The owner of Chick-Fil-A, Samuel Truett Cathy, is catching heat from the left for being anti-gay. What is his crime? Matthew Shaffer explains:
"But the dirt that activists have dug up on Cathy isn’t really that incriminating, even from a pro-gay-rights perspective. His top sin, according to the agitprop flyers produced by getequal.org, is financial support for the National Christian Foundation and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Also among Cathy’s anathema affiliations is Campus Crusade for Christ. (When you think Campus Crusade for Christ, you think homophobia, right? Me neither.) There is no evidence that Chik-fil-A has funded groups that are primarily devoted to opposing same-sex marriage, such as the National Organization for Marriage (which is not to imply that such a donation would demonstrate anti-gay animus).
Judging by the arguments put forth on lefty blogs, there are three additional justifications for singling out Chick-fil-A for protests: The first is a local Chick-fil-A catering for a Pennsylvania Family Institute marriage retreat which, at which, PFI president Michael Greer says, “At no time . . . was the subject of same-sex marriage discussed or presented” (despite what was erroneously reported elsewhere). The second is relatively small donations to the group Focus on the Family (which, despite its reputation among bien pensants, actually devotes most of its funds to charitable efforts outside of the culture war, as David French has pointed out). And the third is Chick-fil-A’s ties to WinShape, a charity with dozens of projects, one of which is a marriage retreat limited to legally married, opposite-sex couples.
So the facts show Cathy to be a generous philanthropist who devotes millions to uncontroversial education charity; who gives some thousands more to Christian groups; who admits that for theological reasons he opposes the legal institution of same-sex marriage, but isn’t preoccupied by it; and who doesn’t exclude from his charity socially conservative groups. Reasonable people can disagree with WinShape’s requirements for couples on its marriage retreats and dislike aspects of Focus on the Family’s research and advocacy. But no reasonable person can see proof of frothing anti-gay bigotry in Samuel Truett Cathy’s donations, especially when his own words convey “love and respect” for same-sex-marriage advocates.
Activists are obviously welcome to protest and withdraw their patronage from any business, especially one whose political advocacy they disagree with. That’s democracy. But if we really want to “stop the hate” — and we should stop hate where it actually exists — we should look elsewhere than Chick-fil-A and the aged philanthropist at its head."
Should same-sex marriage be legal? Michael Brown and Eric Smaw debate!