Christian evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham is calling for Americans to join him in making Sunday “Pray for Chick-fil-A Day.”
In a Facebook post Saturday, Graham noted the flare-up of controversy surrounding the fast-food chain after its recent announcement it would no longer be giving to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Homes – all Christian organizations that support biblical principles of sexuality and marriage.
Chick-fil-A has been in the news a lot, and every day it seems there’s a new article about their charitable giving. There has been a lot of concern and criticism, and maybe rightly so. 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. What can we do now? 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 tomorrow “Pray for Chick-fil-A Day?” Will you join me in praying?
Last week, Graham said he had a conversation with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and felt assured afterward the company had not “bowed down” to demands from LGBT activists in its decision to end donations to the Christian organizations.
“Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community,” Graham said.
However, over the last several days it was discovered the restaurant giant’s 2017 990 IRS filing showed Chick-fil-A donated $2,500 to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in addition to several pro-abortion and pro-LGBT activist groups.
Chick-fil-A admitted to the donation to SPLC and attempted to calm the firestorm over its contribution by laying blame on an anonymous staff member who made the decision.
“The SPLC donation was made by a volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Advisory Board,” a press representative for Chick-fil-A said.
Many other Christian leaders have condemned Chick-fil-A’s recent announcement and the news of its prior donation to the far-left organization.
“Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, it has donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council (FRC).
FRC is a Christian organization that was a victim of a domestic terrorist attack by Floyd Lee Corkins II, who told the FBI he found the FRC building as his target by using a “hate map” on the SPLC website.
“Anyone who opposes the SPLC, including many Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and traditional conservatives, is slandered and slapped with the ‘extremist’ label or even worse, their ‘hate group’ designation,” Perkins added.
American Family Association (AFA) created a petition that urges Chick-fil-A to return to its support of Christian ministries.
“Chick-Fil-A has evidently decided to move away from supporting Christian ministries and side instead with the those who believe biblical teaching on human sexuality are indeed hate groups,” Tim Wildmon, AFA president told Breitbart News. “Make no mistake, this is compilation or in plain English — Chick-fil-A caved to the LGBT stormtroopers.”
Tim Tassopoulos, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, said in a statement his company’s goal “is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.”
“No organization will be excluded from future consideration – faith based or non-faith based,” he said, but then made it clear the company would be moving in a different direction from its support of faith-based organizations that embrace their Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Tassopoulos said. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee observed the inconsistency in Tassopoulos’s statement that the change in policy is due to the need to “donate to the most effective organizations” that help those who are homeless and hungry. On Tuesday, Huckabee said on Family Research Council’s Washington Watch with Tony Perkins radio show The Salvation Army “serves everyone” and serves “more people who are homeless” and without food and shelter than any organization in the world.