Chick-fil-A to End Donations to Christian Charities after LGBT Backlash

“We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” a representative for Chick-fil-A said, saying the chain will now focus its charitable donations on “education, homelessness and hunger.” - National Review

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It would be perfectly fine with me if businesses didn't give to charities and advocacy groups at all. Their service to society is to provide a product people want at a level of quality and price people are willing to pay. That's it.

Would I rather see them refuse to be intimidated? Sure. But from a business standpoint, if all the media attention is on the latest protest, that eventually becomes your brand. And it's never a good idea to let the media (or protestors or anyone else) define your brand for you. If I were them, even if I wanted to continue to support FCA, I'd take a few years off and then pick them up again after there has been time to fortifying the business' identity/brand in other ways.

What they should be famous for is amazing customer service and mighty fine sandwiches.

Bert Perry's picture

...and hunger"

OK, apart from an overtly religious mission, the Salvation Army and FCA don't fit this mold....how?

No argument that abstinence from donations altogether, as Aaron proposes, might be a great idea, but it strikes me at the same time that the unique culture of Chik-Fil-A and its charitable donations may be linked, and (while giving credence to the reality that they employ and serve any religion, etc..) that if they decide that one group is too "Christian" for their taste anymore, they may also end up deciding that their mode of service is also too "Christian" for their taste. 

Now granted that this is a bit speculative, but if there is something to this, it could end up being a very expensive way to get good publicity.  Their way of service isn't the only way of doing things in a Christlike manner, but I'd argue their way of service is certainly compatible.  You could end up losing more than the ire of LGBTQ groups and the like. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mike Harding's picture

Many years ago my wife and I met S. Truett Cathy when our three daughters performed a private Piano-Trio concert for their family and friends in Atlanta, GA.  It was his intent all along that his company would honor God as much as possible in a secular society.  I am sure he would be disappointed with this recent announcement.  This is just more evidence that the aggressive bigotry of the LGBTQ community knows no limits when it comes to hating Christianity and common decency (Heterosexual marriage has been common for at least 6,000 years).  I don't think there is any legitimate way to put a positive spin on this.  By the way, there is much, much more to come.  Politics is religion to the radical left.  They will never quit; it would be a sin for them to quit.  As a side note, about 25 of our high school students from Bethany Christian School work at the Chick Filet near our church.  One of our church members is the manager there.  It is an excellent place to work.  None of our kids miss church to work there.  One of my favorite places to eat.

Pastor Mike Harding

dgszweda's picture

Mike Harding wrote:

I don't think there is any legitimate way to put a positive spin on this.

I think the positive spin is that they are choosing to give to organizations that are aligned to their mission in giving, without bringing worrying about controversy.  They barely gave any money to the Salvation Army so this really just impacts the FCA.  I would say that while the FCA may have reflected the Truett's personal beliefs, it doesn't reflect their corporate beliefs.  Gay athletes are prohibited from joining the FCA, but they are more than able to apply and work for Chik-fil-A.  This is where many Christians get hung up, in my opinion.  I think from a standpoint that if the Truetts want to donate money personally they are free to donate to who they wish.  But I think from a corporate level they need to align with their overall corporate principles.  I think Chik-fil-A goes over an above to serve all people, and in most cases they do it better than anyone else.  Trying to support organizations that are not only controversial (even within Christian circles), but also not aligned to the corporate purpose is self destructing.

There purpose is stated as:

"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."

I don't see how the support of the FCA was a positive influence on all of the customers (regardless of creed and background) who come into contact with their organization.  Now if they want to change their Corporate Purpose, great, than they can do it.  But as the organization stands now, I applaud them for aligning to their organization.

Mike Harding's picture

Dave,

 

If the company donated to a conservative Christian college or seminary, the left would be just as outraged.  "Education" is a noble goal, provided that education can actually glorify God.  I know quite a few solid Christian education institutions that could use the kinds of donations this company could give.  The issue really isn't the Salvation Army or FCA; the issue is that the LGBTQ community is pressuring organizations like Chick Filet not to use their money to benefit the Christian viewpoint on the family.  Pure bigotry on their part, and like I said before, this is only the beginning.  Much more to come.

Pastor Mike Harding

dgszweda's picture

Sure, we knew it was coming.  The problem is not really one group or another, it is that groups now have an outsized voice as a result of the internet.  I am not a big fan of corporations giving money to promote certain causes.  I am more for companies giving to causes that benefit wide audiences and that are aligned to their mission and customer base. In my opinion Chik-fil-A probably made the change as a result of alignment with their values and less on pressure.  It became a lot of noise for a scenario/issue that was tangential to what they were trying to accomplish.  The backlash that was present had little to no effect on them, they continue to grow at a very rapid pace, distancing themselves from their peers year over year.  I have felt for a long time that there giving to these organizations did not really make much sense for them.

WallyMorris's picture

Criticizing CFA for discontinuing donations to Salvation Army, FCA, or anyone else does not mean I think those organizations are worthy of financial support. The issue is not the groups CFA is no longer helping financially but the reasons why CFA is doing so. And the reasons are obvious to anyone paying attention over the last few years: Caving in to very public pressure from groups which promote immorality. The "alignment with their values" defense from CFA is only a cover to disguise their capitulation to the culture. They are putting their business success ahead of Biblical moral values. Discontinuing Sunday closing will come eventually. Granted, CFA is a business and not a non-profit. But they saw that financial support for organizations which refuse to condone immorality is a drag on their business. So now they avoid that problem by changing the criteria they use to donate. But that won't work as their new focus will itself create problems when the new recipients of CFA money support homosexuality, etc. Most businesses of any decent size are encouraged (pressured?) to donate to various causes. Not doing so is bad PR. If CFA decided not to donate to anyone, that is bad PR. If they donate to pro-Biblical values organizations, that is bad PR. If they decide not to donate to pro-Biblical values organizations, that is bad PR. In today's polarized culture, you can't win. Somebody will be mad no matter what you do. The question then becomes "Which group can you tolerate being mad at you?" . Apparently CFA decided they can survive the disappointment of Christians more than they can the wrath of the ungodly. The snowball is getting bigger as it rolls down the hill.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

TylerR's picture

Editor

Over-rated and over-priced. Christians are obsessed with it. Bizarre.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I haven't experienced that kind of customer service anywhere else... not even close.

... and there is probably something formulated for addiction in that dipping sauce. Fortunately for my arteries, there's only one CFA in the area and it's on the wrong side of the metro area, relative to my commute. Still... I hear it calling me. I've been on the wagon for a while, but I'm still hooked.

WallyMorris's picture

I disagree that CFA's chicken is over-rated. A little pricey? Yes. But their chicken is so good you don't need any sauce. As far as "bizarre": Yes, I guess some are obsessed with CFA. But as far as this topic thread: CFA has long stood for (in popular Christian thinking) resisting secular culture by their open support of Christian organizations (and the Sunday closing). So when CFA does something to raise doubt about that support and resistance, the company will receive criticism and skepticism about its reasons. The Twitter furor over CFA's decision reflects disappointment with the company and sadness that such a public Christian witness (generally speaking) is changing. Some Twitter comments have hoped that CFA will change its mind. That won't happen. And the pro-homosexual, etc. groups will not be satisfied with today's announcement.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Don Johnson's picture

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/11/chick-fil-a-caves-to-the-...

It’s too bad: it isn’t as though the dimwitted left-wing Chick-fil-A boycotts hurt sales. On the contrary, Chick-fil-A is America’s fastest-growing restaurant chain. So the company’s caving in to the far Left wasn’t, apparently, an economic decision. Maybe it is another instance of corporate executives caring more about their standing within their peer group than about the well-being of the organization they lead, a phenomenon that Glenn Reynolds has described many times.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Again, it's about brand clarity. CFA's latest statement tries to explain that. Not sure they're going to succeed, because they're already pretty far down the accidental rebranding road.

Businesses should just do business and stop trying to be social justice advocates...   and stop asking me for donations at the drive through.

Robert Byers's picture

Every time any organization, religious or secular, caves in to the cry bullies on any issue, it diminishes freedom for all of us.  Whether you think CFA should be donating to Christian organizations or not, you should mourn this decision.  Whether you think FCA and Salvation Army are worthy of support or not, you should mourn this decision.  There is no concession or surrender that will satisfy the radical opponents of traditional belief and morality.  There will always be another demand.  And they are eventually going to be coming after you.  You may think that you are safe or somehow exempt, but you are mistaken.  They disagree with you what you say, and will defend to the death their right not to hear it.  This decision is very bad news.  It's not the first time, and it won't be the last or the worst, but it is bad.  CFA caved.  It won't be enough.  There will be a new target and new demands.  Soon it won't be enough to not give to "offensive" organizations.  Corporations will be boycotted and shamed if they don't actively fund evil.  It's coming to a town, a company or a church near you soon.

 

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Ron Bean's picture

I was waiting for someone to pint out that CFA was donating to Christian groups that weren't "fundamental" and were probably new evangelical but decided to stifle that impulse.

As to being open on Sunday. I worked for IKEA for nearly a decade and they often wondered why their store in Paramus, New Jersey, which is closed on Sunday, had virtually the same yearly sales as surrounding IKEA stores, including Elizabeth, NJ, that are open on Sunday. Chick-fil-A is the most profitable fast-food franchise chain in the United States and the gap to number two (which just so happens to be McDonald's) is a cool million dollars per store every year. Why open on Sunday?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

dgszweda's picture

I am surprised by all of the concern.  Just because the LGBT community was against this and putting pressure, doesn't mean that the change they are making is not the right one.  It is almost that everyone here just feels that they should have continued to do this, just to spite the LGBT community.  The pressure was not hurting their sales or their growth.  In fact, both have been record breaking.  They have been putting pressure on Chik-fil-A for a long long time and it hasn't impacted anything.  Yes, the pressure probably played some role in this, but probably in light of the fact that it exposed a poor donation model.  I find the new model much more aligned to Chik-fil-A's values and they provided clarity that in the future they are not going to ignore any types of organizations.

josh p's picture

Have they said anywhere that they have stopped donations to these organizations because of LGBTQ pressure or is this just something that is being assumed? I agree that they are under no obligation to donate to anyone (and shouldn't from my perspective) but could it be that they just wanted to support something else? I truly don't know what their motivation is or if perhaps these specific organizations were the issue. I have never been to a CFA but I hope to try them sometime. 

WallyMorris's picture

" . . . in the future they are not going to ignore any types of organizations."  . . . except those that support Biblical family principles. For the sake of argument, assume CFA's change is the "right one". CFA itself connected the change to problems it encounters when donating to organizations that do not support homosexuality, etc. Therefore, the change. Whether the "change" is right or not, feel free to debate it. Yet CFA admits that future business expansion in certain markets has been hurt by its open support of traditional family/marriage. Therefore, the change. CFA can try to minimize the stink of the change with noble-sounding words and phrases, but the reality is that it caved to the culture.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

WallyMorris's picture

Josh: Here is the link to the article - https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/retail/exclusive-amid-global-expans...

Read between the lines. CFA's words are "business talk" for "contributions to pro-traditional family organizations have hurt our growth, so we will 'clarify' our donation model". Blunt Translation: "We caved to years of pressure." I give them credit for their history of resisting the pressure.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Jim's picture

I don't care because ...

  • I don't expect businesses to support the church
  • I do business with business because of their product or service meeting my needs
  • I've eaten at CFA twice: Once on business (somewhere, I forgot) and once somewhere on the highway (maybe in KY). It's good. There is no CFA convenient to me so don't eat there
  • My bank supports LBTQ ... don't care! Great service & website
  • I'm a big Apple fan (2 IPhones, 2 IPads, 3 Macbooks, & Watch). Apple supports LBTQ ... don't care! Great service & products

So I just don't care!

TylerR's picture

Editor

I agree. I don't care, either. I've eaten there twice.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ed Vasicek's picture

Here is what is really lop-sided: companies that give to left-promoting agenda charities ignore concerns about being political or PUSHING the LGBT agenda.

It is a one way street.  If google and amazon took the same position as Chick-fil-a is doing, it wouldn't be so bad.

"The Midrash Detective"

WallyMorris's picture

Very disturbing that some "don't care". Doesn't matter whether you like CFA's food or not, eat at CFA or not. A major business with a history of open support for pro-traditional [Biblical] marriage is now changing its policy in order not to offend those promoting the LBGT (add other letters as you wish) agenda and in order to improve the possibility of opening stores in certain markets. This issue is much bigger than whether you like CFA's chicken.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

My chief question regarding  CFA is whether there is more to their need to support FCA and SA beyond publicity; that the same motivations for supporting them are the ones that enable their servant culture and reputation for good service. 

That said, it strikes me that at some point, we're going to start seeing sufficient evidence of the end results of this, that, and the other movement to start saying "look what you're doing to these people.  You think you're benefiting them by supporting their charitable organizations, but look at the mess they're leaving behind.  You are hurting the very people you purport to help." 

Now of course, that presumes that "we" have our act together in a way that many today would suggest we don't, "fix your own house first" and all that, but "if", then such a move is plausible.  

Regarding the SA specifically, it strikes me that they might be far better off if they were not constrained by the dollars and desires of the secularists, too.  Most here would agree--in various terms--that they've been on the "evangelical" side for a while, leaning into "almost not evangelical", and I would have to guess that pressure from corporate and government donors is not helpful in keeping them somewhat orthodox.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

It's a chicken fast-food restaurant ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Josh: Here is the link to the article - https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/retail/exclusive-amid-global-expans...

Read between the lines. CFA's words are "business talk" for "contributions to pro-traditional family organizations have hurt our growth, so we will 'clarify' our donation model". Blunt Translation: "We caved to years of pressure." I give them credit for their history of resisting the pressure.

This is a discredited article.  They are quoting CFA when CFA never said these things.

Darm's picture

I don’t do a lot of fast food.  However, I prefer CFA to anything else along that line.  I have always admired the entire culture of their stores.  The well-mannered employees, the clean facilities, the choice to close on Sunday, and certainly the food.

Most of us probably remember the first round of criticism from the gay lobby several years ago.  I thought at the time that Dan Cathey was, in a measure, playing both sides of the fence.  It concerned me more that in the aftermath of the controversy he chose to publicize his presence at the wedding of two males.  Big disappointment!

Anyway, we will likely see more changes in the future.  While the adjustments may displease me I doubt it would keep me out of their stores or their famously efficient drive-through line.

Jim's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Very disturbing that some "don't care". Doesn't matter whether you like CFA's food or not, eat at CFA or not. A major business with a history of open support for pro-traditional [Biblical] marriage is now changing its policy in order not to offend those promoting the LBGT (add other letters as you wish) agenda and in order to improve the possibility of opening stores in certain markets. This issue is much bigger than whether you like CFA's chicken.

There's a lot to 'get exercised' about ... for me this is NOT one of them. 

Jim's picture

Chick-fil-A Concedes: Under political pressure, the chicken chain cuts off the Salvation Army.

It’s hard to blame Chick-fil-A. The company exists to serve chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, not to wage political battles over sexual morality, and its corporate decision-makers are free to give whatever they want to whomever they please. Still, it’s disappointing to see the left’s cultural imperialists succeed in strong-arming a company that has committed no offense—and to see Chick-fil-A implicitly conceding that the charitable organizations to which it has donated are guilty of the sins their unreasoning critics attribute to them.

We suspect Chick-fil-A’s despisers will be emboldened rather than satisfied, and don’t be surprised to hear demands that the company must now support causes the left holds dear. All in the name of tolerance and diversity. 

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