I’ve loved Chick-Fil-A since I was a kid. I used to love going to the mall and getting nuggets (when I wasn’t getting that amazingly greasy pizza). When I came to college I was excited when Chick-Fil-A (and others) were able to operate out of the Texas Union. Then moving off of Jollyville I had a Chick-Fil-A I could stop at on the way home.
Of course, I knew they were a Christian business. I don’t have a problem with that. My family is Christian, I used to be Catholic. However, we’re also predominately progressives as well. I don’t mind people believing in God, I mind them using that as a reason to discriminate.
I don’t drink Coors, don’t eat Dominos, and try not to shop at Walmart (all for political reasons). These were easy. I hate beer, Dominos pizza sucks, and there’s nothing really good at Walmart.
But Chick-Fil-A. That’s going to be tough.
Here’s a little about what’s brought me here in case you don’t follow this stuff.
A little over year ago Chick-fil-a tried to say it wasn’t anti-gay:
In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions. We seek to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect, and believe in the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself.
We also believe in the need for civility in dialogue with others who may have different beliefs. While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees. — Statement from Dan Cathy January 2011
Of course, now he’s reaffirmed his position a bit more strongly:
The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.
It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.
“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.
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.
I’ve posted an extended part of the article there because I think it helps with understanding the context under which the “guilty as charged” sound bite comes from. I like the way the author of the article uses “some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family” which to people like me reads ” some people have opposed your anti-gay marriage stances”.
Why does this offend me? Imagine you and your significant other were planning on getting married (let’s call you Jim and Pam). Later that day your favorite restaurant’s CEO puts out a press releasing saying that “I don’t believe Jim and Pam should get married. I support marriage by anyone but Jim and Pam.” How would you feel? Would you want to eat at that restaurant knowing that the owner doesn’t like your significant other? Knowing that they take your money and spend it trying to make sure you can’t get married?
I’m not even gay, but this offends me. I can’t eat another Chick-Fil-A sandwich or nugget ever again. That makes me sad, but what makes me sadder is that there are people who can’t see that opposing gay marriage is wrong. Even sadder, gay people can’t get married in my state and most others.
As to the bible and marriage, Jon Stewart had a great “biblical definition” of marriage argument.
That clip reminded me that I was also a Boy Scout. I don’t know how I became so liberal with so many seemingly conservative influences in my life.
I’ll miss you Chick-Fil-A. I really should stop eating fast food anyway.