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Chick-fil-A CEO Regrets Discrediting Salvation Army and Other Faith-Based Organizations

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The CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, has expressed his regret over his company’s cutting of charitable funding to certain faith-based organizations.


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Will Maule

In November of last year, the historically faith-based fast-food chain, Chick-fil-A announced it would be redirecting philanthropic funds away from organizations including the Salvation Army and The Fellowship of Christian Athletes—both of whom support traditional Christian marriage.

The company was rocked by a major backlash in the media, with many accusing them of caving to the LGBT agenda and refusing to channel funds to organizations that champion marriage between one man and one woman.

Now, writing to the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon, Cathy admitted that, by redirecting the charitable funds, he had “inadvertently discredited several outstanding organizations.”

Cathy also insisted that the intent behind Chick-fil-A’s giving is never to “make a statement or support a political or social agenda,” but instead to simply “make an impact.”

Through his carefully written letter, the Christian CEO was seeking to respond to Wildmon’s pointed questions: “Will Chick-fil-A publicly state that it does not believe the Salvation Army and FCA are hate groups because of the ministries’ beliefs about sexuality, marriage and family?”

In December last year, an AFA-led petition for Chick-fil-A to respond to its concerns garnered 116,000 signatures and prompted the robust letter from Wildmon.

Cathy once again insisted that the corporate changes were made “to better focus on hunger, homelessness and education”— something that many found difficult to comprehend due to The Salvation Army’s well-documented involvement in combatting homelessness.

Still, it was enough for Wildmon, who called the response a “welcomed clarification.”

“It appears that Mr. Cathy understands how many evangelicals perceived the company’s decision, as he stated that these Christian groups were ‘inadvertently discredited.’ The fact that Dan Cathy called these two Christian groups ‘outstanding organizations’ will mean a lot to evangelicals,” he told AFA supporters Tuesday.

Wildmon added that most of the Christians he knows “love Chick-fil-A and want to trust the company to uphold scriptural principles.”

“We have all been huge fans of Chick-fil-A, and want that to continue.”

In conclusion, Cathy noted that Chick-fil-A will continue to support faith-based organizations, but will only invest in those that the company deems “to be highly effective in a particular area.”