Franklin Graham says US judges 'hate God'

Controversial evangelist Franklin Graham has hit out at judges in America who 'hate God' in the wake of a court ruling on a football coach who prayed publicly at games.

Joe Kennedy was suspended in 2015 when he refused to comply with school officials who ordered him to stop his post-game practice of kneeling in prayer after games. He was not rehired when his contract expired.

Franklin Graham said some US judges 'hate America'.Facebook

On Wednesday the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Bremerton School District was right to suspend Kennedy.

'When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the fifty-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected,' the ruling said.

Speaking on the Todd Starnes Show, Graham said: 'It's sad this has happened but it really doesn't surprise me. We find these courts and these judges are making these decisions against the will of the people.'

He said: 'We have judges out there who hate God and hate his standards and disrespect the people who follow God.'

Graham has previously attacked judicial rulings in cases connected with same-sex marriage, transgender and religious freedom cases. He said last year: 'We need judges who will consider God's laws and his word – he is the ultimate judge for each one of us and for the nation.'

While in fact the judges are strictly constrained in their decisions by the letter of the law and cannot vary it according to a notional 'will of the people', Graham's comments reflect the views of conservatives who feel increasingly marginalised in US society and believe Donald Trump represents their best chance of retaining influence.