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The Chik-Fil-A Controversy and Failed Boycott
meat is love
dreadfulpenny81 wrote in therightfangirl
First off, I just wanted to lay it out on the table that I'm in favor of marriage equality. I understand that there are some people who may not be, and that's fine. I'm all for civil debate and discussion about the issue.

Lately there's been a lot of news about Chik-Fil-A and comments made by the company's CEO Dan Cathy during an interview with the Baptist Press. Here's what he said that's causing such a firestorm:

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."
Not one sentence in the entire article bears any ill will or hatred toward the LGBT community, and yet Dan Cathy and Chik-Fil-A have become targets of a witch-hunt and a lot of righteous indignation from the media, celebrities, government leaders, and the LGBT community in general.

Chik-Fil-A: The Right to Be Stupid and Offensive (Huffington Post)
Chik-Fil-A Gay Flap A "Wakeup Call" For Companies (NPR)
Gray opposes Chik-Fil-A expansion; calls it 'hate chicken' (Washington Post)

Mayors of three major U.S. cities - Boston (Mayor Thomas Menino), Chicago (Mayor Rahm Immanuel - also a former Obama administration official) and Washington, D.C. (Vincent C. Gray)have all spoken in opposition to the chain with Menino and Immanuel going so far as to threaten to ban Chik-Fil-A from their cities (Menino has since backed off, no doubt because he realizes it would be an infringement on Cathy's first amendment rights and those of his company due to the SCOTUS Citizens United decision). But there are some sane minds in the fight. Mike "Nanny" Bloomberg, the mayor of NYC who recently proposed a ban on 16 oz. sodas to combat obesity, went on record that he disagrees with people like Menino who would attempt to ban a business from setting up shop. Even the ACLU is backing Chik-Fil-A, stating that attempts by city officials to ban businesses for religious beliefs is a clear-cut case of discrimination.

As for the boycott? It doesn't seem to be working. Twitter users are reporting lines out the door and drive thru lines wrapping around the building at their local Chik-Fil-A establishments. Many even posted pictures to prove the boom in business.

My whole opinion on this issue is that a chicken sandwich isn't a political statement -- it's food. If someone is eating at Chik-Fil-A, 10 to 1 says it was because they were hungry and just wanted something to eat, not because they're looking to stick it to anyone by purchasing some waffle fries. But since we're putting it all on the table here, how about those protesting against Chik-Fil-A have a little consistency?

(Mods: Any way we can get a tag for "free speech" and "marriage", please? Thank you!)

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I'll say the boycott isn't working. The one Chik-Fil-A near my house (that I know of) has had their drive-thru fifteen cars deep and the parking lot full all week.

Wow, that's remarkable! I've always heard good things about their food. But there were no locations even in my state the last time I checked, some years ago. But because of this, I checked again and there's one easily accessible to me now! I went there the other day, enjoyed the food and the service, and will be back.

LOL! Funny how the controversy gives them advertising. I thought it was a southern chain, then found out there's a couple near places I go every so often, so one of these days I'll make it there to see if they're any good.

It always seems to work out that way, doesn't it?

I will say that CFA is some of the best fast food I've ever tasted; I ate lunch there two days a week when my daughter was a toddler because of their awesome indoor playground, so I think at this point I've tried their entire menu. I recommend you go quick before the peach milkshake mix runs out. :)

I love a peach milkshake. They used to have them when I worked at Hardees out of highschool. That was back when Hardees was good, then they went corporate and stopped selling a lot of the stuff people liked.

Kids playground? I hope the ones around here have that, especially since I heard they have chicken nuggets flavored with a bunch of different sauces, kind of like Buffalo Wild Wings. That sounds like something kids can't resist.

Wow, if the ACLU is siding with them, you know things are crazyy!

But since we're putting it all on the table here, how about those protesting against Chik-Fil-A have a little consistency?

Exactly right. I am on the other side of the debate, but I'd have a lot more respect for these protesters if they would be consistent. (The same is true for all the anti-war protesters. Their silence since Obama came to office has been deafening.)

Re: anti-war protesters- I've noticed only the more radical ones criticizing the President.

And I just noticed the guy's sign in the cartoon. LOL!!

It's getting to be downright frightening how just saying "I support X" is being turned into "I despise and object to Y". And yeah, it REALLY REALLY REALLY bothered me to see those mayors who were telling CFA to stay out. Although DC doesn't surprise me, they've already been telling that to the Roman Catholic institutions for years now...

The Chick-Fil-A nearest my house is very busy most of the time anyway.

I love Chick-Fil-A; it's one of the few fast food places where you can get healthy, lower-in-calorie options. That it's run by a religious family is for me beside the point though you have to admire a company that operates on principle.

It is not a big secret that what I call Al Gayda ("support gay rights or else, infidel!") has despised Chick-Fil-A for years because of the Cathy family foundation's support for socially conservative groups like Focus On The Family which in turn have organized to oppose things like gay marriage. Usually, whenever a company gets in trouble with Al Gayda, it offers a simpering apology, it drops support for whatever was bothering the PC cops, and it buys contrition with X amount of money to the Human Rights Campaign or GLAAD. (I'm looking at you, Target!) Except that's not going to work with the Cathys, so they must be destroyed instead.

What's troubling here is this a business under attack for the personal beliefs of the CEO. If they bother you that much, you don't have to eat at Chick-Fil-A. But there was nothing that was said that was actually hateful about gays. I'm sure the Cathys are just as opposed to polygamy as they are to same sex marriage and it sounded to me in the second set of statements to the Baptist media that they don't believe much in divorce either. There's no policy of Chick-Fil-A refusing to serve gays or to segregate them in their restaurants. There's no evidence Chick-Fil-A won't hire gays or promote them. But disagreement in 2012 is tantamount to "hate." Moreover, it's not enough that you don't want to eat at a Christian-run chicken joint, you have to prevent everyone else from doing so as well.

Worst of all though is this business with elected officials making pandering, blowhard, self-righteous statements about keeping Chick-Fil-A out of their town. Smart lefties know that's a bridge too far because a mayor in some conservative town could just as easily make things difficult for JC Penney or Apple to do business because those companies support gay causes, aside from the fact it's blatantly unconstitutional. But here's NRO commenter Voltaire who said it best:

"These officials have violated the wall of separation between a private citizen's religious speech and the coercive power of the State. They are proposing denying a business license only on the grounds of the owner's religious ideas--ideas that have no bearing on how the business operates, whom it hires or serves, etc. (before anyone compare this case with that of the Ground Zero Mosque).

This is a direct assault on not only Mr. Cathy's First Amendment rights, but on the First Amendment altogether, and should send chills to the bones of anyone with more than two civic braincells to rub together, regardless on stance on gay marriage. It would be like if a city denied you a driver's license because on your stance on abortion, or if they suspended your kid from public school only because you are an atheist.

This is nothing less than trashing our Constitution in favor of an ideological Sharia law, and as such it is much more akin to how Saudi Arabia operates than to anything in Cuba, China or North Korea. If this ever becomes precedent, those cheering on these Fascists today may rue the day tomorrow, when your home-extension permit is denied because your alderman doesn't like the fact that you donated to Planned Parenthood, or when your Muslim major razes your home-team's stadium to the ground because Elton John once played there."

As for the loser celebrity has-beens who piled on this issue, if Hollywood's values consist of a married father of three humping an actress half his age who is famously dating her co-star, I'll take the Cathys' thank you very much.

But disagreement in 2012 is tantamount to "hate."

That's the key here. On this particular issue, I've heard it said outright. That's why the uproar exists. Only some ideas are acceptable in today's society. If you do not fall within those boundaries, you don't count, and you will be destroyed - whether it's your reputation, your business, and (if they could do it without consequence) your life.


I don't know anything about this man, but I hope he has the courage to stand strong and not give in. If I learn he's issued a whimpering, pitiful, "I'm sorry you were offended!" apology, I will weep.

Edited at 2012-07-28 09:49 pm (UTC)

LOL @ Al Gayda.

I just witnessed a left-leaning Christian on my FB flist get a hard time. Someone told him that Christians were 'backward' for not supporting gay marriage. It's outrageous that people try to ridicule Christians into accepting what I see as being radical change. Redefining marriage seems radical to me.

Redefining marriage seems radical to me.

This is a key point also. Those who oppose same-sex marriage are on the defensive here.

And yet that point is never, ever brought up.

Edited at 2012-07-29 12:46 am (UTC)

I wish I had someone making as much sense as you often do on my Facebook friends feed. Guh.

The Chick-fil-As around here have always been busy and popular. To the point where they've had to send people out to play in traffic during the lunch rush at the drive-thru to take orders by hand and then, somehow, magically, they still know which order to hand you when your car gets to the window (and it doesn't take that long, usually, for them to manage this)! This boycott has been ongoing, more quietly, for some time now and...well, I've never noticed any results. On the whole, I think it's mostly a bust.

The staunch morality of the company itself is suspect in my view over its claims about the Muppets toys' safety and the company's possible facebook sockpuppetry, but I agree that the actions of several mayors to keep the company out of their cities is unconstitutional and smacks of groupthink. Businesses should succeed or fail without government intervention.

To put the actions of the LGBTQ community on the table, however, is that the community is made up of many individuals and they aren't all going to agree about everything. GOProud is not the Log Cabin Republicans, and that's just a rift on the right without even looking at the leftists. And yet much of the left side has been angry with Obama and took notice when several younger republicans stood and booed an anti-gay speaker at the 2010 CPAC, when republican leaders have been the ones to advance pro-gay legislation, and recognized Obama's pandering when he did endorse marriage equality.

I think it's the same criticism levied often against the right, that we didn't complain when Bush was overspending. The fact remains that we did, but many on the left don't read our blogs and columns. Likewise, the left LGBTQ community has criticized Obama. A good third of gays vote republican, though I've seen many of us condemned and told to take our vote to the democrats because apparently being 90% rightwing really *isn't* consistent enough.

I'll continue avoiding the restaurant (this is hardly the first time their stance has been protested against) because supporting a business is certainly political. I recall people avoiding buying Heinz ketchup, Dutch cookies, French wines and even lately boycotting Oreos over their rainbow ad. And it's certainly not easy casting a vote for the right when you remember some of the vile things I've read posted towards me or gays in general. Voting with my money is just as valid, I think, and so I'll be making another purchase on Amazon later today. And if I get hungry, sure there may be a Chik Fil A nearby, but there's likely three or four other eateries I can support instead.

Personally, I've made it a point to eat at Chick-fil-A about three times in the past week because I'm so sick of all the shrill screeching over how evil and terrible Dan Cathy is (and, by extension, the company is evil too). And it's not really a matter of being for or against gay marriage. It's more because I can't stand it when gay people (or any demographic - pick one) use their victimhood as an excuse to be bullies. If these people want the rest of us to be so tolerant and respectful of them, they can start by showing a little tolerance and respect back.

That being said, I'm scratching my head over why this is such a shocking revelation. I mean, the man owns a company that's closed on Sundays and he's being interviewed by Baptist Press. Shouldn't that be a clue?

This. At this point, I would eat there out of spite; not because of my political opinions, but because I am tired of the self-righteous frothing coming from the paragons of tolerance on the left. There are several things I don't buy from because of their politics; the difference is that I don't do like Roseanne Barr and start talking about how everybody who DOES partake deserves to die of cancer.

Yegads, that woman comes across as seriously mentally unbalanced! (And I mean that in a serious way, not jokingly.)

I believe in marriage equality as well even though I am a Christian. However, I despise the way the left tries to strong-arm people into their way of thinking. I've never eaten at a Chik-fil-A in the past, but seriously thinking about visiting them and spending my money just because of the boycott.

What boggles me is that people didn't know the Cathy family directly funds reparative gay therapy organizations through their foundations. Everyone in Atlanta knows this, always have. It's in Truett Cathy's books. I can only assume people didn't do the research on what should really be thoroughly common knowledge.

If he does that's his choice as a business owner. Yes, people have every right to call him out for his actions but they have no right to harass franchise owners (who independently own their Chik-Fil-A stores) or customers who choose to eat at Chik-Fil-A restaurants. Furthermore, on principle these same people complaining about Cathy's donation choices should also protest organizations that donate strictly to LGBT organizations because they're not being all-inclusive. Cathy has never once claimed his company is a Christian company, but he stated that they're family oriented and he chooses to support the traditional view of a family. He has to deal with the consequences - no one else. Like the illustration in the post points out, Obama had the same view until an election year - where were the protests against him for that view?

If he does that's his choice as a business owner.

That's absolutely correct.

but they have no right to harass franchise owners (who independently own their Chik-Fil-A stores) or customers who choose to eat at Chik-Fil-A restaurants

So long as it's within the boundaries of the 1st Amendment I have no problem with it, just like I don't have a problem with what the Phelps cult does so long as it's within the boundaries of the 1st Amendment.

Furthermore, on principle these same people complaining about Cathy's donation choices should also protest organizations that donate strictly to LGBT organizations because they're not being all-inclusive.

I don't see how that follows. They complain about his donation to an organization that is opposed to their beliefs, but they shouldn't be complaining about that because to be all-inclusive they would also have to complain about donations that to those that support their beliefs? You could turn that around to any group, like Amazon, and say that people shouldn't complain about their donation to support gay marriage because they need to be all-inclusive.

Cathy has never once claimed his company is a Christian company

Then you've never read It's Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, or How Did You Do It, Truett?, where he specifically states that Chik-Fil-A was created not only to make money, but for the glory of the Baptist Jesus.

He has to deal with the consequences - no one else.

I disagree with that, because of my view of business. Assume that I own an eatery with franchises similar to Chik-Fil-A. I own it personally, as the Cathy family does. My personal views are then the company views. My franchise employees must conform to my personal dictates, as Chik-Fil-A franchise owners are required to adhere to Cathy-mandated policies. My opinions are the company's opinions; my employees are mere extensions of my will. That's the benefit of being privately-owned; you are the company and the company is you. And just as Man is obedient to God, so is the Employee obedient to the Job Creator.

Now, if they were a public corporation, subject to the whims of whomever bought stock in them, I would agree with you on that point.

Obama had the same view until an election year - where were the protests against him for that view?

Well, I don't know about you, but from what I've seen the liberal blogosphere routinely condemned him for being anti-gay marriage and now sneers that Obama is only changing his mind because of court cases. It's going to cost him a fair amount of the LGBT vote this election.

Why does opposing gay marriage automatically mean you hate gay people? I oppose it in a Christian sense (I do not think gay people should be married in a Christian church and I think any place of worship of any faith shouldn't be threatened, as I've heard happening in Canada, with lawsuits and the like for not marrying them/hosting their wedding reception/etc), so I hate gay people? Is it just "You disagree with me, therefore you're a hateful evil person"? I just don't understand. I do not think people who even support abortion are necessarily evil or hateful... and that's a sight worse than gay marriage.

Why does opposing gay marriage automatically mean you hate gay people?

Because this issue is not about "equality" or rights or anything else. There are no rights being withheld from anyone.

This issue is about social acceptance of homosexuality being pushed on society, like it or not. Anyone who disagrees will be bullied. And when possible, destroyed.

This community is a bastion of sanity. I'm not against the state sanctioning gay marriage, but is it really necessary to strong-arm the churches into doing the same? Separation of church and state needs to cut both ways. If you want the church to stay out of politics, then the politics needs to stay out of the church.

I should also add - I'm not against a boycott on idealistic grounds. I do it myself - I flatly refuse to eat Ben and Jerry's because their environmentalist bullshit drives me nuts and Haagen-Dasz is perfectly good ice cream. But ... that's an individual choice I make, and the officials need to stay the hell out of it.

You know the one thing I dislike about CFA? And this is actually about me and not about anything CFA is doing wrong...

I always crave it on Sundays. Always. I'm craving it right now. I would go through their drive-thru just to get one of their iced sweet teas (with lemon!). For a long time it was the only place in Arizona that sold sweet tea.

I would say that I'll go tomorrow, but the cravinng will be over by then, and so the cycle will repeat next Sunday...

The CFA near me is doing open interviews later this week. My sister found out I was applying and jumped down my throat.

The way the activists prattle on, you'd think Mr Cathy had suggested rounding up homosexuals and putting them into death camps or something. As long as the company doesn't mistreat gay employees or customers, I don't see why this is even an issue. It's not like he was hiding the fact that he ran his company according to Christian values up until now.

And it disturbs me that so many left wingers are cheering the fact that two mayors are forcing out a company simply because they dislike the owner's personal religious/political beliefs. If one accepts -and even celebrates- a city forcing out Chick-Fil-A (and a bunch of much needed jobs); than that person has no right to complain if some bigoted city official in another town forces another business out because the owner is gay/Jewish/Muslim/pro-choice/whatever.

BTW, wish me luck on my interview everyone!!! :)

Good luck!

Yep, it's as if the Cathy family has personally executed people for being gay. Oh, wait, they do that in Arabic countries, yes? But they're okay...

There have been cases in Europe and Canada where people have spoken out against Muslim clerics for being intolerant and homophobic. Those people are usually silenced with accusations of racism. So, basically, when a Muslim advocates harassing and/or killing gay people we have to "be tolerant of their culture and faith". But when a Christian says he doesn't believe in gay marriage (but still respects gay peoples' right to be alive), he is a BIGOTED MONSTER who shouldn't be allowed to own a business or participate in public life.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with individuals opting to boycott CFA if they truly feel it's the right thing to do. But demonizing people who disagree with them and trying to force out a business (and screw people like me out of desperately needed job opportunities) over a difference of opinion is just vile.

Well, they have given money to help make homosexuality an executable offense in Uganda.

You again? Any response to my comment on that other thread? Or to our previous conversation of months ago, where you left me hanging?

Any evidence for your accusations?

Edited at 2012-08-06 04:54 am (UTC)

The way the activists prattle on, you'd think Mr Cathy had suggested rounding up homosexuals and putting them into death camps or something.

You have to understand that in the view of many people, supporting traditional marriage - which is what he actually said - IS just as bad as suggesting death camps for homosexuals. There is zero sense of proportion or common sense on this issue. It's all or nothing.

BTW, wish me luck on my interview everyone!!! :)

I wish you all the best!

They actually cancelled open interviews because it was busy as hell that day. So I have to wait until next Wednesday. :P

Chick-fil-a isn't being boycotted just for Cathy's statements. They are being boycotted largely because of the his large donations to anti-gay groups.

No one cares if people opt to boycott the company for whatever reason. I think boycotts are a legit form of protest and there are certain companies/people/products that I refuse to spend money on because they conflict with my beliefs.

What people are pissed about (and the thing that triggered CFA appreciation day) is government officials stepping in and dictating that they have the right to keep a business out of their town because they personally disliked the owner's political/religious views.

Well, apparently a lot of people care,I saw a lot of people not even mention the political thing and only focus on gay people, how stupid gay people were for boycotting, how gay people were somehow forcing their opinion on others by boycotting. Basically there were a lot of people going just to give the middle finger to gay people.

Oh, please.

Any comment on the point of government officials publicly saying they won't allow CFA in their cities because of the personal view of the owner? (Which view is that he supports traditional family values - nothing outrageous?)

Any response to my multiple comments/requests for evidence for some of your statements?

Any response at all aside from perceived victimhood?

Those mayors are assholes who overstepped their powers in order to grandstand, possibly for votes. I would like to also point out that they are straight.

An internet argument is not a top concern for me, as such I tend to keep pushing it down on my list of things to do.

Well, it's not like I have a corner on the perceived victim-hood market.

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