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Cal Thomas: Chick-fil-A chickens out under boycott pressure

By Cal Thomas,

It is a truism that a blackmailer is rarely satisfied. Once the payoffs start, there often is no end to them.

The Chick-fil-A fast-food chain is about to learn this hard lesson, far too late, as many victims of blackmail and extortion generally do.

For conservatives and evangelical Christians, Chick-fil-A has been a model company that has consistently stood against the “anything goes” spirit of the age. It’s founder, the late S. Truett Cathy, ordered that his restaurants be closed on Sundays to allow employees to attend church and spend time with their families.

When LGBT activists learned the company donated to charities that support the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and declared a boycott of the restaurants, others demonstrated their support by strongly patronizing them.

Without any noticeable new pressure, Chick-fil-A announced it would no longer be donating to Christian charities like the Salvation Army, an organization not known for political activism. A company spokesman said future donations would go to charities in support of education, the homeless and ending hunger.

If this weren’t enough, the restaurant chain also announced it is sending a $2,500 donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing organization that lists some Christian ministries as “hate groups.” Among them is the Family Research Council, which describes itself as a “pro-marriage and pro-life” lobbying organization based in Washington.

As reported by The Washington Times, “In 2012, gunman Floyd Lee Corkins shot building manager Leo Johnson after storming the FRC building in Washington, D.C., carrying 50 rounds of ammunition and a backpack of Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The shooter later told the FBI that he found FRC on the SPLC’s list of ‘anti-gay groups.'”

Upon hearing of Chick-fil-A’s donation to the liberal organization, FRC President Tony Perkins said, “Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups, including the Salvation Army, it has donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America.” Perkins called on conservatives to seek a fast-food alternative, but boycotts are rarely successful and, besides, the sandwiches taste good.

Appeasement doesn’t work when there is a shooting war between enemies and it doesn’t work in a culture war in which the left takes no prisoners. Each time an inch is given by any conservative individual or group, it merely whets the appetite of the secular progressives for more concessions. When conservative people stand on principle, their adversaries usually find another target.

Most Christians are familiar with the verse “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It can similarly work with earthly adversaries.

Individuals and organizations are free to contribute to any group they wish, but Chick fil-A’s donation to the SPLC is as strange as a pro-life organization donating money to Planned Parenthood.

What has gotten into the company is anyone’s guess since management has not explained its decision. It is unlikely, though, that S. Truett Cathy would have approved.

The newly “converted” rapper Kanye West dropped a music video last week from his latest album, “Jesus Is King.” The fourth track is titled “Closed on Sunday” and is meant as a tribute to Chick-fil-A. The lyric includes “Closed on Sunday, you’re my Chick-fil-A/Hold the Selfies, put the ‘Gram away/Get your family, y’all hold hands and pray/When you got daughters, always keep ’em safe.'”

Let’s see if the same LGBT activists who have attacked the restaurant chain come after West and if they do whether he can prevail against the pressure.

Email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

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