- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2019

A popular Michigan restaurant chain is firing back in defense of free speech after internet sleuths uncovered its political donations to President Trump.

In April, Anna’s House, which has eight locations across Michigan, made two $2,800 donations to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. — one for the primary election and one for the general election — and one $15,000 contribution to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee, a local Fox affiliate reported based on Federal Election Commission records.

Screenshots of the FEC records surfaced on Reddit and were shared by 30-year-old Grand Rapids resident Doug Chu on Facebook, where it went semi-viral. Some critics are threatening to boycott Anna’s House, citing a conflict of beliefs.

“My political beliefs, at their core, come from being a Christian,” Mr. Chu told the Fox affiliate. “More specifically, from studying the Bible and paying attention to the kind of society God wants people to live in, as well as from working to apprentice myself to Jesus’ teachings on how to treat other people.”

Anna’s House owner Josh Beckett responded to the backlash in a statement Thursday, saying he’s “proud” to live in a country where free speech is celebrated.

“I am proud to live in a country where we are free to have different opinions and to support a candidate of our choice,” Mr. Beckett said. “At Anna’s House, we employ and serve people of all backgrounds and beliefs, without judgement [sic]. Our goal is to treat everyone like family — and in families, there are often differences of opinion. Embracing these differences and respecting each other despite them is what makes our country great. If you are looking for an open, supportive, and accepting place to enjoy a great meal and conversation, Anna’s House is here for you.”

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