In the '80s, Americans lived through the Cola Wars, one of the most aggressive battles in the history of corporate junk food giants. Back then, there were only two real choices: Coke or Pepsi. Which, if you could tell the difference, kudos for your amazing sense of taste.
Today, America is besieged by the Chicken Sandwich Wars which began as a skirmish between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes and has since grown to include Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's.
A recent report found that Americans' spending on chicken sandwiches has quadrupled since Popyeys challenged Chick-fil-A. Although other companies have since jumped into the fray, Popeyes appears to have benefitted the most from the skirmish.
Popeyes made a name for itself by going after the big kid on the block, Chick-fil-A, and now Burger King is following suit. But the King and his court's attacks on the Christian-owned chicken giant aren't based on taste, but activism.
The National Christian Charitable Foundation, the nation’s sixth-largest charity and one of the biggest bankrollers… https://t.co/fKa1me6Oeb— The Daily Beast (@The Daily Beast)1622595610.0
Earlier this month, The Daily Beast ran a story revealing that Chick-fil-A's owner, Dan Cathy, had donated money to the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF). The NCF has donated millions to fight against the Equality Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in most settings.
The Equality Act, which is backed by President Joe Biden, was passed by the Democrat-controlled House back in February but has yet to be voted on by the Senate.
The report showed that Cathy has donated money to the NCF in 2016, 2017, and 2018, the most recent year the filings are available.
Chick-fil-A has a long, controversial history of supporting anti-LGBT organizations. In 2019, it said it would cease donating money to anti-LGBT Christian charities. Although that doesn't prevent Cathy, the company's chairman, president, and CEO from doing so.
*6/3-6/30 with every Ch'King sold, BK will contribute 40₵ to the Human Rights Campaign (Max. donation $250k)— Burger King (@Burger King)1622768521.0
So, last Thursday, Burger King tweeted that for every Ch'King Sandwich sold during Pride Month it will donate 40 cents to the Human Rights Campaign up to $250,000. The Human Rights Campaign is one of the most powerful pro-LGBTQ rights organizations in the country.
Burger King took a swipe at Chick-fil-A in its announcement by saying the campaign would go throughout the month of June, "even on Sundays."
Chick-fil-A is known for closing its restaurants on Sundays in accordance with the Christian tradition of honoring the Sabbath.
The company further explained the decision in a statement to USA Today.
"This is a community we love dearly and have proudly supported over the years, so we couldn't miss an opportunity to take action and help shine a light on the important conversation happening," Burger King said in a statement.
So, like just about everything else in American life, the Chicken Sandwich Wars have merged with the Culture Wars, for this month at least. While Burger King's decision to donate money to the Human Rights Campaign is a great way to offset Chick-fil-A's long history of contributing to anti-LGBTQ causes, it'd be nice to see a future when we can all eat chicken freely without being forced to associate it with politics or religion.
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