The Beef on the Chickin
Posted by gespurr
I love chicken. In my freezer, there are currently three chicken breasts, one chicken kiev and a whole chicken. If given the choice, I will pick poultry over beef most times. My array of chicken meals that I cook could be compared to a poultry-obsessed Forest Gump. I’ve cooked chicken gumbo, fried chicken, baked chicken, smothered chicken breasts, lemon pepper chicken, chicken fingers, chicken salad, chicken stir-fry, chicken kiev, stuffed chicken breasts, parmesan and mushroom chicken.. and so on. I can’t say that my menu for beef extends as far.
I had never heard of Chic-Fil-A until 2004 when my boss, who was from Florida, told me it was one thing he missed since moving to Minnesota. I had visions of fried chicken-patty-in-a-buns or patties between biscuits. Blech. My frequent reflux started gurgling and I decided that if I were ever to be back down south, Chic-Fil-A probably wasn’t for me. Then, two years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful flavors the restaurant had in store. Oh! And I love waffle fries, too.
I was highly impressed with the lack of toys in the kids’ meals. Instead, Kathryn received a Black Beauty book that she still reads today. The concept of a self-adhesive placemat for the kiddos was equally enticing. The employees enjoyed joking around… and they smiled! Oh glory be! I found an awesome place to eat! And so, began my love affair with the fast food chain.
Over the past two weeks, however, Chic-Fil-A’s president Dan Cathy came under the gun for some comments he made and social media just short of blew up with opinions over the issue. I saw opinions on both sides and have read (and have been involved in) rather heated debates over the matter. One thing I have seen frequently, though, is the question “What’s the ruckus about?”
Let me see if I can lay it all out…
On July 2, 2012, the Biblical Recorder published an interview they recently conducted with Dan Cathy, where he was reported to have said, “As an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be. [We are] based on biblical principles, asking God and pleading with God to give us wisdom on decisions we make about people and the programs and partnerships we have. And He has blessed us.”
Later in the article, The Biblical Recorder asks if he opposes to those who disagree with the company’s support for the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” Cathy responded. “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.” … “We intend to stay the course. 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.”
By the Biblical definition, Mr. Cathy means between a man and a woman, as is read, for example in Matthew 19 4-6 (And Mark 10: 6-9), Proverbs 18:22, Corinthians 7: 1-16 as well as Genesis 1: 27-28.
On July 16, on “The Ken Coleman Show”, a Christian radio show, Cathy was quoted to say “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
It was at that point that supporters of same-sex marriage became outraged.
Supporters of Mr. Cathy stand behind the fact that he was entitled to his First Amendment right, which is that of free speech. The First Amendment, however, does not completely protect all forms of speech. It does not protect against any backlash that may result in what is said, and it does not protect against libelous or slanderous remarks. But, Cathy was neither slanderous or libelous in his statements. Thus, Mr. Cathy had every right to make the statements he did.
It should be no surprise that Chic-Fil-A is a Christian-based company. Their Coporate-based Mission statement is: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” In addition, since the first restaurant was opened over 65 years ago, it has been traditionally closed on Sundays. One would think this would be a no-brainer.
In fact, Chic-Fil-A is not the only nationally-known company centered around Christian values. Hobby-Lobby, for example is also closed on Sundays. In-n-Out Burger, most popular in California, has “John 3:16” printed on the bottom of their cups. The money we use to buy each of these food and craft items have “In God We Trust” printed on them.
Following the opposition of Cathy’s statements, our own former Governor Mike Huckabee, took it upon himself to create a day for consumers to support Chic-Fil-A. August 1 was not an event created by nor advertised by Chic-Fil-A. In fact, the unofficial appreciation day was not even well-received by Chic-Fil-A. But, supporters came in droves yesterday to support the restaurant as well as Cathy’s right to free speech, expression and religious beliefs, which to many, is the root of the controversy.
So, why the big deal? If Cathy has every right to say what he did, why are those who support same-sex marriage trying to deny Mr. Cathy his First Amendment rights? Right?
Supporters of same-sex marriage first, oppose Mr. Cathy’s statement, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,” which, to them, implies that those who DO support gay marriage are arrogant and prideful, when, all they are trying to do is receive the same rights as anyone else. To them, this is not arrogant or prideful. It is fighting for a civil right.
Secondly, at the beginning of July, Equity Matters reported findings that Chic-Fil-A had donated to and had political ties with groups that opposed same-sex marriage. The Cathys’ charitable organization, WinShape, which is funded by profits made by Chic-Fil-A, apparently donated over $2 million in 2010 to groups specifically targeting homosexuality. It broke down as such:
- Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
- Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
- National Christian Foundation: $247,500
- New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000
- Exodus International: $1,000
- Family Research Council: $1,000 (Additional quotes from FRC as per GLAAD)
- Georgia Family Council: $2,500
(source Equalitymatters.org, Huffington Post)
Exodus’ website states “The work ahead is enormous, and we need your committed partnership to accomplish these vital goals. Will you help us to bring a message of Biblical truth and Christ-like compassion to a world impacted by homosexuality? ” and broaches the question as to whether AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuality.
The same total amount was found to have been donated in 2009 to the same groups. To the gay community, essentially, an equivalent would be if McDonalds had donated to the KKK back in the 50’s and 60’s. To them, it is 100% a civil rights issue.
As a result of these donations, cities like Boston and Chicago have stated that Cathy is no longer invited to expand in their cities. Jim Henson, Co. has withdrawn their partnership with Chic-Fil-A as well, which was announced on July 20. Coincidentally, Chic-Fil-A recalled several Muppets toys on the eve of Henson’s withdrawal from their partnership with the poultry restaurant. Many skeptics, however, believe that the recall of the toys was actually in reaction to the withdrawal of the partnership. It is unknown exactly when Henson’s company advised Chic-Fil-A of their withdrawal, though the recall happened on the 19th of July and the Muppets company announced their withdrawal publicly the following day.
Though I have very strong opinions regarding same-sex marriage and have had the same opinions since I became aware of the issue around 20 years ago, I do not feel that it belongs here. My goal was to tell both sides of the issue in response to several “What are people upset about” questions I’ve heard over the past week. I hope I’ve done just that.