The facts on Chick-fil-a contributions and my stance on the issue

Over the last week or so I have admittedly been caught up in the Chick-fil-a hype and participated in more than few discussions on the matter, therefore this post will essentially consist of excerpts from those conversations. I will then give my concerns about the overall topic of homosexuality. But first it is worth mentioning that I am, in fact, a heterosexual male who supports the right for homosexuals to be married.

First I want to address the notion that this is all about Chick-fil-a exercising its first amendment right to free speech, and those opposed simply don’t agree with those beliefs. It is not. It is about Chick-fil-a’s contributions to anti-gay and anti-gay marriage organizations. Which it is entitled to but I am not going to give my money to a company who uses it to work AGAINST my beliefs. CFA’s christian supporters who criticize this practice are simply put, hypocrites.I refer you to the American Family’s Association’s boycott of McDonald’s when McDonald’s came out in support of the LGBTQ community (see Link)

Ironically, the AFA’s justification for the boycott in AFA’s OWN WORDS was “McDonald’s, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars.” Yet in this link, the AFA encourages people to “eat mor chiken” and even provides a ready made “thank you” note to chick-fil-a. So much for promoting neutrality..

As I said above, Chick-fil-a has the right to contribute to whom ever they would like. However, the nature of some of these organizations should shed a little more light on the TRUE circumstance of this conflict as well as make anyone that is even remotely sympathetic to the gay community think twice about what their next Chick-fil-a sandwich is funding. Upon sharing this information with a friend, she brought up the fact that Chick-fil-a also donates to many honest-to-goodness charities and causes. True, but so do many other fast food and fast food chicken chains, minus the questionable ones (to put it nicely). With that being said Chick-fil-a has in FACT donated to the following organizations through their WinShape and LifeShape branches according to, LifeShape’s 2008 Tax Documents here on page 12, Winshape’s 2009 Tax Documents here on page 41, and also Winshape’s 2010 tax documents here on page 29.

1) Family Research Council (FRC)- As the name sounds unassuming, so does their website’s ABOUT section stating the following.

“Since 1983, Family Research Council (FRC) has advanced faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion. FRC’s team of seasoned experts promotes these core values through policy research, public education on Capitol Hill and in the media, and grassroots mobilization. We review legislation, meet with policymakers, publish books and pamphlets, build coalitions, testify before Congress, and maintain a powerful presence in print and broadcast media. Through our outreach to pastors, we equip churches to transform the culture.”

Despite its unassuming facade, the FACT is the organization was listed as a certified “HATE GROUP” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (a non-profit organization created in 1971 and has a long legal history of representing civil rights abuse and hate crime victims). Here is the SPLC’s page on the Family Research Council. For justification of this classification, I provide you with RECORDED STATEMENTS made by the FRC:

“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
-1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.

“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.” (Worth mentioning that this statement has been declared ABSOLUTELY FALSE)
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

In addition to these types of statements (and they are numerous), in the video interview here, Peter Sprigg from the FRC BLATANTLY says (not a matter of interpretation) that gays should not be allowed to serve their country in the Uniformed Services PERIOD!! (see 7:29 on the video). Even WORSE, is that starting at 8:27 Sprigg begins saying that Homosexual Behavior should be criminalized, saying that “there is a place for criminal sanctions against Homosexual Behavior”. I again reiterate that CHICK-FIL-A CONTRIBUTES TO THIS ORGANIZATION REPEATEDLY!!!!

2)Focus on the Family- This organization as well has been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “anti-gay”. To start with this one I will provide you this video which includes speeches from the founder James Dobson where he talks about (among other things) “the prevention and ‘TREATMENT’ of homosexuality”, says if gays are allowed to marry “then family as we know it will DIE“, as well as compare gays to German Nazis. More recently the Organization has taken on a campaign, arguing against the non-bullying policies that specifically address the harassment of homosexual students. On their own website they offer this advice to parents:

“You can ask to see the curriculum being used to teach your child about such topics as “family diversity,” bullying prevention, “tolerance,” “social justice,” and other topics that are often used in schools to introduce homosexuality.” LINK

Here is Focus on the Family’s video discussing the matter.

And here is Focus on the Family’s Candi Cushman on CNN defending their beliefs in the face of not just the opposing side, but a counselor with first hand experience with the effectiveness of said anti-bullying programs.

These people are so against their child’s introduction to homosexuals as equal people, that it causes them to be against a policy that is statistically PROVEN to reduce bullying and subsequent suicides!

For #3 you will need to create a free guidestar.org account to view the public tax documents I have linked (I forgot to mention earlier you will also need this to view tax documents listed above).

3) National Christian Foundation- This one pretty much requires a post of its own, but oh well. Yet again another misleading name and equally misleading self-description: “the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world.” It is a significant recipient of Chick-fil-a funds. According to 2008 tax documents from the company found here, some if its largest grant recipients were 1) the first mentioned certified hate-group, the Family Research Council with $2,387,000 and 2) the also previously mentioned, Focus on the Family, with $4,268,000. Now I saved readers the trouble of navigating the 152 page tax document to verify these contributions, Family Research Council is on page 72, and Focus on the family is on page 76. (I will also list the page numbers to find the next institutions) Now in regards to the amount donated to these organizations, I challenge anyone to browse the over 100 pages (with almost 100 recipients on each page) in the the provided tax document for organizations that received over a million dollars. It starts on page 39. There are very few. In fact on more than one occasion I skimmed 7-10 pages with NONE receiving over $1 million and I do not recall ONE page that had more than 1 organization with over $1 million contributed by NCF. I make this point because someone could argue that no significant amount of oversight or research could possibly be given to each potential recipient when there are literally almost 10,000 of them. However, I would argue that the excess amount of funds warranted, and more than likely received, an exceptional amount of prior consideration.

Also, while the article I originally read about this NCF issue here, only mentions the year 2008, I have taken the liberty of looking at their 2009 forms and 2010 forms and verified that both companies continued to receive large grants through 2010 which was the latest year available. 1) Family Research Council continued to receive around $1.5 million while 2) Focus on the Family received over $4.5 million in 2009 and over $3 million in 2010. The recipients are listed alphabetically so I will leave you to navigate the list.

THEY HAVE ALSO DONATED TO:

A. Lou Engle’s The Call ($166,000) page 131- Lou Engle is one of the most militant anti-gay individuals in the public realm, and has the privilege of HIS OWN PAGE on the Southern Poverty Law Centers site here! According to this New York Times article, Engle not only attended but PARTOOK in a rally in Uganda to support the Country’s Anti-Gay Bill, but here’s the thing……at that point UGANDA’S ANTI-GAY BILL CALLS FOR EITHER LIFE IMPRISONMENT OR DEATH FOR HOMOSEXUALS (fact)!!! At least on the home front Engle denies support for the violence in the bill, BUT one can not overlook the fact that WHILE SPEAKING ON STAGE AT THIS RALLY, HE PRAISED UGANDA’S “COURAGE” AND “RIGHTEOUSNESS” IN PROMOTING THE BILL!! Also in attendance and sharing the stage at this rally was the bill’s sponsor David Bahati. Here is the Southern Poverty Law Centers page on Uganda Rally and Anti-Gay Bill here.

Lou Engle’s The Call also continued to receive grants from the NCF even through the year 2010, the year that Lou Engle attended the Uganda Anti-Gay Rally.

B. Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism ($817,000) page 84- Another Organization with close ties to the extremely anti-homosexual Uganda movement. He works directly with Julius Oyet who is a self-proclaimed co-author of Uganda’s “Kill the Gay’s Bill”. His ministry helps to train the churches of Uganda, where homosexuality has been illegal since the 1950 and efforts increase punishments have been constant. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has reigned in Uganda for over the last 24 years. Oh and he and his wife have been feature guest speakers at Ed Silvoso’s Institute for Nation Transformation events, source here (mentioned next to the second picture from the bottom). And for those who don’t trust secondary sources, here is Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism own website, acknowledging the Museveni’s wife and cabinet member as their guest. Other sources, here above 3rd video from the bottom, even state that Silvoso “has enjoyed official state dinners, hosted by Yoweri and Janet Museveni, at the Ugandan State House.”

Now if there is any doubt to the level of anti-gay sentiment found in Museveni, let me put those to rest. As I have stated, he has held office for over 24 years and not only maintained homosexuality as CRIMINAL, but has worked to strengthen and enforce anti-homosexual sanctions. In 2000 under the Penal Code Amendment 2000, he and the Ugandan Government changed anti-gay legislation to read “all persons” as opposed to “all males” engaged in homosexual activity. Under his reign the Ugandan government passed, and he signed an amendment to their constitution to become only the 2nd National Government to prohibit gay marriage. FURTHERMORE, for over 2 years now and as of February 2012, Museveni has considered the “kill the gays” bill (anti-homosexuality bill), an actual copy of which is found here. Museveni’s stated reason for not having yet approved the bill is the POTENTIAL REPERCUSSIONS FROM OTHER NATIONS!! NOT because it is an obvious and gross violation of Human Rights. To be fair, the death penalty has since been dropped from the proposed bill and now only includes LIFE IMPRISONMENT as well as up to 3 years IMPRISONMENT for failure to report homosexual activity within 24 HOURS!!!! Also as a means of clarification on his stance, Museveni issued this statement through New Vision, Uganda’s government controlled news service (as relayed through New Vision):

” ‘I have told the Criminal Investigations Department to look for homosexuals, lock them up and charge them.’ The Ugandan president added, ‘God created Adam and Eve…I did not see God creating man and man.’ “- New Vision Quoting Museveni

And once again this organization, Harvest Evangelism, has received funding from the NCF (who receives it from Chick-fil-a) in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Whether you like or not, some of your money spent at Chick-fil-a ends up with these groups. How much? WHO CARES! A FRACTION OF A CENT TO THESE CAUSES IS TOO MUCH IF YOU CLAIM TO HAVE ANY LEVEL OF TOLERANCE!

Now this brings up a broader issue. The overwhelming majority of Christians, in my experience thus far, continue to support Chick-fil-a even in light of these FACTS and I doubt this post will prove any different. Ironically, most of them also deny sharing the extreme beliefs of the above mentioned institutions or maybe even Chick-fil-a itself, BUT they side with Chick-fil-a and defend them simply as Christians vocalizing Christian beliefs. And then, without a doubt, proudly exclaim that they will continue to purchase Chick-fil-a, either as a sign of support or a sign of ignorant indifference to the facts. And that is my main issue with Christianity, when Christians put adhering to Bible over promoting the WELL BEING OF THEIR FELLOW HUMANS!! What the hell happened to the concept of Christ-like. They are willing to turn a blind eye to a parties (CFA’s) contribution to hate and violence, and as result themselves contribute, and side with them rather than show an INKLING of what would be justified support to the Homosexual Community. For those Christians that read this and do not fall into this description and are legitimately appalled, I apologize. But even then I ask, will you address this issue and this tendency with your Christian peers? Or will you remain silent about it from fear of being out of sync with the Christian Majority?