Prominent evangelist Franklin Graham has warned Americans that thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, it would only be a matter of time before Christians are singled out for persecution in the United States. He also believed that God would judge the country harshly for that endorsement.
In an exclusive interview by Todd Starnes of Fox News, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham warned that the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage could bring about a new wave of Christian persecution along with the judgment of God. The high court ruled 5-4 in favor of legalizing the practice across all 50 states.
"I believe God could bring judgment upon America," Franklin said.
Franklin made his dire warning shortly after the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday.
"You better be ready and you better be prepared because it's coming," Franklin said. "There will be persecution of Christians for our stand."
Based on Graham's comments, Starnes contended that "gay rights now trump religious liberty." He elaborated on a few possible scenarios that LGBT activists could exercise against American Christians, now that the high court has ruled in their favor on same-sex marriage.
"Churches and faith-based business should prepare for lawsuits and government investigations," Starnes wrote. "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."
Graham declared that he would personally refuse to marry any same-sex couple regardless of the ruling.
"I will never recognize it in my heart because God gave marriage between a man and a woman and that's what marriage is," Graham said. "And I don't think the court - since it never defined marriage - doesn't have the right to redefine it."
Graham added that "God gave us marriage," noting that "God doesn't change his mind."
"If pastors are going to be forced to provide marriage services for gay couples, I'm not going to do it," Graham said.
The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse also expressed disappointment to Starnes in the Supreme Court ruling.
"I'm disappointed because the government is recognizing sin," Graham said. "This court is endorsing sin. That's what homosexuality is - a sin against God."
However, Starnes believed that "an overwhelming number of Christians" would obey God over government if a stand had to be made. He reinforced his point by citing a quote from the late Charles Colson.
"If we're not willing to fight this, even to the point of breaking the law, or refusing to recognize the law, then we will lose everything," Colson wrote.