One of the nation’s most popular fast-food chains finally buckled under constant pressure brought by LGBTQ and anti-Christian protestors. Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes in an effort to end the aggressive protests and attempts to ban the eateries.
Liberal and secular activists across the country have been on a mission to upend the growing fast-food chain. Physical protests to deter patrons and media bashing have done little to curb enthusiasm for Chick-fil-A’s popular chicken and fried food menu. Most stores enjoy long lines and swelling profits despite the sometimes despicable efforts to hurt the privately-owned Christian businesses. Criticisms have ranged from not opening on Sundays to being anti-gay. These and other attempts to smear the chain restaurant company have roundly failed to have any impact.
But political activists in the LGBTQ community took their fight to government agencies. In San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., they coerced officials to openly discriminate against Chick-fil-A being included in airport concession areas. So overt was the discrimination against the Christian food company that the agency overseeing the San Antonio airport voted to expand concession under the expressed conditions Chick-fil-A be excluded. Needless to say, the company sued.
The attack appears to be a backdoor way to cut off funding for Christian-based programs. Chick-fil-A has consistently donated profits to organizations that do good works within communities. Although the Salvation Army and other non-profits that Chick-fil-A donated to are not under fire for discriminatory practices, being Christian was enough to treat them with bigotry. Leaders at the fast-food giant appear to be putting profits ahead of their Christian faith.
“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness, and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration — faith-based or non-faith based,” Chick-fil-A COO Tim Tassopoulos said. “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
In 2018, Chick-fil-A donated approximately $115,000 to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program that delivered 11,000 gifts to low-income children during the holiday season. The Atlanta-based corporation also donated upwards of $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The Fellowship works with at-risk youths to offer summer sports camps at the country’s historically black colleges and universities (HCBU).
Ranked as the nation’s third-largest fast-food chain, the organization states it is further a mission “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” Pulling donations from Christian charities such as the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes hardly qualifies as promoting a “positive influence.” The move smells of cowering to anti-Christian forces in the name of corporate greed.
The company is currently attempting to appease the secular LGBTQ crowd by shifting its charitable donations to Junior Achievement, Covenant House International, and local food banks. An estimated $9 million is expected to be doled out by the Chick-fil-A Foundation to such causes in 2020.
But Chick-fil-A may not be able to buy peace from anti-Christian forces as easily as dropping a few of the left’s high-profile targets. On the heels of COO Tassopoulos’ announcement, gay activists at GLAAD are already sharpening their rhetoric in what may prove to be another wave of attacks.
“In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents,” GLAAD campaign director Drew Anderson reportedly said.
Supporters recently took to social media denouncing the policy change, and many Christians plan to curb their patronage. High-profile Christian voices such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were among them.
“In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups,” Huckabee tweeted. “Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.”
In all estimations, Chick-fil-A’s current leaders made a calculated misstep both as Christians and business decision-makers. Secular organizations have no intention of letting up until every Christian business and church is closed.