Samaritan’s Purse, the evangelical organization headed by Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, has set up a make-shift hospital in Central Park to cope with the coronavirus emergency.
It sounds like quite an operation:
Samaritan’s Purse — which is led by Franklin Graham, son of the late televangelist Billy Graham — trucked in four trailers of gear, including tents, beds, personal protective equipment and 10 ventilators for the most seriously ill.
A team of 70 health care workers from around the US will be led by Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, who’s previously treated Ebola patients in West Africa, Syrian refugees in Iraq and earthquake victims in Ecuador.
Samaritan’s Purse provides disaster relief all over the world in a moment’s notice. They rush help to people experiencing poverty, famine, and disease. It seems natural that they would want to help out in this crisis.
So, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is giving the charity a hearty welcome to his infection-ravaged city, right. Well, not quite.
De Blasio says he is “troubled” by the presence of the charity and will “monitor” Samaritan’s Purse for discrimination. The New York Post reports:
Hizzoner acknowledged that he found it “very troubling” when he first learned that Samaritan’s Purse — a charity run by Franklin Graham, who has raged about “the sins of homosexuality” — wanted to open a pop-up hospital in the park to help handle the city’s deluge of coronavirus patients.
“I said immediately to my team that we had to find out exactly what was happening,” de Blasio said. “Was there going to be an approach that was truly consistent with the values and the laws in New York City, that everyone would be served and served equally?
“We’ve received those assurances from the organization,” the mayor said.
“I spoke earlier today with the CEO of the Mount Sinai system, Dr. Ken Davis, who was adamant that they will only continue their relationship with the organization if those rules are followed, that they have a written agreement, that there’s going to be no discrimination whatsoever.”
I love that “adamant that they will only continue their relationship if [anti-discrimination] rules are followed.”
How unfair and condescending.
The nub of de Blasio’s problem with Samaritan’s Purse is of course the LGBT community. And we agree that any discrimination against the LGBT community by a hospital would be utterly beyond the pale.
It is true that many Christian organizations regard homosexual activity as immoral. However, it is a mistake to assume that these same organizations would not be only too eager to serve members of these communities.
Probably many LBGT people know this and realize on some level that the doctors at Samaritan’s Purse want to offer them help. But we are no longer a society that tolerates differences. If people have different beliefs from ours, well, then they must be monitored.
The folks at Samaritan Purse aren’t dummies—they’ve worked all over the world. If they harbored dark plans to discriminate against sick New Yorkers of any sexual orientation, they would never have set up in Central Park.
Monitoring Christians is possibly not the best use of New York officials’ time as this crisis deepens in New York.
Hat tip: PJ Media