By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – The website for the WinShape Foundation, a group started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy that’s financed almost entirely by Chick-fil-A profits, doesn’t look like a battlefield in the culture war.
The site features warm and fuzzy snapshots of winding country roads and rustic cabins along with links to a cornucopia of social welfare programs the foundation funds – from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships – that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial.
The foundation's “simple but profound goal” is also hard to take issue with: “Help ‘shape winners.’ ”
But gay rights groups are incensed about the chain’s financial support for what they say are anti-gay groups. WinShape-backed groups deny that accusation, while WinShape stresses its activities are almost entirely aimed at youth and families, as opposed to conservative advocacy.
Yet WinShape finds itself in the center of a storm over gay rights and religious liberties as Americans take sides in the controversy over Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recently reaffirmed opposition to same-sex marriage.
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"We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit," Dan Cathy, Truett’s son, said in an interview last month. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
The comments sparked a tsunami of criticism from gay rights advocates and their allies, with a same-sex kiss day at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide scheduled for Friday. (Supporters rallied around the chain Wednesday, with an event dubbed Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.)
But gay rights groups appear even more concerned about Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving, most of which is funneled through WinShape. The group received more than $8 million from Chick-fil-A in 2010, the most recent years for which tax records are available.
A fact sheet about Chick-fil-A recently issued by the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest gay rights group, aims its ire mostly at WinShape.
The fact sheet, titled “Chick-fil-A anti-gay: Company funnels millions to anti-equality groups,” says that the “popular fast food chain has donated millions to groups that demonize (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people on a daily basis.”
The document enumerates what it calls Chick-fil-A’s “shocking donations” to evangelical groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Focus on the Family.
Other gay rights groups have also zeroed in on WinShape’s donations.
A 2011 report from Equality Matters, an arm of the liberal group Media Matters Action Network, said the restaurant’s “charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to ‘free’ people of being gay.”
The WinShape-backed groups that gay rights advocates accuse of being anti-gay reject that label, insisting that they condemn homosexual acts, not gay people.
“Those Christian groups don’t see themselves as hateful organizations – it’s a completely different perspective,” said Rusty Leonard, a financial adviser who counsels Christians on charitable giving and who knows the Cathy family. “But as conservative Christians we believe that homosexual activity is sinful.”
Most WinShape-backed groups, such as Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, are mostly apolitical and are mainstream within the evangelical world.
At the same time, the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center has classified some WinShape-backed organizations, such as the Family Research Council, as anti-gay hate groups.
WinShape spends the vast majority of its money on internal programs like its camps, which cost $5 million to run in 2010, and foster homes, which cost $3.2 million that year.
By comparison, the organization gave $1,000 to Family Research Council in 2010 and $1,000 to Exodus International, a group that for years promoted so-called conversion therapy for gays, though the group is now reassessing that stance.
“The WinShape Foundation and Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving is focused on supporting youth, family and educational programs,” said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s executive vice president for marketing, in a statement to CNN.com, responding to questions.
“WinShape provides camping programs for more than 13,000 girls and boys annually and 14 foster homes caring for more than 100 children,” the statement continued. "In addition, Chick-fil-A has awarded more than $30 million in Restaurant Team Member college scholarships to hourly employees.”
A public relations firm representing WinShape and Chick-fil-A declined interview requests Thursday.
WinShape’s own programs have a serious Christian tint. Its summer camp for kids “challenges campers to sharpen their character, deepen their Christian faith and relationships,” according to its website.
The foundation’s college scholarships, mostly for current and former Chick-fil-A employees, are to Berry College, a Christian liberal arts school in Georgia. The scholarships are bent on equipping “college students to impact the world for Jesus Christ by following him and living out his unique calling in their lives,” according to WinShape.
For evangelical Christians, such programs make Chick-fil-A a model corporate citizen.
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“On the conservative end of the Christian world, they are seen as being one of the most fabulous examples of Christianity lived out in appropriate ways,” Leonard said. “They support all kinds of wonderful things.”
But for now, the national focus is on outside groups that WinShape supports. The gay rights group GLAAD, for example, recently started a petition to get Dan Cathy to have dinner with a pair of gay parents and their children.
“If Cathy is going to spend millions trying to break apart loving families,” the petition says, “he should at least meet the people his money is hurting."
If you allow men and women to marry each other, what's next? Men marrying dogs? Women marrying their cars? Ruh-roh! Better not go down that slippery slope. Don't open the door to marriage or who knows where it will lead.
Ever heard of crimes against nature? Some parts just weren't meant to fit together and in fact forcing that issue actually causes harm i.e. HIV. Be that as it may, gays can express their opinions, straight people can express their opinions and Dan Cathy a business owner has the right to express his opinions too. Furthermore, no one has the right to tell anyone what foundations, charities, etc. they should or should not donate to. Ridiculous to think that we all must agree that "gay" is ok just because some people say it is. I commend those who have a backbone and stand up for what they believe regardless of what others say. Isn't that just what the gay activists do – stand up for what they believe? Well that is just what Dan Cathy is doing too! And let's not forget that this world kinda sorta relies on procreation to continue existing – so I have a feeling that gay relationships are not exactly what nature had in mind.
So retarded it had to be said twice.
mongo part fit with girl part. mongo smart. mumto2 smart like mongo.
Your close mindedness is dangerous. By your same logic HIV is apparently also the result of being black since blacks comprise 14% of the population but 44% of new HIV cases according to the CDC. Do us a favor and don't post again.
o "Abrahamics" like the Candy family believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.
1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:
“ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice. "
2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8
3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.
And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.
From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.
As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.
Mongo no like gay person. Gay person make Mongo feel funny. Gay person crime against nature. Mongo like nature. God make pretty birds. Mongo like nature. Mongo no like gays.
An atheist posting as a Christian. You guys are pathetic.
mongo sad Roger no understand satire. Roger no watch Mel Brooks movie. mongo sad for Roger.
everyone like mongo
mongo no like everyone. mongo no like hindu. hindu troll.
"Destructive" therapy is not a science it is torture
chick fil A supports torture
if you don't cry while listing to those who suffered "Destructive" therapy especial Sam Wolfe you have no heart and you are immoral and this world would be better without yo so go to heaven quickly please
I'm confused? Deconstructive therapy and Conversion therapy seem to be 2 different things according to the video am I wrong? Also, the young man's parent's put him in that therapy correct? I agree that it is not right to put your kid in a program like that especially the way they did it but everyone else who goes through it elects to do it and if they do then is it still considered torture?
@DC1973- Gays want to scream from the rooftops, too- against any corporation or person that donates to causes that hurt their families. Sorry, but Chik Fil A is one of those companies. Mr. Cathy made that clear in his interview. Creating separate "partnership" laws for gays to receive the same protections as everyone else is wrong. The only other time this was done was after slavery was abolished. It was wrong then and it would be wrong now. Gays and their families aren't hurting anyone and they aren't going anywhere. They are here to stay, so it's time to make them equals.
I agree, Clarity. And I know, too.
Clarity, you claim "Creating separate "partnership" laws for gays to receive the same protections as everyone else is wrong."
Explain why this would be wrong?
Why is the perversion of the term marriage right?
Ever heard of crimes against nature? Some parts just weren't meant to fit together and in fact forcing that issue actually causes harm i.e. HIV. Be that as it may, gays can express their opinions, straight people can express their opinions and Dan Cathy a business owner has the right to express his opinions too. Furthermore, no one has the right to tell anyone what foundations, charities, etc. they should or should not donate to. Ridiculous to think that we all must agree that "gay" is ok just because some people say it is. I commend those who have a backbone and stand up for what they believe regardless of what others say. Isn't that just what the gay activists do – stand up for what they believe? Well that is just what Dan Cathy is doing too! And let's not forget that this world kinda sorta relies on procreation to continue existing – so I have a feeling that gay relationships are exactly what nature had in mind.
Yeah, I remember trying to force two parts together that weren't meant to be. I tried to put my elbow up my friend's nose. Yup, I got that HIV the next day.
Whether gay is ok isn't up for debate. Like evolution, anybody who doesn't believe gay is ok is either retarded, indoctrinated or just good ol' fashioned hateful.
Chik Fil A can sure take a gay person's dollar, though. If their families aren't good enough, then why does he accept their money? Maybe he should just bar them from his fine establishment all together. Oh, maybe because that would be wrong? See the fine line here? He can donate to charities- that's great, but when said charities are hindering a group of people from being able to have hospital visitation rights, property rights, etc, that's a different story. What if one day the head of McDees donates YOUR money to a Neo Nazi organization? Then what if he goes on the record to say so? Would you not feel a little betrayed and angry? Wouldn't that be wrong?
mongo know world rely on procreation. mongo smart. mongo no like gays.
What's the use in fighting over this issue, one cannot change the hearts of PPL by fighting. That only makes PPL on BOTH sides dig in and fight more. We cannot change anybody's mind about Politics, Faith or others views on gays or straights according to our desired time table . Change comes ONLY when PPL PROVE they are above fighting and consistently, over time, EARN each others RESPECT. That goes for BOTH sides. Just as every Culture that has come to America has risen through the ranks, starting at the bottom and working up. It IS harsh and unfair, but that's just how Humans operate. Gays WILL be accepted in time, Straights WILL accept Gays in time, but it will take more time, more quiet suffering, more Soul searching, more hard work and much, much more understanding by all PPL. It makes me sad to think how slowly a culture evolves, however, History shows us that each Social confrontation pushes us to look and think and evolve. But if we are too impatient and fight too much, it becomes counterproductive. Little steps. Those of us that are highly upset, and with good reason, need to calm down and remember America is STILL the land of Hope and Dreams of a better Tomorrow.
The gay community and politicians are using "government" to tell "religion" what they can and cannot do. They gripe about religious groups meddling in their issues while they, the government, continues to violate religious rights. The separation of church and state is under attack by the current government. Hmmmm. Interesting to note a small group of people left England awhile back to escape religious persecution. Maybe it's time for another Revolution in America.
If by heart you mean opinion, I don't want to change anybody's heart, I just want people to have legally recognized equal rights.
donated $500 today to chik fil a! WHOOO dont like it oh well suck it .....oh wait you would!
@voice of reason put a $ok im your mouth and shut the f$ck up already man i miss the good old days these fruit cakes sit behind a computer and run there fingers slap em like a b!tch
@Leo- Doesn't that sound like separate, but equal, though? Aside from that, gays have been fighting to get those laws changed for a long time no one will budge. Marriage gives the kind of rights that are unquestionable and final.
We didn't have to call women – men nor blacks – white to give them equal rights. we don't have to pervert marriage to give gays the same benefits as a married couple.
No one wants to call gays – straight, least of all gays.
The word "person" was redefined in order for women to vote and for black to be able to do anything. The word PERSON was redefined.
And you've got your shorts in a wad over "marriage"?
The laws perverted the meaning of person to exclude Blacks and Women. Marriage has always been between a Man and a Woman and you want to pervert it to mean something it was never intended to mean.
No, the legal definition of "whole person" was "white male." From the day this country was founded, that's what it meant. Blacks and women weren't excluded; they were never included. They were added to the definition later.
"Whole person" only meant "white male" until it meant something else. "Marriage" will only include the words "man and woman" until it changes to "two consenting adults." And it will happen.
@DC1973: 50 years ago it would have been unthinkable that marriage would be so redefined. Given the present trend, in 50 years time, paedophilia would be acceptable
Whole Person – White Male = Wrong and was never meant to be defined as such and yes it was perverted by our Government 200+ years ago
Marriage – Man and Woman = Right and has ALWAYS 3000+ years been such
Yes you may be able to pervert it, but then you are doing exactly what the Government did with Whole Person = Wrong
Are you retarded or just a troll? Or both? Or just a completely ignorant c.unt?
guess what I think being gay is sinful too and so does the rest of the country.
Here's a collection of polls from Wikipedia. I realise Wikipedia isn't an academic source, but I've checked the references.
Take your lies somewhere else please.
A June 6 CNN/ORC International poll showed that a majority of Americans support same-s.ex marriage being legalized at 54%, while 42% are opposed.
A May 22 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 54% of Americans would support a law in their state making same-s.ex marriage legal, with 40% opposed.
A May 17-20 ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 53% believe same-s.ex marriage should be legal, with only 39% opposed, a low-water mark for opposition in any national poll so far.
A May 10 USA Today/Gallup Poll, taken one day after Barack Obama became the first sitting President to express support for same-s.ex marriage, showed 51% of Americans agreed with the President's endorsement. A May 8 Gallup Poll showed plurality support for same-se.x marriage nationwide, with 50% in favor and 48% opposed.
An April Pew Research Center poll showed support for same-s.ex marriage at 47%, while opposition fell to an all-time low of 43%.
A March 7-10 ABC News/Washington Post poll found 52% of adults thought it should be legal for same-s.ex couples to get married, while 42% disagreed and 5% were unsure. A March survey by the Public Religion Research Insti.tute found 52% of Americans supported allowing same-s.ex couples to marry, while 44% opposed.
A February 29 – March 3 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 49% of adults supported allowing same-s.ex couples to marry, while 40% opposed.[20
Too bad, so sad. The "moral" majority doesn't have a majority anymore.
You will lose on this. Not tomorrow or next week, maybe not even next year, but you will lose.
And in July 2012, the Pew Forum said:
48% favor gay marriage, with
Change the laws for domestic partnerships to have the same rights as marriage, and leave marriage alone!!
Marriage is the proper foundation of a family, and naturally children come next.
Then religious indoctrination, incest and retardation.
I find myself beginning to hate the community LGBT community because of all this hypocritical uproar over peoples opinions.No wait, I know,I know.I must be secretly gay myself and I am suppressing it,and projecting my guilt, shame and self loathing onto a people who are rising up for their rights.
Nah, I don't think you're secretly gay. But I don't think you're just starting to hate them now, either. You've been doing that for a while.
If ur hating gays, how do u feel about blacks, mexicans, jews, etc.... they're born that way. how will u accomplish anything but hating? what a horrible life.
When these people label everything "hate" that they don't agree with it kinda takes the punch outa the word. When you drag someone down the road behind your vehicle because of the color of their skin...thats a hate crime. When you try and talk someone out of being gay...thats just silly and kinda funny. Keep saying everything is hateful and when something really bad comes along no one is going to be paying attention.
Oh one other thing...a marriage license is a financial contract recognized by the government. When you get married thats a contract between 2 people and god. You can be denied your financial contract that gives you certain tax benifits etc but no one can stop you from being married so all this comes down to is money.
No god needed for a happy healthy relationship of any form to work.
I'm Christian and straight. I will never eat in another Chick-Fil-A until they grow up and stop the hate. I have many gay friends who are fine, upstanding members of society. I will not support an organization who funds the spreading of hate. Good bye C-F-A, I enjoyed your meals, but never again!
christians are not gay
Spending money on programs to encourage traditional family values is hate? So if I contributed to programs to help alleviate teenage pregnancy, I hate the teens or I hate the practice?
What did they say that was hateful? Didn't Cathy merely state what he believes? How is that hate speech? LGBT believes in free speech as long as it doesnt offend them and it is the same as their beliefs. This stuff they're saying isn't helping their cause or image.
Ron: Really?? What an assinine comment!! Gays are found in every walk of life. You need to educate yourself!
The vast majority of Americans have the same belief concerning this issue as Mr. Cathy. In fact, your president had the identical belief just a few weeks ago–until he decided to shore up another voting block. However, Mr. Cathy doesn't test the winds to determine what he believes. He relies on the Word of God and his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I also agree with Mr. Cathy and will continue to enjoy Chick-fil-A's delicious food, immaculate atmosphere and courteous service. For every customer they have lost, I can assure you that they have gained tenfold. It is a fact that 85% of Americans believe the truth–that marriage is between one man and one woman as God created it.
If I buy something from you, the money is no longer mine, it's yours. You can do what the hell you want with it.
I have sent Chickfila $1,000 for their stand hope that is ok with the sodimites?
Ron: Set down the buybull and explain how a person being gay directly affects your life. Bigotry is a disease of the mind...you need to seek help!
666 666 666
666 666 666 666
666 666 666 666 666
666 666 666 666 666 666
666 666 666 666 666 666 666
ummm,your an a$$
Guess you thought people didn't know how to scroll quickly by all you bull.
Mr. 666 strikes every page. Ignore thr fool.
omg thank you! I printed it all out and have used it to trim the kids room!
I'm done with Chic Fil A. I have gay friends who are married in every sense of the word, but legally. I see the struggles they have to go through with trying to protect their property rights and not have their children taken away among countless other hardships. People are turning this fight into some type of social debate, but in the end, it's all about people wanting protection of their rights. Can we blame gays for wanting the right to see their partner when he/she is in the ICU? Who wants to have to fight a partner's relatives when it comes to making decisions that a partner should have the right to make? That is the protection that marriage provides. Chic Fil A uses its profits to prevent gays from having these rights. Mr. Cathy went to the media and admitted it himself. Gays don't care what he believes. He could believe in the tooth fairy. They're main concern is that actions like his hurt their families. Just like everyone else, gays will fight for their loved ones. I will not eat at Chic Fil A. My friends don't deserve to be left out and this country will be better once everyone is truly treated equally. (And yes, I boycott other businesses with similar ideals).
Change the laws for domestic partnerships to have the same rights as marriage, and leave marriage alone!! Marriage is the proper foundation of a family, and naturally children come next.
How does The company use it's profits to prevent gays from having rights? What, by supporting Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Focus on the Family? By sporting foster children? Wow, that is a stretch.
marriage is a religious definition, the government should get out of defining what is and is not a marriage. Issue a civil union to EVERYONE that wants one and let them find a religion they like and likes them in return. There are christians who accept gay marriage, there are ones that do not, why is the government telling people which religion they are getting married under?
Marriage is a CIVIL CONTRACT, NOT RELIGIOUS. Religions need to stop trying to define marriage in their own terms.
@ Dubhly ... you are an ASS ... marriage predates every religion today, and it even predates written history. That's right you idiot .. marriage has been around longer than any religion you can think of, or any society. Marriage by definition is a CIVIL contract, and in NO way is religion needed to make a marriage valid. So go to bed, have mommy tuck you in, and let the grown-ups talk now.
Dubhly: You're an idiot!! Marriage has been around longer than christardation has. In order for any marriage to be legal a marriage license is required and thus the church has no say in the matter. You might want to try using google and open your one-celled brain to more information than what is being spewed to you from the pulpit every Sunday. Now like Mirosal said, be a good little boy and run off to bed...I'll just add that your Mommy/Sister will be home soon with your Daddy-of-the-Day and you wouldn't want her to go all biblical on you and stone you.
"Chic Fil A uses its profits to prevent gays from having these rights. Mr. Cathy went to the media and admitted it himself" When did he say that? All I heard him say is that he believes in the biblical teachings on marriage. I think that the biggest issue here is the country's adoption of the word marriage which comes from the bible. It seems that this is the crux of the rights issue since the definition was already predetermined.
conversion therapy is barbaric and a similar method of conversion to the Spanish inquisition, it involves physically, spiritually and mentally braking down a person to mold them to a desired deal, 100% of people who died while spending their life praying away the gay has committed suicide, those who live good lives after undergoing this ordeal, has spent years in therapy and came to the conclusion with the help of a support group that its OK to be Gay, if you know any on who is currently praying away the gay send him to a therapist he or/and she are ticking time bombs if you love them have them seek help
I want to scream this off the rooftops at everyone who says, "But he's not *hurting* them. He just doesn't *agree* with them."
Because yes, yes he certainly is hurting them. Starting with giving money to an organization that fought tooth and nail to maintain laws that made it a crime to be gay, another that tries to "deprogram" gay children from being what they are, and getting worse from there.
the feeling is f4ck!n mutual
conversion therapy kills it is torture
come on. cut him some slack, he' believes in the "Bibilical" version of marriage. I believe THAT STARTED with Adam & Eve anad eventually their 2 sons to procreate the world. SEE HE SUPPORTS INCEST – Not "Being gay" as if it's a choice
these Christians are monsters and i will not give them any slack
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.