Chick-fil-A is vilified by the American left — and particularly the LGBTQ+ community — like few other American companies.
The reason is clear: They are honest, biblical Christians in their beliefs and statements, including on marriage being between one man and one woman — because that is what the Bible explicitly says and what all of Christianity and the rest of the world believed through all of history until, literally just a few years ago.
But that adherence to biblical norms in today’s America means they must be crushed by the activist LGBTQ+ left that seeks to destroy anyone who will not think like them, i.e. bakers, florists and pizza shops around the nation.
This has resulted in a growing number of bans — and a fascinating turn of events.
The first wave of bans was in 2012, when Democratic city officials in San Francisco, Boston and New York threatened or enacted bans or attempted to block Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their cities because Chick-fil-A donated to Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council.
The LGBTQ+ activists organized boycotts and were immediately swamped by giant counter-protests with Chick-fil-A’s customers standing in line around corners to show their support. Rarely has a tactic backfired so magnificently.
The newest round of bans came after the leftist ThinkProgress organization charged that the Chick-fil-A foundation supported “groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.” Those miscreant hate-filling groups? The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which both operate on clear biblical understandings that are 2,000 years old. Chick-fil-A gave $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $150,000 to the Salvation Army in 2017.
That generosity resulted in the San Antonio City Council banning Chick-fil-A at their airport because “everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport,” according to Councilman Robert Trevino. Two weeks later, a New York Democratic assemblyman Sean Ryan, announced that the Buffalo airport was prohibiting Chick-fil-A from operating there, because “the views of Chick-fil-A do not represent our state or the Western New York community.”
Actually, they probably do.
Most recently, the kiddos in the student government at Trinity University, a private liberal arts college in Texas affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, voted to ban Chick-fil-A from their campus. The school does not have a Chick-fil-A on their campus, but serves its food on a rotating basis in the cafeteria. The unanimous vote to ban the chain was because of Chick-fil-A’s donations to groups that failed to support LGBTQ+ rights.
During all of this, Chick-fil-A executives have been nothing but class, creating a pretty stark contrast with those who are trying to shut them down and destroy the company if possible.
In an interview with Business Insider, Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Chick-fil-A and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, said the foundation focuses on lower-income and underserved youth.
“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,” Bullard said. “For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged.”
He also said that Chick-fil-A would be willing to work with LGBTQ+ groups in reaching children through these programs they have with 300 partners.
Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in hiring or serving. So this is about what Chick-fil-A leaders think and say. Further, they are willing to work with LGBTQ+ groups without requiring them to change their views. That, of course, is not reciprocated.
But a funny thing has happened in all of these attacks on Chick-fil-A. The chain is growing at a torrid pace.
Restaurant Business researched Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report and reported that Chick-fil-A’s domestic sales leapfrogged Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Burger King last year and will almost assuredly pass Subway this year to make it the third-largest restaurant chain by sales, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.
Kalinowski Equity Research agrees with that assessment: “We have long pointed out that Chick-fil-A is the restaurant competition with which McDonald’s U.S. should most concern itself—and by extension, investors should, too.”
Chick-fil-A sales increased 14.2 percent in 2018 and may increase 15 percent this year, much faster than any major, mature chain.
This success will not go unnoticed. And it is not likely to change behavior towards the chain by LGBTQ+ activists.
There is a deep well of hate for traditional Christian beliefs on the left and specifically in the LGBTQ+ activist corner. So expect ThinkProgress to continue to push out information on Chick-fil-A’s connections with Christian organizations and try to damage the company.
But at this point, apparently the American people are disinclined to pay attention beyond countering with buying more chicken sandwiches.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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