The General Story
The water is getting muddy on this one, so let’s get everything into a single blog:
- As an organization, Chick-fil-A donates to anti-gay organizations like Exodus International.
- Dan Cathy, the owner of the Chick-fil-A brand, said this during a radio interview: “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”
- Dan Cathy then said this to a religious publishing organization: “guilty as charged” and is very “supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”
- The Jim Henson company severed ties with Chick-fil-A and redirected funds they received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD.
- Boston mayor Thomas Menino refuses to allow Chick-fil-A building permits in the city.
- Mike Huckabee proposes a “Chick-fil-A” appreciation day on August 1st.
So, there’s a lot of “wrong” in all this. I’m going to go through a bit of it:
- Marriage was around before Christianity.
- Dan Cathy is making a thinly veiled “disasters are the result of gay marriage” argument.
- The biblical definition of a family unit is very diverse and in many ways offensive to our modern sensibilities.
- Mike Huckabee is not trying to defend Christianity – he’s trying to attack a group he doesn’t like, the same as he always has. Unfortunately, his positive spinning pulls the wool over many people’s eyes.
- Many people have no idea that they are supporting anti-gay sentiment and hate speech by going to Chick-fil-A on August 1st. Much like disguising creationism as intelligent design, it’s the modus operandi of Christian figureheads to misguide their flock.
Any prejudice and discrimination Christians are receiving over this, is the direct result of the prejudice and discrimination they demonstrated beforehand. Look no further for evidence that religion fuels and supports hate.
For their part, the franchise owners of Chick-fil-A have come out with their own statement, in an attempt to deflect some of the much-deserved media frenzy:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. 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.
Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
So, what to do?
Boycotting Chick-fil-A, while a very visible protest, only fuels the idea that Chick-fil-A is being ostracized for their Christianity. For my part, I recommend that we focus our attention against Dan Cathy and the organizations that lobby and discriminate against the LGBT community to begin with. Here are 3 examples of how to do a positive protest:
- Do not attend the August 1st event proposed by Mike Huckabee.
- Encourage people you know not to attend.
- Attend counter-events like the August 3rd kiss-in.