Franklin Graham blasted the University of Houston student government Thursday for suspending its vice president, Rohini Sethi, who posted "Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter" on social media, calling the move an attack on free speech.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Graham said, "We've all heard about the Black Lives Matter movement which has been associated with numerous demonstrations and calling for violence against police."
"Wow. Somebody needs to tell this student government association that their vp was right — all lives do matter. Shame on them! God is the Maker and Creator of all life. He didn't make one group more valuable than other groups or one life more valuable than another. In His eyes, every life matters. And no one should be punished for saying that," he continued.
The official suspension letter from the President of the UH Student Government Association, Shane A. Smith, contends that while Rohini had a right to say what she did, her words have consequences.
"It is a fair point that one ignorant social media post alone may not warrant such sanctions. However, serving in a public role means that we are held to a higher standard — and rightfully so ... The First Amendment prevents a person from being jailed by the government for what they say. But the first amendment does not prevent people from receiving other consequences for what they say, including workplace discipline," the letter reads.
Some members of the University of Houston's student body have called for Sethi's removal, but the impeachment process is lengthy and according to the SGA constitution, three-fourths of the senate is required, or unanimous decision between the president and speaker of the house, a now-vacant office, to nominate her for impeachment.
Although Sethi has since deleted the contested post, according to local reports several sanctions were nevertheless leveled against her and still stand. As of August 1, she is formally suspended for 50 days and is required to attend a diversity workshop and three cultural events per month. She has also been ordered to write a reflection letter in which she "demonstrate[s] her understanding her responsibility as a public figure" and make a public presentation "detailing the knowledge she has gained about cultural issues facing our society" at a September 28 Senate meeting.
Graham has previously criticized Black Lives Matter, even defending former President Bill Clinton against some of the movement's protestors.
As The Christian Post reported in April, Clinton's signature on the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a law that sent many non-violent drug offenders to prison, became the subject of a heated exchange at a campaign stop for his wife in Philadelphia.
"I agree with Bill Clinton — he was absolutely right. The crime bill he signed into law in 1994 put a lot of criminals behind bars where they belong," Graham said.
"There's no question, black lives do matter — but all lives matter, regardless of race or color. God created us all. As human beings we have souls that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to redeem from sin through the shedding of His blood," he added.