Chick fil-A CEO: ‘We Inadvertently Discredited Several Outstanding Organizations’

By Todd Starnes Published on January 8, 2020

Late last year Chick-fil-A ruffled feathers across the fruited plain when they announced they would no longer provide charitable donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Salvation Army.

Both organizations had faced years of withering attacks from sex and gender revolutionaries who were angered because the two renowned Christian ministries affirmed the biblical definition of marriage.

So when Chick-fil-A made their decision public, many Christians accused the company of backing down to a bunch of militant LGBTQ bullies. And in response many of Chick-fil-A’s staunchest supporters flew the coop.

“I now regret that I did it and that I invited your participation,” Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote in a letter to supporters. I wonder how long before they go ahead and open on Sundays? Might as well.  Or just change their name to ‘Ichabod Chicken Sandwiches.’”

American Family Association, one of the nation’s top Christian ministries, launched a petition drive that generated more than 116,000 signatures. They wanted clarification on the company’s giving habits.

“In my personal letter to Mr. Cathy, I asked him two questions: (1) Will Chick-fil-A publicly state that it does not believe the Salvation Army and FCA are hate groups because of the ministries’ beliefs about sexuality, marriage, and family? (2) Will you publicly state that Chick-fil-A will not hesitate to fund these two ministries again, should the opportunity arise in the future,” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon said.

And the other day Wildmon received a response from Chick-fil-A chairman and CEO Dan Cathy.

“We inadvertently discredited several outstanding organizations that have effectively served communities for years,” Mr. Cathy wrote in his correspondence. Click here to read the entire letter. 

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Wildmon said he welcomed the clarification.

“It appears that Mr. Cathy understands how many evangelicals perceived the company’s decision, as he stated that these Christian groups were ‘inadvertently discredited.’ The fact that Dan Cathy called these two Christian groups “outstanding organizations” will mean a lot to evangelicals,” Wildmon said.

Still Keeping an Eye Out

However, American Family Association said they plan on keeping an eye on Chick-fil-A — especially since the company chose to stop sending money to the Salvation Army and instead funded Covenant House, a pro-LGBT organization.

“Most of the Christians I know love Chick-fil-A and want to trust the company to uphold scriptural principles. We have all been huge fans of Chick-fil-A, and want that to continue,” Wildmon said.

American Family Association deserves a round of applause for standing up and asking the tough questions when others did not. In doing so, they convinced one of the nation’s largest fast food restaurants to do the right thing.

And Mr. Cathy deserves a round of thanks for listening to the people who made them one of the most popular restaurant chains in the nation.

A lot of folks took their original decision personally — leaving may people of faith feeling angry, bewildered and betrayed.

The reason we took it so personally is that we never thought of ourselves as Chick-fil-A customers, we thought of ourselves as family.


Todd Starnes is a columnist, commentator, author and radio talk show host. His latest book is Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.

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