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Surprise! Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy says he regrets 'discrediting' faith-based organizations after cutting charitable donations

Not surprising

Photo by Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said he regrets "discrediting" faith-based organizations by cutting charitable donations to such organizations.

In November, Chick-fil-A announced that it would no longer be donating to organizations such as the Salvation Army or other operations that some people consider to be "anti-LGBTQ." You can read more about the move here.

What are the details?

In a letter to the American Family Association's Tim Wildmon, Cathy expressed regrets of Chick-fil-A pulling funding from a variety of faith-based organizations.

Wildmon had written Cathy with his concerns about yanking funding to Christian groups. One of Wildmon's questions read, "Will Chick-fil-A publicly state that it does not believe the Salvation Army and FCA are hate groups because of the ministries' beliefs about sexuality, marriage, and family?"

A December AFA petition that garnered more than 100,000 signatures prompted Wildmon to write a strong letter to Cathy about reconsidering the company's new giving structure.

Cathy responded to the letter by saying that he'd "inadvertently discredited several outstanding organizations," and insisted that the company never intended to "make a statement or support a political or social agenda."

The Chick-fil-A CEO also insisted that the company made such changes to its charitable donation structure in order to "better focus on hunger, homelessness, and education."

Cathy also insisted the company would continue supporting faith-based organizations.

"Chick-fil-A will give to faith-based and other organizations that we believe to be highly effective in a particular area," he added.

Cathy's letter draws praise

On Tuesday, Wildmon praised Cathy's letter and called it a "welcomed clarification."

“It appears that Mr. Cathy understands how many evangelicals perceived the company's decision, as he stated that these Christian groups were 'inadvertently discredited,'" he said. "The fact that Dan Cathy called these two Christian groups 'outstanding organizations' will mean a lot to evangelicals."

He added, "As a result, AFA will continue to monitor Chick-fil-A's corporate giving, at least for the foreseeable future. We believe our supporters rely on us to do so."

"Most of the Christians I know love Chick-fil-A and want to trust the company to uphold scriptural principles," his letter concluded. "We have all been huge fans of Chick-fil-A, and want that to continue."

One last thing…
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