thoughts on the Chick Fil A controversy

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

In the wake of such a headline disaster as the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, it seems absurd the amount of attention comments made by Dan Cathy of Chick Fil A have received. But this should come as no surprise, given what a hot button issue same-sex marriage has become. Not long ago, Kirk Cameron came under fire for supporting the biblical definition of marriage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhGQUKoH_TE). The funny thing is that his comments were completely in line with what he has said all along. The real shock would be if Cameron (or Cathy) came out and said “I support homosexual marriage, even though it goes against my biblical standard of morality.” But that’s not what either one of them said, and yet the controversy has exploded. My question is, “What did people expect these men to say, and why are they so outraged and surprised that they said what they did?”

Here is what Dan Cathy actually said: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” (http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271) This was in response to a comment about his support of traditional family, to which Dan replied “Guilty as charged.”

Yes, those are the comments that have lit up Facebook! They have even driven Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to say this: “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.” (http://www.suntimes.com/news/13988905-418/emanuel-goes-after-chick-fil-a-for-boss-anti-gay-views.html)

Actually, Mr. Mayor, your city is split down the middle on the same-sex marriage issue, with an equal 42% opposed and 42% in favor (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-16/news/ct-met-poll-same-sex-marriage-20100816_1_civil-unions-gay-marriage-legal-rights). Now let’s look at what Dan Cathy actually said (remembering that he was not expressing all the values that Chick Fil A abides by, which are far more numerous than this one issue, and with which few people would likely take issue). They are 1) Supportive of the biblical definition of family 2) A family-owned business 3) A family-led business 4) Married to their first wives 5) Thankful to God.

So apparently the people of Chicago are not in favor or support of family owned/led business, the biblical definition of family, staying married to your first wife, or being thankful to God. Seems like a little bit of a stretch for the mayor to make such statements (of course, I could be wrong, and maybe he took the time to poll everyone). I know, I know,  the outrage is more against the underlying beliefs behind what Cathy said, rather than what he actually said. But seriously, folks, are you going dig in to the personal beliefs of every privately-owned business you come across, just in case they have different personal views than you? You have the right to boycott anything you want, but when someone like, oh, I don’t know…the mayor of Boston…uses his position of power to try and boycott a business from his city, it has become too personal. Honestly, I don’t support many things that Starbucks does, but I enjoyed a frappuccino from there two days ago and didn’t spit it out and scream “Tastes like liberalism!” If you’re going to boycott Chick Fil A, why not boycott all Christian owned businesses? Of course, you’ll have to do a lot of research first, and you might seriously limit some of your options for where to shop! You’ll just have to hope their CEOs do some of the work for you and make a public statement that can be blown way out of proportion!

In the end, the great thing about America is that we can disagree and work these things out in a democracy. If people are in favor of same-sex marriage, then it will likely get voted in to more states than the few where it is currently legal. If not, however, then one hopes the decision will be made by the people, and not by angry advocate groups who become outraged over the comments of a business man, who has never made any secret of where his moral standards come from. Now stop slinging mud at each other (especially if you’re the mayor of a city), and go buy a chicken sandwich with extra pickles (or not, that’s your choice). As for me, I have a hankering for a peach milkshake right now…

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Comments
  1. Lynn Dove says:

    Great post, Mike! I have yet to sample a Chick-fil-a sandwich but I attended a great leadership conference at the CSBS last year by employees of Chick-fil-a and I was impressed by their loyalty and love of the company and particularly their respect for Mr. Cathy. This is a company that treats their staff and workers well!

  2. Jewel Funke says:

    Thank you Mike. Very well written. Seems very hypocritical that they can they support same sex marriage but as Christians we can’t say we support traditional marriage.

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