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Chicken Fil-A?

This weeks column on Christian Today – you can get the original here…

Chicken Fil-A?

Chick fil A
(Photo: Chick-fil-A)

We live in a world which is increasingly bizarre and surreal. There are many examples, from identity politics to cultural insanities.  But for me it is nowhere more surreal than in the culture wars surrounding fast food chicken.

I searched for guidance in the scriptures and apart from Jesus talking about wanting to gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chickens (Luke 13:34), I can find nothing about chicken in the Bible. However this has not stopped much clucking from Christian leaders and commentators – and endless social media posts.

But this is no joke. It is an important and revealing issue. Little did I realise that when I wrote about the intolerance faced by Chick-Fil-A recently – praising their heroic stance – that a month later I would be writing about their capitulation to that same intolerance.

So from a land down under let me try and explain why this actually matters far beyond the shores of the US.

This week, BisNow reported that Chick-Fil-A were going to rearrange their charitable giving and remove The Salvation Army and the Christian Fellowship of Athletes from their giving, focusing instead on charities that helped with education, hunger and homelessness.

Chick-Fil-A President Tim Tassopoulous told Bisnow: “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are…. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message….as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are.”

So what’s the fuss about? Helping with education, hunger and homelessness; expanding into new areas and being clear about who they are – what could be wrong with that?

Let me walk you through the steps:

  1. Dan Cathy, the son of the founder of Chick-Fil-A, stated that he and his business stood by the biblical definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. As a result the ‘progressives’ called him a bigot and started a campaign to get people to boycott his company.
  2. Mr Cathy did not give in. Chick-Fil-A stood by its policy on marriage, just as it has stood by its policy of not opening on Sundays. The Cathy family asked the Christian community to support them – as we did. In great numbers. Business flourished.
  3. Chick-Fil-A continued to give charitable support to a number of groups, including The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who both uphold the biblical stance on marriage.
  4. This week the company announced they would no longer fund these organisations, stating that they would only fund those organisations which reflect their values. The implication was obvious – that these now defunded organisations, did not.
  5. Chick-Fil-A has stated it will significantly support Covenant House, which supports gay pride activism and requires its staff to do so. It is pro gay affirming and proudly participated in the NYC Pride parade.
  6. Chick-Fil-A has claimed that it continues to support Christian charities, but has not said whether it will support those which hold to a biblical position on marriage.

What are the lessons from this?

  1. It’s encouraging to see a company like Chick-Fil-A donating substantial sums of money to charity. For example they have said that they will give $25,000 to a local food bank in the area of any new restaurant they open. In total they have budgeted for $32 million to be given to charities – out of $10.5 billion turnover. It’s not exactly sacrifice!
  2. Great damage has been done to The Salvation Army and others. They have been accused of being a ‘hate’ organisation and it seems as though Chick-Fil-A have accepted that accusation. The SA stated: “We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed…..We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population.”
  3. This surrender to the LGBT lobby will be in vain. It is not enough. LGBT groups have stated that Chick-Fil-A remain anti-LGBT and therefore will need to do more. I suspect unless they pay reparations, fund gay pride events, create rainbow chicken burgers, and fly the rainbow flag over their restaurants, nothing will ever be enough. For example, the militant secularist website Patheos accused the company of ‘flip flopping’ and warned they were still anti-gay.  Another group argued that Chick-Fil-A owner Cathy was still in charge and even though he had ‘learned to keep his mouth shut’, the company should still be pursued.

Although Chick-Fil-A have stated that their decision has nothing to do with giving into political correctness, very few people believe that. I suppose it could just be a ‘coincidence’ that they have dropped the charities they have been condemned for supporting, and ended up supporting charities that their critics endorse – but is it likely? It’s disappointing to watch a Christian company not only give in to the bullies, but then seek to spin their way out of the criticism.

The surrender of Chick-Fil-A to the LGBT activists will do a great deal of harm. It sends a very clear message: if a company with impeccable Christian credentials, the third largest fast food chain in the US, whose business is expanding despite the opposition, cannot stand the pressure, then what hope do the rest of us have? If a Christian company backs off funding The Salvation Army – one of the largest and most effective providers to the poor in the world – because of the pressure they have faced from LGBT activists, then God help the rest of us.

As Australian pastor and blogger Steve MacAlpine observes: “Keeping the Sabbath is no longer the true resistance in our culture. It’s twee and cute and a point of cheeky difference. The true resistance in our culture is looking the sexual tsunami and its culture warriors in the eye and saying ‘Thus far shall you come and no farther.’ And if the big boys, or the big chickens in this instance, can’t resist, then good luck the local corner cake shop. Or the small Christian school.” 

Why have Chick-Fil-A sold out?

The most obvious reason is money – but they were doing really well financially. I suspect the real reason is that the people who run the company were just tired of being called bigots – the social pressure was worse than the financial one. And so they thought – as many of us do – ‘why bother? It’s not worth the hassle….its not a key issue of the faith’.

And yet so often is the case that where the devil is attacking and testing us, that is the key issue.

Because of their capitulation Chick-Fil-A have done a great deal of harm. So much so that they would have been better not making their stand in the first place.

James 1:27 tells us that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Many of us are not prepared to suffer financial loss or social kudos because of our Christian faith, and so we give in and become polluted by the world. May the Lord grant us all strength to stand in the day of temptation and when we fail, may we swiftly repent and return to Christ.

Yes, there is a lot to learn from the tale of the Chicken restaurant…..

Quantum 69 – The One with Hong Kong; France; Greg Sheridan; the USA; UK Election; Race Self Identification; Prince Andrew; Cold Showers; the Good Place; ACDC

20 comments

  1. David—the other day I wrote a post about this seeming capitulation of Chick-fil-A.

    Like you, I’ve often written about my support for the food chain in light of the attacks they have received from the LGBTQ communities.
    Being from Atlanta, I feel a bit of fierce protection when a local business is attacked, especially a Christian organization.

    I noted in my initial post that I have written several posts supporting our Atlanta based Chicken Corporation–but due to the recent news stories citing the fact that Chick-fil-A had opted to distance itself from a few of its charities such as FCA and The Salvation Army, caving to the pressure from the liberal left, I was so utterly disappointed. Musing that my Chicken sandwich days may be coming to an end.

    I uploaded the post on Wednesday after having seen and read the news about this decision of theirs on Tuesday.

    It wasn’t too long before a blogging friend, whose husband owns and operates his own Chick-fil-A
    in Virginia, responded that I was incorrect in my reporting.
    She told me that the news, even the conservative news outlets along with the Atlanta local news, had gotten it all wrong.

    I’m including a link to my original post where you can read the comments and then a link to the clarifying post I offered later that day including her response….attempting to set the record straight.
    You can read that post along with those comments but it seems the Corporations leadership was not bending to the masses as it was reported—you can take away your own thoughts.

    I hope Lynn is correct.
    And that by not being aggressive in their response, the quiet Chick-fil-A may let the left’s ire die down

    https://cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/disappointment-found-in-the-bending-of-the-cows-knees/

    https://cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/an-update-with-clarification-to-the-bending-of-the-cows-knees/

    1. Thanks Julie. But that response does not make sense. It was not the media but Chick-Fil-A who announced they were no longer giving to the SA and FCA. Were they lying? If the media reported it wrongly why did CFA not correct them?

      1. I agree David, it is confusing.
        And Lynn explains that they (they being Chick-fil-A) have “branches” within the company that deals with the charity aspect and that those branches are continuing their support.
        WinShape and LifeShape

        I apologized to Lynn profusely if I had erred in my reporting as I strive to post the truth in the matters I write about.

        So I hope the left hand of Chick-fil-A actually knows what the right hand is about.

        Lynn was adamant that the news stories were wrong.
        I had watched Ben Shapiro’s take on it all on Tuesday when I opted to write my original post as I usually find Mr. Shapiro is spot on with his reporting. I had also watched our local Atlanta news regarding the issue as they tend to be a bit protective of our homegrown businesses.

        I am going to forward your post to Lynn.

        I just hope she is correct as I continue to support those businesses that have always allowed God to be the writer of their playbooks just as Mr. Cahty had done.

        So often we see the children of such businesses try to appease the rabid culture dogs where the parent had long stood strong— I hope we are not seeing that here.

      2. Thanks Julie. I’m afraid that I’m going by the statements that Chick Fil A have made and their refusal to answer the question as to whether they would support a Christian organisation which held to the biblical standards on marriage. I hope they will change their mind and actually fund such an organisation. There is little doubt that they have capitulated. But they can repent!

  2. I do agree, David.
    I hope Chick-fil-A will not remain quiet or secretive, thinking they can continue support while attempting to hide the fact when they have publicly stated such to the contrary.

    Waffling never bodes well when going up against an angry and hungry anti-Christian society.

  3. I’m relieved to read Julie’s comment and blog post, if only because I love Chick-fil-A and patronize them every chance I get in the US (we don’t have them in Canada because of that bully lobby). But to your question, David, of why the media would report it, let me (a former reporter) hazard a guess. The reporter or his/her editor would have been looking for – hoping for – a story that demonstrated the success of the lobby at bullying CFA into submission. Further, the reaction from Christians might be to desert CFA in similar numbers to the way they supported it.

    CFA may want to leave the story out there until an “opportune time” as a case of not answering a question they hadn’t been asked (i.e. “does any entity connected to CFA support these organizations?”). Then, if needbe, CFA could issue a clarifying statement.

    Wise as serpents …

    1. Drew. We can’t play the fake news media card just when we don’t like something. which of the facts reported are false? You will note that nothing that Julie was told contradicts the main facts. CFA have been asked and have refused to answer.

  4. “My hope is built on nothing less,
    than Jesus blood and righteousness.
    On Christ the solid rock I stand,
    all other ground is shifting sand.”

  5. This was a business decision and the key bit missing from this story is that CFA had a fixed term deal with FCA and SA. That deal expired this year and it’s not being renewed.
    I think CFA had already decided not to renew these contracts long before this storm arose. It’s just unfortunate timing.

    1. It was a business decision ‘to reflect their values’. The storm has been going for years. CFA have stood firm. Now they are no longer supporting charities that support the Christian view of marriage and they are supporting at least one that does not. It speaks volumes…

  6. CFA were due to open their first outlet in the UK. There was a campaign set up at once to boycott them.
    How come the LGBT people are allowed to harass people so much?
    Nothing is ever enough for them. I can remember the early days when they claimed all they wanted was to be free from harassment themselves (which may have been justified). Now they aggressively demand their views are accepted. Homosexuality can never be the norm. The human race would have died out long since.

  7. Christians are an easy target for the LGBT+. However, there are thousands and thousands of Muslims shops, restaurants in this country, have any of those Muslims shops, restaurants have been closed due to there religion? problely not one.

    1. They don’t get the flak because they’re useful and powerful allies in the anti-Christian cause. The fact that they will be much more intolerant if they gain power can be conveniently forgotten for now. The LGBT lobby is not strong on logic; they wouldn’t behave like they do if they could think straight.

  8. Very disappointing…secular humanism wins another battle in the culture wars….it’s more than “caving” on a single issue…CFA’s defunding two overtly Christian organizations for two secular ones serving the same charitable causes show CFA’s intent to go secular…take your thirty pieces of silver and go…we’ll stay and be the church persecuted Dan Cathy.

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