Save Chick-Fil-A Bill Passed In The Texas Legislature: Why was Chick-Fil-A under attack? And why was this bill was so much more than a “Save Chick-Fil-A Bill?” Tune in now to find out.

Air Date: 06/04/2019

Guest: Matt Krause

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

RICK:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

Today’s program is exactly that. Representative Matt Krause from the great state of Texas is going to be with us later today. At this moment, we’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

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An Important Legislative Session

All right, David, Tim, I’m excited about having Matt Krauss on the program later. He’s come coming fresh off of a legislative session. Every legislative session has good, bad, and the ugly.

I mean, some bad stuff gets through, some good stuff; and, Matt had a really important piece of legislation dealing with the city of San Antonio saying “no” to Chick-fil-A and, “We’re not going to allow Chick-fil-A because their owners believe in Biblical marriage;” kind of like the entire planet did up until just a few years ago.

DAVID:

Well, it’s interesting; that bill is called the “Save Chick-fil-A bill.”But, it’s really not; it’s much more. That’s the kind of pejorative name they’ve got attached to it.

A Religious Liberty Bill

It’s a religious liberty bill. And, it says, “Look; the government does not have the authority to punish you for holding your religious beliefs or your firmly-held, strong convictions,” as you said, that the whole world believed, until just a few years ago.

It goes back, in this case, with the city of San Antonio.

Now, let me, before I even say what’s happening here, when I see this kind of stuff happening that we’re going to describe, what I see is the government saying, “We’re so much smarter than you people are, we need to save you from yourselves. You don’t understand what you’re doing.”

Chick-fil-A is an exploding restaurant chain across the nation, in terms of growth. They’re are now the third largest restaurant chain. This is with all the opposition they’ve had from so many liberal organizations going after them and trying to keep Chick-fil-A off campuses.

As we saw, on that one particular campus, the kids voted it the number one restaurant they wanted to be was Chick-fil-A. And, the administration said, “No, you don’t understand what you’re doing. We won’t let them on campus.”

And so, it’s like they have great service and product that people buy into and like. They really are not concerned about Chick-fil-A’s views on marriage, if they’ve got good chicken and good service.

But, the government says, “You guys just don’t understand what you believe. We’ve got to protect you from yourself.” And, that’s what happened in San Antonio.

Where Do You See Chick-fil-A Espousing Their views to Customers

TIM:

Well, and even more than that, it wasn’t just the views of Chick-fil-A that they came against; which, let me back up on that idea, because where do you ever see Chick-fil-A espousing their views to anybody coming in their store ever?

DAVID:

Good point.

TIM:

The only thing that happens at Chick-fil-A is you go, “I would like sweet tea and waffle fries;” and, they say, “My pleasure.” This is so ludicrous; but, that’s not even what happened in San Antonio. It wasn’t about Hey, wait a second; Chick-fil-A has a pro-marriage view.

And, by saying, “Chick-fil-A has a pro-marriage view,” understand this is the franchise. And so, you have different owners of different businesses. Are you telling me that every single owner feels the same way?

Well, I don’t know. But, what labeled them this way was the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, was asked at one point, “What do you think about marriage?” Well, Dan Cathy is a Christian.

He said, “Well, I think marriage is a man and woman. I think that’s God’s design and God’s idea.” And, people just went, “Oh no!” They freaked out because a Christian explained a Biblical answer to a question asked about a Biblical institution God created.

Now, that’s not what San Antonio did. San Antonio didn’t say, “We know your position on marriage;” the city actually did something much dumber. San Antonio said–

Texans Are Smarter Than San Antonio Made Them Appear

DAVID:

I hate when you use that word out of Texas. We should be smarter than this. But, to have to say that one of the top-largest cities in the nation, out of Texas, is dumb–I agree with you; but, it just hurts me to hear that.

TIM:

Well, here’s the thing. Texans are smarter than that, which is why they passed this piece of legislation, right? Good job, Matt Krauss and other guys involved in this.

They did this to preserve religious liberty. But, San Antonio came against Chick-fil-A because Chick-fil-A made some charitable donations. Now, I’m not going to give much more away, because Matt’s going to be with us in just a second, and maybe I don’t want to steal this from that if Matt wants to tell this story.

If he does not, I certainly will tell it after the interview. But, Matt is the guy who said, “We have to defend religious liberty in the state,” recognizing that this wasn’t just an attack against Chick-fil-A, it was an attack against every business who might have Christian beliefs, or who might do something that Chick-fil-A did that San Antonio didn’t like.

RICK:

Well, like we said, Matt Krauss will actually be with us when we when we come back from the break. Of course, Matt’s not only a friend of the program, he’s been a part of WallBuilders and spoken for WallBuilders before, been a legislator for eight years, I guess, now.

DAVID:

Oh my goodness. Probably so.

TIM:

Yeah, i think so.

DAVID:

So, it’s gone really quick.

Representative Matt Krause

TIM:

He’s a guy who, one day, could be the governor of Texas.

DAVID:

That’s right.

TIM:

I mean, he really is so solid and smart. He actually was a guy who was an attorney–and still is an attorney–but he was an attorney, I think,for Liberty Counsel.

DAVID:

He was the head of the Texas Office for Religious Liberty Protection for Liberty Counsel. Of course, that’s Matt Staver and those guys.

RICK:

Yes; so, I mean, attorney for Liberty Counsel, taught government for Liberty University. He’s been in and around this; but, you know, Tim, you say that he could be governor. I think part of that is because he has such a great demeanor, smile, and joy; yet, he’s very brilliant.

So he’s one of those guys that we like to get in front of Patriot Academy students and say, “this is the kind of person that we need in leadership in government: someone that is strong, has the right convictions, but also knows how to articulate that in a way to win people over.”

So, he’s going to be with us when we come back from the break. Stay with us. Matt Krause is our special guest today.

Share a veteran’s story

We Want To Hear Your Vet Story

Rick:

Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live!  Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live!

You have friends and family that also served.  If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at [email protected]  Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!

RICK:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! Thanks for staying with us. Matt Kraus is with us, a  state representative from the great state of Texas.

Matt, always good to have you, brother.

Meet Matt

MATT KRAUSE:

Hey, thanks for having me on.

RICK:

Hey, man, you guys just finished up the session. I know you probably haven’t slept for two months, at least not a full-night’s sleep.

But, thanks for being one of the warriors, bro. Man, you just you stand and represent our movement and our Lord so well. And, we’re just thankful to get to work with you.

Every time we see you on the mic, we’re like, “Oh, thank you, Lord, Matt Krause is in the house.”

MATT KRAUSE:

Well, thanks; I appreciate it. It’s such an honor to be there and represent District 93, and really all of Texas, down there. And, every chance the Lord gives me to be down there, making my voice heard, I want to make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons.

The “Save Chick-fil-A” Bill

RICK:

Well, you are obviously working on a lot of different issues. One of the ones that caught a lot of press this session, and obviously near and dear to our hearts here on the program, is dealing with religious freedom and not having companies punished for their personal beliefs, like their religious beliefs. Of course, it got the nickname “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, which is also near and dear to our hearts because we all love waffle fries and sweet tea.

But, we just want to get it first-hand from you, because I think at one point the bill was killed on a point of order and dead. Then, you guys managed to work hard and bring the bill back. As I understand it, it finally passed.

But, we want to find out from you What specifically does the bill do? Kind of give us a little background on the things that were happening, not just in San Antonio, but in other places as well.

First Amendment Defense Act

MATT KRAUSE:

Yeah, that’s right. In fact, this is a bill I’d filed for two sessions now. So, some people thought it was in direct response to what was happening down in San Antonio.

But, it’s what we call the “First Amendment Defense Act,” and I filed it in 2017 and again in 2019, along with Senator Bryan Hughes over in the Senate. Then, as we saw things unfold in San Antonio, a lot of times as you well know, people say, “Well, what problem is this solving? What is this  legislation intended to do?”

It’s good to be able to point to something saying, “This is the problem we want to solve.” And, the situation with Chick-fil-A and the San Antonio City Council just gave us a perfect, real-life example of how, even in Texas, there are local governments seeking to penalize Texans and companies merely for who they donate to, associate with, especially from a religious-organization standpoint. So, we wanted to say, “Hey, we’re not going to do that in Texas.

“Yes, you have the First Amendment.” And, apparently, because the actions of San Antonio ignoring that First Amendment, we want to strengthen and reaffirm our commitment to those principles of free exercise, free association, free speech that Senate Bill 1978, the “Save Chick-fil-A” or what I like to call the “First Amendment Defense Act” was worked through the system and ultimately sitting on Governor Abbott’s desk right now.

RICK:

So, I did not even realize that, Matt, the fact that you’d already done this last session too, because a lot of people said that this was just about Chick-fil-A. You were saying, “Hey, man, I’ve been working on this for two years.”

MATT KRAUSE:

That’s right.

RICK:

You know, same exact issue. So, it’s not just about protecting Chick-fil-A; it’s about protecting all Texans in this case. And, hopefully legislators listening from around the country will do the same in their state, protecting all Americans to not be punished in their business by government based on what they believe in their personal life.

The Genesis: Kelvin Cochran in Atlanta, Georgia

MATT KRAUSE:

That’s right. And, really the genesis of it for me was Kelvin Cochran out in Atlanta, Georgia, a few years back was the fire chief.

RICK:

Yeah.

MATT KRAUSE:

In that big city, he was a very accomplished individual, and Obama administration appointee to some very important positions. He was fired from his job as fire chief because of a pamphlet he had written for his Sunday school class, or in his leadership class, at his church, talking about the Biblical definition of a marriage between one man and one woman. And, I thought, “If we get to a point where government can fire somebody or take an adverse action against them merely for what they believe or write for their Bible study, or what they do with their private beliefs at church, that’s getting us to a very dangerous place.”

In Danger for Donating

And, again we saw if you’re donating to the Salvation Army or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, you could be in danger of having an adverse action taken against you under the city of San Antonio. And, who knows if there’s any other Texas cities out there. So, I wanted to be proactive and say, “No, you cannot do that,” if something happened, giving the Texans even more secure footing when they go into court to say, “This is an infringement on my constitutional rights; we’re not going to take that.”

TIM:

Now, Matt, you mentioned for Chick-fil-A donating money. So, we haven’t told the whole story yet. We just said that San Antonio was a little opposed to something Chick-fil-A was doing.

And, it wasn’t just Chick-fil-A’s position on marriage, maybe, that somebody didn’t like. So, what was it that that Chick-fil-A did that set off somebody in the city of San Antonio?

MATT KRAUSE:

Yeah. You know there’s lots of stories now why they didn’t allow Chick-fil-A to be a vendor in their airport. One is because they don’t open on Sundays, one of the busiest travel days of the year. Well, there’s plenty of Chick-fil-A’s in the Atlanta airport, DFW Airport, that don’t open on Sundays and have done just fine for those airports.

But, what they originally said, one of the city councilmen said, “We don’t want to have Chick-fil-A in our airport because they donated to some groups that we consider anti-LGBT.” And, when you kind of unpack that further, you find out that Chick-fil-A donated to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a very precarious place to be to say that if any of us go by one of those little red buckets around Christmastime and put some change or dollar bills in that bucket, that you’re being a bigot, hateful, or discriminating against anybody.

And so, I think that’s what’s really kind of caught the attention of everyone is, if we’re going to say, “The Salvation Army, because they are a religious organization that happens to still believe in the traditional definition of marriage, is somewhat discriminatory or hateful; and, if you support them, you’ll be at risk of having a negative action taken against you by the government,” that’s when everybody said, “No way; there’s no way we can do that. We’ve got to act on this and do it right now.”

Nobody Defended the City of San Antonio.

RICK:

Yeah, Matt, I was surprised to see how many people voted against the bill. It looked like it was pretty close to being across party lines. What would the other side say?

I mean, what would be their reason for saying, “Government should be able to punish businesses just because of the personal beliefs of a {business owner}”? I mean, how do they even make that argument?

MATT KRAUSE:

You know, they really didn’t. And, that was one of the more amazing things to me during the entire debate, the entire time we were discussing this issue, both with Senator Hughes, who did an amazing job with it over in the Senate, and what we did in the House.

Nobody defended the city of San Antonio or said that they should have been able to take away the contract on the basis of those donations. All they kept trying to do was come back and say how any bills like this, that seek to protect religious liberty, could be a license to discriminate. And, if it’s a license to discriminate, it’ll be used as a sword, not a shield. So, we just can’t do anything like that.

I think it gets us to a very dangerous place when anytime you try to talk about the religious-liberty issue or protect religious liberties, it’s automatically labeled, this conversation, as hateful, bigoted, or discriminatory. And, we kept talking and said, “Hey, point to us in the statute words that discriminatory language. Where is any discriminatory intent; show me discriminatory application of this?”

They never could do that. It was all hypotheticals and theoretical about how this might be discriminatory; but, nobody actually defended the actions of the San Antonio City Council or the broader context of the issue we were dealing with.

It’s Okay for Cities to Discriminate?

RICK:

Oh, I get it; now it makes sense, now that you say it. So, we need to allow cities to discriminate just to make sure that no business might discriminate. That’s that’s how this works I get it. Okay.

MATT KRAUSE:

And, [inaudible] one of our colleagues in the House actually said, “No, this is actually a nondiscrimination policy.”

RICK:

That’s right.

MATT KRAUSE:

Want to make sure the government can’t discriminate against anybody on the basis–and it cuts it all ways. I don’t care if you’re Chick-fil-A or Ben & Jerry’s. I don’t care if you’re Starbucks or Hobby Lobby; the government should not be penalizing you for your beliefs or your association with donations to religious organizations.

I don’t care what that belief, is the government should stay away from doing that.

Ban Starbucks?

RICK GREEN:

That’s a great point, and I guess that’s what I would want to ask someone that was on the other side is So, do you think the government should be able to tell Starbucks they can’t have a business in our city because they’re pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage?

MATT KRAUSE:

That’s right; it cuts both ways. And, Matt Schaefer, another colleague in the House, asked some great questions from the back mic to one of the individuals opposing the bill.

RICK:

By the way, do you only quote guys named Matt? You’re Matt and now, you’ve quoted two guys named Matt. Is that like a part of your rules?

MATT KRAUSE:

We’ve got a very strong Matt Caucus in the Texas House; so, I always try to give them as much credit as I can. It just happens to be those are the two that have brought this issue well. But, nobody can answer those questions.

And, I think that was most revealing and telling things about this entire policy, is that all you can come up with, these wild hypotheticals or this This could be used in some way some day as potentially discriminatory, but never addressing the discriminatory actions of a local government happening right now, underscoring the need for legislation like this,

A Positive Response

RICK GREEN:

How’s the response statewide? I mean, specifically in your district; that’s who you hear from most. But, as you listen to your colleagues from–not just the political, chattering class–but the people back home. What are people saying to you, and what are your colleagues hearing from back home?

MATT KRAUSE:

It’s been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. I’ve even had several of my liberal, progressive, democrat friends who have said, “Well, I’m not with you on a lot of these issues; but, here in this instance and the bill that you’ve crafted, how could you vote against that? How could you get something like that, because it makes a lot of sense.”

So, we’ve got an overwhelming positive reaction. People get it and understand it. Again, all over the political divide, all over the ideological spectrum, they know that if this can happen to Chick-fil-A today, it can happen to them tomorrow.

And, most of them aren’t $5-billion-dollar, fast food chains that can defend themselves and protect themselves in any way they need it. It is mom-and-pop places, other individuals, who may not have the resources available. They know they need that protection and are grateful that you were able to get Senate Bill 1978 to the governor’s desk.

RICK:

Well, Matt, we wish you some great rest and more time with your family, now that this session is over. And, it looks like probably no special session; so, you actually get to go home for a little while.

MATT KRAUSE:

That’s it. Looking forward to it. I did get put on {re} districting committee, so that should be fun during the interim. But, our work for the state of Texas is done for the foreseeable future; so, thanks for having me on.

Y’all keep up the good work. I appreciate all y’all are doing as well.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

RICK:

Well, brother, we appreciate you. Keep up the great work on your end! Look forward to having you back again soon.

MATT KRAUSE:

Yes, sir, anytime. Thanks so much.

RICK:

That’s Representative Matt Krause. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

RICK:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live! Thanks for staying with us. Special thanks to Matt Krauss, state representative from Texas.

He’s just a great guy and representative. Further, we really appreciate his work on this issue and so many others.

The Logic of the Left

We’re back with David and Tim Barton. Guys, I think I finally figured out the logic of the left, and I’m going to use it here on this show. So, I’m afraid David and Tim might say something discriminatory or mean to me, so I’m just not going to let them speak at all for the rest of the radio program; that way we can keep them from being discriminatory.

{Obviously} I need to be very discriminatory towards you guys in order to keep you from possibly being discriminatory. Is that logical? But, that’s what the left wants to do, literally, is say to you, “You can’t do business because you might say something mean.”

TIM:

Rick, the first thing I would point out is you are absolutely right. We would have discriminated against you and been mean for the program. So, at least–

DAVID:

But, we would have only been telling the truth.

TIM:

That was a correct assessment. So, we can give you partial credit for at least recognizing that. But, yeah, you know, to your point, it’s kind of silly how we are drawing conclusions.

Banned for Giving to the Salvation Army

And, even as Matt said in the interview, when your defense is hypothetical situations, that doesn’t resolve the problem right now. Right now, you have a city that is discriminating against a faith-based operation. Also, as Matt pointed out, for giving to the Salvation Army, does that mean you can ban every American who’s given to the Salvation Army from using the airport there in San Antonio?

Because that’s what you’re saying about Chick-fil-A: because they’ve given to the Salvation Army, they can’t.

I almost feel on some levels this guilt, obligatory thing, not even just the generosity of being a Christian, not just the goodness of my heart, right? When you see the kettle, it’s like a natural response; you have to get in your pocket and get your change out. It’s not even because I love Jesus that I’m giving; it’s just like no that’s what you have to do.

Just pull out your change and put it in.

But, to assume that anybody that gives change is now bigoted, hateful, intolerant, and can’t do business in the San Antonio airport, is utterly ridiculous. Then, the fact that they’re going to use these hypothetical scenarios to actually discriminate in the present, it’s a crazy world we live in. But, as we say often, it’s why we are so grateful to have guys like Matt and some of these other great warriors down there fighting to preserve religious liberty, which even makes me back up and think This is part of the reason America exists.

Part of the Reason America Exists

The reason we talk about how we need to know the historical, Biblical, and constitutional heritage of the nation. Well, if you back up, historically, the reason so many people came to America was to be able to live out their religious convictions. And, America has always been the land where we have preserved and protected people’s religious convictions and right of conscience, as long as your conviction did not lead you to take someone else’s inalienable rights.

So, if your conviction says, “Hey, we can kill all nonbelievers;” well, you don’t get to take away someone else’s God-given right to life. But, as long as your religious belief does not take away someone else’s God-given rights, you have the freedom to practice it. This is the reason we came; so many early settlers came to America for religious liberty.

And, now, we’ve just forgotten, kind of, the reason we existed and started to begin with was because of religious liberty.

DAVID:

And, we’re talking about San Antonio here. But, like Matt pointed out, this bill was filed two years before the San Antonio thing occurred. However, I’m gonna stay on San Antonio thing for a minute, because I think if you called homes in San Antonio and did a major survey, I think you would find that the overwhelming majority of those living in San Antonio object to what the city council did in targeting Chick-fil-A and keeping it

out of the airport.

I don’t think they agree with that at all. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re talking about elected officials in San Antonio that are doing this. So, having been involved in previous city council elections, I’ll just point out to you that the mayor and city council members are elected with less than 5 percent of the vote of those who live in San Antonio.

A Perfect Reflection of Those Who Voted

So, what you have is a perfect reflection of those who went to vote last time; but, that’s not the reflection of San Antonio. And so, San Antonio, if you’re embarrassed about how dumb this policy is from your leaders, my gosh, get above 5 percent voter turnout.

TIM:

And, you should be embarrassed, by the way.

DAVID:

That’s exactly right. So, get voter turnout up to 7 percent. We got involved in one election down there where we got the voter turnout up to 15 percent in San Antonio, and we got really good people elected. It’s only 15 percent, which is–my goodnes–when you have a presidential election, you’re looking at 65 percent, generally.

And so, a massive city like San Antonio–the population of San Antonio is larger than the population of a couple dozen states in the United States. I mean, you’re talking only 5 percent or less? This is something that can and should be fixed.

And, this is a good point for every major city in America, every minor city in America. Usually, your vote to elect city council, mayor is under 5 percent. That’s something that every single city can fix on its own; just step up to the plate and get better leaders.

Save Chick-Fil-A Bill Passed In The Texas Legislature!

RICK:

Well, special thanks to Matt Krause for joining us today and also for passing that piece of legislation and setting an example for other states across the country. Hope all our legislators that are listening today will consider doing that in their state. And, even if you are in another state outside of Texas and you’re not a legislator, hey, what a great opportunity to take this piece of legislation, send it to your legislator, and say, “Hey, we need this in our state as well; and, you can be a catalyst in making that happen.”

We sure hope you’ve enjoyed the program today and hope you’ll visit our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!