Chick-fil-A faced heavy backlash from the conservative Christian community after Bisnow reported the restaurant was stopping donations to Christian charities with "anti-LGBT positions." In response, Chick-fil-A has released another statement, insisting that they are not giving in to political correctness.
With Chick-fil-A's multiyear donation contracts ending with the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), the chicken restaurant has decided to focus its charitable efforts toward causes like education, hunger and homelessness. Reports quickly circulated that this move was a direct response to the negative perception of Chick-fil-A's support of traditional marriage.
A Chick-fil-A representative reached out to the Christian Post, asking them to respond to these criticisms. Read the full statement below:
"Beginning in 2020 the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education. We have also proactively disclosed our 2018 tax filing and a preview of 2019 gifts to date on chick-fil-afoundation.org. The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.
"Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration—faith-based or non-faith based. I also wanted to add that Chick-fil-A will not be opening on Sundays."
After the original Bisnow report was released, the Salvation Army offered a statement, saying they were disappointed in the restaurant chain's decision.
"We're saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations," the Salvation Army told Bisnow. "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."
Holly Meade, director of communications at Liberty Counsel, reached out to a Chick-fil-A owner to ask for clarification on the restaurant's stance. The owner responded that Chick-fil-A of Central Florida would continue to work with the Salvation Army regarding its Christmas Child program.
"I have interviewed Dan Cathy and would be really shocked if he compromised," Meade said on Facebook.
She then shared the response a Chick-fil-A owner gave her:
"It's not accurate. It's too bad that even faith-based organizations wish to use Chick-fil-A as a political pawn. Chick-fil-A, Inc always makes adjustments to its giving...yearly. Chick-fil-A of Central Florida continues to work with Salvation Army for its Christmas Child program and we plan to do so for the foreseeable future.
"What concerns me most is that my brothers and sisters in Christ continue to allow the media and politicians to use them for their narratives rather than God using them for His. Next year, we (Chick-fil-A) decided to give to youth and homelessness and all of a sudden Chick-fil-A has lost its identity. How awful that is if the church thinks giving to homelessness isn't a worthy cause."
But many in the conservative Christian community are not convinced that Chick-fil-A's motives have nothing to do with pressure from LGBT activists.
Cultural commentator Michael Brown wrote an op-ed in which he pleaded with Chick-fil-A to reverse its decision.
"Please do not cave in to LGBT activists and their allies," he wrote. "Please do not capitulate to the pressure of the radical left. Please do not throw the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Salvation Army under the bus. Please reverse your decision to no longer fund these important Christian organizations.
"Do you remember when millions of Christians stood with you when the radical left called for a boycott of your fine company? Do you remember when they turned the boycott into a 'buycott'? These same Christians are scratching their heads today. They are wondering why the company they love so much now feels the need to satisfy the demands of people who despise many of the common values we hold dear."
Chick-fil-A told Bisnow that, starting next year, they planned to give $9 million to charities such as Junior Achievement USA, Covenant House International and community food banks. The restaurant chain also plans to give $25,000 to a local food bank whenever they open a new Chick-fil-A restaurant.
She also says this situation reminds her of Revelation 3:16, which says, "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth."
Christian financial investing expert Dan Celia also referenced Revelation 3:16 when opining on Chick-fil-A's decision.
"Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that redefining marriage was 'inviting God's judgment,'" Celia says in a statement. "Mr. Cathy must now believe that the unchangeable God of yesterday, today and tomorrow is changeable. Men of steadfast, unwavering faith who no longer see value in that and become lukewarm receive warnings in Revelation 3:16. This latest move will not be good for business."
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