For decades, Chick-fil-A has been one of the few corporations many Christians and conservatives have been comfortable supporting, but that has all changed in recent weeks.
In the latest and perhaps most poignant show of power by the woke left, it successfully browbeat Chick-fil-A into ending its donations to two Christian organizations, the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both organizations have been criticized by LGBTQ groups for their religious views on marriage and sexuality. But, it’s not just the groups Chick-fil-A has stopped donating to that have raised eyebrows of the direction of the beloved fast-food chain. (RELATED: Chick-Fil-A Becomes America’s Favorite Fast Food Restaurant, Dethroning In-N-Out)
Chik-fil-A donated $2,500 to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2017, a donation that has come under scrutiny in light of the fast food chain’s recent announcement. The SPLC is an anti-Christian organization that lists several Christian and conservative organizations as “hate groups,” including the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council’s Washington D.C. headquarters was targeted for an attempted massacre in 2013 by Floyd Lee Corkins, who was inspired by the SPLC’s hate map.
Chick-fil-A attempted to explain away the donation, telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that “the SPLC donation was made by a volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Advisory Board,” although the restaurant’s spokesperson did not provide any specifics. Needless to say, this explanation did not satisfy conservatives who feel betrayed by the organization.
The Family Research Council excoriated Chick-fil-A for its donation to the SPLC, saying that the organization has “lost their way.”
“Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, it has donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement released last week.
“Seven years ago, a shooter entered our building with the intent to murder as many people as possible and smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their faces,” Perkins continued. “Chick-fil-A has seriously lost their way.”
Republican politicians, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also took the fast food chain to task. (RELATED: Large Group Of Protesters Harass Ted Cruz At LAX)
“Millions of Christians have been proud of Chick-fil-A’s courageous stands for religious liberty,” Cruz tweeted. “To fund those who hate your customers is just sad.”
“In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national [Chick-fil-A] Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up,” Huckabee tweeted. “ Today, [Chick-fil-A] betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.”
Huckabee’s tweet sums up how many conservative, Christians must be feeling about Chick-fil-A’s recent activities. Christians went out of their way to support Chick-fil-A when the organization faced boycotts in 2012 after company President Dan Cathy said that America was “inviting God’s judgment” by legalizing same-sex marriage. The backlash from the left was immediate and vicious. Left-wing mayors threatened to block Chick-fil-A from constructing new restaurants in their cities, left-wing groups and politicians encouraged boycotts of the fast food chain, and employees were subjected to threats and harassment over their leadership’s Christian values. In contrast, Christian and conservative Americans defended Chick-fil-A, patronizing it in droves.
Christian groups organized a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” where supporters stood in mile-long lines not just to order delicious chicken, but to stand in solidarity with a rare corporation that shares their values. Conservative television hosts ate Chick-fil-A on national television in defiance of left-wing backlash. Republican politicians across the country have proposed and enacted legislative safeguards to protect Chick-fil-A from the hostile left. (RELATED: Why Social Conservatives Don’t Trust Likely Georgia Senate Pick Kelly Loeffler)
Republican Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signed the Save Chick-fil-A Act into law earlier this year to provide safeguards for religious liberty. The law prohibits government entities from discriminating against businesses based on their religious beliefs. It was passed shortly after the San Antonio City Council banned Chick-fil-A from an Antonio International Airport over the fast-food chain’s “anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
Christians and conservatives have stood with Chick-fil-A time and time again, and in return the fast food chain has ended donations to certain Christian charities, and donated to an organization with a record of hostility to people of faith. What makes Chick-fil-A’s recent announcement all the more puzzling is how unnecessary it was. The fast food chain has been thriving financially, and continues to be held up as a beacon of polite customer service that even succeeded in America’s most liberal cities.
JP Duffy, vice president of communications for the Family Research Council wrote earlier this week in a USA Today op-ed that Chick-fil-A’s long-time commitment to Christian values had inspired him to live out his faith in the workplace. (RELATED: Conservatives Love HBO’s ‘Chernobyl,’ But Socialists Don’t Want To Talk About It)
“It’s difficult to watch Chick-fil-A follow the path of many of its corporate peers,” Duffy wrote.
Despite the backlash, don’t expect any Christian or conservative boycotts of Chick-fil-A. After all, if conservatives decided to boycott every corporation that thumbed its nose at them, there would be precious few places they could take their business. This partly explains why the new right has become increasingly hostile to corporate America even as the conservative movement has been traditionally pro-business. If businesses are going to attack everything conservatives believe in, why should they benefit financially from conservative policies?
No constituency in America has had to face betrayal more than social conservatives, but the Chick-fil-A saga cuts especially deep. What made the fast food chain unique was not just its food, but its values.
Now, Chick-fil-A is just another woke corporation that happens to make a pretty tasty chicken sandwhich. But, it was more than that. It could still be more than that. For the present time, it has just chosen not to be.