The Salvation Army is urging the public to seek the truth about who they are in light of Chick-fil-A's decision to restructure their philanthropic giving and end their multi-year funding commitments to the organization.
In a statement posted to their website Monday, the charity — known for their red buckets and bell ringers during the Christmas season in addition to their long history of serving the poor and homeless — expressed their dismay that Chick-fil-A would no longer be funding them and stressed that helping those in need is their core mission.
"We're saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed," The Salvation Army said.
"We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population."
Presently headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia outside Washington, D.C., the U.S. branch of the organization added that baseless assertions were being spread about who they are and what they do and that it hampers their ministry efforts.
"When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor is at risk," the group said.
"We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgement and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors."
The SA statement comes amid a torrent of discontent from Christians who felt betrayed by what some called a gutless surrender to LGBT activists who have long disdained Chick-fil-A for their contributions to Christian groups that espouse orthodox views about marriage and sexuality.
The fast-food chain told The Christian Post Monday that their goal was to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger and that no organization, both faith-based and non-faith-based, will be excluded from future consideration. As a result of their restructuring, previous multi-year giving to groups like The Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home were coming to an end.
Chick-fil-A also said that they would not be opening on Sundays, amid criticisms suggesting that they would continue to cave in other ways in pursuit of greater financial gain.
CP reached out to Chick-fil-A Tuesday asking about groups that will be considered for philanthropic donations in the future, specifically if that includes organizations that publicly adhere to the Christian faith's historic teaching on sexual ethics. CP will update this article when a response is received.
Writing on his blog Tuesday, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore opined that if indeed Chick-fil-A caved to cultural pressure then it was sad to see them do to ministries what other groups sought to do to them.
"But, even if it is, a corporation is always going to disappoint as a moral model, regardless of whether that morality is left or right, Christian or secular. For our models, we need no franchised, culturally-approved outposts of finance, though we should be thankful when we see such occasionally," he said.
Moore further added that he was going to wait for more information to emerge before he made a sharp judgment about Chick-fil-A's actions.
Billy Hallowell, a journalist and the director of communications and content for PureFlix.com, noted that the press treatment of the events highlights how seemingly everything in society is centered around what people believe about LGBT-related issues.
"The fact that the mainstream media has reduced the Salvation Army — one of the most important humanitarian groups around — to an 'anti-LGBTQ organization' tells us everything we need to know about our current culture," he commented Monday.
Other critics of Chick-fil-A maintained that nothing will ever satisfy the demands of LGBT ideologues.
Drew Anderson, director of campaigns for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released a statement in response to Chick-fil-A's redirecting of funding, saying that the chicken sandwich shop, despite the action, remained "anti-LGBTQ."
"In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-Fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents," he said.