THE Christian bigotry of S Truett Cathy, above, founder of a chain of food outlets who went to Glory Everlasting in 2014 aged 93, remains firmly embedded in the company, according to evangelist Franklin Graham.
How does he know this? Because Graham, enraged by last week’s statement by the company that will stop donating to anti-gay organisations, got straight onto the phone to Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy, and demanded to know whether it was true that the company would be ceasing charitable donations to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
While critics have accused Chick-fil-A of capitulating to LGBT activists, Graham insisted that, off the back of his call with Cathy, it was clear that this was not the case. In a Facebook post yesterday, the evangelist wrote:
Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community. They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this.
The preacher concluded that the LGBT crowd’s “hatred for Chick-fil-A” is rooted in founder S Truett Cathy’s strong stand for biblical “traditional” values and “his desire to honor God,” values that he insists are still very much alive at the highest echelons of the company.
No fast food chain does a better job. I went through the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A yesterday morning, and I thought I might get dinner there – but a whole lot of other people had the same idea! A Chick-fil-A sandwich with waffle fries sounds really good right now!
Graham suggested that:
The gay movement wouldn’t ever be happy with Chick-fil-A unless they were open on Sunday, gave all of their charitable donations to LGBTQ organizations, and flew the rainbow flag over their stores!
Despite Graham’s claims, Chick-fil-A has not issued any official statements regarding the specific reasons for why they dropped The Salvation Army and FCA in particular, nor have they expressed a view on the group’s Biblically-informed positions on sexuality.
From the little information Chick-fil-A has released on the decision, it appears that it simply had enough to negative press reports, which led to the impending closure of its first UK outlet.Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told BisNow of the company’s controversial decision.
We need to be clear about who we are. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.
On the company’s future donations, a BisNow report noted that:
Partners could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities, but the company said none of the organisations have anti-LGBT positions.
Writing for Faithwire, Will Maule, said:
It is unclear what BizNow [sic], or Chick-fil-A for that matter, would define as ‘anti-LGBT.’
The chain did explicitly state that it would be refocusing charitable funds toward the tackling of issues such as “hunger and homelessness.”
That’s a confusing assertion in itself, not least because the Salvation Army is internationally renowned for its work in helping the poor and homeless – something the charity honed in on when responding to the controversy.
The Salvation Army itself entered the fray by issuing a statement that said:
We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population.
The Salvation Army’s statement went on to call upon the public to avoid spreading “misinformation” about the church’s stance on LGBTQ issues.
When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk
We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgment and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors.