Rev. Franklin Graham said he was assured by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy that the company “remains committed to Christian values,” after the fast-food chain’s charity arm decided to no longer donate to three organizations criticized for upholding traditional Christian beliefs on sexuality.
In a Thursday morning Facebook post, Graham, leader of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said he spoke with Cathy on the phone.
“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,” Graham wrote.
After it was reported this week that the Chick-fil-A Foundation switched up its giving structure to no longer include the Salvation Army, Paul Anderson Youth Home in Georgia and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the company has faced a wave of conservative uproar in response to the decision.
“Many people have fought for Chick-fil-A and for them to capitulate to the bullies is betrayal,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, one of Washington’s most prominent Christian conservative activists, said on his radio show Tuesday.
Donations to those organizations were the focus of much media scrutiny for Chick-fil-A after it was reported earlier this year that Chick-fil-A Foundation donated up to $1.8 million to the groups. Critics labeled the organizations as “discriminatory” because of their “anti-LGBT” beliefs on marriage.
Chick-fil-A has itself often been criticized because its founder, S. Truett Cathy, voiced his opposition to gay marriage in 2012. Because of Cathy’s belief in traditional Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, the company faced boycotts and condemnation from state and city leaders.
Graham argued, “In my opinion, 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! Their hatred for Chick-fil-A is rooted in founder Truett Cathy’s strong stand for biblical “traditional” values and his desire to honor God.”
A Bisnow exclusive Monday revealed that Chick-fil-A Foundation altered its philanthropic structure (which made over 300 donations) to one that focuses on three initiatives with one charity accompanying charity each.
The foundation plans to give $9 million to Junior Achievement USA to support education and Covenant House International to fight homelessness. In addition, the foundation will donate $25,000 to local community food banks to fight hunger every time a new restaurant is opened.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith