In a story that has now made national news – picked up by Time, USA Today, Huffington Post and more – Cracker Barrel has made it clear that All Scripture Baptist Church, run by Pastor/Detective Grayson Fritts, would not be welcome at their establishment.
Fritts has called for the executions of LGBT people, and was forced into retirement from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department as a result.
The Cracker Barrel situation started with a Facebook post by All Scripture Baptist saying they would be heading to Cleveland, TN June 29th. The sharp eye of Blake Kitterman, a local resident, alerted us to the fact that the address on the post was in fact that of the Cracker Barrel in Cleveland.
We reached out to the Cracker Barrel to see if they knew anything about the event, and they told us they had heard of the post but were “blindsided” by it.
“All we do is feed people, we don’t do events,” the manager said. He clearly understood the seriousness of the situation, and gave us the number for Cracker Barrel’s national press relations.
Within hours, Cracker Barrel had issued an official statement saying they had no affiliation with Fritts and his church, and they would not be welcome to have an event at the restaurant.
We work hard every day to foster a culture that is welcoming and inclusive. We strongly disagree with Mr. Fritts’ statements of hate and divisiveness. Please see our full statement below. pic.twitter.com/kYc3fwm5kD
— Cracker Barrel (@CrackerBarrel) June 18, 2019
Cracker Barrel’s support for the LGBT community was immediately clear, which showed how far they have come since the early 1990’s, when their policies were discriminatory.
Many in the LGBT community were appreciative of their quick action, saying they’d be making sure to eat there and would visit the Cracker Barrel booth at the Pride event Nashville this weekend.
All Scripture’s response was to accuse Cracker Barrel of a “double standard”, as U.S. News tells us:
In response to Cracker Barrel’s statement, All Scripture Baptist Church said they were only going to Cracker Barrel for “meeting and eating” and called the restaurant chain hypocrites.
“If the ‘LGBT’ community hosted an event there and Christians complained they wouldn’t ban the ‘LGBT’ group, they would tell us they don’t ‘discriminate’ against anyone,” the church said in an emailed statement. “But hey, it’s their business. They can have a double standard if they want to.”
Having one standard for people who don’t call for the execution of an entire community of Americans, and one standard for those who DO, is a pretty decent way to operate.
Bravo, Cracker Barrel. Bravo.