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Franklin Graham Pivots from Defense of Chick-fil-A to 'Pray They Stay Anti-Gay'

Monday Dec 2, 2019
Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham  (Source:AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Reliable Trump defender Franklin Graham lent his support recently to Chick-fil-A, the restaurant chain that has become a flashpoint in the renewed political war on America;'s LGBTQ community. The company recently announced that it would no longer give money to anti-LGBTQ groups and focus instead on more ecumenical charitable giving, with a focus on working to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless - Biblical precepts if ever there were such.

But despite Biblical passages that call for just such support for those in need, the chain came in for harsh criticism from the anti-gay hard religious right, who took offense at the idea that a private company might choose to give a portion of its profits to charities that seek to help people in need, rather than attack people over their sexual orientation, gender identity, or family structure.

That pushback included a meltdown from Mike Huckabee, who took to social media to remind the world of his leadership when it came to rescuing Chick-fil-A from the threat of a boycott with an "appreciation day" that saw the homophobic faithful flock to the eatery in 2012, after CEO Dan Cathy made remarks to the media that disparaged marriage equality.

Franklin Graham took to Facebook in the midst of the controversy to defend Chick-fil-A and point out that the charitable giving initiatives the company had announced were perfectly in line with purported Christian values.

Graham described in that post how he personally sprang into action:

"I picked up the phone and called Dan Cathy. 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."

Added the post: "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."

But as rage had continued to foment against the company from anti-LGBTQ Christians, Graham seemingly reconsidered, returning to Facebook on Nov. 30 to modulate his support for the company by calling on his followers to join him for a "Pray for Chick-fil-A Day."

Without consideration of left-leaning people of faith, Graham posited a sharp divide between that which is "Christian" and that which is politically liberal. Posted Graham:

For Christian schools, businesses, and organizations, there is always a danger of drifting to the left. It is my sincere hope that Chick-fil-A will not allow that to happen. With the majority of corporate America caving to the LGBTQ agenda, Chick-fil-A has stood against the tide—with people of faith supporting them all the way.

Graham went on to add:

I would encourage Christians everywhere to pray for Dan Cathy, his brother Bubba, and the family as they have some important decisions to make. It's their company, they can do what they want. But my prayer is that God will lead and direct them and that they will continue to honor their late father Truett Cathy's strong stand for biblical values—all to the glory of God!

"While Chick-fil-A is one of the few restaurants closed on Sunday to honor God, what if we make today 'Pray for Chick-fil-A Day?' " Graham suggested in his post. "Will you join me in praying?"

Chick-fil-A has practically become synonymous with anti-gay corporate activism, with city councils and college campuses denying concessions to the company and homophobic politicians embracing the firm's "religious freedoms." The company's PR has insisted that Chick-fil-A is no longer interested in political statements and is dedicated solely to providing its customers with tasty fare.

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