Friday, August 3, 2012

Most Chick-Fil-A giving highly laudable; $5 million 'hate' group claim is bogus

    If you've noticed the rabid Internet postings of late, you've seen claims that Chick-Fil-A has donated $5 million to anti-gay "hate" groups. It's not true, and is a claim that is arrived at by classifying any organization that isn't out beating the bushes in support of gay marriage as a "hate" group.
    Chick-Fil-A's charity is WinShape, which in addition to funding scholarships makes a number of grants each year. Let's take a look at where WinShape's donations went in 2010 (and the 2009 donations are similar):
Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
This isn't a "hate" group. It's a group that offers marriage counseling and retreats for married couples. Some of the original founders of this group were active in the Prop 8 fight or other ballot initiatives, but participating in an election isn't a hate crime and this organization hasn't been involved with opposing gay rights in any way as far as I can tell. It's limited to counseling and retreats.

Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
This group is like the Boy Scouts, in that it wants its leaders to refrain from sex outside marriage or homosexuality. But that doesn't make it a "hate group." If you do a web search of this organization that excludes the term "Chick-Fil-A," you'll find that no one was calling it a "hate" group until a few weeks ago (with effort you can find a few web postings without the word "Chick-Fil-A" addressing the issue, but precious few). I can respect that many would disagree with FCA's policy, but the policy doesn't make it a "hate" group.

National Christian Foundation: $247,500
Okay, nobody knows where all this money goes. The group and its charities dispense roughly half a billion dollars a year to various causes. I hardly think this qualifies it as a "hate" group.

New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000
I can find nothing that this group has done except take money from Chick-Fil-A. Apparently in the eyes of some that makes them a "hate" group. That and the word "Christian."

Exodus International: $1,000
Okay, I can see why gays would get a little antsy about this one. Just think about Exodus as a place where gays can meet other gays to establish long-term relationships, because that's what usually seems to happen when they get together. But we're talking a thousand bucks here, not five million.

Family Research Council: $1,000
Chick-Fil-A is guilty as charged. The president of this group has a history of making remarkably inflammatory comments about gays, but it's a thousand bucks, not five million.

Georgia Family Council: $2,500
The Georgia Family Council had a statement on its website supporting California's Prop 8. You know, elections aren't hate crimes. And again, we're talking $2,500, not $5 million.
    Okay, so now that we've gone through the list there are indeed a few donations that I think are legitimate targets, and so to those who object, complain away. But complain about the thousands of dollars donated, not the millions.
    I suspect if you were to go over the charitable giving of any company or foundation you would find a few donations here and there that some segment of the population would find really objectionable. Our own government manages to squander our money on a regular basis on projects that average Americans find to be outrageous and often un-American. I personally find a few of Chick-Fil-A's small donations objectionable but find most of its giving highly laudable.
    The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is not a "hate group." A group that provides marriage counseling and offers marriage retreats is not a "hate group." This is where the bulk of Chick-Fil-A's money has been going. As a citizen, I thank them for making the world a better place in which to live.

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