When Christian evangelist Franklin Graham and hate-group leader Tony Perkins are calling you a sinner, it’s probably because you made the mistake of being kind. That’s what happened with singer Amy Grant, who received harsh condemnation from the bigots for an act of Jesus-like generosity.
Grant was recently awarded the Kennedy Center Honors, an award give for “lifetime artistic achievements,” making her the first contemporary Christian singer to receive it. It’s a huge deal and a chance to reminisce over what she’s achieved in her decades-long career. There are multiple Grammys, three multi-platinum albums, six No. 1 hits, and more than two dozen Dove Awards (a.k.a. Christian Grammys).
But what the haters noticed in a Washington Post profile of Grant was one section involving her niece:
In recent years, she has voiced support for the LGBTQ community, where she has had a large fan base for decades. Now, she talks about her and [husband Vince] Gill’s plans to host her niece’s wedding at their farm, which is her family’s “first bride and bride” nuptials. Grant recalls her reaction when she learned her niece had come out: What a gift to our whole family to just widen the experience of our whole family.
“Honestly, from a faith perspective, I do always say, ‘Jesus, you just narrowed it down to two things: love God and love each other,’ ” Grant said. “I mean, hey — that’s pretty simple.”
She’s hosting a same-sex wedding ceremony… and that’s it. That’s what set the bigots off. Notice that Grant doesn’t even say if she personally supports marriage equality or LGBTQ rights in general; she’s just doing her niece a favor because it’s a way to express love.
But Graham was furious:
… God defines what is sin, not us; and His Word is clear that homosexuality is sin… For me, loving others also means caring about their souls and where they will spend eternity. It means loving people enough to tell them the truth from the Word of God. The authority of God’s Word is something we can never compromise on.
Graham’s idea of love is telling LGBTQ people they deserve to be tortured forever because he’s only ever read one book.
Perkins implied Amy Grant doesn’t understand love:
Neither of them spent any time condemning Grant for getting divorced decades ago. They shouldn’t—it’s none of their business—but it’s obvious that they’re picking and choosing which “sins” to condemn. They don’t give a damn about actual cruelty committed by people who share their political ideology.
The irony is that the haters should be celebrating Grant. By becoming a best-selling Christian singer who crossed over into the mainstream without ever shying away from her religious roots, Grant arguably introduced more people to Christian music—and Christianity—than most other artists in her position ever could.
Graham and Perkins could have congratulated her for doing what they constantly fail to do: make their faith appealing. Instead, they trashed Amy Grant for trying to be too much like Jesus.