Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. et tu, Chick-fil-A?

 

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!

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There are 11 comments.

  1. Randy Webster Member

    Chick fil A has already been told its capitulation isn’t good enough.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2019, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Concretevol Thatcher

    I agree one of the most troubling thing about this is the explicit affirmation that those groups are somehow “anti-LGBT”. So quickly we moved from tolerance and acceptance to mandetory endorsement 

    • #2
    • November 20, 2019, at 4:30 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. Quietpi Member

    Profound sadness.

    I have a young friend who went to work for Chick-Fil-A over five years ago. He’s a committed Christian, and their stand on moral issues was a big deal for him. He worked his way through their really amazing training program, moving all over the country to help in different stores, then eventually being sent to stores that needed his superb management skills. During all that, he married, and his first child was born a couple months ago. About a year ago he learned that Chick-Fil-A was going to build a store for him. It will be his. It’s due to open in a few months. I wonder what’s going through his mind.

    Chick-Fil-A president Tim Tassopoulosi should know how this is going to work out. He’s on the Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board. Financially, BSA is on the ropes. Want to know how bad it’s gotten for them? Philmont Scout Ranch, in New Mexico, is for sale. For the uninitiated, it’s the dream of every Boy Scout and Explorer to visit Philmont at least once. Or rather it was.

    Irony: Today in my morning Bible Study we discussed James 4: 13-17.

    • #3
    • November 20, 2019, at 6:50 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Sweezle Member

    I love Chick-fil-A for the wonderful staff and great ethics. They will never appease the haters and this move is truly tragic. The Salvation Army???

    Banning all Christian groups, all church based outreach, closing every soup kitchen, it will go on and on. The first blood in the water starts a bigger frenzy.

    • #4
    • November 20, 2019, at 9:55 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Old Buckeye Member

    And because the Salvation Army and other locally responsive groups get undercut financially, it then becomes only The Government that can assist those in need. The Government is not a feeling, caring entity; it exists only to be a pass-through for our money, siphoning off the cream so that a trickle is all that’s left when it reaches a real person. I think the Salvation Army is far more effective on a personal level. Of course, that’s one of the things leftists object to. 

    • #5
    • November 21, 2019, at 3:34 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    Profound sadness.

    I have a young friend who went to work for Chick-Fil-A over five years ago. He’s a committed Christian, and their stand on moral issues was a big deal for him. He worked his way through their really amazing training program, moving all over the country to help in different stores, then eventually being sent to stores that needed his superb management skills. During all that, he married, and his first child was born a couple months ago. About a year ago he learned that Chick-Fil-A was going to build a store for him. It will be his. It’s due to open in a few months. I wonder what’s going through his mind.

    Chick-Fil-A president Tim Tassopoulosi should know how this is going to work out. He’s on the Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board. Financially, BSA is on the ropes. Want to know how bad it’s gotten for them? Philmont Scout Ranch, in New Mexico, is for sale. For the uninitiated, it’s the dream of every Boy Scout and Explorer to visit Philmont at least once. Or rather it was.

    Irony: Today in my morning Bible Study we discussed James 4: 13-17.

    I will be interested to see over the upcoming Christmas shopping weekends what the lines look like at the various local Chick-fil-A outlets.

    I don’t expect to see tumbleweeds and cobwebs in the parking lots, but the company’s per-store sales advantage has usually meant insanely long drive thru lines at their stores, as well as long walk-up lines inside. If there’s going to be immediate blow-back, especially at the time of year when the Salvation Army and their bell-ringers are most on peoples’ minds, the drive-thrus may start looking like they’re no different from Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Burger King, in terms of the number of vehicles waiting. And that’s not going to make Chick-fil-A franchise owners very happy with Tassopoulois.

    • #6
    • November 21, 2019, at 6:58 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Cato Rand Coolidge

    I’m gay, married, and perfectly happy to see large donors disassociate themselves from genuinely homophobic groups. And I’d probably draw that circle more widely than you would. But the Salvation Army? Really? 150 years of selflessly serving the neediest among us counts for nothing?

    As usual in our screwed up polity, everything is turned up to 11.

    • #7
    • November 21, 2019, at 8:29 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Chick fil A has already been told its capitulation isn’t good enough.

    Exactly. It’s never enough. Give an inch, take a mile. No amount of subservient lapping and cowering can ever satisfy these psychos. That’s why it’s important to never give in to the mob, ever, at all, on anything. You give them more power when you do.

    • #8
    • November 21, 2019, at 9:04 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. AndrewAdams Coolidge
    AndrewAdams Post author

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    I’m gay, married, and perfectly happy to see large donors disassociate themselves from genuinely homophobic groups. And I’d probably draw that circle more widely than you would. But the Salvation Army? Really? 150 years of selflessly serving the neediest among us counts for nothing?

    As usual in our screwed up polity, everything is turned up to 11.

    It is the “drawing of the circle” that I think we should be talking about a bit more. If it is the case that any organization that refuses to grant its approval to same-sex marriage (e.g., a Christian church that refuses to marry a same-sex couple) will now be considered “bigoted” and “anti-LGBT” we will be in a sorry state and only become more at each other’s throats. Granted that you might draw the circle more widely than I would, but I appreciate your viewpoint. Some might call that tolerance! There is a roadmap for this sort of living space between free people. It took some time, but Catholics, Jews, and Protestant communities in the various states and towns of our early Republic learned to tolerate the significant theological differences between them. I hope we learn to follow their example. 

    • #9
    • November 21, 2019, at 1:15 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Cato Rand Coolidge

    AndrewAdams (View Comment):

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    I’m gay, married, and perfectly happy to see large donors disassociate themselves from genuinely homophobic groups. And I’d probably draw that circle more widely than you would. But the Salvation Army? Really? 150 years of selflessly serving the neediest among us counts for nothing?

    As usual in our screwed up polity, everything is turned up to 11.

    It is the “drawing of the circle” that I think we should be talking about a bit more. If it is the case that any organization that refuses to grant its approval to same-sex marriage (e.g., a Christian church that refuses to marry a same-sex couple) will now be considered “bigoted” and “anti-LGBT” we will be in a sorry state and only become more at each other’s throats. Granted that you might draw the circle more widely than I would, but I appreciate your viewpoint. Some might call that tolerance! There is a roadmap for this sort of living space between free people. It took some time, but Catholics, Jews, and Protestant communities in the various states and towns of our early Republic learned to tolerate the significant theological differences between them. I hope we learn to follow their example.

    I am in complete agreement. I would only add that in part my sense of “tolerance” is informed by the sense that it’s important to judge an organization or institution by the totality of its work.

    I might be a lot less tolerant of the Salvation Army if all it did was oppose equality for gay people. In fact, it’s a staggeringly successful and important social service organization. Measured up against the massive social value it provides, the fact that it may (I don’t even know if it actually does) espouse views about gay people that I vehemently disapprove of seems a quibble.

    I feel the same way about the Catholic church. I find its views on gay people appalling. But it also builds and supports hospitals that help those in need regardless of means, it does a better job of educating children than most of the alternatives in our society, and it provides services and support to the sick, the aged and the lonely. And it does all of those things at scale.

    So I judge both those institutions in their totality to be very good, if decidedly not perfect, institutions.

    I wouldn’t say the same for, e.g. the Family Research Council, which seems to have little purpose other than denigrating gay people. My “tolerance” for it really is just that – the bare tolerance necessary to peacefully co-exist in the same society with it. I’m not going to blow up its headquarters, but I fervently wish it would go away. If someone found a way to sue it into oblivion, as was done with the Klan, I’d be a cheerleader.

    In short, in my book you get points (and more tolerance/acceptance) for good works, even if you’ve got some warts.

    • #10
    • November 21, 2019, at 2:04 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. The Dowager Jojo Member

    Some people have a wide enough view of the world that they can understand that valuing the natural family is not equivalent to “denigrating gay people.” Supporting the standard that children should be born to a mother and father committed to each other and the children they create together is loving and admirable. It is not a wart on the Salvation Army or any other organization.

     

     

    • #11
    • November 21, 2019, at 6:08 PM PST
    • 3 likes