Well…they finally did it.
In their never-ending quest to bring politics and partisanship into every single aspect of human existence, Leftists have at long last toppled one of the few businesses that resisted their agenda.
2019 is a heck of a time to be alive, folks.
First, our movies and TV shows were overrun by Leftist ideologies, then we lost college campuses and social media platforms.
And now, as of this week, you can’t even enjoy your chicken nuggets without landing face-first in political controversy.
In a move that has surprised and angered many on both Right and Left (although for vastly different reasons—more on that later), fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has announced that it will no longer be donating to charities that support overtly conservative values.
If you’ve ever eaten at a Chick-fil-A—and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it—you probably know just how important traditional family values are to the franchise. Ideas of respect, integrity, and service are the backbone of the company’s business model.
The customer service skills of Chick-fil-A employees have become legendary, and are unrivaled by many other leading fast-food chains. The trademark response of “my pleasure” from employees has become a hallmark of the Chick-fil-A dining experience. Videos of employees doing everything from easing tensions in long drive-thru lines to changing customers’ tires in the parking lot are everywhere online.
Moreover, explicitly Christian values are also an inherent part of the company’s identity.
The signs in front of the restaurants proudly announce that, in addition to serving breakfast, Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays. All staff members are guaranteed that day off to take a weekend rest, regardless of whether they attend church services/other religious gatherings or not. That has been, is, and always will be, a non-negotiable for company leadership.
Chick-fil-A has never tried to hide what it stands for, and, for a long time, people respected that.
But this is the 21st Century, and taking a stand that opposes the Left in any way will surely be met with outrage.
Back in 2012, the fried chicken chain first came under fire following the revelation that Dan Cathy, son of company founder S. Truett Cathy, was a strong supporter of traditional marriage, and that the company donated to several Christian charities that supported the same cause.
At the time, same-sex marriage was the hot-button issue of the day (President Obama officially endorsed it later that year), and LGBT activists and their allies in the media rose up against what they perceived as Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT activities.
To clarify, there has never been a reported instance of Chick-fil-A denying service to or discriminating against gay customers. They are known to happily serve any and all customers, regardless of gender, politics, religion, or sexual orientation (because that’s just how you run a good business).
But that hasn’t stopped protesters from taking up arms against the restaurant.
Although the protests have fluctuated in intensity over the years, this year saw a resurgence of the anti-Chick-fil-A movement. They’ve successfully managed to get Chick-fil-As removed from certain college campuses, prevented the opening of restaurants in Chicago and New York airports, and even shut down multiple attempts to open locations in Canada. The latest trend has been to hold spontaneous “die-ins,” in which protesters lie on the ground outside the restaurant, blocking other customers while pretending to be dead in order to raise awareness for the suffering that Chick-fil-A has brought to the LGBT community.
Apparently, serving chicken sandwiches is LITERALLY the same thing as murdering gay people. Who knew?
For a long time, it was just business as usual at the restaurants, and the protests were just mildly annoying. But now, after nearly eight years since the first protests, Chick-fil-A seems to be throwing in the towel and trying to appease Leftist critics.
A Confusing Surrender
In a statement made during an interview with Bisnow, Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said the following:
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Additionally, in the report published on Monday, Bisnow reported that “As Chick-fil-A expands globally and into more liberal parts of the U.S., the chicken chain plans to change which charities it donates to after years of bad press and protests from the LGBT community. Beginning next year, Chick-fil-A will move away from its current philanthropic structure…After donating to more than 300 charitable organizations this year, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain will instead focus on three initiatives with one accompanying charity each: education, homelessness, and hunger.”
Among those 300 charities receiving donations from Chick-fil-A were the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home…all three of which exist entirely to address issues relating to education, homelessness, and hunger. So basically, thanks to all the protesting, Chick-fil-A will stop donating to CHRISTIAN groups that fight education, homelessness, and hunger, and instead donate to SECULAR groups that fight education, homelessness, and hunger.
Way to go, Leftists! Thanks to your efforts, Chick-fil-A is now free from all ties to sinister hate-groups like the Salvation Army. Good job.
To clarify, that was sarcasm.
The Salvation Army, although expressing sadness at the loss of a corporate partner, issued a statement reaffirming their dedication to provide poverty relief wherever possible, including to those in the LGBT community.
— Salvation Army USA (@SalvationArmyUS) November 18, 2019
What makes this surrender all the more confusing is that it seems to have come at a time when Chick-fil-A was WINNING. According to customer surveys that factor in food quality, cleanliness, and customer service, Chick-fil-A has been ranked number one for the last four years, and there hasn’t been an end to their popularity in sight (and the recent addition of Mac and Cheese to their menu certainly didn’t hurt their customer reviews).
And despite all that criticism from activists, Chick-fil-A has not only survived but flourished!
The wave of protests led to the creation of an annual Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in 2012, which saw lines of customers stretching out the door! According to financial reports, in 2001, the company had a net worth of $1 billion. By 2013—right after the initial protests began—that value had increased to $5 billion. Now, in 2019, it’s worth a whopping $10.5 billion, has more than 2,300 locations in 47 states, and has plans to expand even further than that.
But now, tragically, the fast-food chain seems to be caving to the pressure at long last.
This decision has left many customers somewhat frustrated. To conservatives (regardless of religious affiliation), Chick-fil-A’s stance for traditional family values, their defense of the Judeo-Christian morality that motivated their decisions, and their ability to stand up to an aggressive agenda were noble. With corporations caving to Leftist demands so often nowadays, it was nice to see someone stand up in defiance to the Outrage Mob.
Although there doesn’t seem to be a mass exodus of conservative customers at this point, this decision’s long-term effects on Chick-fil-A’s supporters remains to be seen. However, one thing is abundantly clear: while this may end up driving away loyal customers, it will NOT appease the critics.
It’s Never Enough
Chick-fil-A may soon learn the hard way that if you give the Left an inch, they can and WILL take a mile.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a statement shortly after Chick-fil-A’s announcement. It said in part:
“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…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.”
“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
It just goes to show that the protests were never really about making a change; it’s only ever been about tearing the other side down and taking control. Chick-fil-A was forced into tacitly apologizing for something that required no apology, and the immediate reaction was just to point out the next “problem” with the company.
But that’s the modern Left for you. By now, we all know how they operate, but it’s still sad to see a beloved company crushed under the boot-heel of Social Justice.
Power Of The Consumer
But what about the customers who supported Chick-fil-A through all the protests, only to suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them? How can they possibly fight back without sinking to the Left’s level?
Now, personally, it would probably take a direct sign from God Himself to make me willingly forgo the chance to eat a Number One sandwich combo with Chick-fil-A sauce, fresh waffle fries, and a lemonade, so I’ll probably still eat there regardless…but that’s just me.
And that’s the beautiful thing about the free market we live in! We as consumers are free to spend our money wherever and however we please. It’s a tactic that many on the Left seem to have forgotten, but in the world of business, our dollars are just as powerful—if not moreso—than our voices.
So, if Chick-fil-A’s decision genuinely bothers you, take your business elsewhere. We as consumers have the power to remind companies that the market is much more than just some angry Leftists.
Don’t let the Left think that they’re the only ones with the power to make changes.
After all, I hear that Popeye’s is getting into the chicken sandwich game too…