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A gay dad sounds off about the anti-gay Easter dad and his ‘preacher’ son

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My ten year old son Jesse had big plans Easter morning.  He had set his alarm for 6 am.  His desire to rise early was not to go searching for the Easter basket the mystical bunny was likely to have left him, it was to make French toast as a surprise for me, his dad.

That special pleasing Dad bond is an important one for many young boys.  Jesse was not alone in that objective.

Three thousand miles away, another boy, Nolan Cranford was preparing to please his dad. 

Nolan Cranford screams at churchgoers on Easter Sunday that they are going to hell and that gays are worthy of death.

Unlike my son, Nolan’ endeavors did not involve syrup and buttery niceness.  The way to his dad’ heart was to shout at exiting Church goers from North Carolina’s Green Street United Methodist Church and condemn them to hell.

“The Bible talks about that the homosexuals are worthy of death.  Not only them that do it, but them that approve of it. They are worthy of death!” he shouted as his dad Brian “BibleBrian” Cranford held a video camera. 

The video has since made its way across Facebook.  I don’t know what sickens me more about it — the hate that a child has been taught, the aggression he has been inspired to show his neighbors or the danger he himself has been placed in exposed tauntingly to an uncertain world.

The video is here.

In California, Jesse and his brother prepared to go to church where we would be meeting up with my in laws, their grandparents.

This was not Nolan’s first performance yelling at innocent strangers on the street.  In a previous performance outside a courthouse he actively invited them to disobey secular law.

The website Official Street Preacher Blogspot gives insight into the Cranford family.  According to the site, “Nolan has been watching preach clips from youtube like children playing videos or watching cartoons”.

When my son Jesse was four, I introduced him to pre-school so he could learn social skills.  I remember arriving to pick him up.  He yelled “Dadddddddy” as he charged excitedly across the room and then took me around and proudly and politely introduced me to each and every child and teacher.

When Nolan was four, he was started on the streets yelling at passersby.  The Cranfords are the anti-gay’s acceptable “traditional” family:  one man, one woman.  Nolan and his younger siblings were home schooled by his mom, while he was encouraged in his public disturbance vocation by the cohorts of his father. 

One reported, “We all stayed at the Cranford’s home and we celebrated their sons birthday on our last day of preaching, Nolan was to turn 8 later that month but we celebrated it that evening.  He has been inspired by his father and the many YouTube clips of open air preachers nationwide, as most kids his age would watch cartoons or play on the computer, he watched preaching videos…  after dinner we had a birthday cake and placed Noland on the hot seat.

From there a few street preachers questioned him and if he gave the correct answer, he got $20.00 an answer … He made a few bucks that night.”

My son is motivated by my actions in my life, and he has seen me work with people in need.  My life had a dramatic change thirty one years ago when I hit my personal bottom with alcohol and started a new and unwavering recovery and spiritual path.

Brian Cranford hit a bottom of his own.  He states, “My life before all of this was a wreck! I hardly ever go into details with all of those things because I do not care to remember those days as I laid in a hospital bed having my heart stop 26 times in one night and almost walking off into eternity because of suicide!”  He turned instead to evangelism as an escape, first by distributing fliers and then abortion clinic demonstrations, and eventually gay friendly churches.

So as millions celebrated resurrection and renewal, the Cranfords attacked. “May I give you a hug?”  asked a kind lady.  “Back up, Nolan, back up,” snarled a voice, presumably Brian’s, behind the camera.

A woman commented behind them, “God Bless you.”

“Shame on you, shame on you, you wicked old wretch,” Brian snarled.

“I said ‘God Bless You’!” the woman replied in surprise.

“Shame on you, shame on you.” he repeated.

“You love your sin, you love your sin and you hate God,” Nolan continued to shout.

We, meanwhile, were celebrating with kind ladies in a little church on the Pacific.  No one was snarling and all hugs were gratefully accepted.

Last week, families like mine were being highly discussed at the public level.  People were pulling out studies and statistics.  We were called social experiments and compared to cell phone usage.  There seem to be concern whether or not our kids will be well adjusted and positive contributors to society.  I am not afraid of the scrutiny gay families receive.

My only question is this:   who is studying the adjustment s and contributions of the anti-gay families?  It seems to me that those are the ones the American public should be worrying about.

My son and Brian Cranford’s sons are bright, articulate dynamic boys.  I cannot wait to see the man that my son grows up to be.  I wish I could say the same for Nolan Cranford.  I hope the Cranford family wakes up before it is too late.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. Another horrible example of how hateful fundamentalists brain wash their children through home schooling.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:07am
  2. All I can do is raise my son right. Raise him to know that LOVE, RESPECT, and FAITH in God are the only things that God wants from us. They are the only things that HE wants us to show others. I pray for this boy’s family. I pray God will change their hearts and change what they are doing to their child. THIS IS PROOF that HATE is taught and not something that is just inside us.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:13am
  3. They should end up in jail! Arrest them!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:13am
  4. Should have left bunny shit on their porch.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:17am
  5. They aren’t commiting a crime that is worthy of arrest. Free speech is something we are all entitled to in this country. It’s just a shame that this child was taught to use his freedom of speech in this way.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:19am
  6. that’s just child abuse, poor kid. Forgive him Father he knows not what he does.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:21am
  7. I have every intent on home schooling my child and he will NEVER be taught this way.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:22am
  8. I know, right? but the problem is some people use freedom of expression in the wrong way. We should be free to express ourselves in the way we feel but again shouldn’t teach others to hate just because we don’t believe in something… It’s still my opinion. :) Love breeds love, hate breeds hate!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:23am
  9. I totally agree with that! ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:24am
  10. I’m glad we do agree with that. :D People should spread love around. That’s what God teaches us! Hey, you people, you hear me! That’s what God teaches us. ;) If we are about God now…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:25am
  11. This is a great story of contrasts, that proves how great gay dads can be and how awful straight dads can be…just the opposite of what is claimed by the ignorant masses. One kid is loved, uplifted, and encouraged, and prepared to live a happy and productive life in society; the other is abused and being set up as an outlier and a destructive force both to himself and to society, and ought to be placed in the hands of some normal foster parents before it’s too late.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:28am
  12. We may forgive him A Ft. as much as we want but that’s what he does has a lot to do with other people as well and their lives! Someone must stop those people!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:32am
  13. That’s just sick. Disgusting. He thinks homosexuals shouldn’t be parents? HE should never have been a parent. He’s taking the peaceful teachings of Jesus and shitting all over them. Dumb ass hat.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:44am
  14. You’re never too young to be a bigot.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:51am
  15. The children of this hateful couple, who have taught their child that shouting messages of hate is a proper thing to do, should be removed to protective custody and given proper psychiatric care, while the parents are jailed for child abuse…AND THEY CERTAINLY SHOULD BE PREVENTED FROM HAVING ANYMORE CHILDREN.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:01am
  16. LGBT will continue to hold their ground in this war till the very end!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:26am
  17. When was the word “Marriage” invented and 1st used and used for what meaning, and “Who” invented it?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:27am
  18. That poor kid. He only knows hate. So sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:27am
  19. So very sad for that boy :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:49am
  20. Some people will just never learn to stop hate.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 12:23pm
  21. I am thankful that more and more parents are guiding their children towards greater love.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 12:31pm
  22. Just awful

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 1:10pm
  23. To any argument that says marriage is based solely in religion, I say, There is no such thing as a church marriage. Churches perform weddings, if you want to get married you have to go the court house and get a marriage license.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 1:11pm
  24. The word “marriage” derives from Middle English mariage, which first appears in 1250–1300 CE This in turn is derived from Old French marier (to marry) and ultimately Latin marītāre meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married. The adjective marīt-us -a, -um meaning matrimonial or nuptial could also be used in the masculine form as a noun for “husband” and in the feminine form for “wife.”[11] The related word “matrimony” derives from the Old French word matremoine which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium which combines the two concepts mater meaning “mother” and the suffix -monium signifying “action, state, or condition.”

    Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 1:18pm