Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A...And the Recent Fuss

In case you live out in the boondocks and haven't heard about it, Chick-Fil-A's president recently made some comments about family and his beliefs in an article for Baptist Press. (Granted, you would have to live wayyyy out there, not to hear media screaming about it.)
   Here's exactly what he said:

Company president Dan Cathy told a Baptist website the Atlanta-based restaurant chain is "guilty as charged" in its support of traditional marriage.
"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said in article published Monday by the Baptist Press. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

Ooh, that's awful. Shame on him, advocating for the family and thanking God like that!

From the same article...
Chick-fil-A spokesman Don Perry emailed a prepared statement to the AJC Wednesday evening.
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of belief, creed and sexual orientation," the statement said. "We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
In his own words, Perry said, "There is no change of course in our previously stated Chick-fil-A position."

Cathy expressed his opinion. In fact, he also said, "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,"

Sadly, I have heard more venom, bigotry and name-calling used against this man than he ever said in person. Did he advocate getting rid of all gay people? Did he say they would never employ people whose lifestyles he didn't agree with? Nope. What he did was express his opinion -- and got jumped on all over for it.

The backlash may not be what you would think. Instead of boycotting Chick-Fil-A, customers have been visiting it in droves today to express their support. "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day," they call it, after a movement started by Mike Huckabee. ("Daniel Jordan of Atlanta, for example, said that while he doesn't agree with Cathy's marriage view, he came out specifically to support Chick-fil-A because he's equally opposed to shutting down a company because of the views of one of its leaders.") 
     Husband stopped by our local Chick-Fil-A today, and had a heck of a time getting two salads to go -- because the lines were so long. At 2 p.m.!

Cities have been backpedaling, too. Although some of their mayors have sent nastygrams, they're not actually acting on their words. Philadelphia is a prime case in point. After threatening to block Chick-Fil-A's recent applications for new stores, they got hit with such a backlash of complaints (thanks in great part to potential jobs lost) that they quickly backed down, though muttering all the way. Now they're "considering" a resolution condemning the chain -- though they're happy to take Chick-Fil-A's money while they're thinking about it..
   They're not the only ones, either. The modus operandi seems to be 'make a big public fuss -- and quietly approve the applications.' That way, you look noble to one faction of your constituents, and you get to use the tax income a new business brings in, as well.

     Doesn't that seem more two-faced than Cathy's actions?

     The issue has been blown way out of proportion. As been grudgingly admitted, Chick-Fil-A is not advocating barring a gay lifestyle. Nor do they refuse to hire -- or serve -- gay people. (And if you've never visited one, not only is their food really tasty -- but I have to pinch myself not to grin when I'm treated so politely at the front counter. Obviously good training.)
     Does this refusal to condemn Chick-Fil-A mean I hate gay people? That would be difficult to argue, since I've had several friends (and admired colleagues) who were gay. A much-loved cousin is gay, and other family members who we cherish have made similar choices.

     What I do hate is seeing someone pilloried and bullied for his politely-expressed personal opinion. You have a choice here; that's why we live in America. You can choose not to eat at Chick-Fil-A. I'm just not sure, though, how it helps the cause.


Mary Lou Weidman said...

No comments because people are afraid to comment...isn't that what it has come to? one person expresses his views and a whole group boycotts...this isn;t the American way of free speech and it is nice to see that people are supporting someone who only expressed how he felt and no he didn't sound like a hater to me...if everyone just took all of that negative energy they waste and did nice things for all people no matter what their views the world would be a better place

Cindy Brick said...

Mary Lou, I've wondered the same thing...people with nasty things to say (and accuse) are the only ones speaking loudly...or maybe others are frightened that to support Cathy is saying that they're 'anti-gay.'
I don't believe this is true. But it's very, very difficult to stand up against the crowd. As a Christian, I have a responsibility to do it...but it's still frightening.
Thanks so much for standing up, too.

Pat said...

It's not about his right to speak out. It's about his giving money to groups that are anti gay marriage. Groups that are denying equal civil rights. It's like giving money to men in white pointed hoods in the sixties.

When you walk into a chick fil a, you are saying not everyone deserves to be treated equally. Is that what you believe?

I realize this comment may not make your blog. If so, I guess you don't believe in free speech either.

Cindy Brick said...

Oops, Pat -- I guess you're wrong! I do believe in free speech, as well...including your right to disagree with me.
If you read Chick-Fil-A's statement (it's in the blogspot), it is clear that they do believe everyone deserves to be treated equally...just as you said.
Now here's a question for you -- do people who disagree with Cathy's viewpoint have the right to dictate how HE lives his lifestyle?
Thanks for writing and posting -- I'm glad you did.

Pat said...

You did post my comment and I was wrong. It won't be the last time.

What the company statement says and what Cathy's actions are vary. He has donated to groups that are trying to prevent same sex marriage, to prevent rights that you and I enjoy. I'm not an expert in this area, by any means. I just believe that everyone should have the same rights as you and me.

I see this as our next civil rights issue and I'm willing to stand up for people, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual preference.

I say these things without hatred to you, Mr. Cathy or anyone that works at Chick Fil A. I wrote to my local Chick Fil A to tell them I wasn't going to like them on facebook anymore, eventhough I thought they are great people with great customer service and with the best chicken sandwich you can buy. It's just a stand I feel I must make.

Have a great day and keep blogging.

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