Has Chick-fil-A Become Chicken?

chick fil a

Last Monday, conservatives almost forgot about impeachment when Chick-fil-A announced it was ending donations to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, The Salvation Army, and Paul Anderson Youth Homes. Many see this as the family-owned restaurant chain founded on Christian values kowtowing to the LGBTQ community. Let’s slice through this controversy and get to what has really happened here.

Business reporters quickly jumped on Chick-fil-A’s new policies for donations by its non-profit foundation this past week. Every year, the company’s foundation donates millions of dollars to worthy charities, mostly those that support the needy and disadvantaged. The new donation criteria for 2020 excludes certain organizations that oppose the LGBTQ/gay marriage/transgender rights agenda.

Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy, declared the new corporation’s purpose 50 years ago: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” Cathy, a faithful Southern Baptist, was never shy about his belief that homosexuality, gay marriage, and transgender lifestyles were sinful. Since its inception, the company has been constantly derided by the LGBTQ community, often involving large demonstrations and boycotts.

Upon Truett Cathy’s death in 2014, his son, Dan, took the reins of the corporation as CEO. Since then, he has been virtually silent on LGBTQ positions, while continuing to donate to prominent charities that are outspoken against those positions. Even before his father death, Dan Cathy declared he would stop engaging in the national debate over marriage equality. He stated that even though his views hadn’t changed, he realized talking about them publicly was bad for business. One can only conclude that his removal of faith-based groups that support heterosexual relationships and traditional marriage from his foundation’s donation list was considered good for business.

This past week, evangelist Franklin Graham called Dan Cathy to determine his objectives in this turn-around. Graham reported that Mr. Cathy “was very clear” in saying that the company “did not bow down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community.” Cathy said his company will continue to support whomever they want to support and that they haven’t changed who they are or what they believe. Mr. Graham went on to argue that the LGBTQ community will never be satisfied with Chick-fil-A because of the founder’s strong stand for biblical traditional values and his desire to honor God.

Franklin Graham is right about the LGBTQ radicals not being satisfied. Over the last few days, social media has been filled with comments like, “A public apology is needed here, not just saying they stopped,” and “When Chick-fil-A apologizes directly to the LGBTQ community and begins to donate to pro-LGBTQ causes, then I will eat there. Not one second before.” The company can expect Dan Cathy’s initial peace gesture to the gay crowd to be incentive for them to press for more.

So, where does all this leave us who crave that delicious chicken sandwich meal, enjoy the restaurant’s wholesome Christian atmosphere, and love the positive, friendly service? As for me, I plan to continue to patronize Chick-fil-A. If I abandon a Christian family business that is stumbling over some of its biblical principles and choose to patronize its competitor with no known connection to my faith, what have I gained? However, I plan to share my concerns with the company, both locally and at corporate level, and will watch closely for any signs of its further departure from its Christian roots. Finally, I will include Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy in my prayers from time to time, particularly before enjoying my grilled chicken sandwich.

 

 

The Threat of the Equality Act

equalityact

With celebrity crimes, Democrat primary candidates, the wall, and the weather dominating the media, the looming Equality Act is probably far off your radar. This misguided and toxic proposed legislation, especially from the perspective of conservative Christians, will be introduced in Congress within the next few weeks. Here is why it is bad policy and would establish a dangerous precedent.

The Equality Act, as introduced and defeated in both 2015 and 2017, would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Well, who could be against equality? Truthfully, the seemingly positive title, “Equality Act,” is everything but positive for those who believe in biblical sexuality. The Act includes areas of education, public accommodation, employment, and federal funding, but is much further reaching than those areas imply.

Certainly, Christians reject all forms of discrimination for all persons created in God’s image including those who identify as LGBT. All people are worthy of our love, respect, and fair treatment. However, this act would codify and essentially guarantee equal access for LGBT persons to all venues in our schools, work places, public facilities, and, yes, churches (think bathrooms, dressing rooms, sports participation, etc.). The 1964 Act guarantees equal access to all races which is clearly advocated in the scriptures. The 2019 Act would provide the same access for homosexuals and transgender people which is certainly not the intent of God as indicated in the Bible. God created male and female with certain natural functions, roles, and helpful partnerships for fulfilled lives. He instituted marriage for a man and a woman. He made it perfectly clear that these relationships were not to be corrupted. The Equality Act would blur if not ignore these principles.

The act would almost surely lead to criminal prosecution of religious leaders and other Christian who speak or write in opposition to homosexuality, transgender, or gay marriage. The courts, in deference to the act, would not likely distinguish between illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation and objection to the LGBT lifestyle, although the distinction is obvious. A restaurant owner refusing to serve a biological male dressed in drag is discrimination; my writing a blog post criticizing that person’s lifestyle is not. The Equality Act’s sweeping impact on religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of conscience would be historic.

Schools, businesses, and all other institutions would likely have to mandate training and programs that would teach LGBT lifestyle acceptance. The law would force a cultural change to sexuality in practice having no core ethical limits other than consent, and to male and female definitions being psychologically based rather than biologically based.

The 2015 bill had the financial support of three corporations–Apple, Dow Chemical, and Levi Strauss. Today, the 2019 proposed bill has 161 corporate sponsors with a combined annual revenue of $3.7 trillion. Obviously, the lobbying efforts of this one will be brutal with unprecedented momentum and funding. The 161 supporting companies include the social media giants of Twitter, Google, and Facebook, so posts in strong opposition to the bill may be taken down. I anticipate television and all other media outlets being bombarded with ads promoting the act. If you show active opposition to the Act, you will be demonized. But it will be the right thing to do.

I urge all those concerned about the Equality Act to be alert for its introduction in Congress and prepared to oppose it aggressively in every area of influence you have at your disposal.

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