The makeshift coronavirus hospital in Central Park requires workers to oppose LGBTQ rights

Samaritan's Purse is the Evangelical humanitarian aid organization behind the emergency pop-up coronavirus hospital that's set up shop in Central Park to help with overflow from other health facilities, specifically New York's Mount Sinai. In addition to the 14 tent, 68-bed field hospital in New York, the group also dispatched 60 disaster response specialists with 20 tons of medical equipment to help address the disaster response in Cremona, Italy.

On the surface level, this is largely good; hospitals are crowded and medical workers are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it gets complicated when you factor in the group's founder: Franklin Graham, son of the infamous Evangelical fire-and-brimstone preacher Billy Graham. And lest you were hoping that the Graham apple had fallen far from the tree, Franklin is in fact a bit of an Endtimes Obsessive, who of course has a history of saying terrible things about Islam (particularly as it relates to Barack Obama) as well as Hinduism. Unsurprisingly, he's a hardcore Trumper, too, as well as an advocate for the s0-called gay conversion therapy that is unquestionably a form a psychological abuse. He's even praised Putin's anti-LGBTQ authoritarianism. In Franklin Graham's own words from 2014:

It’s obvious that President Obama and his administration are pushing the gay-lesbian agenda in America today and have sold themselves completely to that which is contrary to God’s teaching.

[…]

Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own?

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Someone blew the whistle on Hookers for Jesus

The Department of Justice gives out grants to groups to help fight human trafficking. That's good!

But this year, the DOJ decided to ignore the expected recipients, who both received high marks from grant application reviewers, and gave around $500,000 each to the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, a new organization founded by the daughter of a prominent Trump-supporting South Carolina Republican, and the Nevada-based Hookers for Jesus.

Here's what Reuters, who broke the story, had to say about Hookers for Jesus:

Hookers for Jesus, which received $530,190 over three years, is run by a born-again Christian trafficking survivor who has lobbied against decriminalizing prostitution, a policy position aligning with many in the Republican Party.

Hookers for Jesus operates a safe house for female adult trafficking victims that, in 2010 and in 2018, maintained a policy of requiring guests to participate in religious activities, internal program manuals obtained by Reuters through public records requests show.

The safe house’s manuals had rules that included a ban on reading “secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips.” Other rules limited everything from who victims could call to banning them from bringing their purses with them on weekly shopping trips. Rule-breakers could be penalized by being assigned chores such as washing windows.

There are major issues here. First, that the policies around this particular grant forbid the government from funding any activity that is explicitly religious — that whole separation-of-church-and-state thing. Second, that the organizations that have received the grant in the past, and expected to receive it once again, were both involved in activities that were decidedly opposed to the Trump agenda. Read the rest