Chick-fil-A is a very successful fast food chain which sells chicken sandwiches.  I personally think their sandwiches are very good, as do many others.

Yet, in the past decade, Chick-fil-A has been under fire by purveyors of the Radical Gay Agenda and its followers.

I’ve written about this twice before, in two previous News with Views articles:
Chick-fil-A Versus the Radical Gay Agenda (August 2012) and Chick-fil-A Chickens Out (September 2014).

How did a chicken sandwich fast food franchise enrage the Homosexual Lobby?

In 2012 Chick-fil-A was at the center of a media firestorm involving the powerful gay lobby, which has much clout in today’s society.

The restaurant chain, owned by the devout Baptist Cathy family, did not refuse to serve gay customers, nor did it fire employees for being gay, nor has the company supported violence against homosexuals.

So what was the big deal?

Chick-fil-A through its charitable arm known as the WinShape Foundation, had donated money to several organizations which oppose gay marriage and the Radical Gay Agenda. This made the company a target.

When interviewed by Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A, President Dan Cathy affirmed that “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit.”

In a later talk show interview, Mr. Cathy stated that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Dan Cathy, by his donations and comments, had dared oppose the Radical Gay Agenda.

When these donations and statements were noised abroad to the general public, the radical gay activists and supporters went into a tizzy. There were calls for protests and boycotts against the company, other companies broke ties with Chick-fil-A and city governments tried to prevent them from opening stores in their municipalities.

On the other hand, some notable individuals spoke up for Chick-fil-A. Even the American Civil Liberties Union defended the company’s right to free speech. Mitt Romney, however, then the GOP candidate for president, refused to defend Chick-fil-A even on free speech grounds.  Romney later lost the election.

Grassroots supporters of Chick-fil-A found a great way to support the company. On August 1st, 2012, Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, thousands of supporters showed up at Chick-fil-A restaurants to support the company by buying its products.

The company enjoyed record-breaking sales. An average Chick-fil-A restaurant had 29.9 percent more sales than usual, and 367 more customers than on a typical Wednesday business day.

It was a great victory for freedom of speech and a great show of support for Chick-fil-A. It showed that social conservatives too could use the economic weapon.

But even before Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, the company was already beginning to backpedal.

In July of 2012, a month before the Appreciation Day, a company statement said that “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

In September of 2012, a month after Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a pressure group called “The Civil Rights Agenda” had already reported that Chick-fil-A “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) civil rights.”

By March 2014, the company’s tax reports indicated that Chick-fil-A had indeed stopped donating funds to all the organizations that the Gay Agenda groups had objected to, with one exception – the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which the same-sex promoters consider anti-gay.  In that same month, Dan Cathy expressed his regrets for having brought his company into the controversy.

To summarize, Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A opposed same-sex marriage, stood up for traditional marriage and was attacked. Grassroots supporters turned out to support the company, and Chick-fil-A profited. Rather than follow up on that victory, Chick-fil-A chickened out and surrendered to the Same-Sex Marriage Agenda.

And that’s what the gay lobby activists wanted all along.

When it came to high-profile support for traditional marriage,  Chick-fil-A chickened out.

But that wasn’t the end of it.  Now, in 2019, even though the company chickened out, Chick-fil-A is under attack again.  And there’s a lesson there.

Here’s how Think Progress reports it:  “Chick-fil-A has taken great pains to downplay its anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and giving, seven years into a national boycott by LGBTQ and allied diners. But contrary to the company’s latest claims that it has no political or social agenda, newly released tax filings show that, in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1.8 million to a trio of groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.” (Click here for article link).

So, according to Think Progress, as of 2017, the Chick-fil-A foundation was giving money to “a trio of groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination”.

According to Think Progress: “The donations — $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army — actually represent a slight increase from the previous year. The foundation’s funding comes almost entirely from the corporate treasury and shares leadership with the company.”

OK, now we at least have concrete organizations.  Let’s look at what each has done:

  1. The Salvation Army, reports Think Progress, “has a long record of opposing legal protections for LGBTQ Americans and at the time of the donations had a written policy of merely complying with local ‘relevant employment laws.’ “ But then Think Progress reports that  “The organization’s website has since changed to indicate a national policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”  So does that mean that the Left will no longer complain about Chick-fil-A giving to the Salvation Army?
  2. The Paul Anderson youth home, says Think Progress, ”… teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is ‘rage against Jesus Christ and His values.’ Later the same article reports that sometime in 2017 the Chick-fil-A Foundation decided not to donate to the Paul Anderson Youth Home anymore.   Does that mean the Left will leave them alone about that?
  3. FCA “Fellowship of Christian Athletes”, says Think Progress, “…is a religious organization that seeks to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes and requires a strict ‘sexual purity’ policy for its employees that bars any ‘homosexual acts.’ In other words, the FCA upholds Christian morality.  And Think Progress calls that discriminatory.

It’s also interesting to point out that Chick-fil-A tries to sound politically correct when defending itself.  For example, read this statement (also quoted in Think Progress): “We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda. There are 140,000 people – black,white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian – who represent Chick-fil-A. We are the sum of many experiences, but what we all have in common is a commitment to providing great food, genuine hospitality, and a welcoming environment to all our guests.”  

To summarize, Chick-fil-A was attacked in 2012  for supporting organizations opposed to homosexuality.  Even though they were supported by many customers, Chick-fil-A chickened out and bowed to pressure.

But that didn’t help them.  Now there is a new wave of criticism.  Because now, simply to donate to an organization that supports Christian morality is controversial enough.

This is the direction in which our country is headed.

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