Did Chick-fil-A Bend the Knee, Though?

CFA at Mercedes Benz Stadium
The Chick-fil-A at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Screen grab via CFA.

I despise cancel culture with every fiber of my being. I was at the receiving end of it once, and I don’t want that for anyone else. While I do support the idea of voting with your wallet, cancel culture is — like every idea the left holds dear — a perversion of a solid concept.

I also feel the right is at its weakest when it engages in leftist activities. With the recent Chick-fil-A controversy, I see the same thing happening, but before people get upset at me for stating that the reaction of the right is similar to anything on the left, let’s be clear about what cancel culture is.

When a business or an organization does something to upset Americans, they can refuse to give that business any more of their money until it becomes clear that it has apologized or changed its business practices. Money talks very loudly, and showing a business that its activities aren’t appreciated is how a business should act in our capitalistic society.

It doesn’t always work, mind you. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Gillette lost piles of cash thanks to their sexist or anti-gun stances.

(READ: Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says His Anti-Gun Crusade Has Cost the Company a Quarter Billion Dollars)

For Gillette in particular, it cost them billions.

(READ: Gillette’s “Woke” Ad that Insulted Men Cost P&G Billions)

However, most businesses are pretty quick to cave to the heavy pressure of lightening money bags. Not only do they do it, other businesses that are watching are also quick to shape up and fall in line.

As I said earlier, the left took this concept and didn’t just make it so that they don’t spend money — they launch intimidation campaigns meant to target those in charge, or those working under them in order to make the business or organization in question bend the knee.

Let me be clear here. I’m not accusing the right of doing this part. The right doesn’t violently threaten people for their decisions as a general rule. We want a free society, and there’s a difference between disagreeing with a decision and not participating in it, and disagreeing with a decision and fascistically forcing people to correct it ’til it’s something you approve of.

However, one of the biggest characteristics of cancel culture is working off of bad information, and when it comes to the Chick-fil-A controversy, that seems to be exactly what’s happening here.

From what I can tell, the story that Chick-fil-A would no longer work with anti-LGBT organizations originated in Bisnow and then was picked up by CNBC after former Gov. Mike Huckabee took to Twitter and commented on what he saw about Chick-fil-A. The narrative took off and before we knew it, Chick-fil-A was breaking hearts all over the conservative world.

Only Chick-fil-A never said they were taking their support from anti-LGBT organizations in the Bisnow article. This seems to be something Bisnow inferred.

Why did they infer this? Because Chick-fil-A pulled its support from The Salvation Army which purportedly is an anti-LGBT organization. This is yet another mob-created and media-generated lie, and one that was very recently corrected thanks in part to pop star Ellie Goulding bending the knee to the mob after announcing she was working with them to kick off their “Red Kettle Campaign” during a Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving.

(READ: The Salvation Army Responds to Pop Star Ellie Goulding’s Threat with Expert Level PR)

Either Bisnow didn’t have this information or did and decided to conveniently forget it like many media organizations tend to. I highly doubt Chick-fil-A didn’t know that the Salvation Army wasn’t an anti-LGBT organization. Chick-fil-A isn’t one either, and I doubt that the chicken chain would be so low as to misunderstand an organization’s aims after years of being misunderstood themselves.

One thing Bisnow does tell us is that Chick-fil-A had been working on this charity restructure since the summer of last year. These were before Chick-fil-A was shut down in the U.K. which has been inferred by many as the impetus for Chick-fil-A suddenly realigning its charitable priorities.

Bisnow says that Chick-fil-A brass said a lot of things but only quotes them directly a few times:

“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said in an interview with Bisnow. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”

And, when it comes to its mission of charitable giving, Tassopulos said the corporation needed more focus, and that’s what they did.

“This provides more focus and more clarity,” Tassopoulos said. “We think [education, hunger and homelessness] are critical issues in communities where we do business in the U.S.”

They never said anything about not donating to anti-LGBT organizations. Bisnow and CNBC did. What’s more, the Salvation Army also created a response that moved off of these headlines.

Then, Chick-fil-A responded once more, essentially saying the same thing they did in Bisnow:

Beginning in 2020 the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education. We have also proactively disclosed our 2018 tax filing and a preview of 2019 gifts to date on The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.

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.

The key phrase here is that “no organization will be excluded from future consideration,” which is the exact opposite of refusing to donate to another organization.

In short, Chick-fil-A widened its candidates while narrowing its receivers.

What’s more, it’s completely okay for Chick-fil-A to make it clear that it’s not withholding help from anyone in order to be able to expand its market. Chick-fil-A is still a Christian-based brand, and I want it to expand as far and wide as possible. I want people to see what Christian-based values can do for a community.

On the flip side, it can be argued that Chick-fil-A is pulling its charitable giving from the wrong organizations. No one helps the hungry and homeless more than the Salvation Army. What’s more, Chick-fil-A brass didn’t answer the charitable giving toward anti-LGBT organizations question directly, which I would consider damning if the wording in their explanation was any different.

You can still disagree with Chick-fil-A’s new mission on charitable giving. Funny enough, I do. I feel like they should have kept on keeping on with what they were doing, but I also understand why they’re doing what they do. They want to expand, and they’ve hit something of a barrier. This new charity stance is essentially reinforcing positions they’ve always held, but now it’s in their actions as well on their claims.

I’m not going to cancel Chick-fil-A and neither should conservatives. If anything we should voice our opinions and see what happens next. Should Chick-fil-A actually begin to go down roads we can’t follow, then we can vote with our wallets and walk away.


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