A British transportation company has removed advertisements promoting Franklin Graham’s upcoming “Festival of Hope” after LGBT activists complained.
Graham is promoting the Lancashire Festival of Hope scheduled to be held in September. The banners that had caused angst among the LGBT community were posted on double-decker buses in Blackpool.
“The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback which we aim to do at all times,” said Jane Cole, the managing director of Blackpool Transport.
“Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset,” she added.
“Time for Hope,” read the message deemed controversial by the tolerance and diversity crowd.
“I’m sorry that some see hope as offensive, but I can assure you that tens of thousands of people in Blackpool and across the United Kingdom are searching for hope,” Graham said in a Facebook post. “Sex, drugs, money, even religion—none of these are the answer. I’m coming to share with everyone in Blackpool, Lancashire, and across North West England that there is One who can give you hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity. His name is Jesus Christ!”
Blackpool Pride has already canceled a two-day festival at the Winter Gardens to protest Graham’s appearance.
The Blackpool Gazette reports that two lawmakers urged the British government to ban Graham from the country.
The newspaper also reported that “a number of people had taken to social media to claim that Franklin Graham would be preaching hate and homophobia at the event.”
British Christians are alarmed at the outright hostility directed at Graham and the festival. They say it’s a flat-out case of “bias against Christians.”
Nearly 200 local churches and more than 1,300 church members are involved in the planning of the festival – the largest ecumenical Christian event in a generation.
And I suspect that’s why there’s so much outrage.
“It is a travesty that a company we had formally contracted to provide an advertising service should withdraw this inoffensive Festival invitation, in response to small minority of people who objected via social media,” the local organizers wrote on the festival’s website.