, and songwriter whose mission in life is to try to be the change that he hopes someday would be in the world. A husband, father and community minister, Randy is currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Center of Raleigh and is the Managing Director of Clergy 211, an organization of inclusive and progressive clergy that provide non-judgmental rite-of passage ceremonies for all people from all walks of life.
All Souls in Tulsa recognizes and honors the dignity and worth of every person. Our UU faith allows us to create safe spaces of diversity, acceptance and inclusion. Our lgbtq+ community gathers together for events throughout the year, including supporting Oklahomans for Equality’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, National Transgender Day of Remembrance service, and organizing All Souls presence at Tulsa Pride. To get involved and for more info, email email@example.com. Ready beyondbelief.online for more stories from our ministers, members, and friends.
All Souls also stands with our local Methodist Church, Boston Avenue.
24-hour LGBTQ+ Prayer Vigil & Worship Service at Boston Avenue Church
Saturday, November 9 | Contact: Melanie Linsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston Avenue Church is hosting a loving alternative in response to the Global Wesleyan Covenant Conference at Asbury UMC on the same day in Tulsa. All Souls members are invited to support the Prayer Vigil by signing up for a one-hour slot and attending the worship service.