Chicken restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has become beloved among many Americans who appreciate the fast-food operation for its commitment to community and proud support of Christian nonprofits through its Chick-fil-A Foundation.
But all of that may be changing after years of being bullied by the gay rights machine accusing it of a supposed “anti-LGBT” agenda. The CEO of Chick-fil-A announced the foundation was ending its support of a few Christian-based nonprofits, including the Salvation Army.
Daily Wire reported, “In an interview with Bisnow, Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos announced that the famous fried chicken chain plans to make significant changes in which charities it donates to, in part because ‘as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are.’ … Tassopoulos revealed that the company’s foundation will no longer donate to some high-profile Christian organizations.”
This revelation was especially surprising, not because companies aren’t free to choose whom they will support through a foundation, but specifically because the support Chick-fil-A has garnered over the years was for doing just that, and continuing to do so despite being a target of the left’s efforts to vilify them.
The gay rights machine has been targeting Chick-fil-A for years at first because of its founder’s personal support for traditional marriage. The typically heavy-handed response calling for a boycott and harassment compelled Americans from across the spectrum, including those who disagreed with the founder’s stance, to support Chick-fil-A by patronizing the establishment. It wasn’t about the politics, it was about fairness.
After all, the gay rights movement was really a basic demand that people not be treated differently because of who they are. All the American civil rights movements were rooted in the American belief in fairness and opportunity, two things impossible to achieve if you were being attacked and marginalized for being different.
Americans rallied to support Chick-fil-A, which likely helped it survive the constant attacks and bullying by the left. In fact, it has more than survived. Fox News reported Chick-fil-A is the third most successful chain restaurant in the country and has been regularly voted as America’s overall favorite.
What was compelling about the Chick-fil-A story was that it reminded people that efforts to punish Christians in particular would not succeed if people of all stripes rejected that craven effort.
It didn’t require you to agree with the position of an executive about traditional marriage, it didn’t require you to be a Christian, and it wasn’t even about your politics. People appreciated the opportunity to publicly reject the all-too-familiar strategy of the left to destroy anything that does not conform to their narratives or agendas.
The Chick-fil-A customers became default representatives of the brand and were able to reinforce their commitment to fairness by saying, “Let’s go to Chick-fil-A!” The restaurant had become a role model, illustrating how you could stand up to the “cancel culture” bullies and thrive. Their business model sent a message that you could serve the community and not have to abandon your principles.
Among the “controversial” organizations that Chick-fil-A supported through their foundation was the Salvation Army, which issued a statement upon hearing that it was being abandoned by its previous corporate partner:
“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. 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. When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk. 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.”
Yeah, sure sounds like a gang that should be humiliated and cancelled. Great job Gay Inc.! Must feel great knowing the evil Salvation Army will have less money this year to help the suffering.
These social justice wars are not about persuading people on an issue; it’s about sending a message to everyone that if you don’t conform, then you will be destroyed. Caving to the bully never works, and only serves to embolden them to continue their campaigns of harassment and condemnation.
And right on cue, GLAAD issued a statement making it clear that the taking-of-the-knee is never enough. Now it appears they’re demanding Chick-fil-A travel around on an apology tour. GLAAD said in part, “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.”
Understandably, the millions of Americans who helped propel Chick-fil-A to its extraordinary success are feeling abandoned and foolish. Placating the mob will not work, and in the meantime, Chick-fil-A has not just disappointed people who supported them for years but has likely alienated a significant portion of its customer base.
Feeling pressure from the backlash, the chain issued an additional statement to the Christian Post, which read in part: “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. I also wanted to add that Chick-fil-A will not be opening on Sundays.”
How sad that a previously principled position has devolved into damage-control pandering. Now just another chicken place, it may be staying closed on Sundays, but for many, Chick-fil-A will be considered closed seven days a week.
• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.