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While Leftist Groups Attack Samaritan's Purse NYC Field Hospital, an Unexpected Man Champions the Cause

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On the one hand, there is Whitney Tilson, a liberal retired hedge fund manager who supports gay rights and all the liberal causes near and dear to many residents of New York City.

On the other, there is Samaritan’s Purse,  the healing arm of the ministry of the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has staunchly opposed gay marriage and defends conservative values.

When they met in Central Park near Tilson’s swanky Fifth Avenue digs, it would be normal — in a world where fault lines of faith divide people and identity politics rules the day — to expect sparks to fly.

Instead, friendship, partnership and respect blossomed, according to Religion News.

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“Their primary mission in life is not to go out and have hatred toward gays,” Tilson, who now writes an investment newsletter, said. “They believe what the Bible says, that homosexuality is a sin — yes. But it is not what drives them. What drives them is, ‘How can I do God’s work by healing people and saving lives?’”

Tilson had never heard of Samaritan’s Purse when its trucks arrived at Central Park on a mission to care for COVID-19 victims. When he learned the tents being erected would house patients Mount Sinai Hospital could not treat because it was full, he thought he might help out.

Four weeks later, Tilson, 53, cannot say enough in praise of Samaritan’s Purse.

“It’s an incredibly impressive organization,” he said. “I have no doubt they are delivering world-class critical care to my fellow New Yorkers stricken with COVID-19. Every single person I’ve met has been a genuinely nice person and very competent and good at their job.”

Official New York looked askance at the conservative Christian values espoused by Graham and demanded proof that the LGBTQ population and Muslims would not be discriminated against.

Tilson had that battle as well. His family attends New York City’s Central Synagogue, although he is not Jewish. When he asked the synagogue to advertise for donations to help Samaritan’s Purse, which it did, there was pushback.

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“The values harbored by this group and its founder just completely fly in the face of what Central stands for,” Nancy Gilman, a member of the synagogue, said, according to the Forward.

Tilson said there was something more important taking place.

“I’ll have the ideological discussions with them later. If they’re here saving my fellow New Yorkers’ lives, and not even asking to be paid for it, then I will absolutely help them do that,” he said.

In fact, Tilson said, he was being true to the synagogue’s ideals.

“Central Synagogue’s ideology is first and foremost serving New Yorkers and healing the sick,” he said. “That is by far the most important ideology of Central Synagogue, and this is entirely consistent with that.”

Tilson has spent thousands of dollars on food for the men and women working at Samaritan’s Purse, as well as supplying equipment to help the project. He is also letting the volunteers use his address to receive mail and made bicycles available to visitors who might want to use their scarce time off to see something more of Central Park than the field hospital.

“He’s a great human being,” Graham said. “He might disagree with me, and I might disagree with him, but that’s not going to stop us from working together to help people.”

Graham invited Tilson to visit the North Carolina headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse, an invitation Tilson plans to accept.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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