Saunders: Franklin Graham’s unlikely man crush – Vladimir Putin

bsaunders@newsobserver.comMarch 19, 2014 

APTOPIX Russia Crimea

Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federation Council in Moscow's Kremlin on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s move to annex Crimea, saying that the rights of ethnic Russians have been abused by the Ukrainian government. He pointed at the example of Kosovo’s independence bid supported by the West, and said that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine repeated Ukraine’s own secession from the Soviet Union in 1991. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


Until Syracuse and its hypocritical basketball coach Jim (rhymes with “pay time”) Boeheim joined the ACC, I used to think the only way I’d root for Duke was if Satan fielded a starting five.

It appears, sadly, that the only way Franklin Graham would root for President Barack Obama is if Satan started his own country. And I’m not giving odds even then.

Graham, the so-called Christian evangelist who exports contempt for Obama along with humanitarian aid, has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s persecutory position on homosexuals.

In “Decisions,” the house magazine for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Graham left no doubt about which world leader he sides with.

After praising Putin – according to Graham, the dude throws a helluva Winter Olympics and he met with church leaders in Moscow while running for office in 2012 – Graham wrote, “I am not endorsing President Putin. To survive in the KGB and rise to power in Russia, you have to be tough. His enemies say he is ruthless.”

When it comes to the important stuff, though – protecting children against a “gay agenda” allegedly protected by Obama – Putin is aces with Graham.

“In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” he 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. Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards. … This is shameful. The world used to look to America for moral leadership. But those days are long gone.”

Uh, when did they leave, Franklin? And do you have an approximate time for when they will return?

We get it. Graham doesn’t like the president.

He’s not too fond of the pope, either, criticizing him for apparently softening the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality. “Who am I to judge?” Pope Francis asked, a response consistent with the Bible verse admonishing us to “judge not” – and not too different from a response Franklin’s own daddy once gave about communism.

After decades of denouncing “godless communism,” Papa Graham was subsequently quoted in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine as saying, “For years I have not spoken about that (communism). … I cannot go round the world and say who is right and who is not.”

But Franklin can.

Fellas, how many of you have ever had a man crush?

Oh, so I’m the only one, huh? I admit it. In high school, I once went up against a player from another school who was better looking and better playing than I. He had legs that looked as though someone had shoved huge cantaloupes into his calves.

With apologies to Michael Jackson and that rat, Ben, he sang about so beautifully, here is Franklin Graham’s ode to what appears to be his man crush, “Vlad.” Maestro, hit it:

Vlad, the two of us need look no more

We’ve both found what we were looking for.

A friend to keep the gays in fear

and not let them come near

Our kids when they go out to play, out to play …

Vlad, most people would turn you away.

I don’t listen to a word they say.

If you ever want to fight

to deny them every right

I’m sure, my Vlad, you’ll see,

you’ve got a friend in me.

I used to think it was just me.

I’m glad to say now it’s “we” …

They say that you’re a fink

’cause you hate the color pink,

but they’d know it ain’t so bad

if they had a friend like Vlad.

Saunders: 919-836-2811 or

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