Skip to comments.Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy: We have made no concessions
Posted on 09/22/2012 2:22:14 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
ATLANTA (BP) -- Following reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding certain traditional family groups in order to get approval for a new Chicago restaurant, company President Dan Cathy said Friday the restaurant made no concessions and "we remain true to who we are."
Cathy's statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, came one day after the company released its own statement saying that its corporate giving has "been mischaracterized" for many months and that it will continue to fund programs that "strengthen and enrich marriages."
Said Cathy, "There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been."
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly -- whose organization supposedly had been de-funded by Chick-fil-A -- also has spoken up for the company. And gay activist groups -- who initially applauded Chick-fil-A's supposed move -- now are criticizing the restaurant once again.
Chick-fil-A was facing a backlash after Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno and an Illinois gay activist group announced in Wednesday (Sept. 19) news reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to no longer fund groups opposed to gay marriage, such as Focus on the Family. That alleged agreement led Moreno -- who had criticized Chick-fil-A during the summer for its president's comments affirming the traditional marriage -- to stop blocking a new franchise from being built in his ward. In comments to the Chicago Tribune, Moreno called it a "big win."
Media stories nationwide then gave Chick-fil-A another public relations headache. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's headline read, "Chick-fil-A said to change stance." The Los Angeles Times' headline: "Chick-fil-A promises to stop giving money to anti-gay groups."
The problem? Chick-fil-A's base of support remains largely in conservative states, and those customers hardly consider Focus on the Family and other groups "anti-gay." Many felt Chick-fil-A had caved.
Earlier this summer, hundreds of thousands of customers took part in Chick-fil-A Appreciation after company president Dan Cathy was criticized for comments supporting the biblical definition of marriage. Chick-fil-A's stance on values is well-known: It is closed on Sundays, and its corporate statement includes the desire to "glorify God."
In the 24 hours after the story out of Chicago broke, Chick-fil-A's Facebook page was flooded with criticism of the new policy.
"I'm disgusted that your faith is so weak," one person wrote. "You sure raked in the bucks on Chick Fil A day huh? So when do you start opening on Sunday? 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord'"
Chick-fil-A released a statement Thursday (Sept. 20), saying that "for many months now, Chick-fil-A's corporate giving has been mischaracterized."
"And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving," the statement said. "For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.
"A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A's giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas."
The company also released a document that had been referenced in the media called "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are." In it, the company repeats language from this summer and says its tradition is to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
The Who We Are document also says Chick-fil-A "supports programs and marriage retreats to help strengthen and enrich marriages," which more than 4,000 couples attend annually.
The document did not address whether Chick-fil-A has indeed agreed to stop funding certain groups, and if so, which groups. It's also unclear how the company's policy will appease gay activist groups, because marriage enrichment programs often are traditional-focused and biblically based and typically define marriage as between a man and a woman.
In fact, the Human Rights Campaign -- the nation's largest gay group -- expressed disappointment in Chick-fil-A's new statement, particularly its pledge to fund marriage enrichment programs.
"The truth is, Chick-fil-A is still donating money to anti-LGBT groups -- they are just, once again, using the language of their mission statement to deflect attention," a statement on HRC's website said. "... What that language essentially means is that they will continue to support groups with rabidly anti-LGBT agendas, but they certainly would never want anyone to think that their support should be taken as an endorsement of any particular political agenda."
Focus on the Family's Daly said in an article at Focus on the Family's CitizenLink that he supports the company. He did not directly address whether Chick-fil-A was no longer funding Focus on the Family
"Dan and Bubba Cathy are my Christian brothers and good friends. They and their company have long shared Focus on the Family's commitment to helping build strong and thriving families -- and they have in no way deviated from that deeply held and biblically inspired passion while working with the city of Chicago to open Chick-fil-A restaurants there," Daly said.
"I feel bad the Cathys are having once again to endure media accounts mischaracterizing their values and charitable efforts -- and, unfortunately, I know how they feel. Focus on the Family has for 35 years been dedicated to saving and strengthening marriages, helping couples raise happy, resilient kids and encouraging and empowering men and women to advocate for God's truth with Christ's heart. And still, in stories like some of those about Chick-fil-A's efforts to expand in Chicago, we are described as being 'hateful' toward certain groups of people.
"How is an organization that helps save one marriage every six minutes and helps parents navigate through a crisis involving their children every 90 seconds deemed 'anti' anything but 'anti-family breakdown'?" Daly concluded. "That's a question we would hope the media begins to ask with more regularity of those who disagree with us and with Chick-fil-A for bringing our Christian values to bear on the work we do in the public square."
Gay groups also were upset that Dan Cathy was helping raise money for traditional groups. The Advocate gay website took issue with Cathy taking part Tuesday (Sept. 18) in a fundraiser known as the WinShape Ride for the Family. The money, the Advocate said, will benefit the Marriage and Family Foundation, which it said funds the Marriage CoMission, a traditional group.
"Granted, the group's sole focus isn't on same-sex marriage," the Advocate reported. "The CoMission emphasizes lowering the divorce rate and making couples more satisfied in their marriages, for example. But even in those instances, the group has made clear it's worried only about heterosexuals being happy in their marriages and avoiding divorce."
The Human Rights Campaign's website referenced the Advocate story in a blog under the headline: "Chick-fil-A Fails to Live Up to Promises of Stricter Donation Guidelines."
Through NUMEROUS articles in the mainstream press, the public has already heard one answer to those questions from the Pride team. What is the company's side?
Thanks Alex Murphy.
“And gay activist groups — who initially applauded Chick-fil-A’s supposed move — now are criticizing the restaurant once again. “
Why can’t these faggots just have their own burger place? Oh wait, that would be BK.
The problem is that gays are saying that they too want to “strengthen and enrich marriages”.
What I want to see is that FRC gets the money they’ve been getting. They do GREAT RESEARCH, with REAL sourcing. If I don’t see that...then I go back to eating at McDonalds’s.
People on FR should know that you can’t trust the media.
Moreno’s bit of Orwellian doublespeak allowed him to save face for a day or two, for having to back down regarding the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward. Numerous individuals and organizations stepped forward to confirm that Dan Cathy and company had not changed a thing.
The company itself issued a press release yesterday stating that its corporate giving practices were being mischaracterized, now Dan Cathy himself, via the Baptist Press, issues another statement flatly contradicting and denying such claims, that their corporate giving policies had changed.
I myself wrote on FR that they had been under assault by progressives for decades due to their overtly Christian business philosophy, hadn’t caved yet and were not going to change course over this. Numerous others have written similarly here, from across the spectrum of Christianity.
What more do you want? Are you seeking a sign or something?
Good. I will continue to swing by and get a spicy chicken and waffle fries once in awhile.
Did the company's foundation open its books to the alderman and thereby prove it had changed its policy, as he claims? Did the company share that same information with the head of Campus Pride, as he claims? If not, then why are both these individuals getting away with making a truly inflammatory charge?
More people should just ignore the queers.
I can't answer for the gay activist group, but that Moreno guy probably backed down because the city of Chicago would have been exposed to a Federal restraint of trade if he didn't. The damages for that kind of case can be enormous.
This from MassResistance Update today:
Friday afternoon we were finally successful in reaching someone in the Chick-fil-A public relations department. Previously, we were only able to reach people who were not knowledgeable of the situation, would not comment, or just recorded messages. The public relations woman we talked to was fairly candid, which was refreshing. We asked her direct questions, and she answered them.
The main points of our conversation:
She told us unequivocally that Chick-fil-A is going to continue to donate to the same pro-family groups as before, even the ones that the homosexual groups disapprove of. We specifically asked her if this included Family Research Council, Exodus International, Eagle Forum, and Focus on the Family. She said “Yes, it includes those.”
But what about the public statements that Chick-fil-A was (1) re-evaluating who they give to, and (2) would avoid the “gay marriage” arena completely? She agreed that those statements were confusing but would not elaborate further as to why they are being pushed.
Why did Chick-fil-A refuse to respond to questions by the press about this, which would have cleared things up? She said that the company often doesn’t respond to the media because of the media’s propensity to spin things. (We suggested that in this case it was necessary.)
Did Chick-fil-A executives actually meet and negotiate with Alderman Moreno and the homosexual group Civil Rights Agenda? She said she did not know whether they did or not.
Did CEO Dan Cathy actually meet with college homosexual activists to find “common ground” as has been widely reported in the press? She said she did not know.
We talked for quite a while and she reiterated those points. We asked the obvious question: If Chick-fil-A is giving to the same pro-family groups as before — and this is the crux of the heated issue here — why not say that clearly on a prominent place on the web site, and tell it to the press, instead of having them read a confusing and misleading policy statement? It would have solved all the misunderstanding going around. She didn’t have an answer to that.
It’s quite clear Morono lost and is trying to spin it as a win.
I think the faggot lobby is using a disinformation campaign to mess with Chick-fil-A’s head. Chic-fil-A needs to state in crystal clear language that they will continue to support traditional marriage and families. They should take a lesson from the Boy Scouts, who stated clearly and with finality this summer that they do NOT want homosexual scout leaders taking little boys off into the woods. Period.
The corrupt faggot President Ubanga wouldn't allow his justice department to pursue anything like that..
Why in the crap, did it take Dan Cathy some 3 days of media coverage and customer outrage to finally address Alderman’s specific claim? Like many people, my family and I have been both angry and heartsick over this.
What makes this type of case so devastating is that if the plaintiff is successful, the defendant is subject to triple monetary damages and has to pay the legal fees of the plaintiff.
Maybe it's because Chick-Fil-A is winning the issue, that the support for them is overwhelming and their opponents know it.
All the opposition has left is to get out front of it with the best lie they can come up with to salvage what they can.
Winning or losing, that's how progressives play, and they'll always act like they've won.
CFA seems to be doing the right thing, but hoping they can spin it so that libs won't hold it against them. That is impossible. Libs are the masters of spin and misdirection. You can't outspin them. They should embrace who they are and be "loud and proud" about what they stand for. When only one side is "loud and proud" about who they are, and the other shrinks back into the shadows like a frightened mouse, the "loud and proud" signs wins over more converts and changes the direction of the country.