Now the woke are going after homeless charities

Activists have pressured Chick-fil-A to stop funding the Salvation Army.

Will Maule


Not for the first time, a certain American fried-chicken chain has found itself at the centre of the culture wars.

On Monday, it was announced that Chick-fil-A would no longer be supporting certain charitable organisations, following years of pressure from activists for it to cut its ties with supposedly ‘anti-gay’ Christian groups. In a statement, Chick-fil-A confirmed it would stop issuing donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army – both of which are opposed to gay marriage.

The official line is that Chick-fil-A is simply redirecting philanthropic funds to charities tackling homelessness and hunger. That doesn’t really make sense, of course, given that the Salvation Army is world-renowned for feeding and sheltering the homeless.

This was picked up by the Sally Army themselves: ‘We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organisations – areas in which the Salvation Army, as the largest social-services provider in the world, is already fully committed.’

The activists and celebrities who pressured Chick-fil-A into defunding the Salvation Army consider themselves to be advocates of ‘social justice’. But apparently, alleviating homelessness is an insufficiently woke cause these days. For its part, the charity says it offers support to all people in need, regardless of sexual orientation.

What makes this episode even stranger is that Chick-fil-A has been accused of not just inadvertently funding anti-gay organisations over the years, but of being anti-gay itself. Indeed, the chicken-shop chain has been getting flak from activists since 2012, when its CEO made public his opposition to gay marriage.

In turn, its donations to a number of Christian charities have been used to burnish the sense that it, too, is an explicitly homophobic company. (It has always maintained that its donations to charitable organisations have nothing to do with LGBT issues.)

Until now, protests and boycotts against the fast-food chain were not enough to force a change in policy. Not least because, despite its unwoke image, business for Chick-fil-A is booming. Recent figures show that it is outselling McDonald’s even though, as rapper-turned-preacher Kanye West recently reminded us, it is ‘closed on Sunday’ for religious observance.

Its success has been helped by the devoted support of conservative evangelicals, who feel a certain affinity with the chain’s Christian ownership and the social causes it supports. And that Chick-fil-A seems to have finally caved in to the offence-seeking mob has upset a number of conservatives, who are threatening a boycott – an ironic move given these are the same people who rail so heavily against ‘cancel culture’ and who previously came to the defence of Chick-fil-A when woke activists called for it to be boycotted.

So, why did Chick-fil-A capitulate? Well, perhaps it’s because the restaurant’s business buffs have set their sights on global expansion, and believe this is not possible without a woke makeover. Just last month, the inaugural UK outlet was successfully shut down by LGBT activists. Another branch was ‘quietly’ opened up in the relative seclusion of the Scottish Highlands.

Perhaps the move to defund the Sally Ally is designed to stave off activists for the time being. But Chick-fil-A may soon learn that trying to appease the mob is a bad strategy. Woke types will never be satisfied. Today, they disapprove of Christian charities and their beliefs; tomorrow, it will be the lack of ecologically sustainable potato fries. This crowd has a perpetual appetite for outrage that cannot be sated.

Meanwhile, many of us in Britain will probably still have to wait to sample the much-heralded Spicy Deluxe and combo nuggets. Wokeness ruins everything.

Will Maule is a writer covering current affairs and ethical issues. Follow him on Twitter: @WillAMaule.

Picture by: Getty.

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Janet Mozelewski

22nd November 2019 at 2:09 pm

Given the well-known ‘anti-gay’ stance of fundementalist muslims (they chuck them off buildings, and one cannot be more anti-gay than that) I wonder how the ‘woke’ square this with being outraged at ‘Islamophobia’? i have gay neighbours here in the sticks in France. They are just people living their lives.Nobody gives a fig what they do in private …but then they don’t aggressively force anyone to subscribe to what is, after all, THEIR lifestyle. In other words, it is pretty much how things have been in more sensible more tolerant and altogether less strident times. They vote for Le Pen BTW. They hate the muslim-embracing-Woke. That thing about seeing gays plunge to their deaths on Youtube videos may be something to do with is. A bit of an Awks area for Wokies, that.

Jenny Clarke

22nd November 2019 at 2:09 pm

I cannot think of a worthier charity than the Salvation Army. If the ‘woke’ think that donating to it is wrong, there is something very wrong with them.

Ven Oods

22nd November 2019 at 1:41 pm

“I like The Sally Army”
They’re just not cool, Jim. Saving lives and helping people the world over count for nothing if you upset a single Guardian reader.

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 2:18 pm

They finish up being cool by not trying to be.

The woke generation cannot stomach the strong whiff of the working class about The Sally Army. And the fact that they go out there and actually do things.

Michael Lynch

22nd November 2019 at 12:57 pm

Wokeness does ruin everything. That’s why it’ll eventually burn itself out to be replaced with some sort of new middle class fad. Give the current generation a few more years to grow up and they’ll release just how stupid they’ve all been. The Salvation Army has helped countless millions down the years so who gives a f@#k if this chicken sh@t outfit stops giving them money. They’ll be a footnote in history whilst the Sally Army will be around for decades to come.

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 1:15 pm

I will be speaking out against chicken livered Chick-Fil-A at every opportunity.

I like The Sally Army. Good old fashioned Christians and no bones about it.

Michael Lynch

22nd November 2019 at 11:39 pm

It’s the outrageous hypocrisy of these tossers that gets me. They push their mass produced crap at consumers and then have the temerity to think that their judgements have some sort of moral value. Welcome to the world of globalism and mega monopoly; what an utter pile of shite it’s produced. I hope they continue in their wokeness as it’s bound to drive them under eventually.

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