Chick-fil-A has become a target of hatred from liberal and progressive groups of all kinds.
The franchise’s restaurant at the campus of the University of Kansas is the latest in a long string of locations under attack.
Several members of the university’s faculty called Chick-fil-A “a bastion of bigotry,” demanding that the university end its contract with the restaurant chain.
These faculty members, who were mostly from the university’s Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council, expressed “outrage” at the presence of a restaurant whose management practices and core values conform to traditional Christian standards.
Their letter of protest detailed their unhappiness with Chick-fil-A’s commitment to support pro-family organizations and what they perceived as “anti-LGBTQ groups.”
The council members argued that “the culture of Chick-fil-A fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels.”
This is a patently false idea, as Chick-fil-A has repeatedly stated that they strive to treat “every person with honor, dignity, and respect.” The restaurant does not discriminate, in hiring nor in service, on the basis of gender, race, or identity.
The letter also expressed frustration that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
The restaurant has served customers on the University of Kansas campus for more than ten years without complaints from students or staff. The council’s letter came in response to the franchise’s recent move to “prime real estate” in the student union, where students and faculty gather in community.
The council said that having a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the student union “violates the feelings of safety and inclusion that so many of us have striven to create, foster, and protect on campus.”
If the University of Kansas truly seeks to promote diversity and inclusion, the faculty and staff members argued, Chick-fil-A should be banned from the campus. The restaurant’s presence, they said, “is insulting, counterproductive, and unacceptable.”
Additionally, the restaurant sponsors the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss” at every University of Kansas Jayhawks home football game. The franchise uses this sponsorship to support the athletics department and programs at the university.
The university’s acceptance of this generosity “sends a message that…the administration at large is more concerned about money and corporate sponsorship than the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of marginalized and LGBTQ people,” argued the council.
By allowing Chick-fil-A to graciously support the efforts of student athletes, the council said, the university is hurting other students on campus.
The Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council is grasping at straws in an effort to ban Chick-fil-A and its conservative Christian values from the campus, but so far, the University of Kansas hasn’t caved in to their demands.
We can hope that the university keeps its common sense and recognizes that Chick-fil-A isn’t the problem.
The franchise’s corporate purpose statement lays out a desire “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.”
That’s hardly a discriminatory or offensive statement! The restaurant makes a practice of showing love to every customer who walks through its doors, and people know it.
Some groups on campus have created a petition in response to the council’s letter, and over 1,000 people have signed it in support of Chick-fil-A’s presence at the university.
“Most students here enjoy eating here regardless of their political affiliation,” said one student.
Another student added, “I think it’s a little contradicting that the people that wrote the letter are for diversity and that [the university] tries to promote a diverse campus until it’s something that they don’t agree with.”
It’s true: the council is demonstrating hypocrisy in their demands. They claim to promote diversity, but their objections to Chick-fil-A show that they’re only interested in including certain viewpoints.
Chick-fil-A has faced this kind of backlash many times before, and the chain addressed it in a brief statement in July 2012, saying, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
The franchise takes no public political stance on the issue of LGBTQ legislation, focusing instead on serving customers with grace and kindness.
Pray for Chick-fil-A to continue showing love, even to those who express hate and judgment, and pray for God to be glorified in this situation at the University of Kansas.