Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A continues to be mired in controversy after the discovery of its donations to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and also Covenant House, an organization that celebrates LGBTQ pride and hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour in New York.
On November 18, the restaurant that had received the praise and support of Christians for what appeared to be its courage to stand up for the biblical foundations of marriage and sexuality, announced it was changing direction.
“Starting in 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation is introducing a more focused giving approach to provide additional clarity and impact with the causes it supports,” the announcement read.
It was revealed that Chick-fil-A would be ending its support for the Salvation Army – considered by many to be the premier organization for helping the homeless and hungry – and giving, instead, to Covenant House International, an organization that helps homeless youth but clearly celebrates LGBTQ pride.
“Pride is all about love, acceptance, celebration,” Covenant House states. “It’s also about recognizing the challenges and injustices that the LGBTQ community faces – particularly when it comes to homelessness.”
Thank you to everyone who shared, reposted and donated to our Pride 2019 Facebook fundraiser! We’ve published shareable infographics with stats on LGBTQ youth facing homelessness for you to send to your network. Use the link to start spreading awareness https://t.co/CNapwkQdWk pic.twitter.com/TYFLRkyiU1
— Covenant House International (@CovenantHouse) July 1, 2019
In an op-ed at USA Today Wednesday, JP Duffy, vice president of communications at the Family Research Council, recalled his first job at Chick-fil-A, and his boss’s explanation of founder Truett Cathy’s vision of having a company that honors God.
“In that conversation, I began to experience what it means to live out one’s faith in the workplace,” Duffy wrote. “I knew I signed up to do more than sell chicken. That was the first of many such conversations over the next three years.”
“Those family conversations have changed dramatically recently,” Duffy said, however, since the recent announcement by Chick-fil-A COO Tim Tassopoulos that the company was moving in a different direction.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Tassopoulos said. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Duffy said it is painful to watch Chick-fil-A follow the same trajectory of other corporations attempting to adopt a politically correct attitude. Duffy continued:
In 2016, Chick-fil-A’s board selected a new president, Tim Tassopoulos, who is a member of an advisory board for a Boy Scouts council (which has changed the name of its 11- to 17-year-olds program to Scouts BSA). The Scouts BSA has abandoned many of its values in recent years and has never looked back, even as the organization apparently moves closer to bankruptcy.
Duffy said “the biggest shock” was the discovery that Chick-fil-A has donated to SPLC, a group that labels Christian individuals and groups as “haters.” According to Duffy:
This is the same group that, in 2012, inspired a gunman to storm into the headquarters of my organization, the Family Research Council, and attempt to murder my colleagues and me and smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches on our faces.
That day I saw our building manager, Leo Johnson, covered in blood as he was rushed into an ambulance. Despite being seriously wounded, Leo heroically tackled the gunman, saving many lives.
The domestic terrorist shooter, Floyd Corkins, told the FBI he had picked the Family Research Council as a target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. He was angered by the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day held recently, in which huge crowds lined up at Chick-fil-A’s restaurants to show support for its president, Dan Cathy, who had expressed support for marriage defined as between a man and woman.
Duffy praised the businesses that have held their courage and fought to practice their faith beliefs in the marketplace – Hobby Lobby and Jack Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop are just two he mentioned.
“Religious freedom is the right to live out your faith in every area of life, including the workplace,” Duffy said. “But that freedom is under assault. We can defend this freedom by exercising it. However, that requires courage, which comes through a relationship with God and reverence for his Word.”