Chick-fil-a is Ruffling Some Feathers


Chick-fil-A has been the source of a lot of conflict lately, finding its name among newspaper headlines, Twitter trends and on the tip of most food-lovers’ (and politics lovers’) tongues.


Who knew something as simple as chicken could cause so much controversy?


Unless, of course, it isn’t that simple.


Chick-fil-A has always been an openly Christian-based brand—this is most clear from its closure of all restaurants on Sundays, the Biblical day of rest. Yet, debate only really sparked when the company was found to be donating to other Christian organizations with openly anti-LGBTQIA+ platforms. Tax filings released earlier this year showed that in 2017, Chick-fil-A gave to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (which requires employees to “refrain from homosexual acts”), the Salvation Army (whose media relations director has said that gay people “deserve death”) and the Paul Anderson Youth Home (which teaches that same-sex marriage is a “rage against Jesus and his values”). 


After facing much scrutiny, Chick-fil-A made a post on their news blog, The Chicken Wire, on Nov. 18, 2019. The company stated that it would be “introducing a more focused giving approach to provide additional clarity and impact with the causes it supports”. This will be implemented by giving to organizations that work exclusively with education, homelessness and hunger. 


This decision led to even more public discontent—but this time, it was coming from the political right. Twitter users are coming for the company, writing statements like, “You caved to the extremists and are no longer a Christian company”, and, “When you bend a knee to the outrage mob they only ask for more and more. You sold your soul.” 


So here’s my unsolicited opinion: it doesn’t matter. 


It doesn’t matter where Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm is focusing their time and energy, because they have every single right to do whatever they choose. Where Chick-fil-A donates their money is entirely their choice. They’ve built a successful, booming business and have every right, as an American corporation, to spend their rewards however they please. But. It’s important that the public is always aware of this, so that we can make informed decisions about the organizations that we might be supporting indirectly. 


It is certainly the corporation’s right to do what they wish with their money, but equally, it is the consumer’s right to maintain the same authority over their own money. I personally don’t support businesses that use child labor in their manufacturing, or that test products on animals; for me, an avid supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, this situation feels very similar. I would much rather get my food at one of the many establishments that supports my personal belief system and gives to charities that I align with. This way, I am contributing to the economy in a way that I feel is ethical, instead of shopping and swiping mindlessly. 


I do think that it’s a good thing that Chick-fil-A is seemingly moving in the right direction when it comes to progressivism and human rights. Whether or not this is a media ploy or if it’s going to be an actual, sustained brand change, only time will tell. But hey, progress is progress. 


And to the people who are upset that Chick-fil-A stopped funding openly homophobic organizations—it’s not like they stopped donating to charities altogether. They’ve just taken a more accepting, centered approach when it comes to their giving habits. They’ll still be closed on Sundays. Don’t ruffle your feathers.