Fast-food giant Chick-fil-A is sinking deeper into the controversy it created when it announced the Chick-fil-A Foundation would no longer donate to organizations that uphold a Christian ethic regarding sex and marriage.
As LifeSiteNews reported, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has given money to Covenant House, an organization that aims to address youth homelessness. While its overall objective is virtuous, Covenant House New York’s affiliate is listed as one of the “community partners” that has provided “community space” to host Drag Queen Story Hour, according to Dragqueenstoryhour.org’s NYC page.
Chick-fil-A Donates to Drag Queen Host’s Partner
Drag Queen Story Hours have been cropping up in libraries and other public spaces across the country. These events consist of men dressing up as women to read or tell stories based in gender ideology to children. “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” according to the Drag Queen Story Hour website. The site encourages visitors to #STANDWITHSTORYHOUR and help raise $35,000 by the end of the year to “fight back against anti-LGBTQ censorship and attacks.”
Covenant House, the recipient of at least $230,000 of Chick-fil-A’s donations, bills itself as “the largest provider of services to youth facing homelessness in the Americas” and provides shelter to about 400 kids between 16 and 21 years old. Its website says it seeks to provide houses that are “welcoming, affirming, and safe for LGBTQ youth.” New York-based Covenant House has nearly two dozen affiliates all over the United States and South America, but the parent organization and its New York affiliate in particular have indeed put a focus on LGBT politics.
An examination of Chick-fil-A Foundation’s 2017 and 2018 IRS 990 forms reveal it gave $30,000 to Covenant House Georgia and $100,000 to Covenant House California, neither of which appear to fund DQSH or any other anti-biblical agendas. But in 2018, Chick-fil-A also gave $100,000 to parent organization “Covenant House.”
“The Cov,” as its residents call it, has marched in New York’s Pride Parade multiple times. While the New York affiliate did not receive Chick-fil-A funding according to currently available tax documents, the parent organization proudly advertises it has collaborated with True Colors United, which provides “training and education” in LGBT matters. Covenant House employs the True Colors “inclusion assessment” to create a more “LGBTQ-inclusive and -affirming program and environment.”
Chick-fil-A Tries to Shake ‘Anti-LGBT’ Label
Despite the media grilling the restaurant chain after CEO Dan Cathy’s 2012 statement that he was “guilty as charged” with regard to supporting traditional family, Chick-fil-A has since doubled its growth. Over the course of the last few years, however, it has faced a handful of setbacks, as a few landlords and local politicians have sought to block its restaurants — expressly because of its Christian values, namely a biblical understanding of sexuality.
Bisnow reported last month that company leadership “felt a new message was needed — especially in foreign markets, where the most prominent brand exposure to Chick-fil-A are headlines about its support for organizations with anti-LGBT stances.”
Attempting to explain its funding decisions, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Rodney Bullard said it “don’t want [its] intent and [its] work to be encumbered by someone else’s politics or cultural war,” saying it is “mindful” of anything that “gets in the way of their mission.”
The “anti-gay” smear encumbered Chick-fil-A, but ditching it meant wading deeper into the political and cultural wars, not out of them. Chick-fil-A shocked Christians when it stopped funding the Paul Anderson Youth Home, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and The Salvation Army due to their “anti-LGBT” reputations based merely in their Christian affiliation (regardless of their basis in reality).
After Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it would cease funding, The Salvation Army released a statement saying it was “saddened” a corporate partner would divert its funding from the largest social services provider in the world despite its commitment to all three of Chick-fil-A’s philanthropic objectives.
Chick-fil-A Takes the Left’s Side in the Culture War
Chick-fil-A has also donated to the Young Women’s Christian Association, which is not as innocent as it sounds. YWCA opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, saying his position on the Supreme Court would threaten “all reproductive rights, particularly Roe V. Wade” and that he shows a “blatant disregard” for LGBT rights. The YWCA has partnered with Planned Parenthood for a “chat/text program” that enables girls to contact the abortion-specialized organization through text or instant messaging.
As the Radiance Foundation’s Ryan Bomberger has laid out, IRS forms show the Chick-fil-A Foundation has also given to other pro-abortion and pro-LGBT groups, including the New Leaders Council. As PJ Media reported, the $2,500 donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center for which Chick-fil-A has taken so much heat was made by a volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation advisory board after “each volunteer was given the opportunity to recommend a grant recipient.” SPLC is extremely hostile to Christianity and has listed the Family Research Council, a pro-life and pro-family Christian organization, as a hate group.
Regardless of the details, Chick-fil-A is in the middle of a political and cultural war, whether it doubles down on one side or jumps to another. When a political wing is so fired up it can extract an apology from Twitter’s CEO after he innocently ate a sandwich at the restaurant during Pride Month, you know Chick-fil-A has a loyal and aggressive opposition.
As I wrote in November, Chick-fil-A will never escape the furnace of outrage because the left is fundamentally anti-biblical. Not only has Chick-fil-A failed to silence the “anti-LGBT” criticism, but it has betrayed its base of loyal supporters. Halting donations to groups maligned as “anti-LGBT” is one thing: frustrating and foolish. But the lengths to which the Sabbath-respecting restaurant has gone to change its perception is beyond the pale for Christians.
Christians Must Protect Children
Christians in the West tend to waver somewhere between long-suffering and complacent on cultural sins. But threats to children — such as the depraved indoctrination of Drag Queen Story Hour — seem to be where they will sometimes draw the line (with the curious exception of sending their children to government schools even when they can afford not to).
That’s because the Bible is packed full of passages about the value of children: a “heritage from the Lord,” “knit together” in the womb, and known before birth. In Scripture, God call Christians to look after the fatherless, “train up a child in the way he should go,” and not “despise” children — even saying “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Chick-fil-A’s restaurants are family-friendly not because kids are cute and well-behaved but because children are precious to God. Fostering children’s wellbeing is the chief purpose of marriage — the epicenter of Chick-fil-A’s years-long controversy — not companionship, which is why Cathy jumped to defend natural marriage in 2012.
Kids can’t defend themselves, so adults must protect them. Given the unbiblical nature of some of Chick-fil-A’s philanthropic activities, it is no wonder Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has called for Christians to boycott Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A’s actions leave an impression of a foolish attempt to ingratiate the anti-Christian revolutionaries who seek the company’s demise. The Bible has much to say about fools, too: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.”