In the spring of 1997 my parents sat me down, told me it was time to get a job and nudged me to apply to Chick-fil-A. At first, I was uncertain about working in fast food, but I liked Chick-fil-A’s sandwiches and I embraced the company’s biblical values.
From setting up a Salvation Army Angel Tree to donating food for church events, I had no doubt this was a God-honoring company. As a regular churchgoer, it was a plus that I would never face the pressure to work on Sunday — so I applied and was hired. On my first day, I found the company’s purpose statement in the employee handbook: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”
Impressed, I asked my boss for the story behind it. He explained Truett Cathy’s vision for founding a company that honors God in everything. In that conversation, I began to experience what it means to live out one’s faith in the workplace. I knew I signed up to do more than sell chicken. That was the first of many such conversations over the next three years.
I never attended Cathy’s Sunday school or even met him, but he influenced my walk with God nonetheless, and I’m sure the same is true for many of the chain’s employees. I can only imagine the number of spiritual conversations that his “closed on Sunday” policy has sparked between parents and their children.
Chick-fil-A’s disappointing donations
Sadly, those family conversations have changed dramatically recently. On Sunday Nov. 17, Chick-fil-A was closed, as usual, but on Monday the company’s charitable arm cut off future donations to the Salvation Army and sent a check to the Covenant House, a group that has hosted a local Drag Queen Story Hour and celebrates LGBTQ pride.
A recent Chick-fil-A tax report also shows donations to various leftist groups or groups with leftist affiliations. But the biggest shock came when Chick-fil-A donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group with a track record of labeling Christians as haters or groups following Christian beliefs as “hate groups.” This is the same group that, in 2012, inspired a gunman to storm into the headquarters of my organization, the Family Research Council, and attempt to murder my colleagues and me and smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches on our faces.
That day I saw our building manager, Leo Johnson, covered in blood as he was rushed into an ambulance. Despite being seriously wounded, Leo heroically tackled the gunman, saving many lives.
The domestic terrorist shooter, Floyd Corkins, told the FBI he had picked the Family Research Council as a target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. He was angered by the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day held recently, in which huge crowds lined up at Chick-fil-A’s restaurants to show support for its president, Dan Cathy, who had expressed support for marriage defined as between a man and woman.
The SPLC even listed surgeon Ben Carson as an “extremist” until it backed down in the face of a public uproar. SPLC has paid out millions to settle defamation lawsuits, but it continues to maintain an online map and lists of groups and individuals it opposes. The organization has also faced accusations of corruption by former employees.
In spite of all this, Chick-fil-A is largely defending its donation to SPLC.
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SOURCE: USA Today, JP Duffy