But you shouldn’t. by Matt Baume
There it is, just sitting innocently next to the raw chicken at QFC: A big bin of Chick-Fil-A sauce, with a big bright sign declaring “NEW.” Ah Christ, not these assholes again.
Like you, I was exhausted by the Chick-Fil-A wars of 2012, when the president of the fast food company made some particularly homophobic remarks and it came to light that the company donates money to various homophobic causes, after which it became politically mandatory for conservatives to pretend that to eat a chicken sandwich is to take a moral stand.
I’m sure you remember the discourse and how extremely stupid it was. Carrying a Chick-Fil-A bag became a declaration, a badge to let everyone know that you have disdain for queers. Obviously, nobody really gave a shit about the food itself; it was just one of those dumb conservative performances like eating beans or pretending to care about the sanctity of women’s sports.
So, is it OK to buy these bottles of sauce from QFC? The short answer: No. I wouldn’t. For the most recent year for which tax records are available, Chick-Fil-A has shown that they refuse to improve.
But fortunately, the long answer is that it is stupid-easy to just make the sauce yourself.
First, let’s make it clear why you should pass on by that bin. Despite vague pledges to change their donation process, Chick-Fil-A continues to funnel money to homophobic organizations — or at least, they did as recently as 2018, the most recent year for which tax docs are available. It would be easy for the company’s foundation to require that their beneficiaries have inclusive policies; but they didn’t, which tells you everything you need to know about them.
For example, through Chick-Fil-A’s foundation, you can see that they gave money to The Classical Academy, a school in Tennessee that tells children homosexuality is a “perversion.” They gave money to Aurora Christian Schools, which opposes same-sex marriage and calls homosexuality immoral. They gave money to The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a sports group whose website calls homosexuality “sinful,” that features endorsements of ex-gay snake oil, and that continues to oppose same-sex marriage.
Just outside Seattle, Chick-Fil-A sent money to CRISTA Ministries, from which several teachers recently resigned, citing homophobic policies.
Chick-Fil-A gave money to Cincinnati Christian Schools, which opposes same-sex marriage, and prohibits “bi-sexual acts” (lol, like what, sitting in chairs weird?) as well as “gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level.” (Sidenote: What is the word “level” doing there??? It makes it sound like being trans is like leveling up your gender.)
Perhaps the most yikes-y donation was to Liberty Christian Academy. Not only does that school have the usual blah-blah-blah about sexual immorality in their “morality statement,” but it was founded as a segregational school in the 1960s by Jerry Falwell Sr. so white kids wouldn’t have to spend time around Black kids. COOL.
So anyway. That’s just a handful of the hundreds of organizations to which Chick-Fil-A donates. To be fair, the line from “buying a bottle of sauce at QFC” to “harming queer kids” is pretty wiggly — it’s not as though there’s a direct one-to-one relationship, like for every supermarket purchase you make, Chick-Fil-A will bully one gay 15-year-old.
But the two things are not entirely divorced, and conservatives have done so much work to associate the brand with homophobia and transphobia that even if the organization reformed tomorrow, I still think it would be a long time before I didn’t look askance at anyone who chose to place a bottle of sauce in their fridge.
Fortunately, if you really crave the Chick-Fil-A flavor experience, buying anything from the company is entirely unnecessary. They tweeted out the ingredients back in 2012, and it’s just honey mustard, barbecue, and ranch. I’d advise one part BBQ, two parts ranch, and four parts honey mustard. Add a bit of garlic and onion powder if you want, and chili powder if you like it hot. There you go. Done. Leave the bottles where they are.