(Photo: FOX News Channel video)
Franklin Graham defended his controversial remarks about homosexuality, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Islam, saying that he is only following in his father's own activist footsteps.
"You talk about controversy – my father (Billy Graham) stood with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s," Graham told The Charlotte Observer. "My father never worried about polls. I don't care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today – if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I'm speaking out on them."
Late last month, Graham suggested that Putin was "right" on how the Russian government had dealt with its LGBT activists.
"Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation's children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda," he wrote for Decision magazine.
In 2011, the head of the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse suggested that American Muslims do not genuinely practice their faith, because those who do are violent.
"True Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries," he told CNN.
But on Tuesday, Graham suggested that his blunt remarks about LGBT activists and those "living in sin" were rooted in tough love.
"I love people enough and care enough," Graham said, "to warn them … that if they chose to continue to live in sin, God is going to judge them one day and they'll be separated from Him for eternity in hell."
He also asserted that gay couples who want to adopt children are possibly looking to indoctrinate them with a pernicious worldview.
"[Gay couples] can recruit. You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children from exploitation – all exploitations," he said.
On Tuesday, Graham hosted a dinner for 175 Charlotte, N.C., pastors to focus on the plight of pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012.
Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, attended the event and encouraged the public to speak out for her husband's release.
"The more people who are praying and getting involved, the better," Naghmeh told the Observer. "The spotlight on him is keeping him alive."