Amid a backlash due to its decision to halt donations to to two Christian charities, Chick-fil-A put out a statement maintaining they are philanthropically restructuring, not caving to political correctness to appeal to a wider customer base.
On Monday, Chick-fil-A announced that it would stop donating to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, two groups that have traditional views on human sexuality and have been characterized as “anti-LGBT” by LGBTQ activists. Instead, the restaurant said in a statement that it would be “giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.”
“We made multiyear commitments to both organizations, and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018. Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger and education,” a Chick-fil-A representative said in a statement to Business Insider.
The Salvation Army on Tuesday responded to Chick-fil-A’s announcement in a statement saying it was “saddened” by the news.
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed,” part of the statement read.
Conservative critics are blasting the chicken sandwich chain for “caving to the outrage mob” and abandoning customers who stood by them when they were under attack.
“This is what Chick-fil-A will now learn the hard way, as have so many before them: You cannot appease the mob. … This is an age of scalp-claiming, not mercy,” wrote conservative commentator Matt Walsh at the Daily Wire.
Another conservative made the same point on Twitter, while sadly noting that Chick-Fil-A was abandoning two very worthy Christian charities.
The main things that make me sad about this is
1) The Christian orgs Chick-Fil-a donated to were genuinely good groups
2) This will not actually stop groups on the left from hating them b/c hating them is mostly about moral signallinghttps://t.co/Yfhg7PSq5J
— PoliMath (@politicalmath) November 18, 2019
Gov. Greg Abbott said he was “headed to Bill Miller’s” barbecue for dinner Monday night:
I'm headed to Bill Miller's tonight.https://t.co/2u2VrquGjn
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 19, 2019
In a statement to the Christian Post, Chick-fil-A denied capitulating to the LGBT activists, saying that its foundation would still be donating to Christian groups.
“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,” a Chick fil-A representative said in the statement.
“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,” the statement noted.
In its statement to the Christian Post defending their decision to stop donating to the Christian charities, Chick-fil-A did stress that their restaurants will remain closed on Sundays.
A statement on the company’s website announced: “Starting in 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation is introducing a more focused giving approach to provide additional clarity and impact with the causes it supports. Staying true to its mission of nourishing the potential in every child, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger,” the company said in a statement announcing its 2020 priorities.
At least one LGBT organization was not impressed by Chick fil-A’s decision to abandon the two Christian charities.
As if to prove the critics’ point that the outrage mob can’t be appeased, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said in a statement Tuesday that the move isn’t enough.
“If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families" @AndersonDrew https://t.co/0OXfScv1z6
— GLAAD (@glaad) November 18, 2019
The entire statement reads:
If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families.
Chick-Fil-A investors, employees, and customers can greet today’s announcement with cautious optimism, but should remember that similar press statements were previously proven to be empty.
In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-Fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.
Pro-LGBT website the Advocate saw the move as a victory for “the gays.”
THE GAYS HAVE WON. https://t.co/2HSf9u3KjN
— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) November 18, 2019
The Salvation Army meanwhile, defended its practices as helping all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.
“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,” the group said in its statement.
“We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgment and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors.”
Regardless, liberal rag Esquire trumpeted the news that the Christian charities had been dumped, thus: “Chick-fil-A Will No Longer Act as a Shield for Hateful People”
The Chick-fil-A Foundation has donated more than $52 million since it was established in 2012, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
Chick-Fil-A did not immediately immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.