Franklin Graham in York: Tax movies, games that glorify guns

dworthington@heraldonline.comApril 25, 2013 

The Rev. Franklin Graham says America should tax movies and games that glorify gun violence during an appearance at Camp Bethelwoods in York on Wednesday.

DON WORTHINGTON — dworthington@heraldonline.com

— America should tax movies and games that glorify guns as one way to fight gun violence, says the Rev. Franklin Graham.

“How much violence as a nation are we willing to accept?” Graham asked Wednesday in York. “We tax cigarettes, we can tax violence.”

Graham was at Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center in York for Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief training. The six-day session is to help relief workers improve their response skills.

The training is as realistic as possible, Graham said, with people screaming and hollering. “We bring as much distraction as you can get. You literally have guts in your hands,” Graham said. The goal is to have people “hit the ground running,” when they respond to a disaster, he said.

Graham shared his thoughts on gun violence and terrorism during a break from drills Wednesday. He said increasing the number of gun laws is not an answer; the problem is enforcement.

Foremost, he said, it is an issue of the human heart. He said people have turned their back on God, and “only God can change your heart. We need to bring God’s laws back into society.”

The disaster relief training follows last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon and the explosion of a fertilizer factory that leveled portions of West, Texas.

Crews from Samaritan’s Purse responded to the Texas disaster. When teams from his religious organization respond they don’t make faith a condition of help, he said. “When people are in need, you help everyone unconditionally.”

Graham said that when he heard of the Boston bombing, he wondered “if it was an al-Qaida attack.”

“The president,” he said “is playing down the terrorism threat. It is as strong today as it was after 9/11.”

To combat terrorism, Graham urged people to remain vigilant. “Al-Qaida is still over there. Osama bin Laden is just one in a line of guys and all are willing to die,’ he said.

Graham also said Americans need to learn more about the religions of the world.

“When I heard about Boston, I didn’t get mad, angry or frustrated. But I was frustrated in the country as a whole. The nation needs to take a good look at other religions.”

He said people need to understand the fundamental differences in religions and difference within religions. Christianity teaches people to forgive, “turn the other cheek”; other religions don’t, he said.

Many Muslims are peaceful, he said. Radicals call for a holy war against Christians and other infidels.

Graham praised the military for the job it is doing fighting terrorism. He said the military budget should not be cut. Waste should be eliminated in the government’s social programs which could save billions, he said.

“One day we will all stand before God,” he said. “I want to prepare people how to be ready to stand before God.”

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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