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Big Government Hammer Hits as Chick-fil-A Caves

By now you might have heard the story about Chick-fil-A and its efforts to open a store in Chicago. The restaurant corporation, in order to appease the strong-arm tactics of one of the city leaders, agreed to stop funding traditional marriage advocacy groups. That action is shocking enough, but what cuts equally to the core of American fiber, is the fact that the "government" dictated how a business should be run, and the business listened.

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Comment by Catherine on September 21, 2012 at 10:48pm

Retraction from Mass Resistance!

MassResistance Update
Pro-family activism

"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell


UPDATE: New information on the accusations that Chick-fil-A caved in to the homosexual movement's demands.


In our last email, dated Sept. 21, we excoriated Chick-fil-A and its CEO Dan Cathy for allegedly caving in to the demands of the homosexual movement. Our title was: Chick-fil-A caves in to homosexual pressure. Agrees not to donate to pro-family groups in exchange for permission to put restaurant in Chicago. Slap in the face to pro-family supporters.

It appears that this is largely not true. We've published the truth below. But finally finding that out wasn't easy.

This is definitely one of the most exasperating news stories we've ever covered. Getting to the facts has entailed wading through a lot of confusion generated by the homosexual movement, the pro-family movement, and especially Chick-fil-A itself.

What was reported in the press

Our email quoted from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, Huffington Post, and a homosexual press release.

They all basically reported the following: Chick-fil-A officials had told Chicago Alderman Joe Monero in writing that the company would no longer donate any money to "anti-gay," pro-family groups.

Chick-fil-A also allegedly showed documentation that they had not recently given money to such groups. The company supposedly also promised to make an internal statement about non-discrimination on sexual orientation. In doing this, Chick-fil-A reportedly had negotiated with Moreno and also a Chicago homosexual activist group called "Civil Rights Agenda."

In return, as Monero gleefully announced, he would not block Chick-fil-A's efforts to open a restaurant in his trendy Chicago district. He termed this a "great victory for the gay rights movement."

Several newspapers contacted Chick-fil-A for their comments on this, but the company refused to respond except to direct them to a statement on their website.

Chick-fil-A's two main statements they've been giving out regarding this were:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

And

The WinShape Foundations [Chick-fil-A's non-profit arm] is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.

These statements certainly lend credence to the charges as reported in the last few days that the company was changing its policy of donating to pro-family groups. And Chick-fil-A said nothing to the press to descredit that interpretation.

As a result, the story was reported everywhere that Chick-fil-A had caved in to the demands of the homosexual movement. For example:

New York Times: Chick-fil-A and Chicago Alderman Reach Agreement

Washington Times: Chick-fil-A no longer will fund traditional-marriage groups

Chicago Tribune: Moreno relents, will allow Chick-fil-A

Los Angeles Times: Chick-fil-A vows to stop donating to anti-gay groups

Thus in our recent email, we reported on what every news agency was saying, along with what we could find on the Chick-fil-A website about it.

More confusion from the pro-family movement

Soon after publishing our article, we were inundated by over a hundred people emailing us articles by CitizenLink.com (Focus on the Family) and WorldNetDaily, which deny the press reports about Chick-fil-A caving in. Now, we are great admirers of CitizenLink and WorldNetDaily, but in our opinion their articles only added to the confusion.

The CitizenLink article, "Chick-fil-A Sets the Record Straight", has a lot of accusations, statements of principle, and platitudes -- but sadly does not include any substantial facts.

The WorldNetDaily article, "Press suckered by Chick-fil-A fairy tale", mostly regurgitates Chick-fil-A's press releases and corporate policy statements, which are not particularly helpful as "evidence" one way or another. But it adds no substantial facts.

Neither of these articles is persuasive to an unbiased reader.

And what's the truth? Did they really cave in?

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:

  1. 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."
          
  2. 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.
          
  3. 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.)
             
  4. 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.
      
  5. 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.

So apparently Chick-fil-A really isn't caving in. But who would have known?

Did the liberal media malevolently spin this?

The big theme among the conservative bloggers, including even Michelle Malkin is that the evil liberal media was using their usual tactics to spin disinformation -- that Chick-fil-A is caving in to the homosexuals.

We don't buy that. This time, we think the media did its due diligence. It was Chick-fil-A that was being squirrely.

Here's what we surmise actually happened: The Chick-fil-A executives met with the Alderman and the homosexual group, and gave them their "official" statements that imply -- though don't state specifically -- that Chick-fil-A is changing its donations policy. They also gave them their 2011 Form 990, which probably doesn't show any "troubling" donations. The Alderman and the homosexuals accepted the reasonable meaning of the words, and probably exaggerated a bit and claimed "victory" to the media. When asked by the press for their side of the story, Chick-fil-A refused to talk and simply pointed to the ambiguous and misleading "policy" statements.

In something as charged as this, one should not have to search for a "public relations" person to get the basic facts. Chick-fil-A should be straightforward on the website -- unless they are trying to obscure something.

Why you should be angry

All this just exacerbates the horrible double standard going on. Corporations across America openly brag about the millions of dollars they give to fund the radical homosexual movement. Yet Chick-fil-A tries to dance around and obfuscate the relatively tiny amounts it gives to groups fighting for the truth (e.g., they gave just $1000 to Family Research Council). Why not just be upfront and "proud" of doing good things?

We tried our best to get the real story and report it to you accurately. We think that Chick-fil-A's refusal to deny the allegations against it with a clear statement of the facts, and to further make it difficult and confusing for even its allies to get a straight story, produced the result they deserve: misleading press reports across the country. And the sophomoric blather from the conservative movement trying to defend them only added to the problem.

You, our readers, are the ones who have also suffered by not getting the facts you deserved. It's possible that this email is the most accurate article out there on this incident!

The larger problems still stand. You can't play down the middle on these large culture-war issues. It just doesn't work. And if the reports are true that Mr. Cathy and other company executives are meeting with radical GLBT groups, that should be of concern to pro-family people. You can't "negotiate" with the LGBT radicals for "common ground." There is no common ground with these people. They are out to radically change society. They certainly don't ever look for common ground with us.

Finally, unless there is an incredibly compelling reason, this is the last Chick-fil-A article that MassResistance will be doing. We've had it. We tried to do the right thing and got a lot of abuse for it. Let somebody else have the aggravation of figuring them out.
 

Comment by Catherine on September 21, 2012 at 12:53pm
Sept. 21, 2012
MassResistance Update
Pro-family activism

"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell


Chick-fil-A caves in to homosexual pressure. Agrees not to donate to pro-family groups in exchange for permission to put restaurant in Chicago. Slap in the face to pro-family supporters.


We all remember Wednesday, August 1 -- Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Thousands of pro-family citizens across America took the time (and money) flock to Chick-fil-A restaurants in support of their then-courageous stand for pro-family values, including traditional marriage. It was the restaurant's biggest grossing day in its entire history.
 

 

In the Burlington mall just outside of Boston, this is what the line looked like -- 50 yards away from the Chick-fil-A store!
[MassResistance photo]

 

A week earlier, the Mayor of Boston and a Chicago ward boss had both threatened not to allow the restaurant to open branches in their areas because they disagreed with the  pro-family traditional religious beliefs espoused by Chick-fil-A's owner. Left-wing politicians and homosexual groups had complained that the company's non-profit arm had donated money to pro-family groups such as the Family Research Council, Exodus International, and Focus on the Family. And the owner, Dan Cathy, had publicly defended that position.

Here's what Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, famously told the Baptist Press on June 16:

"Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

But this week, in probably the most cowardly and disgraceful move yet by a company, Chick-fil-A has capitulated to the demands of the homosexual movement and announced that its non-profit arm will no longer donate money to pro-family groups.

In exchange for that promise, the Chicago politician will allow the Chick-fil-A to set up a restaurant in his district.

The Chicago Tribune put it pretty succinctly:

A Chicago alderman who made national headlines during the summer for opposing a Chick-fil-A in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward has reversed course, saying he will let the fast-food chain open a store in Logan Square.

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st, said the restaurant has agreed to include a statement of respect for all sexual orientations in an internal document and promised that its not-for-profit arm would not contribute money to groups that oppose gay marriage.

Secret negotiations with Chicago politician and homosexual group

In fact, despite CEO Dan Cathy's strong words about "staying the course," Chick-fil-A badly wanted the Alderman's permission to open a restaurant in his district. It's now been revealed that Chick-fil-A executives have been secretly negotiating with both Alderman Moreno and a hardcore Illinois homosexual activist group over what concessions by Chick-fil-A were necessary for the restaurant to be allowed.

As the New York Times reported on Wednesday:

As a result of the negotiations, Mr. Moreno received a letter signed by John E. Featherston Jr., a senior director of real estate for Chick-fil-A, stating, "The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas."

Mr. Moreno said in an interview Wednesday that he believes the company will stop "using money to fund groups that have antigay causes. They have committed in writing they will not do that."

He said company executives showed him records of its charitable giving for the year that does not include groups such as Focus on the Family, Exodus International or other groups that oppose marriage equality or have fought against the expansion of gay rights.

Keeping it quiet

On Wednesday, the Washington Times reported on how Chick-fil-A wanted to keep it quiet that they had been negotiating with both the alderman and the homosexual group:

The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company's move there. Chick-fil-A wrote a letter to Alderman Joe Moreno affirming this, according to his spokesman, Matt Bailey, but the company initially wouldn't allow his office to release the letter to the public. Three weeks later they relented.

"There was concern from them," said Anthony Martinez, executive director for the Civil Rights Agenda, the Illinois lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender group that negotiated with both Chick-fil-A and the alderman to stop funding for so-called anti-gay groups. "They really didn't want to announce it, really, but, of course, the alderman needed to clarify why he was changing his stance on them opening a restaurant within his ward."

Chick-fil-A did not return requests for comment, and has previously said it will not discuss the issue with the media.

Mr. Martinez said Chick-fil-A told the alderman they will no longer fund groups that support traditional marriage through their charity arm, the WinShape Foundation, and will instead use that money toward educational programs and food donations.

However, on Tuesday the Illinois LGBT group, "Civil Rights Agenda" had put out a statement of its own which said:

"We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue," said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda. "I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights. It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step."

The Washington Times added that Alderman Moreno declared that this "constituted a major victory for gay rights." (We can hear the celebrating already.)
         

 

The sickening homosexual "kiss ins" at Chick-fil-A restaurants likely did their job -- intimidating the management into caving to their demands.
[MassResistance photo.]

   
Setting a terrible precedent

The concept that you need a politician's permission to open and operate a business that is otherwise completely legal -- if the politician doesn't approve of the owner's personal political views -- may seem un-American to the average person. But that's what's happening here. And that's why so many people had come to Chick-fil-A's support in the first place.

Reason Magazine, although reliably pro-gay and not at all pro-family, stated pretty clearly what is really going on and what the implications are:

Just to make it clear, Moreno was going to block this restaurant not because of issues with infrastructure or traffic issues or safety or any actual matter of municipal governance. He was going to block the construction of this restaurant because he objected to the political positions of the company owners and their constitutionally protected speech in the form of donations.

This is not something supporters of gay marriage should be proud of. It is something to be terrified of. It is a weapon that can be used against anybody whose political views fall within the minority in the communities in which they live.

Apparently CEO Dan Cathy, being a billionaire, isn't interested in the bigger picture anymore.

And there's more: Meeting with campus leaders

According to reports, Chick-fil-A's appeasement is also being extended to their pro-homosexual critics on college campuses. On August 31, the Huffington Post reported that

Reliable sources who do not wish to be identified at this time tell the HuffPost Gay Voices team that Dan Cathy, the fast food chain's president, "welcomed campus leaders to a private luncheon in Atlanta on Thursday to discuss diversity, hospitality and the opportunity to find common ground."

We suspect that the "common ground" includes a similar promise to capitulate in return for less confrontational business opportunities.

No comment from Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A has avoided or refused multiple requests by the news media for comment on this issue. Instead, they have forwarded a statement titled "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are," about non-discrimination and the political arena which they had first posted on their Facebook page back in July.

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

When they first posted this, it was not publicized and attracted virtually no interest. Three days before, the company president had announced his intent to continue donating to pro-family causes, and this appeared to be just a bland "company" statement about internal "policy." There is no reference to the company changing its non-profit donation policies.

Comment by Larry Holland on September 21, 2012 at 12:45pm

I don't have all the facts, but I saw a story last nite that Chik-Fil-A made that story up to hook the media into a false story to make them look like the idiots they are! Not sure, but sounds good to me,

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