Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Barack Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.When you're praising Vladimir Putin's dedication to human rights, you're doing it wrong. You don't really have to put a lot of thought into figuring out that maybe a nation that responds to pro-equality demonstrations by whipping people is probably not your best go-to example of a nation doing it right. Unless, of course, you're into whipping people—Graham is a self-professed Man of God so that possibility can't be discounted.
“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham wrote. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.An agenda which includes not being beaten in the streets and/or being made the bogeyman of one Franklin Graham, neither of which are things that Franklin Graham is willing to budge on.
This really is a curious obsession. Putin gets praise from the American right on a now-regular basis, and over multiple topics, all revolving in some fashion around Putin being the sort of Tough Father Figure that makes all of conservatism go weak at the knees. They love him as a leader, and as a potential enemy, at the same time. As an example of how the American president should behave, and as new possible foil for a new possible Cold War. With the gleam in their eyes talking about the various doings of Vladimir Putin, they act like Cinderellas all waiting for their invitations to his royal ball.
Haven't any conservative leaders piped up with the thought that maybe the movement should be avoiding public admiration of America's Greatest Enemy Of The Moment? One minute he's the next Hitler, the next he's the world's preeminent family values guy. Even if you admire the authoritarian strongman figure for cracking down on people demanding their human rights, this is not something a supposedly non-radical movement is supposed to say out loud.