Chick-fil-A Orders Values to Go
November 20, 2019
If the last 24 hours have proven anything about Chick-fil-A, it's this: It was never about the chicken. For millions of Americans, there was a much deeper significance behind every decision to pull in the parking lot and walk through those doors. It wasn't about the menu. It wasn't even about the service. It was that every time someone ate there, they were making a cultural statement. Chick-fil-A was a business, yes. But it was also a giant rebuttal of everything the bullies stood for. Until it wasn't.
Maybe that's why people are in such denial. They don't want to believe that the place where they felt at home, the place they'd put on a pedestal and invested so much personal capital, betrayed them. Deep down, I think we all want to explain away Chick-fil-A's decision. It's a lot easier than the alternative, which is accepting and grieving the fact that this company -- a brave holdout for so many years -- is running away from the people and principles that made them who they are.
Pushing that under the rug may feel better in the short-term, but it's not an option for anyone who understands the long-term implications of waving a white flag on God's truth. For us, this isn't a gray area. The decision to desert these groups is a radical departure from biblical teaching. Now, some of you might argue that walking away from the Salvation Army or Fellowship of Christian Athletes isn't an endorsement of an LGBT agenda. But it is exactly that. And here's why. Chick-fil-A didn't just switch their giving practices, they broadcasted it. They made a conscious choice to draw attention to this very public divorce from two Bible-believing charities. And then, in a calculated move, announced their support was going to an organization that, on its website, openly and proudly supports everything about the LGBT community.
"Their defense is that they haven't changed anything," Governor Mike Huckabee told listeners on Tuesday's "Washington Watch," but, "I'm just going to be blunt," he said. "That's not honest. Because when you turn from Salvation Army and you go to organizations like Covenant House, you've made a big statement about who you want your friends to be, who you are willing to affiliate with, and what your priorities are." This isn't about loving and serving the people who identify as LGBT, which the Salvation Army has done -- and we're all called to do. This is about affirming the LGBT identity and the politics that go with it. Those are two very different things. As Christians, we're called to love -- not affirm. God didn't celebrate our sin, He loved us enough to save us from it. And that's the difference here.
Romans 12 warns us not to "conform to the pattern of this world -- but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This kind of capitulation doesn't happen overnight. It's a slow and gradual erosion. When Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow Him, He said "daily." That's a struggle for anyone, let alone Christians under constant attack. Standing for truth in the face of withering criticism isn't easy, especially not for one of the biggest targets of the Left. I'm sure the executives at Chick-fil-A were sick of being ostracized by the rest of the corporate class. "I would bet money," Rod Dreher wrote, "that this is not about markets, but about its executive leadership class getting tired of... being stink-eyed by fellow rich and upper middle-class peers..."
But the road to man's acceptance is always paved with compromise. "Chick-fil-A made a huge mistake thinking they can appease these people," Mike said, "because they can't." "You and I both know -- because we've been in this battle now for a long time... the Left [will never be] satisfied until we're completely out of business. And if Chick-fil-A believes that the Left is now going to start patronizing Chick-fil-A and saying wonderful things about them, they've got to be kidding. It's not going to happen." Sometimes it takes learning this lesson the hard way: When Christians put the praise of man over the glory of God, they earn neither -- and hurt a whole lot of people in the process.
Of course, one of the saddest parts of this is that Chick-fil-A didn't just compromise their witness. They dragged thousands of godly men and women into the pit with them -- owners, employees, and franchisees who never signed up for this. They're the ones the company abandoned.
"I think a lot of the managers of local Chick-fil-A are also deeply hurt, because these are good people," Mike said somberly. "They have to work really hard to be a manager of a Chick-fil-A... They have an opportunity to do well financially if they manage one effectively. But most of the time they're very committed Christian people who really buy into the philosophy of Mr. Truett Cathy, the founder... who built his business unapologetically on Christian principles. He served everyone [and always] said, 'We'll take any customer, and we'll treat them with dignity and respect.' And they've done that. But I don't think he would have surrendered."
It's called the narrow road for a reason. Only a few find it, Scripture says. And maybe Chick-fil-A will find it again. As believers, we can pray that management sees the light and returns to the values that inspired us. But it takes courage in this culture to own up to a mistake of this magnitude. Courage I'm not sure the leadership at Chick-fil-A has.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
The Beijing Games over Hong Kong
November 20, 2019
By FRC's Arielle Del Turco
Around 100 protestors are still trapped inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University, after days of confronting the police surrounding the campus. The university has recently been the stage for some of the most dramatic events in the protests which have been going on for seven months. And as Gordon Chang told listeners on Washington Watch Tuesday, "I don't think that we're going to see an end to these protests for quite some time."
Students in the besieged university are desperate to avoid arrest, which the police have often carried out violently. The pro-democracy demonstrators have five demands (one of which was satisfied a few weeks ago). Among them are an investigation into police brutality and universal suffrage, which they currently don't have.
Police violence has only fueled the demonstrations. Chang said, "the protesters who have managed to escape or who weren't on the inside in the first place are extremely angry... But we also can count on Beijing to do things which will anger people in Hong Kong."
Chang is quick to offer examples of what Beijing has done that has rightly angered the residents of Hong Kong. "A couple of days ago Beijing has been issuing statements that the Hong Kong High Court can't interpret the basic law of Hong Kong." These statements only validate the fears protestors have about Beijing's further encroachment into Hong Kong and the end of Hong Kong's special status with some autonomy which has enabled them to thrive. Chang notes that Beijing's reactions to the Hong Kong protests are problematic. "In a number of ways, of course, China looks coercive and belligerent."
In response to these threats to Hong Kong, the U.S. Senate passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act last night, following the House of Representatives' passage of their version of the bill in October. This couldn't come at a more crucial time.
Lawmakers including Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have been instrumental in passing this legislation, and their efforts to address the threat of Chinese oppression should be applauded. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged Trump to personally voice support for the protesters.
The Senate's passage of this bill has provoked a strong reaction from Beijing. Yet, Chang indicates that the international attention and pressure such as that provided by the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is protecting the protestors from a brutal crackdown. "[Since they are what] I would describe as a tyrannical communist... [a] repressive government, in order to keep it together, they've got to use repressive tactics. But if they do that now with Hong Kong they've got the entire world watching. The only real tool in their tool chest is one they can't use -- at least without consequences."
This is good news for the protestors, such as those at the Polytechnic University, who are trying to voice their desire for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong.
'Now That I'm Healed from the Surgeries, I Regret Them'
November 20, 2019
"I'm 19 years old, and I already feel like I've ruined my life." That's the heartbreaking story of Nathaniel, who said he was bullied into believing a lie -- that he was someone else. He heard about transgenderism, he wrote in a letter to survivor and activist Walt Heyer, and "convinced myself that's what I was."
When he got up the courage to tell his mom, she took him to a specialized clinic. For three years, he started going for treatments. "From then on," he says in this cautionary tale for the Daily Signal, "I slowly detached from everything until I was just staying home, playing video games, and going on the internet all day. I stopped reading, drawing, riding my bicycle. I surrounded myself in an echo chamber that supported and validated my poor decisions, because the others were also, unfortunately, stuck in that pit, too."
After his 18th birthday, Nathaniel was old enough -- and prepared enough, he thought -- to surgically alter his gender. Because of complications, one procedure turned into two. But nine months later, this once-vibrant teenager hates his life.
"Now that I'm all healed from the surgeries, I regret them. The result of the bottom surgery looks like a Frankenstein hack job at best, and that got me thinking critically about myself. I had turned myself into a plastic-surgery facsimile of a woman, but I knew I still wasn't one. I became (and to an extent, still feel) deeply depressed."
As Walt and so many other victims of this ideology point out, walking down this dark path didn't change anything. It only made things worse. Amazingly, the clinic who "helped" him on his journey won't consider reversing the procedures. "They washed their hands of him. The reckless ideology claims another life."
Lisa, who's written a powerful series of posts on her brother at the FRC Blog, understands how deeply that hurts. So many people, she writes, "are being grossly taken advantage of on their quest for a personal identity. They long for a group to belong to, a meaningful cause to work toward. My brother and his wife (like so many others) believe they have found these things in the LGBTQ community.
"My brother keeps saying this is 'his' story to tell and his alone.
It's my story.
It's the story of my family -- a family that's been ripped apart because of one man's choice to embrace his True Self. It's the story of a community in the Midwest where each person was forced to make a decision: either support the transgender madness and win accolades in popular culture or refuse to deny reality and risk being called intolerant and "transphobic." It's the story of a country so lost and confused they can no longer even agree upon the very nature of reality itself.
This is your wake-up call, America."
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.