Even though food adventures in a new town can be fun, sometimes it is better to just get a bite to eat at a chain restaurant you know may not knock your socks off, but will be consistent. And for me Chick-Fil-A is one of those chains. I popped in, got my chicken nuggets soaked in more peanut oil than the law should allow and some buffalo sauce because I like the kick. The Chick-Fil-A nuggets here were just the same as in Louisville or Lexington. Exactly what I expected.
And as it happens every time I eat there nowadays I started reflecting on the whole Chick-Fil-A controversy of 2012. For those that don’t remember, the Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy made the following statement last summer:
“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 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.”
Now, prior to that statement, people were up in arms about charitable contributions Chick-Fil-A made to The WinShape Foundation which is the charitable endeavor of the Cathy family and a charity that donated pretty heavily to organizations that are classified as anti-gay by most LGBT watchdog groups.
Some of my friends and colleagues were pretty riled about what they called blatant discrimination and were demanding boycotts and picketing at local Chick-Fil-A restaurants. How dare they think they can get away with being anti-gay was the general sentiment and the media picked up the story and ran with it. IMHO, good timing since the summer news cycle is generally pretty slow and America likes a good controversy now and again. But the problem I had with joining in all the brouhaha and demands for boycotting is that I didn’t see the company or the Cathy’s as doing anything wrong.
Whoa fellah!!! You one of them Bible toting, anti-gay folk too?? The answer to that for me is an emphatic NO!
See, Chick-Fil-A’s founding family and their current business practices are rooted in Christianity. They are closed on Sunday’s so that folks can go to church and spend time with their families and this isn’t the first time that one of their officers has expressed their Christian views. There is no hidden agenda in the statement Dan Cathy made or in this philosophy driving the environment at the company. Last time I checked, in America it is OK to run a business however you want, provided you are abiding by the law. And based on what I have read or heard the company is doing just that. They just happen to run it differently than other businesses.
I respect the desire of individuals to exercise their own freewill and to react to situations like this how they see fit. Boycott the crap out of Chick-fil-A if you disagree with them! Petition to get them removed from or prevent them from building in your community. While I don’t agree with that I support your decision 100%. It is awesome that we live in a free society where the ability to do so is not only permitted but should be encouraged at every possible turn.
Just also remember not everyone agrees with your opinion and you need to respect their beliefs and actions as well. Give it a try sometime. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.