Friday, August 3, 2012

My Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A

Did you ever think a southern fried chicken sandwich would become the symbol of our country's social issues?  Yeah, me neither.

Am I the only one who's tired of talking about it?  It's become Chick-Fil-Annoying, if you ask me.

I've hesitated about sharing my opinions because I'm probably going to offend people on both sides.   I see valid points from both, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  

[For Chick-Fil-A.]

It's common knowledge that Chick-Fil-A is run by a very devout southern Baptist family.  Can you name another retail establishment that is closed on Sunday?  It's not surprising that a traditional Christian family has traditional Christian beliefs.

This quote from Dan Cathy's Christian Radio interview is sometimes left out: "... While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees."

Not that I believe Cathy's statements were intentional marketing, but wow! - what a marketing campaign!  Every radio station has talked about it.  Every television network has covered it.  It's been all over Facebook and Twitter.  Common, everyday people just like you and me are talking about Chick-Fil-A at the grocery store or the neighborhood pool.  And Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day?  With lines that were miles long?  Marketing genius.

At the end of the day, free speech is free speech.  Freedom of religion is freedom of religion.  These freedoms exist for all of us, whether we agree with each other or not.

If we ban Chick-Fil-A in certain cities because of their Christian beliefs, should we ban Jewish owned establishments for the same reason?  What about Muslim businesses?  How would you feel if a city didn't allow sushi restaurants due to their religious beliefs?  I, for one, would cry a river.  I love sushi.  And I would say that it wasn't fair.

Freedom from religious persecution was sort of the whole reason that we started America in the first place.

[Against Chick-Fil-A.]

But, look - if you feel that way, Mr. Cathy, did you have to be so specific about expressing it?

I would have preferred every "we" in his statement to be "I" instead.  Each person is entitled to their opinions and their beliefs, but when he said "we" instead of "I", he changed "Dan Cathy" to "Chick-Fil-A".  And it's just not cool to speak for an entire organization of executives, franchise owners, employees and even patrons.

And now, we're forced to take sides when all we wanted was a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries.

I got a small taste of the offense, personally, when I read his statement: "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives."

As for me?  I'm not married to my first husband.  So would Dan Cathy deny me the beautiful, faithful love that I share with my husband now?  Would he call our son a bastard? Would he condemn me to Hell for divorce?

When a comment is directed toward you, it's easy to take it personally.

Take out what he said about gay marriage and insert "people who are overweight" or "women who don't work" or "men who play too much golf" or anything else you want. Like I said, when a comment is directed toward you, it's easy to take it personally.

Nobody can argue against what the Bible says about marriage.  Nobody is trying.  But the Bible also says that you should honor your mother and father.  You should not drink until you are drunk.  You should not covet your neighbor's possessions.  You should not commit adultery.  You should not have pre-marital sex.  You should not take the Lord's name in vain.

So if you've ever said, "God, I hate my husband!" just before going out drinking with your girlfriends so you could gossip about so-and-so's new Escalade, you've committed a multitude of sins.

And according to the Bible, a sin is a sin.  There was only one perfect man who ever walked on this earth and his name was Jesus, not Dan Cathy.

Nobody told me that I couldn't marry my husband, so why should I tell somebody else who they can marry?

Love is an individual choice.  And all individuals should be loved.

Whether you're for or against this issue, let's try spreading some love, y'all.  It tastes even better than chicken.    


  1. Very nicely said. Thank you you expressed my view point perfectly

  2. I also think there was a huge point that a lot of people who were in support of Chick-Fil-A missed. I, for one, am in full support of free speech, and I don't think that he should be condemned for speaking his mind. That's what America is all about. I'm not going to stop patronizing an establishment just because the owner believes differently than me. That's just silly. However, the issue is that Mr. Cathy donates a large portion of the money he makes to anti-gay organizations. Again, his right to do so, but I don't want the money that I spend somewhere to be donated to an organization that promotes intolerance or hate. That is the point. It's not a boycott of a company based on their beliefs. It's a choice not to have my money going towards organizations that keep people that I know and love hiding behind closed doors for fear that they will be persecuted. Weren't the Christians persecuted for their beliefs? Ironic that some so-called Christian organizations feel that they have the right to persecute and judge others. There is only one judge in the end, and it's not me, you, Dan Cathy, or the organizations he gives his money to.

    1. Agreed. I'm not down with hate. And I strongly support gay marriage.

    2. Melody I'm totally with you on the second part of your response! It really is all about choosing where to spend our money. I gave up my gym membership when I found out that the corporate owners were donating large sums of money to an organization I fundamentally disagreed with. Which sucked. But then was kinda awesome when I stopped working out and started spending my evenings drinking red wine and watching survivor with my wife. So you win some you loose some really.

      But I have to disagree with the he shouldn't be condemned for speaking his mind part. Of course he should! It's totally legal to go around saying that gay people shouldn't be able to get married... or that Jewish people are (insert whatever insult here)... or that fat people are (insert whatever)... or that.. well you get my point... but I'm sure as heck going to condemn those people when they make those statements. Because I also have the freedom of speech to do so!

    3. Thanks for your input! And I agree with you. I guess I should have worded it better. When I read his answer to a question, I don't feel that the way he expressed his answer was hateful - I think it was simply his truth, no matter how much I disagree with it. I totally agree with you in that people who have a very large platform in which to express their opinions should choose their words wisely, and it shouldn't be abused or used to promote a hateful agenda.

      I hope that people like my cousin, or my gay friends don't feel the need to hide who they are. The nasty true colors of a lot of people were revealed, and I don't want my teenage cousin (who just recently came out) to endure any more pain or ridicule than he has already has in school because of this feeding frenzy.

      The sad thing is, if you look at most prejudice in the world - whether it be racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, political views, etc., it's mostly based on fear, and we tend to fear what we don't know. If more people would sit down and try to understand where other people come from, we might still disagree in the end, but hopefully we wouldn't be quite so divided.

      And congratulations to you for finding someone that you love, and I'm very happy to read that unlike so many, you were able to make it official. :)

  3. I feel like people are participating is separate arguments. Respect for LGBT people and our families is not mutually exclusive from free speech. People can have all the wacky anti-gay beliefs they want. And they can express them. Legally. But that doesn't make it right. And when they express those offensive beliefs the rest of us can choose to not support them. Nobody is saying they should go to jail for believing that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Just that it would be nice if the people who love and support our families wouldn't support those who are trying to make our families illegal. Those who are protesting Chick-fil-A aren't arguing against freedom of speech. They are arguing against hate and discrimination. Two entirely different things.

    Truthfully I had never even heard of this chain until this week. I don't even think we have them in Canada (although we do have federally protected same sex marriage rights - booya!). But the whole thing just makes me so, so sad. To see so many people coming out of the woodwork to support "freedom of speech" (i.e. let's hate on the gays but pretend it's all about the first amendment y'all) just makes me feel sick to my stomach. I walk around in this nice little life with my amazing wife and our son, in our community where being a same-sex couple seems to be no big thing and I forget that there are so many people out there who think my family is disgusting or should be illegal because they have learned not to say it. And now they have a platform. And a bigger voice. And it sucks.

    1. Kristin, thank you so much for leaving this comment! You were one of the first people I thought about when I wanted to post this. In fact, I almost emailed you and asked if I could post your wedding video on this post. :) Your love is an example for us all.

    2. For the record, you never need permission to post that. :)

    3. I have never commented here, but Kristin, I had this discussion earlier, and I said something so similar to what you did above. This is called a Spin. Dan Cathy spoke, maybe without thinking, maybe not- who knows- the point is he opened his mouth and the words came out, now he has to accept that his freedom of speech pissed some (a lot of) people off. No one denied, nor are they denying, him his rights. However, the PR people who probably stood behind the scenes and smacked themselves on the forehead when he said it, have been working frantically to Spin this so it isn't about the discriminatory words, but rather, Dan Cathy and Chick Fil A are the victims of a constitutional crime. And now they have people so confused, no one is even sure what they are arguing over anymore.
      Personally, I do not believe that the restaurant should be blocked from cities, because THAT would be unconstitutional, and we do not want to deny Mr Cathy and his corporation of their rights, we just want all our community to have those SAME rights, and any other rights, equal across the board. So if I feel this way, the only way I can be heard is through my money, and where it is spent. So I will not give intolerance with one single dollar, when I know where the money is going. That is my right.

  4. Would someone please name for me these "Anti-gay" groups? Who are these organizations that go around promoting hatred towards this segment of population? How much money has Chic-Fil-A corporate given to these warmongers of inequality?

    Next question - whether its 1 kid being bullied on a school bus or millions of middle eastern women not allowed to get an education , hatred & belittling of any kind is wrong. That said, exactly what is the percentage of LGBT in America? I don't want Rick Santorum's numbers or GLAAD's - I want a real number from the last 2-3 years not a study from the 1950's or a survey from Woodstock Festival in 1969. I'm just curious.

    Amanda that part about "married to one wife" got me, too. It also conjures up that in certain sections of certain denominations you cannot Pastor if you are divorced & re-marry. I know one guy locally whose wife just up & left him & his daughter. I'm not sure she's even been in touch with the daughter decades later. This Pastor has made an intentional decision to not re-marry so that he can continue in his ministry within his group. Sounds strange to me, but so does being a monk or nun. So, I'll respect his choice by not sending single women with delicious apple pies his way.

    Now my hate mail starts (disclaimer: I have LG friends. I don't knowingly have any B friends and T's aren't comfortable to me, though neither is my like's of hunting, nor love of steak to vegetarians) - I wonder what people really believe. Not what I believe for myself - what do I believe for all.

    Here's the point: How does a society continue if everyone is LBGT? It is a scientific question. How do I get great-grandchildren, if all my descendants are LGBT? How do I get descendants?

    Sorry for hijacking your blog - but I figure you audience is of more average intelligence than the random facebook post.

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    2. My question is a societal one. Is every (most every) LGBT person ok with everyone else being LGBT? I'm actually curious. One reason I ask is that integral (as in core value) to Christianity is worshiping God, also to marry have children, raise them to also become worshipers of God and so on. These things are in opposition to each other and beg questions.

      I am no way espousing that LGBT's cannot be Christian, don't love God or that over-weight people are gluttons and therefore doomed to hell (thank you Dante's Inferno).

      I'm just concerned that one man says we support the biblical definition of a family unit, and people want to label him a hater. Especially when Chic-Fil-A is the absolute best around when it comes to help with local fundraisers, and they do great work for the misfortune.

      Where's the constant outrage & protest against all the Islamic countries that will publicly execute you for homosexuality? Nowhere. Why? Because they will straight up kill you, but Christians they'll just turn the other cheek.

  5. It has almost always been my experience that any person PREACHING open minded thinking and acceptance for all is the same person who doesn't practice it. Let's quit preaching about it and just treat one another with respect.
    If we are all so easily offended by someone disagreeing with us, the we need to check ourselves. However, freedom of speech doesn't absolve us from the responsibility of choosing our words carefully. That's part of treating one another with respect.

  6. Well said! And could not agree with you more! Love is Love no matter who or what. Don't judge just LOVE

  7. Thanks Zoey. Let's frame that article & list.
    Seems like it was written by a female Freshman at Yale University who of her last 30 articles, 6 were on LGBT, a couple on the rights of women and other than a couple political ones the rest ranged from VMA awards to 50 Shades of Grey to (OMG) Robert Pattinson's love life and what it means to society. GOD HELP US! Ok, but we'll call her an intelligent 19 year old blogger - b/c after all she did get into Yale, but she's not a journalist. Her articles mention attending PRIDE events, so let's call her open-minded because her personal bias/ preference is not at issue.

    I've gone through her list.
    1. Marriage & Family Foundation (Marriage CoMission) - no one forces couples to go to a retreat in Rome, GA to restore their own marriages. $1.2 mil - should've doubled it. However, they built a retreat center, so that money probably is now a building and not threatening anyone.

    2. FCA - oh please. FCA is that group that meets before school where kids sing songs, hear testimonies and pray for each other, their school and their community. Heck yes their leaders better be pure, I don't want creepers counseling teenagers. Some of the kindest people I've ever met are FCA leaders, who go visit kids in jail when they get in trouble and help students get to & from sports practices when there's a single parent that can't b/c they're at work.

    3. NCF - never heard of them, either. Their vision, mission and beliefs - "Imagine more lost souls hearing the life-changing message of the Gospel, more sick receiving life-saving medicine and surgeries, more missionaries finding support for their travels to the ends of the earth, more clean water for those who thirst, more food for the hungry, more homes for the homeless, more thriving Christian marriages" Go to their page. Not one mention of what they think of LGBT.

    4. New Mexico NCF - see above

    Now at this point, I was willing to concede the last 3 totaling $4,500 and call it good. I've spent way too long on this, but that wouldn't be fair and accurate truths.

    5. Georgia Family Council - 1 in 10 recently posted articles from their policy section is about marriage and "scientific" studies/surveys. Never mind that they give to education, special needs and reducing divorce, domestic violence and unwed childbearing.

    6. Exodus International - per the article, "one of the most famous proponents of "Ex Gay" therapy. HOW DARE THEY! Oh wait....
    About Us: "Exodus International believes that every human life, regardless of sexual orientation, is of inestimable and equal worth to God ... Finally, we stand with the LGBT community both in spirit, and when necessary, legally and physically, when violence rears it’s head in Uganda, Jamaica or anywhere else in the world."

    7. FRC Family Research Council: $1,000 Ok, maybe. But I'm trusting that they are bad, based on the opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The same people that say you can't have a Native American school mascot, the Washington Redskins should change their name, the Mormons are haters, prisoners should have posh conditions and illegal immigrants should be able to attend public schools without showing documentation whether they are legal or not.

    So, after all this I say, BOLLOX.
    Bring me some real concrete evidence of this hatred, and I'll go picket, petition and yell at the top of my lungs. But dear people, don't let the agenda of activists, politicians and people needing your money (contributions) to determine what is truth.

    Lastly, research sources: because when we profess "truths" that seem lacking substance, some smart alec such as myself will shine a spotlight on the propaganda.

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