Paul Maynard, Gordon Marsden & Franklin Graham

What do Paul Maynard and Gordon Marsden have in common? That’s right, they’re both MPs for the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool. The former is a Conservative, the latter a socialist. Despite one being in government as Minister for Railways and the other a member of the Fabian Society and in opposition, they share one more piece of common ground: they both oppose a planned evangelistic outreach in Blackpool in September. The late Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, is expected to preach at the Winter Gardens in September 2018. 

According to Pink News, ‘Maynard… has been among those calling on Amber Rudd [the Home Secretary] to stop Graham’s entrance into the country…Gordon Marsden, Labour MP for Blackpool South has joined him, saying Graham’s views are “incompatible with what Jesus said in the Bible.”’

Two political opponents, united in their dislike of a man with whose views they disagree. One of them even fancies himself as a Bible scholar. Maynard’s website claims that he is ‘...working to make a difference for the communities of Blackpool North & Cleveleys’. I’ve been to Blackpool many times in my life, and I must say I’ve not noticed much changing. Strip Clubs on the prom touting for customers mid-afternoon, spent hypodermic needles not far from the funfair, amusement arcades full of people gambling away what little money they have. The gospel message of Franklin Graham would come far closer to transforming Blackpool than anything this MP could attempt. Instead of focussing on Graham’s socially conservative views on marriage, he should be welcoming him with open arms.