Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chick-fil-a and Labels

It’s becoming impossible in today’s society to not be labeled. Even when it comes to where you eat lunch. A year ago, if someone would have told me that by sipping my Dr. Pepper from a Chick-fil-a cup while eating nuggets meant I was anti-gay, I would laugh. If five years ago, I was told by putting a Romney/Ryan yard sign up in my yard meant I was racist, I would have called you crazy. What if instead of being anti-gay and racist, it just meant I was hungry and worried for our nation’s economy? How crazy is that? One man’s freedom of speech has turned into a war on anyone who wants some waffle fries. Whether or not you agree with Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy’s stance on biblical marriage, it’s important to remove the media hype and know what he really said.

His initial comment came in an interview about WinShape Foundation Marriage program, not once did the interview talk about gay rights or gay marriage.

"The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation ( 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. 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."

I don’t even know what happened to make the above statement turn into such a controversial subject. I’m not talking about people lashing back with their freedom of speech, because that is the beauty of the first amendment. If the backlash ended there, I would be fine. I’m talking about a war against anyone who wants to eat some chicken minis, or small business owners who open a Chick-fil-a. Boston and Chicago Mayors threatened to ban Chick-fil-a from their cities because of Cathy’s comment. I just read that a college in North Carolina is trying to ban Chick-fil-a from their campus.

I don’t want government leaders to decide what businesses can go up in my neighborhood. It may be a business I don’t like or support, but let the people decide. If Americans don’t want to support the business, then it will fail. Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the ACLU of Illinois, tells Fox News that the ACLU opposes the idea of denying permits to Chick-fil-a because if the government in a liberal community can block businesses that oppose gay marriage, then it sets a precedent that governments in conservative communities could block businesses that support gay marriage, he explained: I am okay with people (not gov’t) deciding not to support Chick-fil-a because of their “biblical marriage” beliefs. I have loved ones who are gay and will never eat there again- good for them, it is their right, just like it was Dan Cathy’s right to support “biblical marriage”, and your right to agree or not, and my right to have a lunch where ever I please without being labeled.

I just wish that eating a Chick-fil-a sandwich would be just lunch.


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