Home/Rod Dreher/Chick-fil-A Surrenders To LGBT Bullies

Chick-fil-A Surrenders To LGBT Bullies

Today, Chick-fil-A surrendered to the mob (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

This is a sad day. Even though Chick-fil-A is hugely profitable, it still capitulated to progressive bullies:

On Monday, Chick-fil-A announced it was making a major change to perhaps the most controversial part of the company: its charitable-giving arm.

In a press release, the company said it would “deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.” A Chick-fil-A representative confirmed that the company would no longer donate to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army, two organizations that have been criticized by LGBTQ advocates.

“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,” the representative said in a statement to Business Insider.

Chick-fil-A had previously worked with the groups to fund specific programs — such as summer camps — that work directly with underprivileged children.

I despise the LGBT bullies, but I’m not letting Chick-fil-A’s leadership off the hook. Here’s what cowards Chick-fil-A’s leadership are. In the same story, we read that Chick-fil-A stopped donations to some Christian-oriented charities in 2012, after it came under fire from LGBT activists:

However, the company continued its relationships with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army.

Rodney Bullard, the head of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, defended the donations in an interview with Business Insider earlier this year, saying they were “relevant and impactful in the community.”

“For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged,” Bullard said.

Chick-fil-A has expanded significantly in recent years. By the end of 2018, Chick-fil-A was the third-largest chain in the US by sales, growing revenue by 16.7% in 2018 to reach nearly $10.5 billion, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Only McDonald’s and Starbucks brought in more money in the US last year, and with vastly more restaurants.

So, let me get this straight: Chick-fil-A has managed to become the third-biggest fast-food chain in the US, despite earning so much progressive hatred for honoring what its leadership once claimed was fidelity to “a much higher calling.” But now, in 2019, as it sits near the summit of business success, Chick-fil-A suddenly finds that it can no longer afford to follow that “higher calling,” and is cutting the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes off.

I love Chick-fil-A, but it’s going to be a while before I go there again. This is nothing but gutless surrender.

And it’s a lesson to all of us. The LGBT lobby, and their progressive allies, will never, ever leave you alone. Never. You watch: within five years, Chick-fil-A will be embracing woke advertising campaigns. Just this morning, I was looking across the breakfast table at my kids’ cereal box, saw this rainbow, and wondered why Honey Nut Cheerios had gone gay.

Then I thought, “Wow, Pride has been so successful that I thought simply having a rainbow meant endorsing LGBT.” But then, I looked closer. See the lower right hand side? It’s the logo for the LGBT rights lobby Human Rights Campaign. It’s one of three charities to which General Mills encourages donations via Snapchat. Think about it: a charity to feed the hungry, a charity to care for abused animals, and a political organization fighting for gay rights. One of these things is not like the other. And hey, looking at this rainbow-bright cereal box, is there any doubt as to which charity General Mills prefers its Cheerios-eater donations to go?

Speaking of Woke Capitalism, you surely saw this Sprite commercial from Argentina, yes? You need to watch it:

A reader writes:

… the new Sprite ad – beyond amazingly evil. I could not believe what I saw, the Coca-Cola company has always seemed such an iconic part of American life, and now this, not that I’m surprised but the perversion in that ad was beyond the pale. When I opposed gay-marriage this wouldn’t have even have been a something I could have imagined for my worst opponents, and here it is a reality. It does everything but express the sexual abuse of children.

Then the news today on Drudge that Chik-fil-a will now abandon any charities that are perceived as ant-LGBT+, well, finally money talks, and as someone once said, you cannot serve two masters.

Ah, but that’s the amazing thing — money did not talk in the Chick-fil-A capitulation. Chick-fil-A’s business is booming! There’s something else going on here.

The reader adds (I’ve edited slightly to make it harder to identify him):

On a personal note, three students were nearly in my arms this last week, in tears, these middle schoolers I teach, are as lost and tossed as any adolescent in history, but there is such pain in our adults having their go at finding “happiness” at the expense of the children in their care. Children who are without Christ and without hope, and who are so hungry for the gospel and our schools are a place where that hunger is trying to be satisfied but the perversion in the Sprite ad and by the hatred that is growing for anything that is of God.

Yet, I see my children beginning to turn and question what they see in the world around them, and some parents are beginning to see it too.

I’ve decided to start a youth group in my church, which is mostly old people, but we do have a few families. The hardest thing to pierce in the hearts of these parents is their addiction to easy answers (Praise music, fun, sports, mission trips), nostalgia for the youth movement of the 1970-90’s that bore no real fruit, and their addiction to “activities”. We are talking a Benedict Option approach mixing the formation of the [small group seminar] and just reading the Bible and talking frankly about walking with Christ.

There is something moving in this world, profound evil is at work, but I do feel that something is stirring in the young, from their pain, their hurt, and their frustration at the adult world. Just pray that God uses it for good.

I’m so glad that reader identified the barrier of the “easy answers” culture that keeps so many Christian parents blind to the realities of the challenges facing us. I think that is the main obstacle to getting American Christians to take the Benedict Option seriously: because it says flat-out that there are no easy answers, and that in fact what we have all been doing for the past 30 years doesn’t work. That if we keep doing it, it’s guaranteed disaster.

I get lots of letters — I can’t even answer them all, so please forgive me if you’ve written, but I haven’t responded. I heard last week from a Catholic mom who told me that she and her husband put their kids into their local classical Christian school, which is non-denominational, because they saw more authentically Catholic content in that school’s curriculum than in the Catholic school where their kids had been going. She told me too that she was so discouraged by the culture within the diocesan school, in which parents behaved as if all they had to do was to send their kids to a Catholic school and keep writing that tuition check, and they had done their part.

She said that the student culture within that Catholic school was no different than you would see anywhere else. It was just as vulgar, sex-oriented, and smartphone-centered as at any other school. She and her husband asked themselves what kind of Catholic kids they could expect if they trusted their children to this factory. So, she said, they did the hard thing, and pulled them out of the diocesan schools, and put them into their local classical Christian school. She said they have been happy.

Think about that: these parents pulled their children out of a Catholic school, and put them into a non-denominational Christian school, for Catholic reasons. These are the times we live in. As someone whose kids are educated at a classical Christian school, and whose wife teaches there, let me be the first to say that there are no panaceas. But it’s possible to do better by our kids. The thing is, we’ve got to try. Look at what is arrayed against them — especially by popular and commercial culture. When not even a company as rich and powerful as Chick-fil-A finds the backbone to stand up to the beast, and to stick by its friends in the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — you know we are tiny Davids facing a mammoth Goliath.

But what else is there? Are you going to submit to these people? Are you going to let Woke Capitalists defeat you? If not, then you had better prepare to be a rebel.

Anyway, shame on you, Chick-fil-A. You had no reason to capitulate. You have successfully resisted the mob for years, and built a booming business in spite of it! But capitulate you did. I am reminded of the late Australian poet Les Murray’s lines against demonstrations. Murray was bullied badly in school, and never forgot it. Here, he’s not focusing on a specific cause; he’s just saying that he will not join any demonstration, at all, because having been the victim of a mob, he radically distrusts it:

Whatever class is your screen
I’m from several lower,
To your rigged fashions, I’m pariah.
Nothing a mob does is clean,

not at first, not when slowed to a media,
not when police. The first demos I saw,
before placards, were against me,
alone, for two years, with chants,

every day, with half-conciliatory
needling in between, and aloof
moral cowardice holding skirts away.
I learned your world order then.

Chick-fil-A’s surrender today reveals the true order of this world, and who holds the power in it, and who are the pariahs.

UPDATE:

I’m hearing from a friend who questions the narrative. Maybe CFA is just changing its giving priorities, and is not capitulating to progressive activists. I suppose that’s possible, but how is it that CFA abandons two of the charities that have been the exact targets of LGBT activists, without that being the reason? Assuming for the sake of argument that progressive activism had nothing to do with CFA’s move, the company would have to know that this move would be read widely as giving in to activists’ demands.

Besides, it seems clear from this story, featuring comments from CFA’s CEO Tim Tassopoulos, that the company is doing this for LGBT-related reasons:

The new giving structure moves away from the multiyear commitments Chick-fil-A had with the Salvation Army and the FCA and focuses on annual grants, which Tassopoulos said will be reviewed and assessed each year. Future partners could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities, but the company said none of the organizations have anti-LGBT positions. While the philanthropic shift is an acknowledgment that past giving has hurt the company’s brand, it hasn’t negatively impacted sales.

Chick-fil-A surpassed $1B in sales in 2001 and eclipsed the $5B mark in 2013, the year following Cathy’s statement on gay marriage. The chicken chain became the third-largest U.S. fast-food chain this year with $10.5B in sales, according to Nation’s Restaurant News data. Only McDonald’s and Starbucks bring in more revenue among fast-food chains. But after years of “taking it on the chin,” as a Chick-fil-A executive told Bisnow, the latest round of headlines was impossible to ignore. This time, it was impeding the company’s growth.

The San Antonio City Council was voting on an airport concessions contract in March when ThinkProgress reported that Chick-fil-A was still donating to anti-LGBT groups. The Chick-fil-A Foundation had donated $1.8M in 2017 to the Salvation Army, the FCA and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. A San Antonio city councilor brought up the article at the council meeting, and councilors voted in favor of the concessions contract — as long as a planned Chick-fil-A was dropped from the deal. The story had ripple effects. Delaware North, the concessions handler for Buffalo Niagara International Airport, also decided in March not to move ahead with plans for a Chick-fil-A at that airport, and officials in San Jose, California, announced they would not renew the chain’s lease at the airport when it runs out in 2026.

There was more. Just how much money does Chick-fil-A need to make to justify selling out its principles? Now we know.

This is how LGBT activists and allies roll — right over any opposition.

UPDATE.2: Reader Redbrick:

Most Christians are not blind….they are afraid….even afraid to admit they are afraid.

Respectability is the calling card of modern upper middle class life.

Tearing down civil war veterans statues or teaching kids about transgender sex changes would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. But now the Media/Academic complex has made it mainstream….to oppose it is to be a bigot/hater/bad-thinker……..so normal people give in. And they give in quick!

I went to Baylor. If i started posting Facebook stores about how the LGBT movement was becoming totalitarian most of the girls I knew in college would block me or unfriend me in a second.

And these are church going late 20s-early 30s women. Even my wife does not like me to complain about it.

You just can’t buy that kind of uniform political re-education. It’s amazing how quickly the elites can move the middle class to a complete new paradigm at nearly lightning speed.

p.s. They are now doing transsexual makeup tutorials at a small high school north of Houston around the Conroe area.

lol I mean you have to respect the Blitzkrieg style terror of it all. From an abomination to celebrated at an EAST TEXAS small town high school in no time flat. The rest of us are sitting around like the French soldiers at the Maginot line in June 1940 saying “what the heck just happened?” while the Germans are celebrating in Paris.

Wait, what? Trans makeup tutorials in Conroe? Sure enough, it’s true:

A Texas school district has come under fire for allowing a drag queen to teach makeup to a high school cosmetology class.

Though school administrators communicated the event, several parents were concerned that the event happened in the first place, according to local reports. The man, who dresses as a woman, goes by the name of Lynn Adonis-Deveaux, though his real name is unknown.

“I’ve got a problem when somebody with a false name enters a school and has advertised himself as an adult exotic dancer for men…Nobody would be allowed in a school under those circumstances,” said Conroe ISD trustee Dale Inman.

But teachers within the surrounding school district believe that parents shouldn’t have as loud of a voice when it comes to these issues.

In a post on Facebook, Willis ISD teacher Anthony Lane said, “I believe that raising a child is the responsibility of the community, and that parents should not have the final say. Let’s be honest, some of you don’t know what is best for your kids. I have learned a ton about what is best for [my son] Ethan from his teachers, not the other way around.

“Parents believe they should be able to storm the school in the name of political and religious beliefs if something happens in the school that they are morally opposed to. They forget that we make a promise to prepare their children to live in a diverse world. We are not required to protect the misguided, bigoted views of their parents.

Emphasis mine.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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