Chick-fil-A turns back on Christian groups, halts donations to Salvation Army
Well known Christian fast-food organization Chick-fil-A has decided to halt funding to two organizations that critics call ‘anti-LGBT,’ and advocates call ‘pro-traditional family.’
For years now, Chick-fil-A, the Georgia-based chicken restaurant has faced backlash from LGBT groups for their hefty donations to The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Recently, in Toronto, the opening of the city’s first Chick-fil-A was greeted with large groups of both LGBT and animal rights protestors, making for some viral moments as activists staged ‘die-ins,’ attempted to stop people from entering the restaurant, and yelled customers’ faces with megaphones.
Chick-fil-A told ABC News that they would instead be focusing on donations to groups that prevent homelessness, hunger, and education, starting next year.
“Beginning in 2020 the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement Monday.
“We have also proactively disclosed our 2018 tax filing and a preview of 2019 gifts to date on chick-fil-afoundation.org,” the statement continued. “The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.”
COO of Chick-fil-A Tim Tassopoulos stated that “no organization will be excluded from future consideration, faith-based or non-faith-based.
Tim Tassopoulos, the president and COO of Chick-fil-A, added that “no organization will be excluded from future consideration, faith-based or non-faith-based.”
“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger,” Tassopoulos added.
Chick-fil-A has long been known as a faithful staple in the fast-food industry, having been described as a restaurant that “sells chicken with a side of Christianity” by the Atlantic in 2014.
The restaurant was founded by the late S. Truett Cathy, who opened the first chicken-sandwich stand in an Atlanta mall in 1967. Cathy, a man of faith, made a conscious effort to incorporate Christianity into his business, even putting Bible quotes on the styrofoam sweet-tea cups, and ensuring that stores remained closed on Sabbath, keeping this rule intact long after many other businesses moved away from similar Blue law policies.
In 2012, Cathy was quoted saying that he believes in the “biblical definition of the marriage,” that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. This statement from Cathy, who was 86 at the time, prompted major national attention and controversy.
Cathy’s statement led to a domino effect of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, starting when a New York woman planned an LGBT kissing event at one of the restaurants. This then led to former U.S. presidential candidate and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee holding a “Chick-fil-A appreciation day.”
This is all exasperated by Cathy’s frequent funding to the Salvation Army, which LGBT groups have long accused of being anti-LGBT, thanks largely to comments made by one Australian Salvation Army leader who said that gays “should be put to death.”
To this controversy, the Salvation Army has responded, stating:
“It is important to note that the Army around the world immediately rejected those comments and made public statements against them. We stand by the rejection of those comments still. We sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community and to our clients, employees, donors and volunteers for the offence caused by this misrepresentation of the Army’s views.”
In addition, the Salvation Army also has also pointed out that they do not discriminate against anyone in need, regardless if they are LGBT.
“For more than 130 years, The Salvation Army has had the privilege of serving vulnerable people in over 400 communities across Canada. Last year, we helped over 1.8 million people. We assisted people from the LGBTQ community and will continue to do so. And we employ individuals from the LGBTQ community as well.”
The other group Chick-fil-A frequently donated to, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was subject to extreme backlash after comments regarding their support of the Bible’s definition of traditional marriage, stating:
“God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.”
A Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Reuters that “We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018.”
The spokesperson later refused to comment to Reuters on whether the protests influenced the decision to change donations.
There appears to be some turbulence ahead for the LGBT community. According to a national survey by GLAAD, LGBT acceptance appears to be declining in America. Interestingly, it’s declining among a group that is often touted as the most accepting and socially “woke”—millennials.
The survey reports that the percentage of young people who reported being “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with LGBT people dropped from 53% to 45%. This is the second year in a row that the number has fallen. While many gay publications have shared this survey and rang the alarm, I’ve yet to see anyone online offer a measured opinion of why this is occurring beyond “ORANGE MAN BAD.”
I am a transgender woman and YouTuber who has witnessed LGBT discourse become more extreme and intense year after year. What used to simply be a conversation about marriage equality and treating those who are different than us as equals has become a cultural hailstorm. Our community’s most popular and decorated activists often preach the most extreme of our ideas rather our most practical. Buzzwords and genders are added into the community’s vernacular at such a rate that even I can’t keep up with them. What does that say about someone who is not within the community and their ability to keep pace with the dialogue?
I believe it is the T in LGBT (or whatever the current acronym is) that has contributed the most to the erosion of society’s understanding and acceptance of the community at large. When I transitioned 6 years ago, I remember being fearful of receiving rejection because of who I was. Now, I find myself fearful of rejection because of who trans activists have led the general public to believe I am. The push for 5-year-olds to transition, mandatory dating of trans people (unless you want to be called a bigot), and forced acceptance of biological males destroying female athletes in sports are among the most toxic ideas pushed by trans activists in 2019. As a trans woman myself, I believe none of them but often find myself anxious when meeting new people that they may think I do as a default.
To be clear, these are also all ideas that are incompatible with the general public. It is society’s natural inclination to protect children and women. So why is it that the trans community has made it their mission to brand themselves as something that at best disregards the harm to both children and women and at worst willingly inflicts it? If this is the route the community insists on going down, I don’t see much hope at all. I expect the decline of acceptance to continue.
There is an LGBT fatigue that has fallen on many in society that is a direct result of the constant bullying, shaming, and virtue signalling that comes out of the community—or at least, the activists that are placed on a pedestal to speak on our behalf. As the GLAAD survey reveals, it is particularly millennials who feel this fatigue the strongest. Millennials tend to be the most plugged into the culture war, so it only makes sense that many are beginning to question—what if this LGBT thing is derailing a bit? Why must I be forced to accept drag queens teaching sex ed to my children, and why am I feeling my heart race at the mere thought of questioning or challenging it publicly?
At some point, the community is going to have to address the overreach and bad ideas we are currently spouting. I am personally exhausted with all of it, but hey—all I can do is continue to try to sound the alarm myself.
Six months ago I reported a story about an Ontario couple, Pamela and Jason Buffone, whose daughter, “N,” suffered so much distress in her Grade One classes on gender fluidity that her parents eventually enrolled her in another school. A bright and impressionable child, N informed her parents that her teacher had told the class that “Girls are not real and boys are not real.” The teacher meant, of course, that biology is not an indicator of a child’s gender identity, a concept N was too cognitively immature to grasp at age six, and so found very frightening.
The Buffones were perturbed by the uniform commitment to the teaching of controversial gender theories to young children that they found when they took their objections, first to the school principal and then up the chain to the Superintendent of schools for their district. While sympathy was expressed for N’s confusion and anxiety, which persisted until her parents removed her from the school, approval for the program of instruction in gender fluidity remained firm in every rank.
Most parents would have let the matter drop once their own child’s troubles were over. But the Buffones looked at their daughter’s experiences through the larger lens of a changing culture and took their concern to the next level. Following Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party victory in June 2018, they filed a complaint with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). That was dismissed, although an OCT representative conceded that the curriculum is based on ideology.
Then they filed an application before the Human rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) against the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board on behalf of their daughter, citing “discrimination on the basis of gender and gender identity in contravention of the Human Rights Code.”
That complaint is now in progress. From the materials I have seen, the School Board is taking the line that the gender-identity law only offers protection to those who are historically disadvantaged. Basically, they’re saying it’s too bad if N was distressed by the lesson plans, but the school’s greater obligation to ensure that dysphoric kids feel included.
From the Buffones’ point of view, inclusion for gender-dysphoric children seemed to require the deliberate erosion of N’s comfort and security in her normative gender identity as a girl—and nothing but a girl. This complaint will uncover whether the HRTO believes that all children’s gender identity rights are protect under Bill 33 (“Toby’s Act”), as its wording would imply, or whether some identities are to be considered more equal than others.
Sometimes a life experience galvanizes people into unexpected activism. It’s a bonus if that person is intelligent, highly organized and familiar with effective methods of communication. This has been the case for Pamela Buffone. Out of frustration at the stonewalling she and her husband received, she decided to take the only kind of action a concerned citizen with no official power can.
Buffone first educated herself on the subject of gender identity: the theories behind it, the proliferating affirmation movement, and the effects of puberty blockers on children. She reached out to other concerned parents and dissidents in the professions most directly involved in the treatment of gender dysphoria. She started to write blog posts based on her experience. With allies, Buffone founded an excellent site, for which she is the publisher, the Canadian Gender Report (CGR).
In the CGR’s “About Us” section, it says, “We are a group of parents and professionals concerned about the medicalization of identity and the lack of open discussion on issues that are affecting Canadian families and children.”
The CGR takes on some of the more pressing issues surrounding the explosion of gender-identity “contagion” all over the western world. It offers reliable science-based information on sex and gender and asks important questions, such as why gay and autistic kids are so radically over-represented in the rush to transition. It offers news on what is happening in this arena, here and abroad, such as a national inquiry into the safety and ethics of transgender medicine presently under way in Australia, conducted by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. It also provides a window into the under-studied area of detransitioning, a phenomenon that activists work hard to suppress knowledge of (usually successfully).
Just to give you an idea of why the CGR is so valuable: In a Dec 3 post, the Report assesses the recently announced Trans Youth Can! observational study of youth referred for blockers or hormones at ten clinics in Canada, funded with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health research. It will collect data over a two-year period on about 300 Canadian youth under 16 years of age.
On the surface, it seems very bona fide. But the Report finds issues of concern. You can read their critique here. What leaped out at me was the fact that the research team is closely affiliated with Trans Pulse Canada, an organization that requires its board of directors to be majority trans. The CGR notes that Dr. Greta Bauer “is the research director of both the Trans Pulse survey of the trans community in Canada which has been credited with changing legislation and policy in Canada and this Trans Youth Can! study of youth referred for puberty blockers and hormone treatment.” Knowing this, I am skeptical that the study will produce an objective portrayal of the situation.
Indeed, objectivity on the skyrocketing demand for professional services for presumed gender dysphoria is hard to come by at all. The average parent who wants to serve their child’s gender interests, but also wants the most conservative possible process before arriving at affirmation, find themselves stymied when it seems that at every turn—whether it is teachers, social workers, psychologists or medical practitioners—everyone they consult is encouraging pro-active affirmation as a best practice, and any hesitancy to affirm a potential risk factor for the child’s mental health.
That is precisely why the CGR is so valuable as a resource for them. Readers often tell me they want to push back against the ideological excesses of the trans movement, but feel helpless to make a difference. Educating themselves through CGR posts and links and promoting CGR through their networks is an excellent beginning. For parents of young children being exposed to what parents consider age-inappropriate material, I particularly recommend CGR’s “Resources” section.
Here you will find links to other organizations working to bring responsibility and scientific integrity to the trans discussion; a Youtube channel offering interviews and insights on detransitioning; a support group and blog for parents of children with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD); a U.K. group fighting for the protection of women’s rights in sports; and a link to gender-critical activist Meghan Murphy’s website, Feminist Current.
Also in this section, one finds access to the perspectives of seasoned, non-ideological medical professionals and therapists in this field. Their prudence, rationality and wisdom will act as a welcome balm to the anguished souls of parents caught up in this tangled web, who feel surrounded by trans activist bullies in their search for knowledge and disinterested advice.
I recommend this site to them, and to all Canadians seeking objective information and enlightenment on a culturally transformative, hypothesis-based experiment, in which our children and grandchildren are an unwitting and involuntary test group.
Up until now, one of the best characteristics of space was that it had no identity politics. Space was space, heavenly bodies were studied and charted, Jupiter’s many moons, named for mythical gods and goddesses, were marvelled at, their orbits mapped. Space was colour blind. But the good folks at Pink News have decided to ruin the galaxy by attempting to spread social justice throughout the stars.
Pink News cites Australian professor Lisa Kewley’s perspective that now is the time for “the participation of women to also actively recruit LGBT+, indigenous, disabled, and chronically ill astronomers.” The drive for inclusivity in the workplace, specifically in STEM fields, is something we’re hearing lots about. From toys that are designed specifically to encourage girls to go into engineering to demands for non-gendered bathrooms so no one researcher feels left out, inclusivity is a buzzword that drives industry.
Kewley’s article in Nature Astronomy emphasizes the importance of attaining diversity of all kinds in Australia’s astronomy field. It’s a wonder they have time to study the stars at all what with the sheer number of inclusivity measures employed by this field. Within this community, there are workshops on “how to bridge cultural gaps,” “international/cultural lunch[es],” “cultural morning teas,” “a convenience room which may be reserved for prayer, meditation, lactation or feeding/caring for infants,” sharing of personal hobbies and interests in professional newsletters, “mental health first-aid training to identify,” “lunchtime yoga classes,” and mindfulness leadership courses.
Much of the success of diversity and inclusion is measured through the giving the Pleiades Awards, recognizing those astronomy societies and universities that have undertaken diversity and inclusivity efforts over a period of years. The idea is that the mere attempt to include and diversify is worthy of award, and that success is evidenced by the striving to succeed.
Kewley states that “As the world prepares for the era of mega-telescopes, improving diversity in astronomy will be critical for maximizing new ideas and ensuring the future success of astronomy departments worldwide.” She writes about the “statistically significant correlation between greater levels of diversity in company leadership and likelihood of outperforming the relevant industry peer group on… profitability.”
From there, Kewley makes the jump that “It is reasonable to infer that greater diversity in astronomy organizations will also produce a greater likelihood of outperforming competition in astronomy key performance measures in discoveries and advances.”
Pink News leapt on this as proof that astronomy needs more LGBT+ people in order to make better discoveries. “A paper published in an Australian science journal has said that hiring diverse astronomers, especially those from the LGBT+, disabled and indigenous communities, is essential for the country’s success in the field.” While there’s no reason to believe that LGBT+ people would make worse discoveries, there’s no reason to believe that they would make better ones, either.
Identity factors themselves don’t drive discovery as much as they influence perspective. The article also points to a viral tweet by a trans activist that features a Hubble telescope photograph of Jupiter in a UV light. The activist saw the colours and perceived it to have the colour scheme of the trans flag, leading the activist to declare that “Jupiter says trans rights.”
Of course, in reality, the fifth planet from the sun doesn’t look like that at all. And Jupiter doesn’t care about your pronouns. These are far from the only claims made about identity factors being an issue in the hard sciences, or humanities, or anywhere in academia and research, really. A recent paper posits that “the exclusion of Black American women from physics impacts physics epistemologies.”
While the going progressive belief is that women leave careers, and careers in science, because they are discriminated against, there is mounting evidence to suggest that these are not even the primary reasons that women veer off career course. Writing for Quillette, Debra Soh doesn’t “deny that sexism exists, but sexism today is not so severe that it stands in the way of a woman achieving a career in science—or any field—if she really wants to. There are countless programs in place that encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in scientific disciplines.” Women reprioritize their lives because they want to. In the most egalitarian of countries, the Nordic ones, there are in fact less women in STEM careers.
All of this effort at sex parity in Australian astronomy is due, in large part, to a 2002 study, “Young Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Becoming a Research Physicist,” conducted of women under the age of 30 in the U.K. It revealed that 15 percent of them felt they experienced sex-based bias, while 45 percent of their older, female counterparts felt that way. If it was 15 percent in 2002, down from 45 percent, how small must that number be now, 18 years later?
But of course, that’s not the point of all this anti-bias workshopping and ongoing mindfulness education. The point isn’t to ensure that those who are most driven, talented, and determined to succeed in these tough fields have the opportunity and access to do so, but to restructure progress, achievement and scholarship to be about who is doing the thinking rather than what is being thought. We no longer look outward to explore the cosmos, but in. We believe we comprise the universe.
New ways of thinking and new perspectives of problem-solving are important, but there’s no reason to believe that alt gender identity or sexual orientation inherently leads to different problem-solving abilities. Plus, we’re pretty sure space is colour blind.
An Olympia, Washington City Council meeting proved that social justice pandering is never enough to appease those on the fringes who want to call the shots.
The meeting, which took place last month, had testimonials from three members of the local LGBTQ community. Although the city was honouring Trans Day of Remembrance, not all in the community felt as though the gesture was enough, and that the city was actually doing more harm than good by having a police presence in the building.
“I am profoundly ashamed that city hall is willing to sponsor a trans day of remembrance in a building that has police,” said trans activist Amy Heart who is male-to-female transgender to the city council, contesting that city hall was actively disrespecting trans people by having officers in the government building.
“[This building] has humans that are not on the side of the liberation of my sisters and my children,” Heart continued. “You are telling me, you’re gonna light up city hall to honour black and brown trans women, you’re gonna light up a city hall that has police, and police are apart of the problem. They kill my families. They make it unsafe to live.”
Following Heart’s heartfelt time at the podium followed another LGBTQ activist, Lawrence Walker. Walker opted to use more colourful language at the podium.
“I am a person that values hearing out people’s pain, and talking to their hearts, and I feel like the people here at city hall, you don’t do that,” stated Walker. “You f*ck with people’s hearts.”
Walker was told by Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby to refrain from using foul language, as city council meetings are broadcasted citywide into people’s living rooms, where there could potentially be children watching.
Walker manages to use Mayor Selby’s objection to justify her initial point.
“My point is, like, like, you didn’t care what I just said,” Walker told the city council, “which proves my point. You’re not listening to my frustration and pain having to deal with people like you who are worrying about what I’m saying, instead of like, or how I’m saying it, instead of what I’m saying,” Walker claimed.
“Just like, the illusions of this meeting. Like, this shit’s nice, right? You get people in a room, they come to you with their problems, you say you care but you don’t really do anything about it,” the activist accused. “We go home, we come back again, there’s no solutions.”
This instance is far from the first in which trans and other queer activists have pushed to remove police from there events. Namely in the city of Toronto, where police were excluded from pride parades, against city mayor John Tory’s wishes.
Mayor Tory had publicly expressed on several occasions his desire to have both sides come to a compromise, going so far as to say that he was “deeply disappointed” with the outcome of the 163-161 vote to exclude Toronto Police from Pride.
Toronto Pride and the Toronto Police haven’t met eye-to-eye for years, namely due to the city’s handling of serial murderer Bruce McArthur, a man who murdered eight LGBT people in Toronto’s gay village.
LGBT communities have long advocated for police to be removed from their spaces. As Teen Vogue put it, “police are often not welcome at Pride parades because of a history of violence against the LGBTQ community.”
The United States has long being a beacon of LGBT rights and safety in the modern world. It’s now only radical ideologues within the LGBT community that still refuse to admit this as a fact and instead insist on removing those who opt to protect and serve from their spaces, all to feel safer.