Big news: Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy announced the company will still “glorify God” following their toss into the trash of The Salvation Army like a rotten fruit.
Are you ready to believe they’ll stand on principle rather than cave to pressure?
In my opinion, if you can’t even hang with The Salvation Army — one of the most innocuous organizations in America…one that’s been in countless feel-good Christmas movies and is a flagship Stars-and-Stripes institution — you need a knee replacement, because you buckle easily.
Additionally, from a business perspective, I believe the Chick went tone-deaf. In placating the critics (who still aren’t going to support the chain), the provider of America’s single most important pickle sent a Bird of a message to its most staunch supporters — one of the shooting kind.
Are they second guessing their give-in?
In a letter to American Family Association President Tim Wildmon dated December 5th, Dan lamented the November move which “inadvertently discredited several outstanding organizations.”
“As you have seen, recently we announced changes to our giving strategy at the Chick-fil-A Foundation. These changes were made to better focus on hunger, homelessness and education. We understand how some thought we were abandoning our longstanding support of faith-based organizations. We inadvertently discredited several outstanding organizations that have effectively served communities for years.”
Does that sound right to you? Was it just a misunderstanding?
Dan insisted they’re still committed to the same things as before:
“Some also questioned if our commitment to our Corporate Purpose was waning. Let me state unequivocally: It is not.”
So it’s just because they wanna feed more of the hungry and homeless. And they don’t want anything to do with politics:
“The intent of our corporate giving has always been to have impact not to make a statement or support a political or social agenda. In the future, our company will seek to make a greater impact by addressing the challenges of hunger, homelessness and education. Chick-fil-A will give to faith based and other organizations that we believe to be highly effective in a particular area.”
And the organizations to which they give money will continue to evolve:
“Grant recipients will likely rotate, as we assess from year to year partners who help us meet our stated goals. Also, our operators in your community will continue to invest in local causes that are meaningful at their discretion. Additionally, our family will continue to fund and operate our family foundations and give to other charities of our choice.”
AFA’s Tim isn’t necessarily impressed.
Here’s, in part, what he had to say:
“This response was a welcomed clarification. It appears that Mr. Cathy understands how many evangelicals perceived the company’s decision, as he stated that these Christian groups were ‘inadvertently discredited.’ The fact that Dan Cathy called these two Christian groups “outstanding organizations” will mean a lot to evangelicals.
“However, I also mentioned in my initial letter that Chick-fil-A stated that the company would support Covenant House, a ministry to homeless youth, including homosexual young people. While it is admirable to help hurting youth in desperate circumstances –– including those who are LGBTQ –– Covenant House also openly promotes homosexuality as normal, natural, and healthy. This was evident in Covenant House’s participation in the NYC gay pride parade and a number of other efforts that make it clear the ministry does not hold to a biblical view of human sexuality.”
So the AFA remains leery:
“AFA will continue to monitor Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving, at least for the foreseeable future. We believe our supporters rely on us to do so.”
If what Dan’s written is true — and I have no reason to doubt it — it seems to me he should’ve made all of that crystal clear when they pulled support for The Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
However, the best way to have made it clear was not to have done it.
Personally, if there’s a place in town that makes the best food, I’m gonna eat there irrespective of their politics. Part of my politics is competition in the marketplace, and another part of them is eating whatever’s delicious.
But it appears to me that Chick-fil-A has tarnished its brand — it set itself up as an outwardly no-apologies Christian organization with charity work to bolster that reputation. And when some criticized it for its biblical positions, the faithful united around it.
I believe that bolstered many Christians’ decision to endorse the company with their business, and they feel betrayed by what they see as a surrender to persecution in lieu of a stronger stance.
If I’m right, the chicken chain’s gonna need more than a letter to the American Family Association.
If they were to make a public announcement that they were reinstating their support for TSA and/or FCA, in my view, that’d reignite their base and leave the critics where they were already: eating at McDonalds.
But either way, I’ll be having some waffle fries.
So will Tim:
“Most of the Christians I know love Chick-fil-A and want to trust the company to uphold scriptural principles. We have all been huge fans of Chick-fil-A, and want that to continue.”
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