"Chick-fil-A has pledged to stop giving money to anti-gay groups and to back off political and social debates after an executive’s comments this summer landed the fast-food chain smack in the middle of the gay marriage debate," reports Tiffany Hsu in an LATimes story titled, "Chick-Fil-A Promises to Stop Giving Money to Anti-Gay Groups."
Hsu also reports that the "Civil Rights Agenda, which dubs itself the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group in Illinois, said Chick-fil-A agreed in meetings to stop donating to groups such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage."
The Chick-Fil-A website currently states the following:
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.
If the Chick-Fil-A statement is meant to indicate the company will not support pro-family and pro-marriage groups and that it will instead "leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," then it has abdicated in significant measure its responsibility to stand up for the good and the true.
Politics is downstream from culture -- and culture includes not just the arts and humanities but also business, the academy, social life, and more.
Clearly, a business cannot simultaneously "love thy neighbor" while at the same time allowing the community of one's neighbor to be subjected to radical, extremist forces seeking to impose their private anti-marriage and anti-family agenda upon the American public.
Neither a privatized church nor a privatized business is adequate to the high calling of living in liberated community with God and man across the whole of society.
Such privatization is passivity, and such passivity is pacification.
Businesses have consequences, as do corporate cultures. Much more than profit is at stake. And much more than a positive experience inside a business establishment is at stake.
Wisdom is meant to be shouted from the rooftops and practiced in the streets. This goes to the core of the cultural expression of corporate stewardship.
We look forward to direct statements from Chick-Fil-A regarding today's report in the LATimes, statements that confirm or deny its core assertions. Meanwhile, one can be thankful that the aggression of extremist forces unleashed in America today has placed the options in stark contrast.
A particular business can be salt and light in a broken world. Or it can be part of the problem. Let's work and pray that the light keeps shining at Chick-Fil-A.