Billy Graham, usually silent since he retired to his cabin in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, has come out roaring this week. Days ago he decried America’s spiritual decline. Now he’s defending Chick-fil-A for opposing same-sex marriage. One can’t help but wonder if son and successor, Franklin, has anything to do with it, reports Religion News Service.
Linking to a Christianity Today website news release, RNS says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Joe Moreno are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago. Emanuel said, "Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has written a letter to Cathy in response to his views saying, "I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it."
Nevertheless, many have spoken in support of Cathy. Evangelist Billy Graham released the following statement about the controversy:
I want to express my support for my good friends Truett Cathy and his son Dan Cathy, and for their strong stand for the Christian faith. I've known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values. Chick-fil-A serves each of its customers with excellence, and treats everyone like a neighbor. It's easy to see why Chick-fil-A has become so popular across America.
Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage.
I also appreciate [former Arkansas] Governor Mike Huckabee's leadership and for encouraging Americans to support Chick-fil-A on August 1. As the son of a dairy farmer who milked many a cow, I plan to 'Eat Mor Chikin' and show my support by visiting Chick-fil-A next Wednesday.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, wrote an opinion piece in support of Chick-fil-A, but focused on the Facebook snafu that temporarily blocked the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page started by Mike Huckabee. According to Daly, Facebook emailed Focus on the Family saying, "we mistakenly blocked an event as part of our spam prevention efforts and quickly worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified."
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, has also expressed support for Chick-fil-A saying that they will be "participating in [the] 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' campaign" on August 1, where they plan to purchase more than 200 sandwiches from a local restaurant.
--July 27, 2012