A systematic attack on the Salvation Army’s reputation began when multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding announced that she was chosen to perform at the Cowboys-Bills Thanksgiving Day football game, which also kicked off The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign.
But the singer had second thoughts about participating in the halftime show after a fan told her that the charity was "extremely homo/transphobic" and that she wished that she "had done some research beforehand or something."
Goulding told The Salvation Army she was going to bow out unless it would "very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community."
It turned out The Salvation Army has been the world’s largest provider of social services for the homeless almost from its 1865 founding — without regard to any criteria other than need. As a result it is, quite possibly, the world’s No. 1 provider of poverty assistance to the LGBT community.
"With an organization of our size and history, myths can perpetuate,” said Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."
The Salvation Army’s supporters rushed to its defense, beginning with conservative author and columnist Jerry Newcombe, who wrote in the Christian Post that the anti-gay slurs against The Salvation Army were “preposterous.”
“By what definition of ‘hate’ is the Salvation Army in anybody’s dictionary a hate group? This politically correct culture has lost any semblance of moral clarity to label a group like the Salvation Army as a hate group.”
As supporters bolstered the charity’s honor, Chick-fil-A’s reputation took an abrupt nosedive among conservatives — for pandering to the LGBT community.
The popular fast food restaurant chain has often been attacked from the left because of its founder’s unapologetic support for traditional marriage — the union of one man and one woman. But Chick-fil-A has never allowed its strongly-held beliefs to interfere with its business practices. It serves all, and has an open employment policy.
In an apparent attempt to curry favor with progressives, the restaurant chain announced that it would no longer donate to several Christian organizations, including The Salvation Army.
However, it began supporting the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which has defined as hate groups such organizations as Liberty Counsel, the Jewish Defense League, the Center for Immigration Studies, the American College of Pediatricians, and the Family Research Council (FRC).
The chain’s longtime loyalists immediately felt betrayed — including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican.
"In Aug. 2012, I coordinated a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups," Huckabee tweeted. "Today, Chick-fil-A betrayed local customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathy. Sad."
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.”
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas said that the restaurant chain was “chickening out” by giving in to the LGBT community’s demands — demands that once begun, would likely never end.
Chick-fil-A’s decision also understandably disappointed The Salvation Army.
"We're saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education, and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed," The Salvation Army said in a statement, in response to Chick-fil-A’s decision.
It added: “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population. When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk.”
The principle that Chick-fil-A failed to live up to has been described in many ways: “Honesty is the best policy,” and “To thine own self be true,” to mention a few.
So while the Salvation Army steadfastly remained true to its principles and beliefs, Chick-fil-A at the same time is forced to defend its actions.
By pandering to the LGBT community’s demands, Chick-fil-A not only failed to gain the support of the far-left it wanted to appease, but it also lost the respect of conservatives.
Maybe there’s a lesson here: the restaurant should drop pandering from its menu.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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