Before You Head to Chick-Fil-A…

… you should know they gave $1,900,000 to anti-gay groups in 2010. A portion of all the food you’re buying there is being used to impede civil rights for gay people.

That brings them to nearly $5,000,000 in bigot funding over the past decade.

Good thing I’ve never eaten there before, anyway. (See? Being vegetarian has its perks.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • rommys

    Of course, ALL the food you buy there is impeding the flow of blood through your veins,  but, ya, if that wasn’t reason enough, this is a good reason to avoid this place. 

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    From all I hear the chicken is terrible anyway. Adding a heaping dose of bigotry doesn’t help the flavor either.

    • Michael Koch

      I went to Chick-fil-A with a friend this past spring for the very first time in my life…. because she begged me to go with her.  I hated it and told her I would never go again. Add to it their bigotry, and they’re finished with me FOR-EVER!!!!  They are AFTER ALL  run by a bunch of dumb christian mother-forkers!!!!!!!!!

      • Anne

        Oh but you’re not being a bigot when you refer to Chick-fil-A as a “bunch of dumb christian mother-forkers?” Hmm. Practice what you preach.

        • Patterrssonn

          If theyre actively anti-gay they are motherfuckers, perhaps even total bag of shite motherfuckers. As far as dumb goes that’s certainly arguable, but with regards to homosexuality they are certainly stupid as fuck all. As far as being Christians, well that goes without saying.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

            How is what you typed demonstrating that you are “good without God”? There is nothing good or wholesome about what you just typed. 

            You don’t see it now, but you will someday. You may be without God, but you are not “good.”

            • Patterrssonn

              I never claimed to be “good without god”, I prefer the phrase better without god. Especially compared to these hateful goons who seem to have no trouble being evil with god.

              Not surprising of course since they believe in the god of hate.

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

                Please explain how you using hate speech is “better”. I’m pretty sure no matter how you justify it away, using hate speech is not a good thing. In your eyes you may think it’s better than what that other person is doing. 

                The old adage is that two wrong don’t make a right, correct?

                • Patterrssonn

                  Easy, there’s no equivalence between calling someone an asshole (especially if they are one) and trying to deny a whole group of people basic human rights. Extra especially if you’re calling someone an asshole for attempting to deny others basic human rights.

                  I think the applicable adage is one false equivalence does not imply a wrong.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

                  So still, you claim to be better without God. Now you’re trying to justify your hate speech. Interesting…

                • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

                  Someone needs to learn the difference between curse words and hate speech.

                • Patterrssonn

                  What hate speech is that, go on MJ give me a definition of hate speech and tells how my posts qualIfy. With quotes please.

        • Donalbain

          He criticised them. They want to deny people basic rights. If you can’t see the difference, then you are too stupid to be on the internet without adult supervision.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

         Take a breath dude. It’s just chicken.

    • Gringa

       I agree, the chicken is horrible.  I had to go for a birthday party that my daughter was invited to, and I tasted the nuggets.  They had this fake smokey flavor to them… come on people, they are fried.  They don’t even go near a grill.  How can they taste like smoke?  Luckily my daughter hated it and would only eat the fruit.  I was so proud!

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    They’re also suing a guy in VT for using the slogan “Eat More Kale” (properly spelled and in a different font).

    http://eatmorekale.com/ 

    • Alconnolly

      Just looked that up. Turns out that although I think CFA position is stupid, they are not suing him for using the slogan. They are trying to block his trademark ( I.e. his ability to stop others from printing eat more kale). Doesn’t change the fact that no one would confuse that and the CFA slogan, but the guy is selling overpriced shirts and doesn’t want competition. I agree he should be able to get his trademark but it isn’t quite the case of the poor underdog that it sounded like initially from your comment.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Thanks- I had made some assumptions.  As I read more myself, it’s not quite what he makes, but in short:

        He makes “Eat More Kale”
        CFA tried to get him to stop
        He created bad PR for CFA and they backed off
        time passed
        he applied for a trademark for “Eat More Kale”
        CFA is currently trying to block that, AND stop him from producing any more “Eat More Kale” AND to turn over his domain eatmoreakale.com
        CFA says they’d be ok with “Eat Kale”, but not “Eat More Kale”.

        So yes, at this point they are not only trying to stop him from trademarking EMK, they’re trying to stop from using it.

        (my main source was this article http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20111124/BUSINESS08/111240307/-Eat-More-Kale-trademark-flap-more-complex-than-simple-slogan I haven’t read the actual legal papers)

  • Cassmuldrow42

    :( I actually like Chick-Fil-A  on the rare occasion, but I haven’t gone in many years for just this reason…

  • digitalatheist

    been years since I went… wasn’t impressed with the food… and now that I know what they do with the cash… ummm.. no… the food would be even less edible to me.

  • Fitzgerald

    Hadn’t heard about this, but it’s not terribly surprising. The founder is a big Southern Baptist, and you can generally expect to hear Christian music being piped in. Because of all that and some store policies (closed on Sunday), it’s not unusual for most of the staff to be really Christian too.

    It’s annoying, but I confess that I’m a fan of the chicken as far as fast food goes. 

    • Tinker

       Yep, I used to go there all the time because of the waffle fries, but they have REALLY been promoting their Xtianity around here lately and I can no longer set foot in the place.

  • Andrew Morgan

    I once thought about not eating there anymore, but then I decided that the deliciousness of a spicy chicken sandwich to me personally was greater than either a) how guilty I felt eating there or b) the net contribution I was making to their cause, and therefore I keep eating their delicious spicy chicken sandwiches.

    • SusieQ

       Sarcasm, right?

      • Andrew Morgan

        No, why would it be?  It does me far greater good to eat their delicious sandwiches than it does harm to the rest of society.  If it was forbidden to ever undertake an action, no matter how beneficial to us, simply because it did harm to someone, somewhere, at some point, no matter how nebulous the connection, we’d all be naked vegetarians sitting under a tent in the dark.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’ve known about this for awhile, and have been avoiding them because of it. It saddens me a bit, though, because they introduced me to the waffle fry, and I haven’t found another place that makes them as good as Chic-Fil-A’s. 

  • http://anselsantosa.com/ Ansel Santosa

    +1 for vegetarianism. My first thought was “they’ve probably killed twice as many chickens as dollars they have given to bigots in the past decade.” 

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    I go to a commuter college that has limited food options, and a lot of
    times CFA is the only place in the food court that’s open.  So I’ve
    developed what I think of as a homophobia-offset program.  If I resort
    to buying food from Chick-fil-A, I round up what I spent and donate that amount to Lambda Legal. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      The owner of CFA also does give a lot to charities that I think we’d be more comfortable with, such as women’s shelters.  So you can always just pretend your money goes there.

      • Randomfactor

         We’re atheists.  We’re not big on pretending.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POBNPRAX3ZQKUBJF3XAG3WLI4A Tracy

          Oh, that was brilliant.

    • Drew M.

      I do something similar with a local chain that donated to Proposition 8. Damned burgers are just too good.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    Never eaten there, either. Living in Canada has its perks, too.

  • LiberalElitist

    I haven’t eaten at CFA in many years, mainly because of their policies, but also because it’s in front of Home Depot and I only go to Home Depot on Sundays, and so …

    I actually think McDonald’s Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich is comparable to CFA’s, minus the waffle fries.

  • Maury

    You know, if you have kids this is a tough one…  They have one of the healthiest kids menus, some of the best “toys”  (You can always substitute a small book.)  They also have safe play areas and a very family friendly atmosphere (free cheerio cups for the little ones, balloons, etc.)  They actually don’t force religion down your throat either.  In fact, I look for these things and I don’t ever see any references to “god” anywhere in the store.

    I’ve voiced my disapproval with the local owner about the corporate bigotry, but I know that he personally doesn’t share that homophobic view.

    What kills me though, is they are huge advertisers during College Football.  All Saturday, they get me thinking about chicken sandwiches then when I want one the next day I can’t get one!

  • Clarissa

    So hateful; sooooooo delicious. Unf, moral dilemmas!

  • beijingrrl

    I’ve known this for awhile.  I rarely eat fast food and CFA was a decent choice if it became necessary.  Maybe in a few years when we have marriage equality, I can go back.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    They don’t have any stores in Maine so it is very easy to avoid them but if they did build one close by I would eat there. Their chicken and fries are awesome.

  • holeydood3

    Didn’t they cut all funding to the anti-gay groups as soon as they “became aware” of some of the views of the groups? I’m sorry, but a new article on something that happened 2 years ago just isn’t enough for me to go get my pitchfork out, especially when there has been no effort to check on what they have done more recently.

    • Randomfactor

      No.  They have a consistent pattern of donating to anti-equality groups.

  • Randomfactor

    Good thing you told us, I was planning on going there Sunday.
    ;)

  • Jo

    They have waffle fries and the best popcorn chicken I have eaten. Good thing there isn’t one close to me

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    I would have thought the “closed every Sunday” was a dead giveaway. Also, they use peanut oil, and I’m allergic to peanuts, so I win there too.

  • Pjb10c

    Have you ever researched these groups and their dedicated missions?  They are not explicit anti-gay organizations.  They simply strive for a better family life in all aspects, like reducing divorce rates between couples and how broken homes affect the surrounding communities.  They are Christian based so naturally they follow the guidelines of the Bible, what is wrong with that?  Oh wait, because the Bible says homosexuality is bad, therefore this group which supports the Bible and takes from its foundations, must be bad.   But none of these organizations are explicitly and exclusively anti-gay.  If you feel the need to boycott Chick-fil-A for it’s donations made in order to receive a tax write-off, then good for you.  And if you think it actually makes a difference, even better.  Because it doesn’t, and such boycotting action is completely silly.  Your own President has even gone on the record multiple times in the past saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  Only recently has he gone to say that he has since changed his mind.  

    • Cincinatheist

      95% of the time, an organization with the word ‘Family’ in its name is a bigoted bunch of nutjobs.  

      • Reasongal

         And then there is $5,000,000.00 that did NOT go to charity.  Perspective?

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

      We’re supposed to feel better because some of the groups do things besides work to demonize gay people and strip them of their rights?  Please!

      Exodus International is dedicated to “ex-gay” therapy.  You don’t get much more anti-gay than that.  The Family Research Council is designated an official hate group by the SPLC because they’re so virulently anti-gay.   The Marriage and Family Foundation opposes all rights for LGBT people.   

      Boycotting Chik-Fil-A may not put a dent in their bottom line.  But it will ensure that our dollars aren’t used to perpetuate more harm against LGBT people.  That alone makes a significant impact. 

    • Lucilius

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but no matter how much you suck up to the bigots they still won’t give you free chicken.

    • Randomfactor

       Most of America has since changed their mind.   The owners of Chick-fil-a and their fellow bigots are losing.

      And the “pro-family” aspect of such groups tends to be “Oh, he hit you?  Well, you weren’t submissive enough.  Don’t even THINK of getting a divorce.”

      Will a boycott hurt Chick-fil-a?  I doubt it.  Keeping them off college campuses probably stings a bit.  But pointing out that they’re financially propping up an evil worldview is enough for me.  Every time the company’s name comes up I point out that I don’t shop there, and why.

    • AxeGrrl

      Oh wait, because the Bible says homosexuality is bad, therefore this group which supports the Bible and takes from its foundations, must be bad. 

      If some of the things “taken from its foundations” cause harm to the lives of others, then I don’t think it’s unreasonable to characterize that as “bad”. 

       But I don’t really care about ‘labelling’ the company, I just care to know where not to spend my money because I don’t want it to go towards something as despicable as Exodus International or Focus on the Family, which is precisely where some of their money goes.

      Are you not aware of any believers who have stopped giving to Planned Parenthood?

      Then you understand this.

    • Obvious

      They are Christian based so naturally they follow the guidelines of the Bible, what is wrong with that? Oh wait, because the Bible says homosexuality is bad, therefore this
      group which supports the Bible and takes from its foundations, must be
      bad.   But none of these organizations are explicitly and exclusively
      anti-gay.

      I think donating 1.9 M$ to anti-gay groups makes you explicitly anti-gay.

      Your own President has even gone on the record multiple times in the
      past saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

      And he has been criticized for it, so there is no inconsistency on the part of Hemant or other equal rights supporters. You need to grow up and get past the “my side vs. your side” BS. You should also get some more education in the hopes that you may learn how to think rationally.

    • Jason G.

      How about the cash donated to Prop 8 in California?
      Dedicated mission? Block homosexuals from being able to marry their loved ones.

  • secularsahm

    they fired one of my good friends after six years because they found out she is a lesbian.

    • Gringa

       How is that legal?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Either it was in a state that doesn’t treat LGBT as a protected status (remember, it’s not a federal protection) 
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_States#Employment

        Or they made something up, like she wasn’t doing a good job.

      • phatmanXXL

        Didnt happen, I call BS.

        • BinaryStar

          Really? Seriously? Just so you know, GLBT people can be fired in many states, and the reason doesn’t even have to be made up. Plain ol’ bare-naked bigotry can be good enough, even under the law.

          You should beware such ignorant, knee-jerk reactions.

          • Jason G.

            I live in Colorado, an at-will state.
            I’ve been fired for being homosexual, but the reason on my termination form was “personal apperance issues” because I “refused to remove jewelry”.

            I have both my ears pierced. That’s it.

            Went to the labor board, couldn’t prove without a doubt it was due to my orientation, and the termination stood.

        • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

           It’s legal in 30 states to fire someone for being gay.  In 37 states it’s legal to fire them for being transgender.   Most people don’t realize this, sadly. 

          http://gbge.aclu.org/discrimination/talking-points-about-employment-protections

    • WayBeyondSoccerMom

      Here in Charlotte, NC, a gay high school student was denied the chance to place  an order at the local CFA because he was “too gay” in appearance and attitude.  The teenage girl behind the counter refused to take his order, telling him, “I’m not taking your order.  You’ll need to leave.”  He was with a group of friends, all from the local performing arts high school.  

  • Michael Koch

    Fuck christians…….. where are the Lions when we need them.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I don’t like it when Christians say crap like this.  We shouldn’t stoop to that.

      • http://twitter.com/CamasBlues P. Phillips

        Besides, think of the cruelty to animals.  What did any poor lion do to deserve the horror of being fed poisonous old men like Bryan Fischer, ‘Daddy’ Dobson, Pat Robertson, or those creepy Crouches from TBN?  Doubtless any lion who tried to eat even a particle of these people would get the worst case of indigestion ever, might even die.  Won’t somebody think of the lions?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      If you know your Bible stories at all, the lions left Daniel alone and devoured the heathen. For your sake, lets skip the lions

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        But the idea that ‘heathen’ = ‘atheist’ is a recent thing.  Traditionally (and certainly in Roman times) ‘heathen’ essentially meant ‘pagan’, or ‘non-Jewish/Christian’.  “Godless heathen” is technically correct, but “godless heathen” is technically meaningless since heathens believe in gods.

        We don’t have any evidence as to what lions would think of atheists.  Or agnostics.  Or anti-theists.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          Touche! :)

  • Cincinatheist

    Also, my post above illustrates the correct spelling of the possessive form of the word ‘it.’ You’re welcome.

  • BenOfSocal

    I used to go to Chick-Fil-A every morning for breakfast.  The employees there even knew me by name, and I theirs. Not anymore!

  • Hibernia86

    I do boycott Chick-Fil-A even though I love their food.

    Damn you Chick-Fil-A for trying to seduce my taste buds! 

  • Gaby A.

    When I went to university in North Carolina (now I’m Canada), Chick-Fil-A was my crack cocaine…I used to have one — ahem — “religiously” on recent subsequent visits.  Since finding about this a year or so ago, it hasn’t been as hard to go meh.

  • Gunstargreen

    But it’s so delicious… why is bigotry so delicious?!

  • Annie

    I used to take my daughter there when she was a toddler (the one in our city had a kick ass indoor play center).  Then one day she got some mildly religious booklet in her child’s meal… nothing overt, but it sent up red flags.  We haven’t been back since. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    It’s about the most lack-luster fast food sammich I’ve ever had. plain breaded fried chicken breast on a naked, un-toasted bun with a slice of pickle. That’s IT??  And for almost 4 bucks? Makes it really easy to not eat them.

    They show up on campus occasionally. I haven’t seen ‘em in the gee-dunk since I told the young lady there Chick-fil-A’s sad history of being anti-human rights.

    Oh, don’t give me a halo, I still eat at Cracker Barrel 3-4 times a year.

  • Marco Conti

    Well, I am glad I have never even heard of these guys before. One more reason to keep not hearing about them.

    as far as eating meat, I am not a vegetarian, but I am at a stage in my life where I can afford to be picky about what I eat, so before buying my own meat or going to a restaurant, I inquire about how humanely the animals are kept and slaughtered. I know it makes jack difference, but it makes a difference for me. 
    Now I pay easily double the ongoing prices, but I feel better about it.

  • Usclat

    According to the Associated Press, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and Steve Ballmer, the company’s CEO, have each written $100,000 checks to Washington United for Marriage, a same-sex marriage advocacy group based in Seattle. (Huffington Post 7/2/12) It’s not $1.9 M but it’s might fine way to start. 

  • usclat

    How about companies that support marriage equality? Nice list: http://goo.gl/Tmiu0 

    • NewAthiest

      Thanks for that!

  • Joseph Smith

    This is not a huge shock, I mean the entire company shuts down on Sunday, surely not because that is their slowest day of the week (Which I am sure it would not be).  They can keep their overpriced tiny pieces of chicken.

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    In case there any RuPaul’s Drag Race fans here: Chow Down (at Chick-fil-A)

    http://youtu.be/sO-msplukrw

  • Tainda

    I have never eaten there as I don’t eat much fast food.

    I do know our hospital snack shop sells the junk on certain days of the week.  Our hospital is very liberal too which makes me wonder if they know about this.

  • Thomas Farrell

    > (See? Being vegetarian has its perks.)

    On the other hand, bacon.

    • Duckie

      +1,000,000 for bacon

  • GregFromCos

    I’m a big fan of their food, but will have to stop. The local owner is very evangelical. I recently saw someone share a picture they’d put up on face book. It was a picture of a soldier and said: 

    “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldiers. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom…”- Fr. Kelly, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Peterson AFB, CO.

  • phatmanXXL

    I been eating there more than ever. Especially after I heard about this a few months back, its my preferred fast food establishment.

    • amycas

       You hear that a food chain is giving money to support bigotry and your first instinct was to give them more money?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Probably he heard an atheist blog was talking about a fast food chain supporting bigotry, and decided to go trolling.

  • NewAtheist

    Well, this just makes it easier to take yet another fast food place off my list. Since I shouldn’t be eating it anyway (gluten-intolerant) I’ll just pretend their food is soaked in rancid bigotry and walk away. Now, to make my kids understand…

  • Annie

    Here’s an idea:  July 13th is “Dress like a Cow” day at Chick-Fil-As nationwide.  If you dress up like a cow, you get a free meal.  If you wear a partial costume, you get a free entree.  I think it would be great for people to dress up as rainbow cows and take their food for free!  I’m going to start working on my costume now… and since I don’t care that much for their food, I will give it to the first panhandler I see. 

  • Nathan

    I have heard stories about chick-fil-a being anti-gay. As a Christian I do not support anti-gay groups even though I do not agree with the gay lifestyle. I believe homosexuality is a choice and if you want to live that way that is your choice. Anti-gay marriage I do support however, simply because of the discriptive word “marriage”. Marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman, and a covenant relationship between them a God. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but that is what marriage is. If you would like to have a ceremony and be joined together with a same sex person that’s fine but you will never be “married”. That is what I believe as a Christian. As for the comments about chick-fil-a not hiring someone because of their sexual orientation, if it is true they will eventually be caught and sued for discrimination. That is not what we as Christians are supposed to do even if we do not agree with it. I hope these so called “Christian establishments” eventually realize the poor example they are setting and how bad it effects the image of Christianty. There are a lot of Christians out there that have been misled in our faith and I’m here to help clean up our image. Forgive them Lord for they do not know what they are doing.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Most of this I’m not going to bother since I’m pretty sure I’ve asked you before and you ignored me then.

      But

      As for the comments about chick-fil-a not hiring someone because of their sexual orientation, if it is true they will eventually be caught and sued for discrimination.

      Nope, as I pointed out elsewhere, it is perfectly legal in most states to fire someone because they’re gay.  Or tall.  Or have red hair.  You can’t fire them because they’re female, or over 40, or black, or atheist, or have one leg (assuming the missing leg doesn’t affect their job performance).  

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

       Civil marriage predates Christian marriage.  You don’t get to hijack the term, invent your own history of it, and then use that fake history to deny others their rights.

      • Nathan

        I wouldn’t expect an Athiest to understand why “marriage” is a biblical term because obviously you do not believe in creation. If you did you would understand nothing predates creation or God. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

  • Bud

    I thought cfa was like a Christian based food place? If so then why would they contribute to anti anything?

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

      Lots of Christian places are anti-gay, anti-choice and contribute heavily to such causes. 

  • Eric Michel

    Shit!

  • ConureDelSol

    Wow, not eating there again.  I’ll miss you deliciousness!  You know CFA in this area attends high school foot ball games and all sorts of events.  People who don’t know about their religious affiliation and their “values” are still, unfortunately, going to buy from there.  In fact, my cousin works at a CFA.  

  • Muti

    Who cares? Not me. Gay rights don’t affect me so I don’t care. I worry about real problems like helping the homeless and creating jobs, not whether two guys kissing don’t feel comfortable ….

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

       Human rights aren’t “real causes”  M’kay.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

       I got mine, so fuck everyone else.  Right, Muti?

  • Shesthemimi

    Every time I point this out to a friend, gay or straight, they always say something like, “Yeah, but the waffle fries are SO good….” and giggle. Expecting people to give a damn about this issue is a sure source of disappointment. 

  • Sdsitton

    It is their right to support anti gay groups just as other companies support gay groups. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You can’t have it both ways. GET OVER IT!

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Who is saying otherwise? Of course it’s their right to be anti-gay. And it’s our right to call attention to that fact and point out that people concerned with LGBT equality might not want to eat there.


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