Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse: “Reject gays and eat at Chick-fil-A.”

I’ve been ignoring the whole Chick-fil-A thing because there’s only so much stupid a person can absorb before having to whang themselves on the head with a hammer. (And also because I loathe businesses founded upon the idea that illiteracy is charming.)

But yesterday I got a letter from a reader in which she related how she and her daughter had done a “shoebox Christmas box” for the Christian non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse, the Board Chairman and CEO of which is Franklin Graham.

“Other than a quick look at their website,” she wrote, “I did not really research the organization. Since doing the box I received occasional emails from them. Last week I received one asking me to pray for Chick-fil-A and their crusade against gay marriage. WHAT!?!! I thought we were helping the impoverished with toothpaste, medical care, and stuffed teddy bears!”

She forwarded me a copy of Good Samaritan’s email newsletter to her:

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy with Franklin Graham in 2010.

Stand with Chick-fil-A on August 1 in Support of Traditional Marriage

DEAR FRIEND,

Just a few days ago, Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, affirmed his stance on the sanctity of traditional marriage. The restaurant chain has been, and continues to be, under a concerted attack from same-sex marriage advocates.

I applaud the courage of Cathy to take a bold stand for the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman in a culture that has grown openly hostile to the Christian faith and its followers.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Wednesday, August 1, to demonstrate support for the company. I would like to join with him, and ask that, if you live near one of their restaurants please drop by and let them know how much you appreciate them and their stand.

I have known Dan and his father, Mr. Truett Cathy, for many years, and I respect how their company was founded upon and operates by Christian values.

In the words of the bold, biblical prophet Daniel who refused to bow to the culture of his day: “The people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32, NASB).

Thank you and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham

It’s like a perfect storm of stupid. I can’t even think about commenting on it.

Well, okay, I guess I can share with you what went through my head as I was reading the above. See my interjections below in lovely, calming blue.

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy with Franklin Graham in 2010. [Oh no! The cretin spawn of Billy Graham!]

Stand with Chick-fil-A on August 1 in Support of Traditional Marriage [Where did I put my hammer?]

DEAR FRIEND, [What's with the caps? Just trying to be friendly, overbearingly aggressive, and fundamentally dumb, I guess. Score.]

Just a few days ago, Dan Cathy [HAR! Cathy! I should grow up.], President of Chick-fil-A, affirmed his stance on the sanctity of traditional marriage. [Right. Because nothing says, "I'm straight and want to marry another straight person" like "Gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married."] The restaurant chain [restaurant? really?] has been, and continues to be, under a concerted attack from same-sex marriage advocates. [It doesn't have to be a hammer. I could use one of the decorative boulders on the patio of our condo.]

I applaud the courage of Cathy to take a bold stand for ["to take a bold stand for"? Hello? Syntax police? Could you come right away?] the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman  [are they still going with the inanity that one woman + one man = the Biblical definition of marriage? Have these people ever read the Bible?] in a culture that has grown openly hostile to the Christian faith and its followers. [It's so true. Just yesterday I saw that in my neighborhood there are two corners without a church. It was like being in communist Russia.]

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee [then again, why go outside, when I could just use our cast-iron frying pan?] has called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day [or I could just slam my head right here on my desk] on Wednesday, August 1, to demonstrate support for the company. I would like to join with him, and ask that, if you live near one of their restaurants please drop by and let them know how much you appreciate them and their stand. ["Yes, I'd like the Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit Sandwich please? Right on! All gay people are all going straight to hell! And can I get a large diet Coke with that, please? Gay people are destroying our country!! And some extra ketchup?"]

I have known Dan and his father, Mr. Truett Cathy [Truett Cathy! It's like a Dickens novel! What's his nickname? Chatty?] for many years, and I respect how their company was founded upon and operates by Christian values. [Yes, nothing says "I love the Lord" like making a fortune mass producing deep-fried chicken sandwiches. It reminds me of that classic story in the Bible about Paul opening up a Der Wienerschnitzel.]

In the words of the bold, biblical prophet Daniel who refused to bow to the culture of his day: “The people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32, NASB). [Yes, if the Bible makes one thing perfectly clear, it's that the ultimate way of showing your love of Jesus is by going to a fast-food restaurant and chowing down on a chicken sandwich while bitching about how gay people are ruining America. It's true what they say: every time a moronic bigot makes the life of a gay person just a little bit worse, an angel gets its wings.]

Thank you and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham [Well, nothing says cracker like Graham.]

And now I’m going to sit on our front patio to enjoy my cup of coffee and ponder the solid, grounding beauty of the decorative boulders out there. Wish me luck.

P.S. According to its 990 IRS form (the latest I could find online), in 2010 Samaritan’s Purse paid Graham Franklin $561,000. That same year the organization received $10 million in government grants.

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patricia.raube Patricia Raube via Facebook

    I am so tired of Franklin Graham’s hate.

    • Melody

      Agreed. In addition to this disgusting display of self-righteousness and privilege, I strongly suspect that he’s the little man behind the curtain, claiming to speak for Billy Graham.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyjduncan Ty Duncan via Facebook

    He’s so classy :(

  • Elizabeth

    I can’t stop laughing. Thanks, John.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valeriebarlowhorton Valerie Barlow Horton via Facebook

    “It reminds me of that classic story in the Bible about Paul opening up a Der Wienerschnitzel.” yeah me too.

  • http://small-letters.com Mindy M.

    My favorite: “Yes, nothing says “I love the Lord” like making a fortune mass producing deep-fried chicken sandwiches.”

    EXACTLY!!

  • Driftwood2k11

    John, you never fail to make me laugh, and your words are a soothing salve on a painful emotional wound. Never change, please.

  • Kate Caufield

    I got that too, and quickly asked to be removed from their mailing list. I also explained that I will not donate to them again, as they are vilifying an entire group of people and Christians. Wasn’t the whole story about the Good Samaritan based on the fact that these two groups couldn’t stand each other, but the Samaritan , despite that, made no judgement and helped his fellow man?

    • Driftwood2k11

      Yeah, fancy that! LOL

      Eh, it’s not like they pay attention to that aspect of the parable anyway. Helping someone who is different? And for free?! Perish the thought!

    • vj

      Exactly! Why don’t they take *this* part of Scripture literally?

  • Paula Hepola Anderson via Facebook

    And his charity spends so little on what you want to help and sooo much on homself and publicity. Choose Lutheran World Relief instead, no overhead and no prejudice.

  • Pattie

    “…[A]re they still going with the inanity that one woman + one man = the Biblical definition of marriage? Have these people ever read the Bible?”

    I am going to get in trouble for laughing out loud at my desk. Thank you, John.

  • Brenda C

    I’m taking my Chatty Cathy out on the porch to chow down on some Graham crackers in solidarity with Mattel and Nabisco for your slanderous use of their names. Comparing them to Truett and Franklin! How could you!?

    (Although “Nothing says cracker like Graham” was brilliant.)

  • Tina Badger via Facebook

    Ok…I have sworn to stop being divisive and snarky over this damn CFA debacle but your commentary on the letter just had me giggling so much you made me break my commitment!!

  • Theresa DePaepe via Facebook

    My favorite line – “Nothing says cracker like Graham.”

  • Mark Fisher via Facebook

    You have hit the nail on the head with this one, thanks.

  • Ric Booth

    Hysterical, as usual!

    Yes, support Dan Cathy because Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of the multimillionaires, with seemingly unlimited resources, you have done to me.”

    • Elizabeth

      Ric! Lovely to “see” you again.

  • Alvin Gongora

    I live in a Chick-fil-A free country and I had never heard of that moronesque business until recently. It makes laugh the whole thing, but this response of yours, John, it’s so hilarious that it makes me think seriously about the sanity level of those fellows and the Graham clan. If they think that their anti-gay stance is a clever publicity strategy they’re so wrong. By the way, will the poor children of the world to find a greasy chicken leg in their Christmas boxes? Exporting Bible based obesity must surely be a commendable missionary endeavour.

  • boy jesse

    Oh dear God, i got SUCH a huge laugh out of this!!!!

  • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

    John…this is perfect!! I knew it’d eventually find a way under your skin! You have shown more tact in the way you handled this than any of the trash that Chick-Fil-A (typing that made me throw up a little, LOL) has been spewing in the good name of PR! Thank You,as always, for this! You have put a smile on my face and a chuckle in my throat that will last all day! This was my daily Belly Laugh!! Can’t wait to share this with Zach! Pure ignorance exposed, has a way of enlightening sane people, sometimes…so I’ll be sharing! :) A lot!

    I’m hoping this will do that, and Mr. Cathy experiences a stock shift downwards!! I’m going to go out and do my best to be one of the people who knows their God and will display strength and take action, by not going to CFA ever again!!!

  • otter

    John, I was laughing all thru this, but when I got to Chatty Cathy I lost it. Brilliantly irreverent! Planning to share this everywhere…..

    I pray the Grahm Crackers and Chatty Cathys will all go somewhere dark to choke their chickens and leave us LGBT folks alone

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

      ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Laurie

    Der Wienerschnitzel — snort! Hilarious!

  • Angel

    John you never fail to disappoint.

    • Elizabeth

      Angel! There’s a misnomer.

      • Diana A.

        Oh, I don’t know. Afterall, Satan was an angel and a third of the angels followed him when he rebelled against God. Maybe this Angel is one of those.

        • Elizabeth

          Ah, Satan. Job is my favorite book of the OT. A rapscallion, that one. This one is just insipid.

    • Melody

      Neither do you, “Angel.” (I agree, Elizabeth! Definitely a misnomer.)

  • TheIntellectualGerbil

    one thought immediately sprang to mind when i read “every time a moronic bigot makes the life of a gay person just a little bit worse, an angel gets its wings.”

    BOY must heaven be crowded by now!

    it makes one almost hope that the bigots are right. they would end up freezing their collective asses off huddled like penguins on cloud nine, desperately trying not to fall off, while the rest of us would have a nice place near the fire. plus all that concentrated queer-power will redecorate the hell out of that place. it also will be the hottest place for parties … literally … but i am getting carried away …

    just pass me that cast-iron frying pan when you are done john i think i went over the edge reading that one …

  • Terry Caswell Faulkner via Facebook

    John Shore, I love you. I was in a ‘fowl’ mood and you ‘crackered’ me up. Thank you.

    • Michael

      Me too, Terry!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christie.draper.58 Christie Draper via Facebook

    Wow. Very disappointed in Graham and Sam. Purse. That’s the end of that…what about all the gay children they are supposed to be “loving?”

  • Kate

    If this were HuffPo I would ‘Fan’ and ‘Fave’ you, Carol Ann.

    Now if I can just find something to hit myself in the head with….

  • Gene Stephens

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/billy-graham-defends-chick-fil-a-traditional-marriage-amid-uproar-78960/

    The putlic statement in this link is allegedly from Billy Graham. If so, it would be unusual for him. He never took these sorts of public stances on issues when he was younger. I have to wonder if Franklin Graham really made the statement and claimed it was from his father. Billy Graham is infirm to the point that Franklin could probably get something like that past him. If this statement is really from Franklin Graham, then it is not only dishonest, it is disrespectful to his father.

    • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

      “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles…”

      So, they’re going to sell off their assets and give to the poor now?

      Ever since we’ve been hearing about Graham senior acting supciously out of character I’ve suspected Graham junior of playing a game of “ride the coattails” to get what he wants done because he *knows* he is never going to earn the respect his father has enjoyed. If true, the saddest thing is that an old man must spend the very last of his time being used and abused by his own like that…

      • Sharla

        I wondered the very same thing when I read that quote. Can’t be from the same man who once said he was going to leave the fate of people of other faiths in God’s hands and not make declarations about their eternal destination. Billy struck me as growing more and more compassionate and gracious as he grew older. Pronouncements like this are just plain not Billy, I don’t think.

    • Melody

      I think you’re right. See my comment lower. If you’re right, Franklin (hmm…that name sounds eerily similar to our favorite troll) is a tool. He’s using his father’s image to push his own bigoted agenda. Disgusting, indeed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaidrea Kaidrea Stockman via Facebook

    But what do you do when this is a franchise business and my local Chick Fil A is independently owned. They employ gay people and have around 100 employees and I’m pretty sure don’t have the same views as Chick Fil A’s president. Or I guess it’s what are they going to do now?

    • Diana A.

      They may be working for change from within

      I think it’s okay to support them for now.

  • brotherdoc

    Many are concerned, as is Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, to defend Biblical Marriage. Now even Franklin Graham has gotten in on the act. In the interest of clarifying the matter for those Americans who may not understand what they are talking about, here’s a Proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on Biblical principles. I hope you will take the time and care to look up these great passages for yourselves.

    A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

    B. Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3,8; II Chron 11:21)

    C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

    D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

    E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

    F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe, and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

    G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

    • Driftwood2k11

      Ooh! I hope you don’t mind if I print this out for my own personal use, brotherdoc. This is great!

    • http://small-letters.com Mindy M.

      me too! – permission to share?

      • brotherdoc

        I was emailed this some years ago (during the GW Bush administration) and it was (probably somewhat facetiously) attributed to a group called protestants for the common good. I say, circulate widely!

        • Driftwood2k11

          Thanks! :D

        • http://small-letters.com Mindy M.

          have used this now a few times already… thanks! :)

  • Rachel

    Haven’t eaten there for years but I must admit I loved their chicken fingers, and the breakfast biscuits. Yum. But I can’t eat yum with a side of hate, so that’s that, even if I lived near one which I don’t these days.

    I too have wondered when this would show up here. It had to eventually. It’s just…it’s so stupid. All this pointless hate.

  • Don Rappe

    Good chicken. Bad theology. I can’t boycott them because the line for their product at our food court is so long that I always eat Chinese or Mexican instead. I do agree with their policy of not asking employees to work on Sunday. It is good to see a business stand up so aggressively for its spiritual values. It is too bad this Christian businessman has been misled into sinful bigotry. Still much work to do for those who know better.

    • vj

      Don, I very much appreciate the wisdom you share so eloquently on John’s blog – you always give me food for thought.

  • Michele N Morgan via Facebook

    They’re not even good deep fried chicken sandwiches. I don’t eat there anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lois.markiewicz Lois Markiewicz via Facebook

    Kaidrea – Good for the local Chick Fil A employing gays. You make your own decisions because it is a complicated situation. But you might still want to e-mail corp and tell them you are not happy with this stuff. Won’t change the CEO’s views but the more we share our opinion the better informed everyone is.

  • Jana Harrison Currier via Facebook

    Thank you, John Shore! I’ve been really disappointed in Billy Graham since he came out publicly in favor of NC amendment one. It seems Franklin is speaking for him these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mjmurphyjr Mike Murphy via Facebook

    their new slogan can be “pray the gay away, at chick-fil-a” Will they be installing altar rails at the cash wrap. Perhaps franklin can bless each sandwich?

    • Diana A.

      Like!

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    It is terrible business sense. Most corporations know that they need to keep their PR positive and so ally themselves with inoffensive charities that most people agree with – children’s hospitals, cancer research, that kind of thing. Serve some Alex’s Lemonade and people will flock to you.

    I’ve been thinking since this statement came out “Don’t do this! I love Chick-fil-A’s breakfast chicken mini biscuits with a passion and they have good shakes, also they are close to home… ARGH! No! Bad CEO! Don’t make me have a conflict between my stomach and my personal honor!” That said, I’d been hearing about some of their more skeevy dealings for a long time, and also have not approved of their insistance on styrofoam packaging (the cups), but would eat there thinking I had some leeway in that I was only interested in the food and felt like I was supporting poor down-n-out fast food workers in a position in life I’ve been in many times before. (You don’t have to *like* the company you work for to appreciate a paycheck).

    My guy eats at one a lot, but it’s because it’s the only fast food joint near his workplace that he doesn’t have to cross a dangerous highway to get to and he doesn’t always remember to pack food from home. (He usually does pack a lunch, though) – in part because he gets sick of the damn chicken and the manager of the place creeps him out. (Said manager has been described to me as being like one of those religious-tract folks who come door to door with a stepford smile).

    In the end, I won’t yell at my guy if he brings me home a Chick-fil-A shake as a surprise gesture of niceness, but I’m not inclined to eat there on my own now, nor to give them my appreciation.

    Support homeless people or sick kids – get out of political junk if you want people to appreciate your business.

    • Matt M

      They are a for-profit business first. And the Holy Grail for any business is to have an out-spoken loyalty base. Unfortunately, this gamble of being explicitly evangelical has worked gloriously for them when they closed on Sundays. They didn’t sweat these statements because evangelical Christians are their biggest fans.

      I bet they knew that their loyalty base would mobilize, and come August 1st they will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Elizabeth

      This, Shadsie. It’s clear Chik-fil-A has ruined their business plan. They are now unwelcome in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. More will jump on the bandwagon soon. A lot of Southerners are struggling with the ethics of eating there now, too.

      I grew up on Chik-fil-A. I love waffle fries and sweet tea as much as anyone, although I haven’t patronized them in years. This was a colossal business mistake. They’ll be bankrupt in a year.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        The late night talkshows are making fun of them, and not in the way they’ve made fun of every other fast food joint.

        I remember when Colbert made fun of KFC’s double-down sandwich. (Those things are actually quite good. If a KFC opened up near my area, I think the Chick-fil-A would go out of business real quick). It was all making fun of the sandwich without bread thing and heart-attack jokes, which people who eat or resort to eating fast food don’t care too much about and take with laughter. The greasy-bad-for-you-ness is part of the sell! Fast food, itself, is as much fun to laugh at as it is to eat sometimes…

        Cue the making fun of Chick-fil-A… you get (I think the clip I saw was from Conan O’Brien) things like the “intolerant chicken puppet.” Making fun of the other guys was “Har, har, look at this ridiculous food!” with CFA, it’s “Oh, Lord, look at the bigots!” It’s much more vicious. And with reason behind it.

        I think they’re going to lose a lot more business than they think. Suddenly, all those people who didn’t “count” in their eyes (or at least the money in their wallets) are going to count.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        By the way, you can make your own sweet tea at home. I do it all the time. If you do not know the arcane secrets of tea-brewing, I can share with you. I even know how to work with fancy loose-leaf stuff.

        (It’s pretty simple, actually. Leaves plust hot water, but tea-snobs play with temperatures, times and storage…)

        • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

          You are the sweetest person, Shadsie. :)

          • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

            You’re just saying that becuase you haven’t seen my bitter side.

            (I have a dark streak you wouldn’t believe).

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            Gawd, don’t we all? *hug*

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.mccolm.7 Jim McColm via Facebook

    No the Father is the slightly less bigoted one. The son has been an open bigot for a decade or more.

  • Jennifer Sandberg via Facebook

    Hilarious.

  • Rachel G.

    “”[Well, nothing says cracker like Graham.]“” That made this NSFW – I pretended to have a sneezing fit and left the room!

  • Patricia L. Money via Facebook

    I think I just hurt myself trying not to laugh at my desk.

    • Heather

      Me too! Had to giggle a bit.

  • Daryl Forman

    I wonder at Billy Graham’s age if he is truly capable of comprehending what Franklin has done to the message that Billy was all about.I think at this point that he only serves as a “yes man” to Franklin without fully understanding what is happening in America to the message of Christ.

    • Diana A.

      Maybe so, although Billy used to be pretty conservative too.

  • Michael

    John,

    Thank you for a much needed laugh! I have grown so frustrated at the comments my conservative, evangelical friends have made on Facebook about this subject that I am close to taking a Facebook fast for the next couple of days (weeks or even months) so I don’t have to see their ignorant comments. I even sent one friend a private message to let her know that I was hurt and offended by her comments. Her response was along the lines of “I’m sorry you were hurt, but I’m not sorry for saying what I said and I will continue to say the same thing.” I have now hidden all of her comments from my news feed so I don’t have to see them. I thought about unfriending her, but decided not to in the hopes that one day we can have an actual discussion on this topic. Thank you again for the laugh!

    Michael

    • Oz in OK

      I hear ya Michael – this whole ‘it’s just a difference of opinion’ meme being completely impervious to any conflicting *facts* is just sickening.

  • Leslie Marbach

    Years ago I lived in Washington DC and had a friend at the University of Maryland. Close to campus was a chicken place called “Cluck U Chicken.” The menu item I normally chose was called “breast bites.” True story.

    No point to that except that there are truly funny chicken places in the world that don’t support bigoted hateful organizations. Choose your chicken wisely. :)

  • http://www.reallywhatwerewethinking.com Dana K

    The last paragraph had me rolling. Great job.

  • Oz in OK

    Thanks John – this brings a very welcome (and much needed) smile to my face concerning this issue.

    This whole Chick-Fil-A thing has been totally exhausting – I’ve had multiple conversations with my more conservative friends who have completely bought into the ‘oh it’s just an opinion’ meme they’re pushing. When I repeatedly confront them with the actual facts – the millions of dollars that Chick-Fil-A has been pouring into total anti-LGBT hate groups, who those groups are, and what they’ve doing/saying, these people LITERALLY just sit there for a moment, and then say (very quietly) ‘Well, it’s just a difference of opinion.’

    …WHAT?!?!

    I’ve pretty much pulled out of all those discussions – with my health issues, the *last* thing I need is to have my blood pressure spiking all over the place.

    So again, thanks much John. :)

    • Lymis

      I agree.

      When you disagree with someone, you say “I think you are wrong.”

      You don’t say “Let me donate millions of dollars to organizations that are working to rewrite the laws of the country and state and federal Constitutions to make letting you have what I have permanently illegal.”

      Depending on the context, that may or may not be a valid thing to do, but it sure as hell rises above “a difference of opinion.”

      • Larry

        which organizations are they funding?

        • Melody

          Family Research Council (headed by homophobic liar Tony Perkins) is one of them. That should tell you all you need to know.

        • Lymis

          In 2010: http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001

          In 2009: http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201111010001

          Nearly $2 Million each of those years.

          In addition, they’ve reportedly donated very large amounts of food for free as snacks and food at a number of specifically anti-gay and “pro-family” events with a clear anti-gay message, which may or may not show up in dollar-based reports like that.

  • http://kingmaalbert@hotmail.com Al

    Let me see if I’ve got this right, Chick-Fil-A is “under concerted attack from same-sex marriage advocates”? Why exactly would same-sex marriage advocates go out of their way to pick on a chicken sandwich restaurant?

    Oh, I get it! The president of Chick-Fil-A decided it was his business to oppose gay marriage so he’s using his restaurant chain to do that. And gay marriage supporters are responding by boycotting his restaurants, hence they’re “under concerted attack”. Kind of gives new meaning to the old question of, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

    • Lymis

      Or “the egg-head.”

    • jack

      You’re exactly right! Who goes around picking these fights? It’s the ‘christians’…and then when someone strikes back, they get all whinny and call themselves victims! PLEASE!?!?!?

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      Yes, how dare anyone attack them by not willingly being attacked by them. How selfish.

  • Carol VanderNat

    August 1, eh? That doesn’t leave much time for us to design gay chicken costumes and dance around in front of Chick-Fil-A restaurants, but it surely would be fun…rainbow chickens singing “We are Family” to customers as they come and go…..

    Personally, I am leaning toward the whang on the head with the hammer thing…..but of course that would only be because of my little difference of opinion…..

    • Carol VanderNat

      PS…thanx John….it’s been awhile since I laughed like that!!!!

    • Lymis

      In this context, shouldn’t that be “We-R-Famulee?”

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        LOL!

      • vj

        :-) !!

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

      Love that image. Made me giggle. Wish it could be done. We could hold our hips and do the chicken dance thing like they did in THE BIRDCAGE. (Hilarious movie. A must see if you haven’t.)

      • Elizabeth

        The Birdcage reference! I had an IRL friend in it. Apropos of nothing, really, except everyone really must see it.

    • Allie

      I wish I had the balls to wear a rainbow chicken costume in public, but I think the look I’m going for is “nice middle-aged lady who doesn’t look too crazy.” Working my nerve up now, gonna go stand outside our location and pass out literature after lunch at a nice Korean restaurant which as far as I know is not anti-anything.

  • Jennifer

    “…classic story in the Bible about Paul opening up a Der Wienerschnitzel.” I snorted my Diet Coke!! Was that in Rome or Corinth?

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

      Eh. Trier, ancient Roman city in Germany. (Wienerschnitzel!!)

  • Mindy

    Love this! What a buncha rich morons.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Being rich has nothing to do with being a moron.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        No, but it does have something to do with being a powerful moron…

        • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

          I will admit that there are many morons out there who have lots of money.

  • Jeff Blackshear via Facebook

    My response was much more succinct, but much less printable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

    ****** According to its 990 IRS form (the latest I could find online), in 2010 Samaritan’s Purse paid Graham Franklin $561,000. That same year the organization received $10 million in government grants.*******

    If they can shell out that kinda $ to Graham (who doesn’t need a damn dime) then they don’t need ANYTHING from anyone. How much “toothpaste, medical care and stuffed teddy bears” will $561,000 buy?! Shame on Graham.

    I hope Samaritan’s Purse is getting flooded with criticism. I’m gonna sent em the link to this story.

  • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

    Before I stopped eating meat Chik-fil-A was my spot! I mean the slightly greasy deep fried goodness of that boneless chicken breast on the buttery roll with extra pickles and cheese made my day. Now, I’m just pissed that they have ruined a perfectly good memory with this ass backwardness. I mean really since when do cows in placards putting out hits on chickens have anything to do with Daniel? You don’t see Ronald & the Hambugular jumping into the fray? Burger King is teasing me with David Beckham not stupid ideological points of view. I’ve always felt people can believe what they want to even if its stupid and bigoted, but now that I think about it people who eat at Chik-fil-A most likely are not the enlightened Chipotle set so maybe its marketing to their core group. Thank God I no longer count myself as a customer!

  • Eliot Parulidae via Facebook

    I can imagine how Western Europeans see this: “Americans use gay rights as tiebreaker when deciding where to ingest grease.”

    • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

      This was funny!

  • Rhonda Stevens via Facebook

    I am just flabbergasted by it all. Chicki has a right to their viewpoints but this is America and you can’t force your religion on others no matter how much American Dominionism is trying.

    • Melody

      Exactly. It would be one thing if the CEO had simply expressed a personal view. It’s quite another for the executives to contribute to hate groups like FRC.

      • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

        While I completely disagree with Chik-fil-a’s stance…why is it you think a company shouldn’t be able to donate money to the causes that the Board approves of? They have every right to do that. Their stakeholders reactions and bottom line is where the results will be seen.

        And how does their stance as a company force religion on anyone?

        • Diana A.

          Yes, a company has the right to donate money as it chooses. And we have the right to then take our business elsewhere.

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            That’s our Constitution in action.

          • Elizabeth

            That’s free will in action, actually.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          And the organizations they are donating to are trying to force everyone to live by one particular religious viewpoint.

          • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

            As long as the Constitution stands, they can’t. They have every right to spew their hate (just like the KKK and the Nazis) and people have the right to support them. The culture will change around them and leave them behind.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Except that the status quo (where you are) *already* forces some to live by the religious views of others – by not having marriage equality. Those groups fighting to keep that forced adherence will eventually lose, but until then, that supposed separation of church and state doesn’t exist.

        • Melody

          You misunderstood me, Nicole. Legally, they have every right to donate to FRC and other hate organizations. And we have the right to protest where they send their money. As I said, it isn’t simply taking a stance. It’s donating funds to hate groups who DO try to push their religious beliefs on the rest of us. Groups like the FRC perpetuate misinformation and downright lies about the gay community. This is why there is still bullying and discrimination, which leads to hate crimes and suicides.

          • Melody

            And frankly, I don’t know why it bothers you that we’re protesting a group that believes in discrimination against the gay community. That’s troubling, to me. If they have a right to make a stance, then we have a right to protest it. Free speech shouldn’t be limited to conservatism, as much as that’s what conservatives want.

  • Ben Timmons via Facebook

    Me too. what Patricia said. It’s sad though because Samaritan’s Purse HAS done some good work. And I really like Billy Graham. (Not Franklin so much). John’s irrepressible comments made me spew coffee for the second time in an hour. I LOVe “chik’n biscut san-wich” but I’ll get ‘em elsewhere or forgo.

  • Sandy Tracy

    Even Franklin’s company name Samaritan’s Purse is quite deceiving as is their whole business model.

  • Cathy Cory via Facebook

    <3!

    This is some of the most important info in your response:
    "P.S. According to its 990 IRS form (the latest I could find online), in 2010 Samaritan’s Purse paid Graham Franklin $561,000. That same year the organization received $10 million in government grants."

  • http://www.facebook.com/waldeniii C. G. Sonny Walden via Facebook

    Funny stuff John.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonny.sexton Bonny Sexton via Facebook

    Since Franklin Graham said on television that he didn’t know if our President was a Christian, I have not supported Samaritan Purse, I get stuff every month, I immediately throw all material in the trash!

    • Libby Serkies

      Start writing “refused, return to sender” on the outside of the envelope and put it in your outgoing mail!

      • http://deep.mastersfamily.org BJohnM

        Actually, check, and if they have included a postage paid return envelope…put some other junk mail in there, and mail it back. Then they have to pay for it. I’m sorry, I know that’s mean, but coming from North Carolina, I know people that have worked at this organization, and they all left within a short time reporting that Graham is a greedy, hateful and arrogant person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Davis/761924605 Jessica Davis via Facebook

    whoa! thanks for sharing this Keith! I’ve been a supporter of Samaritan’s Purse for a long time. I of course knew that Graham’s beliefs differ from mine in some key areas, and I have on occasion been alarmed by what I see to be a somewhat aggressive evangelism style, but I have supported them, both financially and in writing to support various missions, because so much of the work they do seems to exemplify christ’s love in action. This gives me some serious thinking to do.

  • Judy Carter via Facebook

    Good for you, Bonny Sexton, if it is a postage paid envelope, stuff it full of junk mail and send it back, minus your name/address of course!

  • Amelia Miles via Facebook

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JprRWKQys7A&feature=youtu.be

    A friend posted this- it asks for people who support equal marriage rights to go to Chik-fil-a on August 1st and ask only for a large water. No food. If you get hassle you’re to quote Proverbs 25:21 “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” Since they’re built on biblical principles and all this shouldn’t be a problem.

    • Elizabeth

      My high school boyfriend, a dear friend now, posted this as well. The speaker’s scare quotes are funny as hell. Another friend (more like my high school big brother), suggested this: “If you’ve gotta eat there but want to offset their social agenda, just make a small donation to a charity like http://aliforneycenter.org/ that helps homeless LGBT kids.” It’s analogous to carbon offset credits.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Yes, because harassing and wrecking the day of minimum wage employees (who are just probably trying to get through college or support their families) is such a great way to impact the CEO and Board of Directors of Chik-Fil-A.

      Just boycott the restaurants for God’s sake. Don’t harass the employees.

      • Diana A.

        There is this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/melisabronallo Melisa Gingrich Ronallo via Facebook

    This devastates me, as I’ve been sending money to Samaritan’s Purse ever since Nicholas D. Kristof mentioned them in a positive way when talking about the crisis in South Sudan. I will do my own research from here on out before writing a check. :(

    • twinkie1cat

      I have no problem with Samaritan’s purse. The shoeboxes go to children who need them and I have gotten notes back from the a couple of times thanking me for the gifts. Bad people can do good things and that is what Franklin is doing.

      • DR

        Evil diminishes – if not eradicates – any intent behind good and the credibility while pursuing good. The support of those who are anti-gay marriage is evil. Period.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        Do you really want that much of your donations (assuming you give any money) going to salaries when more of that money could be going to those who need it? Where’s the accountability? Whe are the standards?

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrewchow01 Andrew Chow via Facebook

    I don’t understand. How can anyone be surprised after what he did in North Carolina? Christians can be so naive about their leaders sometimes. No wonder we are called sheep. Baaa Baaaa. The first duty of a believer is to be skeptical. A life unexamined is not worth living. A faith unexamined is not worth believing.

  • twinkie1cat

    Franklin Graham is a disgrace to his daddy. Billy Graham never took a political stand on anything. As a result he has been a spiritual advisor to every president since Eisenhower.

    Franklin, however, is nothing but a rebellious, loudmouth, right wing Republican preacher. He is no better than Jimmy Swaggart or any of the rest of them. I hope his daddy is not aware of how far his son has strayed from God and God’s truth. Maybe one of the grandchildren will become the next Billy Graham, because Franklin certainly is not the one.

    • Christian

      “Billy Graham never took a political stand on anything” until this year with his Amendment One support.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        I think the point here is that many people are suspcious that Billy isn’t really speaking for himself, but is being used and manipulated by Franklin. He’s old and he’s sick. Sometimes, people in that position just give up the fight. And, sometimes, people of advanced age, sadly, start dying before they die… as in… the mind starts to go and vultures in the family can use that.

        • Sharla

          I cannot diagnose from this distance–even if I were a doctor, which I am not, I couldn’t–but I do know that the elder Rev. Graham has had Parkinson’s for a long time, and sometimes Parkinson’s brings with it a type of dementia.

          • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

            Of course we cannot know anything for sure. It may be very well that the seemingly out of character stuff is all Graham Sr.’s own words and doings, but when a man is in his nineties, has been very ill for a very long time and his son is an obviously power-hungry figure who can stand to capitilize on a “good name,” I think it is reasonable to be suspicious. Even if dementia or other mental degineration is not involved, there’s a point at which someone weak and wanting to die might just give it all up and say “do what you want, just leave me in peace.”

    • Ed

      Franklin Graham took a BIBLICAL stance that he learned from his father Billy

      • Diana A.

        It may be biblical (I emphasize the word “may”) but it sure isn’t Christ-like.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        Since when does believing that the bible views same-sex acts as sin encourage you to deny other people basic civil rights?

      • BabyRaptor

        Okay. That’s your bible. Your personal beliefs. Remind me again why your religious beliefs trump my right to live how I believe?

        Because that’s what you do every time you push for “traditional” marriage. You force your religious views on everyone else, nevermind that we have the same rights and freedoms you do.

        So why are my freedoms meaningless to you?

    • mike moore

      Billy Graham has taken two political stances that I’m aware of.

      He take a stand in favor of the civil rights movement of the 50′s and 60′s.

      He took a stand in favor of Amendment One this year.

      Clearly, he is senile or a dick.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        Here’s a transcript from the Larry King show of June 16, 2005:

        KING: So some of the social issues of the day. How do you react to gay marriage?

        GRAHAM: Of course I believe marriage is for one man and one woman.

        KING: Do you believe in gays having a civil union?

        GRAHAM: I don’t think so. I’m not talking about those things much.

        KING: You’re not — you don’t think gay people are lesser, though?

        GRAHAM: Oh, no. They are created in the image of God, and God loves them. Christ died for them, and he can forgive them of whatever.

        But you know, we make so much of homosexuality, but it’s just one of many sins. There is pride, lust, greed, all these things from (INAUDIBLE) through history of people that have lived terrible lives, and those are the things that are the symptoms of a deeper problem. Man has a disease that started in the Garden of Eden when man rebelled against God. And that was the beginning of a disease that we all have down to our generation.

        KING: But do you think — you don’t think homosexuality — or do you think it’s a choice?

        GRAHAM: Well, that’s a big debate.

        KING: But if it’s not a choice, it can’t be a sin. Right?

        GRAHAM: Well, maybe. God will make that judgment, not me. I’m not deciding who’s a sinner and who is not.

        (full interview transcript found here: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/16/lkl.01.html )

        A few years ago Billy Graham formally retired from public life due to the advancing of Parkinson’s disease; he announced it would be extremely unlikely he would be making any further public statements and that his ministry (i.e., Franklin & his other children) would relay anything he had to say. He has turned down all requests for interviews since then.

        I think it’s reasonable to be reluctant to accept anything issued from Franklin et al since then w/o some sort of independent verification, especially if it pertains to some hot button item.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    The thing is this: There are literally thousands of people who are alive today and/or have a better quality of life b/c Samaritan’s Purse provided food and medical help when direly needed. I have no problem w/castigating Franklin Graham for his public stance or criticizing the organization for what it spends outside of charitable work, but unlike boycotting Chik-Fil-A where the worse thing is a company goes bankrupt, franchise holders lose their investments, and people are thrown out of work, successfully boycotting Samaritan’s Purse IS going to result in people dying.

    Perhaps all future donations to Samaritan’s Purse should have the checks earmarked: “For Food And Medical Support Only – NOT FOR SALARIES”

    • http://www.patsediting.com Patricia Brush

      There are many charities doing the same work as Samaritan’s Purse. Choose the one you like and continue your donations with the new one. The same amount of help will go out to where it is needed.

      Or . . . I wish I could find the reference I saw last week. I can’t remember the figures, but the cost of providing food and clean water to everyone on the planet looks like a large number, but it is only equivalent to one week out of the world’s military budget.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        Patricia, I understand that sentiment, but Samaritan’s Purse has people in place in the field administering to the needy (& by needy I mean “in danger of dying w/o help”). They’ve got connections in countries where it’s very hard to get in. It’s not as easy as simply switching from one credit card to another when paying for something.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          Yes, and there are MANY charitable organizations that have and do exactly the same thing.

          Because these organization rely nearly entirely on voluntary funding, people “voting with their feet” and giving their money to the most able, reliable and with the least overhead is the number one way these groups are held accountable. And it means that even more people get help because the organizations (all of them) run better because of their competition for funds.

        • Oz in OK

          buzz, isn’t it a tragedy that Franklin Graham is willing to put decades of hard-earned good will, networking experience and their ability to have ‘people in place in the field administering to the needy’ at such terrible risk because now, because of his actions, there are a growing number of people who cannot, in good conscience, support Samaritan’s Purse any longer?

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            It is a tragedy. I’m all in favor of hammering Franklin over the matter. I just hope the hammering of Franklin does not keep resources from people who are desperately needing them to stay alive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristi.a.johnson.5 Kristi Adams Johnson via Facebook

    I got dragged into the chick-Fil-me-up-with-crap-food debate because quite a few of my “friends” on FB were posting pictures of the company and how they supported them for standing up for God instead of falling under the political pressure of all us heathens.

    I do not comment on others’ home pages for exactly what John said – sometimes it is so stupid to even bother. However, silence is acceptance and I wasn’t sure that I had ever made an official statement of acceptance of all people. So I pulled up an article lambasting the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for refusing to condemn homosexuality and writing that I guess I was going to Hell with all of them.

    And then the comments started about how I wasn’t a Christian or did I not want to be one, how my follow up comments were weak, weaker, weakest, how homosexuality IS a sin, and so on and so on.

    I am okay with people having their own opinions, but once you deny someone else rights in this country, you are breaking the law. What infuriates me the most is why are churches so focused on human sexuality, specifically the Catholic and Baptists? Why isn’t their focus doing the good works of Jesus? Oh, yeah, population/sheep control…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.walton.54 Laura Walton via Facebook

    That is sad God says very clearly not to reject anybody. As Christians we are suppose to love one other ! and only God can judge not Christians . You can disagree with each other but never reject each other! I agree we need to examine everything and test everything . With regards to chick-fil-A they do have a right to there beliefs , I think it is wrong to protest them , I would be just as mad at christians if they protested a gay club because gays have the same right to have there business as Chick-fil-A! I think we should be tolerable of all business regardless of there beliefs we should love one other! Peace be with you all! Melissa I wont support Samaritan Purse either if they did say that about gays that is not christ like at all! So saddens me people are fighting!

    • http://small-letters.com Mindy M.

      lol… you mean christians don’t boycott gay clubs?

      • Elizabeth

        Christians LOVE clubs, gay or not. Trust me on this.

        • Jill

          Except for the J-dubs. Their idea of a good time is sitting around talking about how righteous they are. Without any liquor or fun.

    • http://www.patsediting.com Patricia Brush

      Hi Laura,

      I agree that they have the right to their beliefs. That’s not the problem. They have donated millions of dollars from company profits to support hate groups. Groups that promote the extermination of gays and the deportation of all gays, and that financially support political initiatives aimed at the stripping of rights from gays, and who fund bogus “scientific” research so that they can bamboozle the public with their “facts”.

      Since there is no gay organization doing this kind of thing (because the focus is equality for everyone), you don’t have an equivalancy for your argument.

      I do very much appreciate the supportive things that you said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chiaroscuro3 Richard Lubbers via Facebook

    I believe that God will accept all people. But Franklin Graham may cause God to reconsider.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicole.kippel Nicole Kippel via Facebook

    Reject Franklin Graham and stand with the oppressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristi.a.johnson.5 Kristi Adams Johnson via Facebook

    We give through the ELCA good gifts. You can get to it at http://www.elca.org then Faith in Action, then Donate Now, and then shop the ELCA good gifts catalog.

    We chose this and have been happy. You can pick to specifically choose to help in the US or throughout the world.

  • Allie

    I’m planning to go picket ours on Weds and I want to hand out flyers. Kind, courteous, hopefully persuasive fliers which will convince Christians that they don’t need to do this. Incidentally ours has been so backed up that there’s no getting in the parking lot since this broke. People love them some gay-haters in Memphis. It makes me sad because I did used to eat breakfast there pretty often and the staff are wonderful, exactly what you’d hope of a “Christian company,” they go out of their way to brighten your day. Except, I now learn, for the fact that the money I spend there goes to hurt people I care about.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for the text I should use, or anything I can borrow for this purpose? I can write it myself, but you guys are good.

    • Diana A.

      You could always run copies of John and Cat’s blog post “The Best Case For the Bible NOT Condemning Homosexuality.”

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Wow, you’re brave, Allie. My hat is off to you!

      How about the quote from Matthew: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

      That’s a lot for one sign. But that’s what I always think of in these situations.

    • Carol VanderNat

      “I don’t hate anybody….. ” -God

  • FishFinger

    I think boycotting Chick-fil-A because you support same-sex marriage is like boycotting Polanski’s films because you don’t like rape. As long as their business practices are (allegedly) clean, the owner’s personal opinions should be left aside.

    He did have it coming, though, for not keeping his mouth shut in public about a controversial issue. I totally understand someone on a personal boycott of his restaurant because they don’t like the guy, but I don’t think if an LGBT person or their supporter decides to eat there should be labeled as a “traitor”.

    That being said, this newsletter is much more stupid. “Hey, stand up for your beliefs by supporting a large private business! This isn’t a stupid marketing stunt, it’s legit activism! Honest!”

    • FishFinger

      *[...] decides to eat there, THEY should be labeled as a “traitor”.

      I should really start writing simpler sentences.

    • Allie

      Actually he donates to groups that lobby for legislation discriminating against gay marriage. So it’s not just his private opinion; when you eat there, your money is going to fight gay marriage.

      • Diana A.

        Not to mention that their money supports other forms of discrimination against gay people–up to and including the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

      • FishFinger

        And when you buy a ticket to a Charlie Sheen movie, your money goes to hookers. It is none of your responsibility where other people spend the money you give them.

        Still, as I’ve said before, the guy deserves all the backlash he’s getting. Large companies should not get involved in political issues. It’s just like when Electronic Arts publicly declared their support for gay rights. Did they actually care? Maybe, maybe not. But what they did is get the ability to call all people who oppose them “entitled homophobes” after they got voted won Worst Company in America.

        • Elizabeth

          I love “Two and a Half Men” and hookers. Please stop picking fights, FF.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            All those in favor of Elizabeth doing a guest post for me titled “Why I Love Hookers” say aye.

          • Sharla

            Aye.

          • mike moore

            Aye.

            (And Elizabeth? I’d be happy to give you an interview … just keep my name anonymous.)

          • Elizabeth

            I’m all about anonymous.

          • Carol VanderNat

            Aye.

          • Elizabeth

            For you, John Shore, anything. Just give me a time slot in your schedule of saving the Christian world.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            The minute you have it ready. 500 to 1000 words. saved world here we come.

          • DR

            Elizabeth is my favorite.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          As far as I know, the companies who came out in support did so for actual *business* reasons. Specifically, it’s bad for recruitment and promotions because their gay employees applicants don’t want to move to the places with the company offices because they don’t have rights there or can’t get their spouses immigration status.

          It’s not like they said they were only doing it because their CEOs were afraid of fire and brimstone, or because he didn’t like certain people having rights, or that everyone should have to adhere to his religious views. Because that is *not* appropriate for a business and, you know, …crazy.

        • Allie

          Why would you say such a thing?

          Businesses spend millions of dollars on highly visible charitable projects and local sports teams exactly because they understand that people do care where the money they spend goes. It’s only when the business gets caught doing something unsavory that suddenly it’s their right to spend the money however and the consumer isn’t supposed to have an opinion about it.

          • Melody

            Because he’s an internet asshole, much as he despises and tries to weasel his way around said term. He pisses people off and then blames us for being too sensitive. And he wonders why everyone hates him.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      Well, I no longer watch Polanski’s movies b/c I do not support rapists. When he’s dead, maybe then.

      I’ve stopped watching Woody Allen movies, too. I’ve got plenty of alternatives.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      Actually, it isn’t just his personal donations. *Company funds* go to anti-gay campaigns, so when you buy at Chick-Fil-A a portion of the proceeds go directly to anti-gay activism. The boycott isn’t about the CEO.

    • BabyRaptor

      When are you guys on the right going to stop lying about the motives here? Nobody is attacking this man because of his statements. We’re boycotting his business because we don’t want our money being poured into laws that continue to deprive us of our rights.

      And the right has been told this over and over. But you continue to paint this guy as a victim because it’s easier to make money off that.

      Where is your Jesus again?

  • http://supercrayons64.blogspot.com Blake

    Yeah, the other reason Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day is stupid is that the words “Those poor, defenseless, incredibly successful fast food restaurants” doesn’t make sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynn.s.christy Lynn Sparrow Christy via Facebook

    I know this P.S. at the end is beside the main point of the article, (which I thought was very good) but I just HAVE to highlight it: “P.S. According to its 990 IRS form (the latest I could find online), in 2010 Samaritan’s Purse paid Graham Franklin $561,000. That same year the organization received $10 million in government grants.”

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      In KNOW, right? That’s what caught my attention most. He gets paid over half a mil by a *charitable organization*!

      “Help the poor, sure, but, you know, after I get something for myself. Just five and a half cents on the dollar of our government funds, ’cause, you know, I’m a humble, selfless kinda guy…”

      Yikes. Now I have (at least) two reasons not to associate with them. Seriously, there is so much better out there.

  • http://formerconservative.wordpress.com Formerconservative

    I got exactly the same letter, for doing exactly the same shoebox service project.

    http://formerconservative.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/eat-at-zaxbys-on-august-1st/

  • Nathan T

    Great job John. Your letter, with all the blue comments, really shows the love of Christ in action. Your blog is full of loving correction and gentle admonition for those Christians who have gotten off-track with their beliefs. I can tell that you take Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:45 very seriously.

    (Sarcasm intended)

    Perhaps people value groups like Samaritan’s Purse so much because they take Jesus’s message seriously – even if they might get messed up on a few points. I hope that Chick-Fillet lives up to their Christian ideal by offering free meals and drinks to all protesters. THAT is the sort of message that get’s people to take Christ seriously.

    • Nathan T

      Sorry, should have said Matthew 5:43.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      He doesn’t have to give “loving admonition” (that the CEO of Chik-Fil-A wouldn’t listen to anyway) in a blog post. He’s a writer. He gets to write what he thinks and doesn’t have to water it down. You’re free to disagree with his points.

    • Lymis

      It would not be living up to Christian ideals by giving free meals to people when you are working tirelessly to rewrite the Constitution to permanently strip them of equality under the law.

      A sandwich and 14¢ worth of soda don’t quite make up for not being able to carry your spouse on your insurance, being forbidden to visit them in the hospital, and not being legally considered the parent of your own child.

      Christian principles? Talk about giving people stones when they ask for bread!

      Unless, of course, you mean what has clearly become all too common a modern “Christian” principle, which is putting on a good fake public show of love and tolerance while you are knifing people in the back the moment the cameras stop rolling. That isn’t a principle that has anything to do with Christ, but it sadly has all too much to do with some of his followers.

      • Nathan T

        Lymis, you obviously are not familiar with the work of Samaritan’s Purse. I’ve given (literally) thousands and thousands of dollars over the years to them. They do AMAZING work reaching the forgotten people of this world with just a taste of the love that God has for us. The denigrating of the work they do (by John and others here) is beyond distasteful. It is reprehensible. Samaritan’s Purse is not a hate group. This is a group that comes (just about) as close to the true spirit of Christianity as anything I have witnessed. Talk about kicking your Christian brother to the curb. Many of you guys on this site are just as bigoted as those you scoff at. It’s disgusting to witness the comments here and frankly I’m done with this website. It’s one thing to stand up for what you believe it. It’s entirely another to belittle a group that has helped so many millions of people in war zones, natural disasters, and famine-stricken areas.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          (Nathan was not, in fact, “done” with this website; he quickly followed up with a long and almost shockingly noxious comment [which you won't see because by then I'd already put him on moderation]. I’m hoping, of course, that he now just goes away, but if he does—without first trying to post ten more raving comments, without emailing me so often I have to also block him from my email, without opening a bunch of g-and/or hotmail accounts and commenting from them—he’ll be the first. What is it about the Internet that brings out the crazy in people?)

          • Lymis

            Must be the “net” part.

          • DR

            Or the people part. OH SNAP.

          • mike moore

            Pizza pockets and Red Bull brings out the crazy. Worse than Meth, plus you get fat.

          • DR

            Dear Nathan,

            You’re an arrogant prick who doesn’t learn. Seriously. The gall you have at continuing to nag people here for their tone using sarcastic and hostile tones yourself is almost creepy in it’s aggressive ignorance.

            Those of you who email John with your whiny complaints that you don’t get to speak your opinion exactly how you want it, when you want to and why you want to suffer from such immense, arrogant, insecure, myopically self-absorbed privilege – you are SO entitled that you believe you actually have the right to demand that ability – is kind of sickening to watch. It’s scary, actually, how disconnected you are from yourself.

          • DR

            its. Grammar!

        • Lymis

          Regardless, you didn’t suggest that Samaritan’s Purse pass out food to the protesters – you said that if Chik-fil-A did, it would be showing their Christian principles. I made no comment whatsoever about Samaritan’s Purse, so whether I am familiar with them or not is irrelevant.

          The owner of Chik-fil-A is donating millions annually to oppose equal rights for gay people. A few sandwiches wouldn’t balance that out.

          If Chik-fil-a is passing out sandwiches to people in war zones and famine stricken areas, that’s news to me. And it would also be odd.

          • Jill

            >>>If Chik-fil-a is passing out sandwiches to people in war zones and famine stricken areas, that’s news to me. And it would also be odd.<<<
            :) :) :)

            Just keep 'em coming Lymis. Serious perfection.

        • DR

          Nathan if you promise to really be done with this website, I’ll send you free chicken for a year. From KFC though. That’s my compromise.

    • dan(chicago)

      Odd that you would respond with your own sarcasm, Nathan.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. Oh, the irony.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          “Oh yeah, well isn’t sacasm just the most loving of all possible responses. Seriously, that’s *exactly* what a loving Christian would do. Keep up the good work, John.”

          Wow.

    • DR

      I LOVE it when Nathan shows up and uses sarcasm to chastise John and others for their tone. It is this delicious, unconscious irony that is kind of terrifying but almost surreal in its absurdity and dear Nathan has cornered the market on it. Well done.

    • DR

      OMG. Giving chicken that’s not even a real chicken away for free is now Christian love? I can’t.

    • KarenAtFOH

      Seems to me Jesus wasn’t afraid to open up a can of “whoop-moneychanger” when the occasion called for it.

  • mike moore

    Thanks, John, I needed alternatives to banging my head against the wall, and you have provided some excellent inspiration here! (Would using a croquet mallet upside my head be too gay?)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yes.

    • Lymis

      Everyone knows croquet mallets are most appropriately used to strike balls, not heads.

      That might, however, count as distracting.

      • mike moore

        do you watch “Weeds”? If so, then you know that croquet mallets are very versatile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.frazier1 Paul Frazier via Facebook

    Once again proving the adage that “bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry.”

    • Dawn

      or bigotry wrapped in breading and deep fried?

  • Beth Hervey Alexander via Facebook

    Love you John. You are one of the sanest people I have never met!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Ah, Beth, that’s so sweet. And so sad for you.

  • Jill Hileman via Facebook

    snarky is a language I speak fluently.

    • mike moore

      omfg, I’m fluent in snarky. Pleased to meet you. No, really, I am.

      • Jill

        yeah right. ;)

  • Melisa Peterson Arndt via Facebook

    I am so heartbroken and frankly pissed off. I have supported Samaritan’s Purse and asked my friends and family to do so for 3 years worth of natural disasters and holidays.

  • Amber

    Keep up the great work Franklin, Samaritans Purse and Chick-Fil-A! You have my moral and financial support more than ever!

    • mike moore

      Amber, I love your irreverent satiric tone. I’ve been hearing all kinds of idiots say that same thing while actually meaning it! I know, unbelievable, isn’t it?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      So dry! I love it. Thanks for the laugh, Amber.

      • Amber

        You are welcome as I write a check to Samaritans Purse and am looking forward to many delicious chicken sandwiches in the future.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          God, you just get funnier! Love it!

          • Amber

            I know great isn’t it. Actually I love that you are laughing. It makes me feel good as I support Franklin and Chick-Fil-A. So thank you!

          • mike moore

            Amber, the “delicious chicken sandwiches …” line? OMG, you really have to stop this, I’m laughing too hard to eat my lunch.

            I wish you had sound effects, because I bet you’d play one of those old, almost impossible to open, rusted hinge sounds while pretending to open your checkbook. Maybe some moths fluttering out of your handbag as you reach in? CLASSIC! SNL’s church lady has nothin’ on you!

          • Amber

            I am here all night folks!

          • John (not McCain)

            Let us know when you keel over from eating all that worthless fried crap! Har Har Har Har!

            Will you be riding your taxpayer-funded fattie scooter to the drive thru?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            (“Amber” is one of my Christian fundy trolls who uses a spammer’s program to change his/her/its IP, which makes him/her/it difficult to keep off the site. Just so you know what kind of bug we’re playing with here.)

          • Oz in OK

            All that work just to spout a bunch of nonsense and be laughed at? “Amber” must be seriously lacking in the ‘having a life’ department…

          • Melody

            That’s a general characteristic of trolls. Our “friend” FishFinger might disagree, but there’s no weaseling around that fact.

          • DR

            This is my favorite comment of the month.

          • DR

            I love all of the Christian love Amber shows on this site, “her” passive aggressive behavior is I’m sure, something that Jesus is awfully proud of and wants her to embody so she can show everyone she has the higher form of truth.

            Wait a minute…..

          • Melody

            Exactly. The story of the Pharisee and the tax collector comes to mind. But people like her obviously think it only applies to liberal scum like us.

  • Beth Cottle via Facebook

    I really think the whole thing is non–essential news. But, wouldn’t it be wonderful if these militant anti-equality groups spent their money on feeding the hungry, helping the poor, donating to local schools, and assisting the elderly? I am pretty sure that these too are Biblical Christian values that would help our nation, not continue tearing it apart and tearing people down.

  • http://mrhackman.blogspot.com Andrew

    “Are they still going with the inanity that one woman + one man = the Biblical definition of marriage? Have these people ever read the Bible? ~ John Shore

    No John, they haven’t. Popular Western religion survives by loudly trumpeting the truth of the bible, while remaining safely oblivious to four-fifths of its content. :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Andrew Hackman! I see you’ve become more radical than last time I online selves crossed. Good deal! And good to hear from you.

      • http://mrhackman.blogspot.com Andrew

        Thanks John. Yeah, I stepped off the Christian path earlier this year. However, I still love your writing and appreciate your voice on these issues. You are one of the few voices of reason “calling out in the desert”. Of course, being complimented by a hell destined agnostic is just proving your apostasy all the more to the local fundies, so I’ll just be quiet now. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahjanelillard Sarah Lillard via Facebook

    As a non Christian, who loves your writing, I am constantly suggesting to my religious friends to read everything you write.
    One of my issues with my Christian friends who have said to me, “Not all Christians believe that.”, or, “Not in the new testament.”, is they may feel that way, but they NEVER would do anything to publicly show their support. Truthfully, most Christians I know, may go to church , but they never study the bible on their own, yet they say what they were told is in it, rather then their experience. I believe faith is an action, not just a thought. You are so inspiring to those of us who want inclusion in this world rather then persecution. Your willingness to share your perspective has helped me gain faith and a better understanding in those of the Christian faith. Thank you.

    • Allie

      Sarah – don’t be afraid to speak up to your Christian friends. Christians are called on to stand up for the persecuted, but it’s easy to forget and harder to do when there’s not a giant gang of bullies (read: typical fundy church) backing you up. Just please say, “I’m glad that you feel that way but it would make me feel a lot better if you stood up for me in public and not just in our private conversations.” People need reminded. Reminding Christians to act like Christians shouldn’t be on you, but the truth is everything is on everyone – to make things better all of us have to work at it.

  • Michelle Rodriguez via Facebook

    @Sarah, I totally understand how you feel and know it can be frustrating. But don’t give up on your Christian friends…you never know when that one conversation can start to change everything. I am one of those friends…who for years believed that homosexuality was wrong…but I know that God brought people into my life and my heart changed and I am so thankful for it. I know and love many people who still believe that way and it saddens me because while I can’t say all of them, I know that many of them believe it because they’ve been told that for so long by people they trust. Many have not studied the scriptures for themselves but rely on sermons and advice and find themselves on the wagon but can’t really explain why except to say, “the Bible says so”. I can now say proudly that I am a gay-affirming Christian and I have never been stronger in my faith and God has never been more present in my life. They will come along…I truly believe it and you may be the friend who helps them work out their questions…hang in there <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rishey Debra Rishy Adams via Facebook

    Laura, I agree with you, to a point. The business owner does have a right to his opinion, as bigoted and misguided as it is. I have a right to disagree with his opinion, and demonstrate my disagreement by not spending my money there, and letting my friends know why.

  • mike moore

    Amber, you know, that actually is a very good idea. And I just happen to know who could use some chicken sandwiches.

    Because of the rhetoric and teachings of people like Franklin Graham and Dan Cathy, over 500,000 gay kids in the good ole USofA have been booted from their homes and now live on the streets.

    Their suicide rate is mind-numbing, and those who do survive on the streets live under constant threat of physical and sexual assault, often resorting from selling their bodies for food and essentials (you, those splurges on an old pair of shoes or a thrift store winter coat.)

    Your values helped throw these kids out onto the streets, a few chicken sandwiches seems to be the very least – truly, the absolute least – that you could do for them.

    • mike moore

      Just saw John’s note about “Amber” – scratch what I said above, Amber. Instead, simply FOAD.

      • Sharla

        Actually what you have suggested is a very good idea. My heart is absolutely broken at the thought that people, because of these teachings, are throwing LGBT children away. Perhaps this would be a better way for us who disagree with Mr. Cathy’s position and political donations to respond. It would probably make a great deal more difference in the world, and show folks that Mr. Cathy and his ilk do not represent all Christians.

        (I’d say we could buy our chicken sandwiches elsewhere, however, to avoid continuing to fund the throwing away of children.)

        • Allie

          The local news had a thing on how huge the Chick-fil-A support was in Memphis. I didn’t make the news, btw, they went to the one on Union and mine is the one on Winchester. It sounds like the one on Union was just completely insane with people.

          But anyway they mentioned a counterprotest staged locally which asks people to donate the cost of a chick-fil-a meal, which apparently is about $6.50, to some gay-supporting organization. Sounds good to me.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    More on the question of how accurate a reflection of Billy Graham’s personal views have been statements his organization has released recently:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-knight/billy-graham-is-not-an-anti-gay-bigot_b_1716448.html

  • vj

    John, your comments on the letter had me in stitches/tears – haven’t laughed so much in a while; thanks!

  • http://onethirstyfish.blogspot.com/ Ruth

    I think BOTH Christians and the GLBT community have a tendancy to demonize the other side. That leads nowhere. (That includes you calling people stupid, John…) I stand for gay marriage, but I don’t think that makes it ok to bash other human beings who disagree. Here are my two cents on the topic: http://onethirstyfish.blogspot.com/2012/08/chick-fil-appreciation-day.html

    • DR

      People are stupid! I am often stupid. This weird, hyper-sensitive approach to the world that Christians often apply is an unrealistic and frankly damaging standard.

      • Jill

        If mainstream Christians had to fight for their right to be treated justly under the law, I’d give credence to Ruth’s argument. But they’re not. Instead they’re mistakenly called the moral majority.

        If they did have to pursue justice, it would be called religious persecution. But when religious groups collectively lobby in persecution of all those they deem outside their worldview, it’s called standing up for biblical principles.

        Yeah I drank that koolaid back in the day. It was tooth-achingly sweet with the slight aftertaste of arsenic.

        • DR

          exactly this.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Jill’s been rocking this blog since she showed up on it. I could take about 10 you guys, and start some kind of weird Blogging Comment Battalion, and … take over the Internet.

            god, I always get like this during a full moon…

          • Jill

            Wow. Thank you, kind sir. Underneath all my posted angst, the heart of me is made of mushy brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal, so that praise made my inner mush a bit wobbly. You’ve made my day, all before 9am!

            You know, maybe if the collective faith-based communities would just turn some attention to what their reasoning, their stake is in marginalizing and denigrating groups of people ‘not like them’—whatever that means to them, a bigger, more mature dialog might emerge. I get the overarching fear of sin. But I can no longer in good conscience fear (ie: judge, loathe, etc.) ‘the sinner’. Because guess what… ??? ;)

            We were born to become a lot of different things in life, but Hypocrite was not one of them.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You must be new here, Ruth–by which I mean to say you pretty clearly don’t know much of my work at all. But … you know: feel free to chastise me and THEN use my blog to drive traffic to yours. No problem.

      *snerk.*

      • Allie

        I’m just sad for her being so poor that Chick-fil-A was a treat. For real. Chick-fil-A is mall food. It’s not a treat, it’s kind of nasty even as fast food goes.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          I worked at the mall for 6 years. The chicken chain was one of the better options offered, but not nearly as good as the local gyro place next door, owned and operated by people from Turkey, and likely and very quietly Muslim. They knew us regulars and often had our orders going before we even walked up the counter…well at least the fries, which were perfection via spud.

        • Akconstant

          If you define spiritual and physical poison as food, I totally agree

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            huh?

      • Rachel

        Hey John. I love the post, I linked to it on facebook. If I can just say something real quick in defense of Ruth: She’s not new, in fact I’ve been following her blog ever since YOU linked to it a few months ago when she wrote a great review of Unfair. And I didn’t think her above comment was really out of line.

        Sorry, I don’t mean to start anything, I just think there are plenty of assholes on the internet and I hate to see someone being called out who clearly isn’t one!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          fair enough. thank you. (though it was obnoxious to reduce this whole post to my calling anyone “stupid”–and then tsk-tsking me as if that is, in fact, all I’d done.)

        • Jill

          I reread Ruth’s post to make sure I also was giving it fair treatment. But I still affirm John’s use of the word stupid. People say and do stupid things all the time. You should see me drive. (kidding)

          The stupid that’s of the Homer Simpson variety is cute and silly, but marginalizing, infantilizing, and polarizing a categorized group of people because of a chosen and narrow view of morality is not the kind of stupid I can quietly abide. In fact I feel that bashing cruel and inhumane prejudices is exactly what needs to be done. They need to continually be pummeled with logic and truth so light (finally!) can shine through the cracks and once and for all shatter into a gazillion pieces never to be put back together.

          How important was it to ‘demonize’ the treatment of blacks during the civil rights movement of the ‘60’s? It may seem like I’m splitting hairs and perhaps being hard on the blogger (not my intention), but I am being hard on the comment.

          Once equal rights are firmly established and then people start getting snarky at one another, then and only then will I agree with Ruth’s statement. And frankly I look forward to that day.

  • Oz in OK

    Wow…

    I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve watched in utter amazement at just how FURIOUS my LGBT and supportive ally friends have become over this whole fiasco – it’s played out on my FB feed all day.

    There’s been a *lot* of people being ‘called out’ today on going to this thing, and still saying ‘Oh we can still be friends, can’t we? It’s just a difference of opinion’ and getting totally ripped to shreds – in public view – by people who have had enough of ‘Christians’ trying to have it both ways.

    ‘I am not, nor will I EVER be your ‘Gay friend’ that you can use to justify your bigotry! NEVER!’ That was a FB post by a good friend of mine, addressed to someone he had known for 30 years – who had been proudly boasting about how much Chick-Fil-A she had bought today. I was especially stunned because he is always so considerate of others’ feelings he wouldn’t ever humiliate someone in full view of his FB friends (and he has a lot of FB friends)… until today.

    I think for all the crowing by the Religious Reich, there are a bunch of people who are going to bed tonight realizing that their ‘gay friends’ have all collectively told them to GTFO and had the door slammed behind them… and they’re no doubt wondering what the hell just happened.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Seems to me that if they’re wondering then they never really had any gay friends at all. (But I do hear and appreciate what you’re saying.)

      • Oz in OK

        John, I totally hear ya. I think a lot of these ‘Christians’ have just been doing a version of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ – they don’t say anything about how they really feel, and there’s sort of an informal truce… but that isn’t the case anymore.

    • DR

      I’m glad he was able to say what he did to his friend. Anger is often, the only activating agent we have at our disposal that works.

    • Allie

      It really is not okay to persecute others. You cannot try to take someone’s rights away and then expect them to remain your friend, any more than you can punch someone in the nose and expect them to remain your friend. Would you consider it “just a difference of opinion” if someone was trying to declare YOUR marriage invalid? If they declared that you being a second-class citizen under the laws of this nation was part of their “religious values”?

    • Lymis

      I don’t think a lot of these people understand just how much they’ve caused their gay acquaintances to bite their tongues over the years. I know that, even now, but especially in years past, there were a lot of things that I just didn’t object to that bothered me about attitudes some of my friends had, usually regarding gender stereotypes or offensive assumptions about either gay realities or straight privilege.

      But I was also aware that if I only was “friends” with people who got things 100% right, especially in the small town I was in, I simply wouldn’t have had any straight friends.

      And there is a point where you agree to disagree – but part of that agreement is that you won’t keep saying things that force me to choose between agreeing or shutting up. Agreeing to disagree also means agreeing to drop the subject in each other’s presence, not for you to be able to keep going on about it while I stew in silence.

      Going on facebook and announcing how wonderful it is to actively participate in oppressing me and joining others in putting me in my place would definitely cross that line.

      What I’m hoping is that the day is coming soon when the surprise isn’t that their “gay friends” are offended and angry, but that their straight friends are just as incensed.

      • http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com Michael Mock

        “What I’m hoping is that the day is coming soon when the surprise isn’t that their ‘gay friends’ are offended and angry, but that their straight friends are just as incensed.”

        For the record… some of us are.

        • Liz

          Yep, I’m straight, have many friends who just happen to be gay (though this isn’t how I define them) and I’m definitely incensed at anybody I know who is proudly in support of CFA.

  • KarenAtFOH

    The turnout for bigot chicken yesterday was shockingly breathtaking. I feel like whiplash going from the high of walking in the San Diego Pride Parade to the low of news choppers and live interviews in long lines at the chik-filet-o-gorge. I sat slack-jawed and stunned in disbelief at the hate unfolding on my TV screen during the local news. Someone was asked why they came, and they replied “To support the bible!” Yikes. I feel terror stirring in my subconscious. What happened to the lovely California tolerance? I feel like I’m back in the Redneck Riviera ™ of Panama City, FL. My ex used to refuse to hold my hand in a darkened movie theater for fear someone in a pickup truck would run us down in the parking lot. And she was a burly guard in the state prison system! I once did a dramatic scripture reading during Good Friday at our little LGBT church. Now I feel like I’m living “My God, why have you forsaken me?” A year ago, I was creating video media for the lenten sermon series on the passion of Christ, and as I would sit and listen to the message, I would think to the pastor, “If you could only understand, your sermons are describing my life.” Then a choir member sent around an email about how we should all support Chik-fil-a because they are being oppressed by gay rights activists. I responded with an email saying that I was a member of that minority, and asked for her understanding that there might be legitimate anger against them for their support of anti-gay causes and groups. She never responded directly to me, and it’s funny how I am no longer employed by them, even though I had to promise the pastor that I would remain celibate as a condition of working there. Now I am taking heart in living openly and with courage. A neighbor stopped by the other day and revealed she was an Episcopal pastor. I told her my housemate and I were partners, and she said, “Oh, I’m so happy for you!” That was nice. We hold hands and kiss in public, and I am not going to let the bigots dictate behavior to me in my new home any more. As for the chicken, I remain a vegetarian. More Boca patties, please.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      very powerful. i’m gonna go link to this one off my fan page.

    • Jill

      KarenatFOH, if memory still serves, I can very nearly guarantee the fundy background from which I was catapulted would generally have NO freaking clue about your compelling story. Keeping their collective heads buried in their homemade doctrinaire books and brochures, they don’t see the impact of their sweeping judgments on real live human beings.

      But what they continually fail to realize is that the Divine is found less within the texts and manuals of their faith, but rather in the person standing in front of us.

      Every time I hear stories of LGBTQ people living their lives, couples being just who they are– it gives me so much HOPE that this is becoming a non-issue a little bit every day. I hope that didn’t sound dismissive– it’s meant to sound like relief. Hearing your story helped me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.m.greer.92 David M. Greer via Facebook

    heart wrenching…it’s so sad that even those of us in affirming denominations and in “mostly” affirming congregations are still asked to “tone it down”… of course, it’s usually done in a much more subtle manner but the “if you really want to lead in this congregation, you can’t be SO gay” message is pretty clear.

  • Lisa Metzler via Facebook

    Oh, thank you so much@@ I needed this!!!!!

  • Mindy Miller via Facebook

    Yes. This.

  • http://rgvreeland.com RG Vreeland

    This has been so upsetting to watch all of this chick fil a business unfold this week. I have come to feel that I live in a very hostile community. North Carolina, the south, this country to some degree, is a place full of people with ideas that are aimed at either withholding or taking away the rights of the LGBTQ community, of women and of non-christians. Too many of these people wrap their hate up in a Jesus suit and tell us that the bible makes it ok. Well I cannot accept that. I don’t care what book says it’s ok, if your religious beliefs hurt another human being, then those beliefs are wrong. (And I’m sure someone will come up with an example of a belief that “hurts” murderers or some group that’s deserving; great! Good Job!)

    more of my thoughts here … bit.ly/MdVF2ICOPY

  • Elizabeth Potter Graham via Facebook

    Some Grahams use floury language.

  • Sarah

    Comparing Christians to Gay people is ridiculous. Being religious is a choice, being gay is not. When you choose to open a business in the United States, you are then governed by it’s laws supporting civil rights. If they were supporting organizations against women’s rights or Senior citizens, I can’t believe there would be the same defense of these businesses.

  • p.

    John, you make me laugh. And I’m glad for that final line– about how much Franklin Graham makes. Gah! That’s about what the director of the Red Cross made, before it was a national scandal.

    You might want to direct your readers to Steve Knight’s piece about Billy Graham. Knight suggests that Franklin may well be using Billy’s name of late, to make supportive comments about Chik Fil A, or to support the legislation in North Carolina. Billy, being in the last stages of Parkinsons and well into his 90′s might well have been used.

    http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/08/01/billy-graham-not-anti-gay-bigot

    Can you think of anything worse to say about Franklin than that?

    I await Billy being wheeled out onto the porch to make a statement, if this is in fact untrue.

  • Paula Hepola Anderson via Facebook

    Christians rallying around Hatred. Come Lord Jesus!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrewchow01 Andrew Chow via Facebook

    I don’t know why people make a big deal of the long lines. We know for a fact that at least 30% disapprove of marriage equality. We know for a fact that the “Christian” population is sizable in certain communities. That’s at least 100 million nationwide, and hundreds of thousands in certain parts.

    The point is not how many people are in line. The point is, Christian Right twisted this into a freedom of religion issue, and a big part of the lgbt community allowed it to happen, instead of making it clear that despite disagreeing with their views, they respect the Christian right to express and believe it. By stepping into this trap, is it any wonder that the result is undesirable?

    What percentage of those in line would support bullying? That’s what Fellowship of Christian Athletes support when they isolate and ostracize gay Christian athletes.

    What percentage of those in line would support putting gays in jail or to death? That’s what Family Research Council supports for gays in Uganda, and for all we know, the rest of the world including America.

    What percentage of those in line would support torturing gay teens and adults to change their identity? That’s what Exodus International does with “reparative” therapy.

    Marriage equality is NOT about faith. Making it about faith is a bad mistake and one that GBLT community needs to learn. It’s time to live and let live. No matter how much you disagree with the Bible, let it go. I dislike Dan Savage in one way, even though I like him in other ways, precisely because he is obsessed with making fun of Christians without realizing that he is offending many gay Christians.

    Without respect, there is no love, as you said so well in your latest blog, John. Brilliant.

  • Kristi

    I love the fact that Chick-Fil-A is a [bad word] food chain packed full of preservatives, sodium, fat, calories, and color dyes. Goes right along with the “moral majority” and their [same bad word] views on life.

  • Carl Sansoucy via Facebook

    I thought Christianity was all about love???

  • Carl Sansoucy via Facebook

    Good posting, Andrew. Marriage is NOT a religious issue. When you want a marriage license you go to the government. when you want a divorce, you go to the government. Marriage is a civil issue and a civil right. If certain denominations refuse to marry those of the same sex, it’s up to them. Keep religion out of it!

  • Mary Burleson via Facebook

    I have been in a committed relationship with my partner for 14 years,together we have 4 kids three grandsons 2 jobs and plenty of bills,we work hard, love each other big, take our kids to school everyday, do homework and make dinner just like everyone else. My own sister has gone on to posting about this ridiculous subject, very hurtful and disrespectful to me and my family, why is this even a discussion? If I was black and someone came out from a company saying these kind of things (and this happened ) we would all be outraged, but since it is just the “gays” now its a matter of choice, why does your reliogon matter when it comes to chicken? For goodness sake don’t we have bigger issues to worry about…this just sickens me, and the fact that my own sister whom I love supports someone discriminating against me is more hurtful than I can express in words.

    • Jeff H.

      This post just breaks my heart. Thank you for being a strong and courageous person … And a great role model for your kids.

  • Carole Hoffman Howell via Facebook

    Nail on the head

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancye.f.harris Nancye Ferguson Harris via Facebook

    I am sure That the real Rev.Graham(Billy) is deeply ashamed of Franklin.

  • Gail Livingston via Facebook

    How can you, Billy? You’ve preached the gospel all your life and you still don’t know we are all children of God and we are all one. Why don’t you draw a circle that takes all of us in? St. Peter would be proud of you, I think.

    • p.

      There are more than a few people wondering (some, in writing, in public forums)if Billy –who is in the late stages of Parkinson’s, and who refused to join Falwell’s Moral Majority ages ago– really made the statements he’s being credited with recently, or whether Franklin signed his name to them. When asked if Billy would be willing to speak to the issue directly recently, Franklin replied, “that will never happen.”

  • Lymis

    For anyone needing this as a reference for other discussions about this or similar issues, here’s a link to a graphic which shows US states where it is still legal to fire people simply for being gay (currently, a majority of US states.) A lot of people assume that it is illegal to fire someone for being gay and therefore assume that protests by LGBT people and our allies must be about something more sinister, like “attacking Christianity.”

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xtxmBZYZS84/UBvYuaLHUmI/AAAAAAABixs/LRNBLgl22F0/s1600/Cartografia.png

  • charles

    this interesting development leads me to only contributed a scripture verse to the discourse-

    The Rich Young Ruler

    Mt. 19.16-30 · Mk. 10.17-31

    18 ¶ And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

    20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Ex. 20.14 · Deut. 5.18 Do not kill, Ex. 20.13 · Deut. 5.17 Do not steal, Ex. 20.15 · Deut. 5.19 Do not bear false witness, Ex. 20.16 · Deut. 5.20 Honor thy father and thy mother. Ex. 20.12 · Deut. 5.16

    21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

    22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

    24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

    25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

    27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

    28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

    29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,

    30 who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

  • Mark

    I posted this article on my fb and got a response from one of my consevative Christian friends, “It doesn’t help that the headline puts the words “reject gays” into the mouths of people who did not use those words.” I really did not have a response. Is this an actual quote of Franklin’s or just literary license?