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Franklin Graham Blames Gay Sex for Rise in STIs

franklin graham sti

Celebrity evangelist Franklin Graham’s latest stunt is scaring people about a rise in sexually transmitted infections, a problem he himself may have contributed to.

In a Facebook post that went live Tuesday, Graham pointed to a topic he claimed “probably won’t be mentioned in the upcoming Democratic debate.” “An incredible 2.4 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed across the U.S. just last year alone,” he wrote.

Graham’s claims were sourced from recent findings by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but the report may, in part, actually be a good thing. That increase in reported incidents may reflect an increase in testing and access to sexual health services, with more people getting diagnoses that would previously have gone unreported and untreated.

But Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, laid the blame for what he saw as a face-value increase in STIs on the entertainment industry.

“Hollywood is busy promoting promiscuity to the world — almost every movie, every television show is focused on sex,” he said. “God made us male and female and gave sex for us to enjoy inside a marriage relationship between a man and a woman — not two men, not two women.”

The link between the entertainment industry and sexually transmitted infections is pretty tenuous, to say the least. There’s nothing in the CDC’s recent report to link STIs and the films and television shows Americans consume. In fact, the report doesn’t actually cite any cause for a recent rise in sexually transmitted infections at all. 

Experts suspect its related to improved screening, however, and also decreases in funding for health programs that include education.

Graham’s left-turn toward pinning it all on the gays is also disconnected from reality. Heterosexuals are able to transmit STIs, and those infections can be passed along whether or the individual happens to be married, contrary to Graham’s claims. Monogamy can help prevent the spread of infections, but a marriage license can’t.

One thing Graham may want to consider for rising rates of reported STIs is so-called “abstinence education,” which is based on the premise that the best means of sexual education is advising young people to refrain from it altogether. Evidence shows that abstinence programs are ineffective at curtailing sexual activity and also deprive people of information that they can use to make choices about their sexual health.

Graham has previously called for an end to sexual education, and anyone looking to him for scientific understanding of the world around them might want to reconsider. In 2011, he claimed an earthquake in Japan might signal the end of the world.

In his Facebook post, Graham called for people to confess to sexual activity.

“As you read this, maybe you are one of these statistics and have a sexually transmitted disease,” he wrote. “You can be forgiven! He can cleanse your heart, and in His eyes, it will be as though you’ve never sinned.”

While Graham is fixated on sex, other illnesses are on the rise as well. According to the CDC, disease cases from mosquito, tick, and flea bites tripled in the U.S. from 2004 to 2016

There’s been no word from Graham on whether Hollywood is responsible for that.


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Tags: Health, Religion

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