Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Unlike Kanye, I have never written a song comparing my beloved to Chick-fil-A though it might work just plugging it in to Shakespeare’s Sonnet #18: Shall I compare thee to a Chick-fil-A? Like most people, Christians included, I just enjoyed a good chicken sandwich. I also appreciated a rare corporate entity that offered a polite nod to my faith instead of trying to make me forget it or apologize for it.
So, I was quite taken aback to see news reports that Chick-fil-A would end its support for so-called “anti-LGBT groups.” Who are these groups? The Salvation Army and The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Huh? Labeling these organizations “anti-LGBT groups” is quite curious. To be sure, they are formally “Christian” organizations that hold traditional Christian views about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. But the work they perform in the communities they serve cannot be characterized as “anti-LGBT” in good faith. Yet, the litany of news stories about this shift in policy has identified them as such without any qualification.
The pressure on Chick-fil-A has been constant since this past Spring at least when Thinkprogress released a “report” highlighting the donations to groups they consider “anti-LGBT” because of their historical opposition to gay marriage. By that definition, I guess the first Obama Administration was “anti-LGBT?” Multiple progressive city councils have prevented Chick-fil-A from getting franchises into airport terminals, much to the chagrine of travelers everywhere. Would that they were more concerned about easing the flow of security lines than making sure no one can get a tasty chicken sandwich.
As recently as May 2019, Chick-fil-A was unwilling to apologize for supporting FCA and the Salvation Army declaring in an interview to Business Insider:
“The calling for us is to ensure that we are relevant and impactful in the community, and that we’re helping children and that we’re helping them to be everything that they can be,” Bullard said.
“For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged,” he continued. “This is really about an authentic problem that is on the ground, that is present and ever present in the lives of many children who can’t help themselves.”
Chick-fil-A is certainly free to change the groups that it makes grants to, but it is telling that the two removed were the ones identified by Thinkprogress as “anti-LGBT.” Chick-fil-A did not suddenly discover new information about the Salvation Army or FCA. It just decided to accept or perhaps “surrender” is the better word to Thinkprogress and the media’s definitions of these organizations at “anti-LGBT.”
Chick-fil-A’s official announcement made it clear that it would not be excluding faith-based organizations from its charitable giving in the future. However, it is clear that those organizations better not be on the Thinkprogress blacklist.
Accordingly, that may be the more disturbing part of this story and one that faith-based organizations should find more note-worthy that the fact that a fast-food company changed its charitable giving recipients. There seems to be no curb or pushback on Thinkprogress’s ability to define what is “anti-LGBT.” The media surely has no interest in challenging them on that definition.
So far the definition seems to be any organization that finds anything objectionable about homosexuality or gay marriage. You don’t have to be a political action committee opposing laws that are part of the LGBT agenda. The Salvation Army was doing nothing to oppose gay marriage. The FCA makes no statements or communications supporting or opposing LGBT rights. The organizations, consistent with their traditional and well-grounded understanding of Christianity as taught for thousands of years, teach that homosexuality is a sexual sin and inconsistent with how Christians (at least as they understand those teachings) should live. They also adhere to the view that marriage should be between one man and one woman. This seems to be enough to be labeled “anti-LGBT.” It would seem that every Catholic organization or non-profit associated with a Protestant denomination adhering to these same traditional views would also fall within that label.
So, who will be next to face the music? Chick-fil-A is just the beginning. No doubt in very short order it will become commonplace for the media to adopt that labeling for every church that refuses to perform a gay marriage or bend the knee to LGBT agenda. Watch out Kanye! They are coming for you!