Rev. Franklin Graham Goes “All In” with Chick-fil-A, But Has He Been Misled
Rev. Franklin Graham took to Facebook and Twitter Thursday to reassure the flock that has been shaken by what some religious leaders and political pundits have called a major cave-in and shameful act of capitulation by Chick-fil-A following the mega restaurant chain’s announcement of its foundation’s 2020 funding priorities.
In his post, which has since garnered more than 52,000 shares, Graham said he was assured by Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy (son of Chick-Fil-A’s founder S. Truett Cathy) that the company “remains committed to Christian values,“ after the fast-food chain’s foundation decided to no longer donate to three organizations that have long been in the crosshairs of LGBTQ activists for upholding a Biblical view on sexuality.
Since the publication of the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s press release announcing its 2020 funding priorities and recipients, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) has since learned that the beloved fast food chain is making a commitment and sizeable donation to Covenant House International, a non-profit organization whose values do not reflect those professed by Chick-fil-A.
I reached out to Rev. Graham – who very graciously granted me an interview – to share with him our findings and ask for his thoughts on what appears to be an ignored subject of contention in the national Chick-fil-A debate. I consider Rev. Graham a standard bearer of the gospel, who has worked tirelessly around the world to promote and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing the good news and at times, hard truths. Truths that unfortunately far too many are sacrificing on the altar of political correctness.
Rev. Graham shared with me that Dan Cathy made it very clear to him that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community. He further stated that Dan told him he would never dishonor S. Truett Cathy’s legacy, which is one of commitment to Christian values, and assured him that commitment would never change. “I really think those organizations are doing great work in their local communities and are worthy of the foundation’s support”, Graham continued to quote Cathy.
Following this statement, I asked Rev. Graham if he was aware that Chick-fil-A had made a substantial 2020 financial commitment to Covenant House International (CHI), an LGBTQ affirming organization. Rev. Graham responded with an exhortation to love and serve anyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity and or sexual preference. I asked Rev. Graham if he was walking back prior statements, he’s made against Christian support of LGBTQ affirming organizations. I cited numerous sections of CHI’s website that confirm the organization does more than serve LGBTQ youth facing homelessness in the Americas, which is something that is commendable as we should serve anyone in need. However, CHI affirms the LGBTQ lifestyles and also has supported numerous LGBTQ Pride events. CHI has also partnered with True Color United, an LGBTQ rights organization that provided CHI with system-wide sensitivity training for its leaders and staffers.
Rev. Graham was sincerely caught off guard when presented with this new information. When asked whether or not he was aware of this contribution before publishing Thursday’s post, he said he was not. When asked if Evangelicals and businesses like Chick-fil-A, who profess to embrace biblical truths, should be financing LGBTQ affirming institutions that take their clients to Pride events, the Reverend firmly responded no.
Rev. Graham was sincere and gracious throughout our entire conversation. His post was authored in good faith, based on the information he was given by Dan Cathy. I asked Rev. Graham if he would walk back his post after learning about the controversial financial commitment to CHI, Rev. Graham requested that I provide his team with all of the citations we have included in this story for further review, and we have done so.
So, where is Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy? We don’t know. An interview and comment request were submitted to Chick-Fil-A’s media team via phone, email and their media room’s web form. Chick-fil-A has not acknowledged or responded to our requests as of the publishing of this article. We will certainly update this article with any statement we receive from Chick-fil-A.
For now, all we have are the following facts. Chick-fil-A Foundation made and fulfilled a three-year financial grant commitment to bible affirming organizations, that LGBTQ activists deem hateful. Needless to say, we refuse to give credence to the premise that loving people of faith and no-faith, who do not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles, are hate filled and bigots. Will we allow the fog of identity politics to unfairly besmirch organizations like the Salvation Army which has brought aid and comfort to millions of people in need; from all walks of life?
Chick-fil-A has gratuitously and perhaps naively disappointed millions of their loyal customers by cutting their partnership with strong Bible-based Christian organizations and instead has decided to not only continue but to expand its partnership with an LGBTQ affirming organization. Those of us, who through our prayers and dollars have shown our support for Chick-fil-A when others would try to destroy them with boycotts are disheartened that this “Christian company” appears to have gone “corporate” on us by bowing to political correctness rather than the Word of God.
Was Rev. Graham misled by Mr. Cathy? I don’t think so. Was Mr. Cathy led astray by rogue staff members who have given him ill-conceived advice? It’s a possibility. It is not too late for Chick-Fil-A to address the matter publicly. We extend an invitation to Mr. Dan Cathy to set the record straight.
All of us who are firm in our faith and have been loyal customers pray that he will follow God’s will and do what is right.