My family doesn’t usually go to Chick-fil-A, because I’m allergic to almost everything on the menu. On Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, we made an exception. Though we are divided pretty much down the middle on the issue of same-sex marriage, we each believe that all human beings should be accepted for who they are, and should be allowed to speak their minds and live and work without fear of name-calling, ridicule or discrimination. So both the supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage in our family gathered at Chick-fil-A to break bread and support freedom, along with hundreds of thousands of others across the US, on August 1, 2012.
We showed up to support Chick-fil-A’s founder and CEO, Dan Cathy. Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day came about as a response to an internet storm of anti-Christian hate speech and discrimination directed at Cathy, after an interviewer quoted him as saying that he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. One commenter said, “We don’t allow drunk people to drive. We should not allow religious people to vote.”
Mayors from Chicago, San Francisco and Boston said outright that Cathy and his company were not welcome in their cities. Can you imagine the outrage if they had said that about a LGBT group? The mayor of Boston even wrote a letter to the landowner of a potential spot for a Chick-fil-A, saying that “it will be very difficult” for Chick-fil-A to get a business license in Boston, because of Cathy’s remarks. That’s just an out-and-out Civil Rights violation.
It’s not as though Dan Cathy has been in the closet all these years. He’s been an openly conservative Christian all along. He’s donated huge amounts of money to Christian and hetero-only causes. But now, suddenly, people go berserk, feigning shock and outrage when Cathy answers a direct question about his opinion on marriage. What did they expect him to say?
It’s not wrong to boycott a business. If you don’t agree with the head of the company’s beliefs, put your money where your mouth is. Cathy does. How much do you figure it costs a fast-food company to close their doors every Sunday? It’s not wrong to disagree. It’s not wrong to say why you disagree, or to vote with your dollars. But it is wrong and unfair to attack a man for who he is and what he believes. And calling someone “intolerant” as you try to take away his right to make a living because you don’t like his opinion, well that makes me think that you do not understand the meaning of that word.
What about you? Did you “Eat Mor Chikin” for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day? Did you protest the show of support? What do you think of Cathy’s remarks?