The son of evangelist Billy Graham -- a religious leader in his own right -- told Fox News the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision could result in punishment by God and that Christians will be persecuted for their opposition.
"I believe God could bring judgment upon America," said Franklin Graham in the exclusive interview with Fox host Todd Starnes. Graham declared Friday he was sad for our country.
"I do believe that God's judgment will come on this nation. When we read the scripture, we see how God judged Israel, time and time again, when they would turn their back on Him, and they would begin to worship other gods, foreign gods, God would bring his judgment on Israel. And I believe God could bring judgment on America."
"I will never recognize it in my heart because God gave marriage between a man and a woman and that's what marriage is," said Graham, vowing he would not be forced to marry a gay couple, which the ruling said he wouldn't. "And I don't think the court - since it never defined marriage - doesn't have the right to redefine it. God gave us marriage. Period. And God doesn't change his mind."
Graham's boast, unfortunately, stands in contrast to what the scriptures actually say. The Old Testament Book of Exodus, or what Jews refer to as The Torah, includes the line:
"So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people." Exodus 32:14
It refers to the decision by the God of Israel to not destroy them for turning to idolatry while waiting for Moses to descend from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. Moses implores God, "Turn from Thy burning anger and change Thy mind about doing harm to Thy people," and the scriptures say God relents, or repents, or changes His mind, depending on the translation.
Graham told Starnes that in the aftermath of what he called the "ruling on homosexual marriage," those who support so-called "traditional marriage" would become targets of hate.
"You better be ready and you better be prepared because it's coming," Graham told Starnes just moments after the court handed down its ruling. "There will be persecution of Christians for our stand."
Ultimately, Graham said the decision by the Supreme Court was one that legalized a transgression against God.
"I'm disappointed because the government is recognizing sin," he said. "This court is endorsing sin. That's what homosexuality is - a sin against god."
In reporting on Graham's stance, Starnes wrote in his online blog for Fox Nation:
"And if you think the cultural purging of the Southern States has been breathtaking, wait until you see what LGBT activists are about to unleash on American Christians.
"Churches and faith-based business should prepare for lawsuits and government investigations. Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriages and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges. All dissent will be silenced by the government and the activists.
"But I believe that an overwhelming number of Christians will defy the law... Given the choice of obeying God or the government, I believe Christians will obey God - even if there is hell to pay."