Evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham praised the Christian-owned In-N-Out Burger chain for fighting back against San Francisco's mandate that indoor diners show proof of COVID vaccination.
"Democratic-run, socialist states" try to choke businesses into compliance with their tyrannical mandates, but this time "it didn't work," he said.
"We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government," said In-N-Out in a statement.
In an Oct. 23 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, "Do you know why they call the Democratic-run, socialist states blue? Because they choke you until you turn blue. That’s no joke. They tried to choke In-N-Out, but it didn’t work."
"In-N-Out Burger is one of the great hamburger chains to come out of California and they are run by a Christian," said Graham. "They had one store in San Francisco, and they were shut down because they wouldn’t do the state’s dirty work. Can you believe that?"
"In-N-Out said, 'We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,'" added Graham. "They’ve since been allowed to reopen, but with no indoor dining."
"I’m thankful for In-N-Out and other companies that still have the guts to stand up against government overreach that will one day lead to tyranny if we don’t take a stand," he added.
The owners of In-N-Out, a private chain of burger joints mainly in the West and Southwest United States, are conservative Christians. Bible verses are often printed on the company's food packaging (wrappers, cups, etc.).
San Francisco's vaccine rules require that restaurants in the city check patrons' papers to ensure they are vaccinated before allowing them to dine indoors.
In its statement, the company said, “We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason.
"We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is a clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.”
The In-N-Out in San Francisco, at Fisherman's Wharf, is still serving customers for outside dining and take-away.