In 2018, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $225,000 to Covenant House, $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and $115,000 to the Salvation Army. In the same year, the company’s revenues were about $10 billion. The donations amounted to just under 0.02% of revenue. It’s literally a drop in the bucket.
Now the company has changed its giving profile for 2020, eliminating those items, yet keeping with its corporate charge to give back. In 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $6.4 million. The largest recipients are Atlanta-based charities Grove Park Foundation and Westside Future Fund. In 2019, Westside Future Fund received $1.7 million.
But the story is “Chick-fil-A Revises Giving Policy After Antigay Outcry.” Because somehow the Salvation Army, the FCA and other notable Christian aid organizations are, by definition to many LGBT advocates, “anti-gay?” I don’t think so. I think there’s more here.
In the online letter by Rodney Bullard, executive director of the foundation, nowhere does he mention “gay” or “LGBT” or even “Christian.” So what happened is some journalists have combed the list of charities in the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s giving plan, and compared it to 2018 and 2019, looking to see what religious organizations receive money, so they can plaster that all over the media. Now they plaster that they’ve been vindicated because the Salvation Army is no longer on the list.
Remember, the Salvation Army was the subject of a short-lived kerfuffle involving Ellie Goulding and the NFL Super Bowl halftime show. She initially indicated she’d refuse to perform because the “red kettle” folks are somehow not committed enough to LGBT causes. It’s not enough to feed the hungry, or house the homeless, or help the needy anymore, a charity has to be woke to everything, meaning, a Christian ministry is automatically in opposition to wokeness.
The backlash about Chick-fil-A caving in to LGBT demands is an engineered response to a nothingburger, that the company decided to get ahead of the media and remove a tiny percentage of its official giving, without changing anything else.
Dan Cathy is still the Chairman and CEO. He still gives to Christian organizations. The other executive leaders, including the president and COO Tim Tassopoulos, have been with the company for decades.
Chick-fil-A is still closed on Sundays.
And buried at the bottom of the “Who We Are” page, but featured prominently, framed on the entryway wall in most restaurants, Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose remains the same:
“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Until this changes, those who now plaster the media with “Chick-fil-A caves” stories still want the company to fail. They want Christians to react with spittle-flecked tantrums and threats. They want to bring out the worst in Christians so they can gleefully watch the company’s fans turn on their favorite chicken sandwich restaurant.
The activists want to continue to ban it, heckle it, provide lists of other places to eat chicken, and force the company to change. If tomorrow Chick-fil-A opened on Sundays, and removed God from its corporate purpose, I still don’t think it would satisfy the blood lust of those who hate the company. They still wouldn’t eat there, because the mere mention of “my pleasure” stings in their ears.
There’s nothing different about Chick-fil-A. They haven’t really caved. The Salvation Army will be just fine without the $115,000 it received in 2018. In fact, I recommend giving to them right now. I bet Dan Cathy is.
Don’t give in to the engineered hype of a blown-up story. That only plays into the hands of people who want our outrage for their own purposes.