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|Topher Payne: When it comes to Chick-Fil-A, the numbers don’t lie|
|Written by Topher Payne|
|Friday, 26 October 2012 00:00|
A few weeks back in this column, I wrote about a certain restaurant known for its chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and hatemongering religious extremism.
I received a message in response from a reader, in which he stated: “There is so much misinformation and exaggeration about CFA’s donations to ‘hate groups.’ Only $1,000 each was donated to FRC and Exodus, and not millions as has been reported here by gay activists and other left-wing publications.”
This distortion of the truth has been repeated so consistently, but doesn’t stand up to even the most passive scrutiny. Even supporters of the Chick-fil-A boycott may not be aware of how the corporate funds were distributed. So, here are the exact dollar amounts of the donations, who got ‘em, and why it’s a problem.
Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
Founded by Dan Cathy’s brother Donald, who is a senior VP at Chick-fil-A, the foundation’s mission statement clearly outlines a commitment to guide America’s values back towards the traditional family model.
Oh, and guess who’s on the list of charter members? Why it’s Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the bigoted wackadoos who send you to summer camp and teach you how to not be gay. Fun fact: Chick-fil-A gave Exodus $1,000 in 2010.
Also a charter member: the president of the Georgia Family Council. You might remember them from their successful campaign for a state constitutional ban on marriage equality. Fun fact: Chick-fil-A gave Georgia Family Council $2,500 in 2010.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes: $480,000
Hey kids, come join FCA! What’s that? You’re gay? Oh. Come back after you’ve prayed that away. God condemns you and so do we. But after you’ve been delivered from homosexuality, we’ll let you speak at our national conference and put you on our website.
National Christian Foundation: $247,500
They’re the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world, and their three largest grant recipients each year are Focus on the Family, the Discovery Institute, and the Family Research Council.
We’re talking tens of millions of dollars, to fund anti-marriage equality initiatives on the state level and defending DOMA on the federal level, plus conversion therapy, and heteronormative abstinence-only education in public schools.
New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000
Another sneaky move. The New Mexico Christian Foundation is just a localized offshoot of the National Christian Foundation. See above.
Family Research Council: $1,000
In addition to the grants funded by Chick-fil-A and bestowed by the NCF and its New Mexico branch, there was this bonus payout to an organization which has repeatedly compared homosexuality to child molestation and bestiality. They are classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. These people are fanatical sociopaths, driven by hatred.
All of this is, of course, their right. As long as they are open and honest about it, people can make informed decisions. Taking simple statistics and presenting them as the facts they clearly are is not infringing on their rights, or being intolerant. It’s just reporting truth.
And finally, in response to the reader calling out gay activists: Yes, I am a gay man. Married to a gay man. I have the license to prove it. I am also a Christian. My beliefs are fervently held and the foundation of my life.
I strive to be a champion of love, kindness, and charity, so my activism is for fairness and equality, because I believe that is Christ’s example. I know there are people who believe their relationships are more deserving of recognition than others. What I will never understand is why they think that.
Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at www.topherpayne.com
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