I admit that I am a long-time fan of Chick-Fil-A – even more so since they built one a few miles from my home with an indoor playground that my kids love.
Lately, a diet has forced me to order the salad, grilled nuggets, or chicken soup instead of my favorite classic chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and peach or banana pudding milkshake. But it is still a family favorite.
I have been stunned by the way some from an agenda drive liberal media (note – not lumping all media in this category) has distorted the position of the company's founder Truett Cathy and his son and CEO, Dan Cathy. It was set off this week with an article in Baptist Press.
Most of the article focused on how the Cathy family operated a business as Christians with policies such as being closed on Sunday, assisting employees with college scholarships, and helping fund foster care programs. But it concluded with Dan Cathy's views on marriage.
Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company's position.
“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.
“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.
“We intend to stay the course,” he 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.”
Following this BP article, the LA Times ran a story on their business blog with the headline: “Is Chick-Fil-A anti-gay marriage? 'Guilty as charged,' leader says.”
Many liberal activists then ran with the line that Chick-Fil-A admitted to being anti-gay, which snowballed as it rolled through cyberspace until it became that they are discriminatory and bigots.
This is ridiculous. There has never been a case that I
have heard of Chick-Fil-A discriminating. The company has never refused to hire an employee or serve a customer because they were a homosexual. If anyone knows of this, please come forward and correct me but I think we would have heard about it this week already.
I tweeted this week about my Chick-Fil-A dining trips and was told by a local liberal blogger that I was “stand(ing) up for bigotry.” When I asked what made Cathy a bigot, he pointed to his opposition to a federal policy called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which – in brief – would extend the special privileges granted to minority groups under the Civil Rights Act to also include sexual orientation. ENDA has no chance of passing Congress, where it is opposed by all four Arkansas Congressman and both Arkansas Senators on a bipartisan level.
Some critics have also pointed to Cathy's contributions to what they say are horrible hateful groups, such as the American Family Association and Family Research Council. At one point in time, I worked for a similar group here in Arkansas, so I suppose I am not to be trusted either.
In my opinion, the whole thing is really an attempt to silence Christian business leaders from expressing their views publicly. But Christian leaders have rallied around Cathy, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – who is encouraging people to eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1 to show their support – and evangelist Billy Graham. Good for them!
My reaction to this whole thing is to stand up for Truett and Dan Cathy as I feel they have been unfairly attacked as being discriminatory because of their views on marriage – a view shared by every elected statewide official in Arkansas, including Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.
These views are not extreme and the attempt to portray them as such has been over the top. As for me, I will certainly be eating there next week on August 1 (and every other chance I get).
I'll end with this song, courtesy of Christian comedian, songwriter and singer Tim Hawkins.