Eat more chicken. Just not at the nation’s premier Christian and family owned chicken franchise, Chick-fil-A. At least if gay rights activists and government officials have anything to do with it. What did Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s Chairman and son of founder Truett Cathy, say that has gotten not only him, but the fried chicken chain in hot water with the nation’s liberal elites? What most conservative, Bible-believing Christians would say if asked:
Asked about the company’s support of the traditional family, Cathy said in the Biblical Recorder story, “Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” (“Chick-fil-A, in nat’l media storm, swims against cultural tide”)
Cathy’s statements — with which I fully agree and am similarly guilty of both writing about and preaching about — have resulted in the predictable calls for boycotts of Chick-fil-A. Although I believe some gay activists, similar to the backlash directed against Kirk Cameron’s comments regarding gay marriage, would like to see the suppression of any speech which opposes the legalization and normalization of same-sex marriage, I would support the right of those who disagree with Cathy’s beliefs to patronize (or boycott) whomever they choose. If those who believe that gay marriage should be legal and that anyone or any company who opposes that belief should be not be supported with their own, hard-earned dollars, then so be it.
While I disagree with that position, the Jim Henson Co. has every right to withdraw the Muppets from any partnership with Chick-fil-A. However, boycotts go both ways. I reserve the right to boycott companies — including Muppets’ movies — that not only aggressively promote the gay agenda, but also denigrate the beliefs and values of those who may differ on gay marriage. While liberals have traditionally been more effective at boycotts, conservative Christians could also vote with their money and their feet. While I loved the Muppets growing up, count me as one who will never pay to see Kermit or Fozzie Bear (my favorite) in the theater again. That’s the freedom that comes from living in this great country.
However, most Christians would probably not show up at a pro-gay business for a publicity stunt like the “National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A.” The purpose of this so-called day (although apparently not in response to Mike Huckabee’s call for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Wednesday, August 1) is:
In honor of their support for love, equality, and the real definition of family, we’re holding a NATIONAL Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A’s around the country. So grab a friend (or 20) and head out to your nearest Chick Fil A! And don’t forget to post photos/videos of it here! For all the world to see! (Facebook page here)
How best to respond to this juvenile display that is being planning on Friday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m.? I had a few thoughts, but the best way to respond is for Christian churches and groups to be out in mass on August 3, not to confront these people with hate, but rather with love. We should not expect sinners to act any differently than how they are acting. However, we can respond with the grace AND truth (sorry, Andy, they are not mutually exclusive) of Jesus Christ. In the end, the public will either support Chick-fil-A with their business or they will go elsewhere. If the boycott is successful — which I don’t believe it will be — I still do not expect Dan Cathy to change his position on gay marriage. Likwise, if the boycott is unsuccessful, I would not expect gay rights’ proponents to suddenly change their position, either. Such is the wonderful democracy that we live in.
But, apparently government officials (not private citizens) in two major American cities — Boston and Chicago — have either forgotten or simply do not comprehend what democracy and the First Amendment are all about. In Boston, Democrat Mayor Thomas Menino has (for now) put a halt on Chick-fil-A opening a franchise in that city. Said Menino:
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” (story here)
Along with the blooming idiot mayor of NYC, how these people get elected to positions of power in these cities is truly incomprehensible. Well, not really. I think I know why, but that’s a post for another day, so I’ll just move on. Gay or straight, conservative or liberal, we should be appalled at the unconstitutional abuse of power on display in Boston. Mayor Menino wouldn’t know the meaning of the “Freedom Trail” if Paul Revere were explaining it to him. With no evidence whatsoever of Chick-fil-A ever discriminating in who it hires or who it serves, the Mayor of Boston would punish an otherwise legal business because of the personal remarks of the Chairman of the company. This kind of of thinking — not to mention government action — is both dangerous and un-American.
If the same approach were used to keep a “pro-gay” business out of Anytown, USA, Menino and others would be the first to scream about an assault on the First Amendment. At least not all liberals are devoid of common sense. The L.A. Times, not known for its conservative outlook, found Merino’s stance too much:
“As both a private citizen and a prominent public figure, Menino is welcome to abstain from fried chicken sandwiches and urge others to do likewise.It’s a different matter if he attempts to trample the free-speech rights of others by using the power of his office to fight against a business license for Chick-fil-A.” (“Free Speech and Chick-fil-A”)
Let Mayor Menino and others boycott Chick-fil-A if they so choose, but don’t abuse the power of your office to trample on the free speech rights of American citizens and law-abiding companies. Likwise, let those who agree with Dan Cathy eat more chicken. I’m not sure that I will make the hour plus trip to the nearest Chick-fil-A located in the mall in Las Cruces on August 1 (or the 3rd for that matter). But, the next time I have the opportunity to eat at the chicken joint, I think I shall choose to freely spend my money on a chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a coke — supersized (this isn’t NYC). Ain’t freedom grand?