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November 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-family advocates are responding with shock to the revelation that the ostensibly religious food chain Chick-fil-A has funded several organizations with anti-Christian values on life and sexuality, including the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This comes as controversy grows over Chick-fil-A withdrawing its funding from Christian charities branded “anti-LGBT” by left-wing organizations.
For years, LGBT activists have attempted to brand Chick-fil-A as “hateful” due to CEO Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to same-sex “marriage” and the company’s past donations to social conservative groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. But while the company has no shortage of detractors in politics and media, the complaints fell on deaf ears among actual customers.
Nevertheless, the company announced earlier this month that it will stop donating to Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. These organizations have been attacked as “anti-LGBT” for taking traditional Biblical stances on homosexuality. Chick-fil-A says it wants to refocus its giving on the causes of education, homelessness, and hunger, through the organizations Junior Achievement USA and Covenant House, as well as to various community food banks.
“We don't want our intent and our work to be encumbered by someone else's politics or cultural war,” the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s Rodney Bullard said. “If something gets in the way of our mission, that is something that we are mindful of and cognizant of.”
However, as the Radiance Foundation’s Ryan Bomberger details, IRS forms reveal that Chick-fil-A has donated to several organizations on the other side of the culture war. These include the pro-abortion YWCA and Pace Center for Girls, the pro-LGBT Chris 180 and Junior Achievement, and the “progressive” New Leadership Council and Usher’s New Look.
But the most shocking revelation was a 2017 donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization dedicated to labeling mainstream Christian and/or conservative organizations—including Chick-fil-A itself—as “hate groups.”
“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 (FRC) president Tony Perkins said in a statement. “Anyone who opposes the SPLC, including many Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and traditional conservatives, is slandered and slapped with the 'extremist' label or even worse, their 'hate group' designation.”
“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, referencing the 2012 case of Floyd Lee Corkins II. “The gunman was enraged by the nationwide Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day held two weeks before and used the SPLC's 'hate map' to identify FRC as his target. Despite being seriously wounded, the FRC building manager, Leo Johnson, heroically stopped the gunman.”
“Dan Cathy, nor anyone with Chick-fil-A inquired about the well-being of Mr. Johnson or any of the FRC team members, but they made a donation to the SPLC which was linked in federal court to this act of domestic terrorism,” Perkins noted. “Chick-fil-A has seriously lost their way. It's time for Christians to find a fast food alternative to Chick-fil-A.”
On Tuesday, a coalition of conservative leaders wrote an open letter to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy expressing how “tremendously disappointed” they are in the company. Signatories include United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Kenneth Blackwell, Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell, Heritage Foundation president Kay Cole James, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, Conservative HQ chairman Richard Viguerie, and many others.
“When you were under attack by the left in 2012, America's families stood with you,” it notes. “We, the signers of this letter, stood with you, and many of us urged our supporters to do the same. We helped form long lines at your stores, stretching out the doors and around the buildings, in many cases.” But “your latest decisions to withdraw charitable giving to the Salvation Army and other Christian charities has betrayed the very people who stood with you.”
You have instead allied yourself with a bully-tactic leftist movement that will never be satisfied with your compromises,” the letter warns. “There is a growing list of American corporations that have discovered, with each new compromise, leftists only become more emboldened in their attacks.”