Chick-fil-A, responding to reports the chicken franchise supports anti-gay Christian hate groups, claims supporting anti-LGBT organizations is part of their “higher calling.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that the southern-style chicken sandwich franchise and a self-identified Christian company gave over $1.8 million to anti-gay Christian hate groups in 2017.
The news set off a firestorm of criticism because previously the company had claimed they had stopped supporting anti-LGBT organizations. Yet despite repeated claims from the company that they were no longer anti-gay, they continued to actively support and fund anti-gay Christian hate groups.
Recently, in an attempt at damage control, Rodney Bullard, the vice president of corporate social responsibility at Chick-fil-A as well as the executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, tried to justify the donations to anti-gay Christian hate groups.
In an interview with Business Insider published earlier this week Bullard discussed the controversial donations while citing Chick-fil-A’s “higher calling.” In the interview Bullard said:
The calling for us is to ensure that we are relevant and impactful in the community, and that we’re helping children and that we’re helping them to be everything that they can be.
For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged. This is really about an authentic problem that is on the ground, that is present and ever present in the lives of many children who can’t help themselves.
The problem is that Chick-fil-A has demonstrated over and over again that the community they want to promote is the community of anti-gay conservative Christians while doing real damage to LGBT youth in the process.
For example, Chick-fil-A gave more than $1.6 million in 2017 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a religious organization which “imparts a strongly anti-LGBTQ message.”In addition, the foundation also gave more than $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based “transformative organization” that operates an anti-gay “Christian residential home for troubled youth” which uses propaganda and techniques associated with the extremely harmful and widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy.
Also on the list, Chick-fil-A Foundation gave at least $150,000 to the Salvation Army, a conservative Christian organization with a long history of anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination, opposition to same-sex marriage equality, and supporting exemptions from non-discrimination ordinances.
In fact, Chick-fil-A has a long and well documented history of promoting discrimination against members of the gay and lesbian community. In the past Chick-fil-A donated considerable resources to anti-gay causes, including Christian extremist organizations labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And in the past Chick-fil-A has supported multiple anti-gay Christian extremist organizations, including the Focus on the Family Institute, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Exodus International and the Family Research Council. These groups are some of the most vehement and vicious anti-gay groups in the country.
Bottom line: Chick-fil-A, the Christian fast food restaurant whose corporate purpose is to “glorify God,” continues to support anti-gay Christian hate groups and organizations while calling that support a “higher calling.”