A new report is causing more trouble for Chick-fil-A, revealing that the restaurant chain made a donation to an anti-Christian group back in 2017. As this new controversy unfolds, now the company has responded to CBN News about that financial gift and its overall giving strategy.
The news of that controversial 2017 donation comes after the restaurant chain has been heavily criticized for announcing they were ending charitable giving to certain ministries, which appears to include the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. That decision followed years of virulent protests by LGBT activists who have incorrectly labeled Chick-fil-A as anti-LGBT for supporting those ministries.
Now an Internal Revenue Service form obtained by Townhall.com shows Chick-fil-A made a $2,500 donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center. (SPLC) Decades ago, the SPLC was an organization that fought against racism. In more recent years, it has shifted to target conservative Christian ministries, falsely labeling them as hate groups for their biblical beliefs about sexuality.
One such organization is the Family Research Council. (FRC) On August 15, 2012, the FRC staff headquarters was directly targeted in a domestic terror attack after a shooter found their organization's name on the SPLC's website. The gunman, Floyd Corkins, started firing at FRC's building manager who heroically saved lives by tackling the shooter after one of the bullets shattered his arm.
Corkins later stated, "I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face… to kill as many people as I could." In a chilling interrogation video released by the FBI, Corkins admitted he picked FRC as a target from the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) website.
The shooter carried with him 100 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches into FRC headquarters that day.
Corkins pled guilty to three charges, including committing an act of domestic terrorism while armed – the first such charge under Washington, DC's post-9/11 anti-terrorism law. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, according to Townhall.com.
"The gunman was enraged by the nationwide Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day held two weeks before and used the SPLC's 'hate map' to identify FRC as his target," explains FRC President Tony Perkins. "Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, but it has also donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America. Anyone who opposes the SPLC, including many Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and traditional conservatives, is slandered and slapped with the 'extremist' label or even worse, their 'hate group' designation."
In an interview with CBN News on Wednesday, Perkins said it's time for Christians to find a fast food alternative to the Chick-fil-A.
"Chick-fil-A now joins the rest or many of the corporate world that uses the profits they gain from their customers to undermine the very values of those customers," Perkins said. "I think many Christians would be hard-pressed to go through the doors of Chick-fil-A again."
In an email to CBN News, a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A responded to our query about the SPLC donation.
"The donations in question were disclosed in the 2017 Chick-fil-A Foundation 990 that listed giving in that calendar year. Among the recipients that year were Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Salvation Army, Paul Anderson Youth Home, and more than 300 other organizations. The SPLC donation was made by a volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Advisory Board. Each volunteer advisor, in 2017, was offered the opportunity to recommend a grant recipient. The grants were given to a range of organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Atlanta Mission, the Holocaust Survivor Support Fund, Georgia Historical Society and brain health research at Emory University."
"Our founder, Truett Cathy, built his business on Biblical principles that still guide the business today. He famously said: 'Probably the greatest gift that God has given any one of us is the power that we have to change people's lives by what we do. The best-run company is the company that is forever thinking about others.' It is in this spirit that all donations are made."