…Or what fellowship has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14c
I recently read that Chick-fil-A decided to cease making financial contributions to the Salvation Army and to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). In place of these organizations, several others were chosen including one that has been deemed LGBTQ friendly. On the surface this decision would seem harmless enough. And, the fact is, Chick-fil-A can contribute (or not contribute) to whomever it wishes. That hardly seems like it should be a concern to anyone. But for those who are particularly mindful of the stance that Chick-fil-A's founder, S. Truett Cathy, had taken in regards to marriage (being between only a man and a woman) – a stance that had garnered plenty of negative press – this change seems calculated. Is it an attempt to move away from being associated with historically "straight" organizations (like the Salvation Army or FCA) and towards organizations that are more LGBTQ friendly? The spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A says no, but few seem to be buying it.
How did we ever even get into such a MESS as this…whereby a company's product is accepted or not accepted because of the religious convictions of its owner? I grew up in the Detroit, Michigan area where cars and the manufacturing of cars was the main industry. I don't ever recall someone saying (back then) that they were going to boycott buying a Ford because of something the company was doing, or that they would only buy a GM product because GM supported __________ with its charitable contributions. Indeed, I don't ever recall hearing about any sort of boycotts of any businesses until well into the 1980s when Focus on the Family supported a boycott of K-Mart, and later of Disney. Whatever became of those boycotts I have no idea (as K-Mart tanked and Disney exploded). Did they change anything? I don't know.
But what a reminder this all is about the true "culture war" we are living in. Things that were commonly held to 30-40 years ago, if put out today on our church sign, would now be deemed bigoted, phobic, mean-spirited and hateful. It is not that the church has drifted (though here and there it has been pulled into deviant thinking by the culture around it). It is rather that our society has shifted. Having abandoned long-held religious convictions about what is right and wrong, what is good or evil, the society has moved. A good example of this is the fact that when I was majoring in psychology at Arizona State University, homosexuality was still being examined under ABNORMAL psychology.
Chick-fil-A, with this publicized change in their donations may help to bring some peace with those who had been critical of it. But in winning some they may lose others, even their own base. Once that happens it will likely not be long before churchgoers will be able to finally buy a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich on the way home from church. And that will only add credence to the notion that no one really cared about Chick-fil-A's principals to begin with.