Chick-fil-A sought to distance itself from a $2,500 donation the company’s charity arm made to the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center in 2017, saying the gift originated with a “volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Advisory Board.”
The SPLC lists multiple prominent pro-faith, pro-family and pro-religious liberty organizations as hate groups, including the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel and the Pacific Justice Institute.
The SPLC cites those groups’ opposition to rights sought by the LGBT community, including same-sex marriage.
The FRC was one of the organizations Chick-fil-A contributed to through its foundation as of 2010.
In a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation last week, Chick-fil-A said, “The SPLC donation was made by a volunteer member of the Chick-fil-A Foundation Advisory Board.”
“Each volunteer advisor, in 2017, was offered the opportunity to recommend a grant recipient,” the Chick-fil-A spokesperson further explained.
“The grants were given to a range of organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Atlanta Mission, the Holocaust Survivor Support Fund, Georgia Historical Society and brain health research at Emory University.”
Chick-fil-A did not identify the board member to The DCNF.
Last month, Chick-fil-A announced it was changing its charitable giving focus, which meant it would no longer be donating to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or the Salvation Army.
In May, Chick-fil-A defended giving to these groups despite LGBT advocates’ opposition to them over their support for biblical marriage.
The company says its corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
FRC president Tony Perkins said last week he believes Chick-fil-A has strayed from its Christian moorings.
“Tax reports have now exposed Chick-fil-A for funding the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center; an organization linked in federal court to domestic terrorism after their smear campaign of Christian organizations resulted in a shooting in which the gunman planned to smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of his victims,” Perkins said in a statement.
A gunman named Floyd Corkins showed up at FRC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., in August 2012, and opened fire at point-blank range on the building manager, who was manning the reception desk.
Despite being shot in the arm in the melee, the building manager managed to tackle and subdue Corkins.
“I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face … to kill as many people as I could,” Corkins said at the time, according to a news release from the FRC.
In a Wednesday Op-Ed for USA Today, JP Duffy, the FRC’s vice president of communications, lamented Chick-fil-A’s fall while slamming the SPLC, which he described as “a group with a track record of labeling Christians as haters or groups following Christian beliefs as ‘hate groups.'”
“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate-based scam that nearly caused me to be murdered,” wrote Duffy, who worked at Chick-fil-A as a teenager.
He added, “It’s difficult to watch Chick-fil-A follow the path of many of its corporate peers.”
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