Last month it was discovered that Chick-Fil-A (CFA) will no longer be supporting Salvation Army because their multi-year commitment was up. Concurrently, CFA was now newly supporting a non-profit by the name of Covenant House. When asked about the shift the company stated they want to focus on “hunger, homelessness, and education.” Nobody really understood this statement since no non-profit is known for working on hunger and homelessness more than Salvation Army. The move further drew the ire of some due to the fact that Chick-Fil-A had historically stood and shared common Christian Convictions with the Salvation Army and is now standing with an organization in Covenant House that takes an “affirming” and “celebrated” stance toward the LGBTQ agenda and lifestyle (something they have stood against).
As a Christian who has given Chick-Fil-A (CFA) preferential treatment in my dining budget and habits, I’ve tried to process how to respond to their recent decision (and double-speak) about it. You might wonder or ask why Christians are up in arms over this change for Chick-Fil-A. Isn’t it their right to prioritize what they do with their money? Of course. But it isn’t quite that simple. Here are my thoughts:
BEFORE THIS NEWS:
- CFA had been a company that stood for Christian principles and stood on (marketed even) their conviction in the God of those principles amidst the shifting culture.
- Being closed on Sundays and their support for traditional marriage have been well-documented and criticized in the secular culture.
- Their support of traditional and conservative Christian organizations has been a source of much defamation of CFA.
- Through it all, despite cities and colleges shutting them out, backlash in the news, and boycotts, their sales continued to grow and many new franchises were opened.
- It is reported CFA is good to their employees, a good and pleasant place to work, and provides decent benefits.
- I know that a lot of the franchise owners and employees are Christians.
- CFA is some of the best quality fast food and has some of the best customer service out there. It is maybe the best in both of these categories.
- Many Christians (myself included) often ate at CFA, both generally and specifically. Generally in our normal fast food routines. Specifically when when they took hits in the media and were boycotted for their Conservative positions, just to show the business owners and employees support.
- In other words, while Christians eat at McDonalds, and Taco Bell, with Chick-fil-A there seemed to be a deeper connection, one that the company fostered, encouraged, sought to keep. There was a kinship there. A relationship.
CHANGES in the SITUATION:
- CFA cut funding to the Salvation Army and began funding Covenant House. BOTH FIGHT HOMELESSNESS. One a Christian organization. One a promoter of the LGBTQ agenda.
- The things they say they still stand for (Conservative Values and Traditional Marriage) & the things they say they want to focus on (Homelessness) don’t line up with their actions. (See above bullet point)
- The obvious ideological shift caused backlash among Christians. CFA Chairman and CEO Dan Cathey wrote this letter in response.
- IT IS CFA’s RIGHT TO GIVE TO WHO THEY WANT TO.
- But, in this shift, they are choosing to sellout out the very people who have supported them and helped them become successful through all their trials by dropping a Charity that embodies what they say they believe in and supporting a charity that stands for what they claim to be against.
- It feels condescending, or said another way, it shows how little they think of their once Christian base to think that we would be blind to the above with a magic wave of the “nothing has changed” wand in a letter and other press releases.
- CFA has donated millions (billions) to help others and that is a good thing.
- I will not be Boycotting CFA – That just hurts the Christian Franchise owners they have sold out and the employees who rely on their business for employment.
- I will also not be Prioritizing my fast food eating to be at CFA anymore. Their Corporate identity is the same as any other restaurant.
I will place my trust and hope in God, not my chicken supplier.
Some Links for Further Reading: