by Nathan A. Cherry, 09/21/2012
Recently it was reported that Chick-Fil-A would no longer be donating to groups that support traditional marriage. This news came in the wake of a massive outpouring of support for the chicken chain after CEO Dan Cathy was attacked for sharing his personal view that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. The national “support Chick-Fil-A day” saw millions of Americans line up at restaurants across the country to show their support for free speech, religious freedom, and traditional marriage.
So the recent reports that Chick-Fil-A would no longer be donating to groups like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, and National Organization for Marriage let many feeling a bit betrayed. But Chick-Fil-A has come forward to set the record straight and clear up confusion on whether they do or do not support traditional marriage.
In this recent press release, Chick-Fil-A says it will continue to fund programs that line up with the vision of the company:
“A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas.”
While a number of news outlets report that Chick-Fil-A will now leave the marriage issue to the government and political arena, it seems details of what that means exactly are in question.
A recent article from Citizenlink.com, an arm of Focus on the Family, says that reports of an agreement to stop making donations to groups that promote traditional marriage are completely false.
“Contrary to reports first made by the gay-activist group The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) on Tuesday and later picked up by mainstream media outlets, Chick-fil-A and its charitable-giving arm, the WinShape Foundation, did not agree to stop making donations to groups that support the biblical definition of marriage in exchange for being allowed to open a franchise in Chicago.”
The TCRA, earlier this week, reported that Chick-Fil-A agreed to halt all contributions to groups that promote traditional marriage in exchange for permits to build restaurants in Chicago; this was a stipulation Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno gave in order to obtain building permits. But, as we all know, it is discriminatory and illegal to deny permits to a business because of their position on any issue. And there is no doubt that Moreno relented on his denial of permits in accordance with the law rather than for any position change from Chick-Fil-A. That didn’t stop Moreno from claiming victory though. Citizenlink.com reports:
“Moreno vowed to block the construction of the franchise unless the company changed its beliefs and stopped supporting ‘hate groups.’ Moreno relented to the construction this week, spinning Chick-fil-A’s statement as a victory for his side — despite the fact that it was made before he denied the permit.”
It has even been reported that Moreno said that the giving of Chick-Fil-A should never have been an issue in the first place.
Some have cited recent statements from Chick-Fil-A as a reason to suspect the company no longer donates to groups supporting traditional marriage. Specifically this statement:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
But showing everyone “honor, dignity, and respect – regardless of…sexual orientation” is something every organization and person ought to emulate. There is nothing in the statement that even remotely suggests Chick-Fil-A will stop supporting marriage as they have in the past. And, as WND.com reported, this language has always existed in Chick-Fil-A’s non-discrimination policy:
“Even Anthony Martinez, TCRA executive director, said in an interview with Windy City Media Group that the language Chick-Fil-A uses in its non-discrimination policy hasn’t changed.”
A brief look at the company’s giving record reveals a list of Christian and religious organizations that no doubt promote the values that Chick-Fil-A continues to adhere to. The impressive list of groups receiving donations is full of organizations that many of us have never heard of. I have no doubt that further inspection would reveal many of these groups to be Christian or religious groups with a core set of values identical to Chick-Fil-A. And when one closely examines the language used to describe the groups supported, the programs supported, and the actions taken by employees, it becomes obvious that Chick-Fil-A is in the business of supporting groups with a biblical vision similar to theirs. Read the giving statement here.
The bottom line is that much ado about nothing has been made. Chick-Fil-A hasn’t changed anything. Instead, a liberal pro-homosexual group has sought to make a name for themself and smudge the sterling reputation of Chick-Fil-A in their war against anyone that disagrees with them.
I have complete confidence that the values that so many Americans supported on “Support Chick-Fil-A Day” are still very much intact. And I am also confident that Chick-Fil-A will continue to support groups that promote traditional marriage. I see no evidence to suggest anything less.
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About Nathan Cherry
Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.