Chick Fil A Appreciation

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

I grew up in south metro Atlanta.  So did the Chick Fil A Chain.  The original Dwarf House is a bit more than 20 years older than I am, but the first mall based Chick Fil A store was opened just two years before I was born.  Thus, the chain as we know it and myself are roughly the same age.  As such, I’ve managed to watch the chain grow up, and have had direct interactions with the Cathy family.

I’ve met Truett Cathy on several occasions.  I was honored to have him speak to my small country church’s youth group when I was a teenager.  We had a lengthy one on one conversation afterward, and then he gave me his business card and asked me to call him anytime I needed him.  I never did, but almost 30 years later I still have that card.

Dan Cathy was a regular customer of my family’s hardware store in Fayetteville.  I remember helping him design and build a couple of Pinewood Derby cars with his Cub Scout sons one Saturday afternoon.  He kept returning to the store every few hours, announcing the progress, asking for additional instructions and re-checking what I had told him from when I had built my own.  He’s a hands on dad like his is a hands on businessman.

Dan liked our store enough that he used my father in one of Chick Fil A’s earliest training videos.  Dad was held up as an example of how to be a good member of the business community by offering excellent customer service and trying to meet any customer’s request.  We were honored by that inclusion.

My mother worked for a large non-profit that Truett served on the board.  He wasn’t there to pad a resume or earn points for civic or humanitarian awards.  He was the kind of guy who rolled up his sleeves and tried to make sure the place was fulfilling its mission.

Truett was big into charities that shaped children’s’ lives.  He didn’t just write checks, but was and remains an active part of this ministry.  When he came to speak to our youth group he brought one of the foster kids that he had adopted if my memory serves.  He also spoke on what the Cathy family and God had meant in his life.  The charity that mom and he worked together on had a children’s’ home, and Truett was very active with that part of it.

Eventually he expanded his charitable giving and his foundation.  Now the WinShape Foundation, the Cathy family has continued to focus most of their giving on things like WinShape homes, foster children, and Berry College in Rome Georgia.  WinShape continues to underwrite roughly a dozen long term foster homes for children.

It is amazing the amount of charity that has grown out of a business that was one restaurant across from a Ford plant and one cubby hole in Greenbriar Mall when I was born.  The business is now nationwide, and the charitable efforts have grown with it.  All the while, the Cathy family has stood firm to the principles that Truett discussed to my small church group back in the mid-eighties.  If ever there was a man who walked his talk it is Truett Cathy.

Today, our modern climate doesn’t always take well to that.  It’s been a somewhat disheartening week, as some have chosen to use the Cathy family’s abundant generosity to forward their own agenda, and call their gifts “hate”.  I have watched their actions and seen the direct result on people’s lives for over four decades.  The charitable donations are the antithesis of hate.  The Cathy’s love their neighbors.  All of them.

The planned day to boycott Chick Fil A didn’t exactly go as planned. Lines wrapped around stores and cars blocked traffic in an effort to show appreciation to the Cathy family for standing firm for their Christian beliefs.  Yet the comments by some seemed to miss the point.  Chick Fil A’s mission statement has never wavered.  The company believes in treating all employees and customers with respect. This includes those who believe the family and the chain are filled with hate.

For those who have lashed out at those who wished to boycott the chain, it is time to remember there is more to the Bible than several passages in Leviticus.  There are other passages about loving thy neighbor.  There’s also one about turning the other cheek.


    • I Miss the 90s says:

      Screw that.

      Chik-fila has no respect for the gay community. To have respect literally means to hold one in positive esteem. To support a position to deny equal rights to an entire group of people.because they do not share one’s belief system is quite literally an expression of disrespect.

      While I appreciate Charlie’s willingness to cede that those of us that care about civil liberties can boycott if we like and that we do not deserve scorn for doing so, it does not change the fact that religion has no place in American government (maybe in American politics for the intellectually feeble, but not government).

      • Joshua Morris says:

        To respect one’s rights is very different from respecting one’s personal choices. Learn the difference. What you’re looking for is censorship of an opposing view. That’s not American.

        Your statement about religion in American government doesn’t apply to anything addressed here. What’s your point?

      • Noway says:

        You know, 90’s, your response is correct, Screw that!!
        The political assault by the mayors on Cathy that led to Huckabee’s calling for the show of support for his personal views are just the latest assault on Christianity by the Left. From the attack on In God We Trust on our coinage, the scorn at saying “Merry Christmas” at during the Christmas season, from taking the Ten Commandments out of the public courthouses, no more prayers at Friday night football games, Christians have been getting pummeled for about 5 decades and quite frankly, they’re freaking tired of it!

        When they find a simple way to push back at the assault on their beliefs, you bet they’re going to do it. Oh, and thanks to Obama for publicly announcing the the USA isn’t a Christian Nation a couple of years back. The latest census data shows that roughly 75% of American identify themselves as Christians!!

        Please look at almost every presidential inaugural address since George Washington and you will see with very, very few exceptions, a tribute to God or a higher deity. The Supreme Court itself has stated that America is a Christian nation. If the Leftist politicians continue to tick them off please do not be surprised when they turn out in even higher numbers in November to show their displeasure.

        I truly think that this one issue, as unlikely as it would seem, will drive more substantially Christian turnout in the Fall that ever could have been imagined!

        • Calypso says:

          Where’s my eff-n violin? As I said elsewhere on here, you play the ‘Persecuted Christian’ card faster than Al Sharpton plays the race card. GMAFB, you admit that 75% of the US identifies with Christianity, yet you’ve been getting ‘pummeled’ for the last half-century.

          Oh, boo-hoo. Cry me a damn river.

          • Noway says:

            Nice attack, Calypso! You saw last Wednesday the response from those persecuted Christians and you’ll see the same again in November. Don’t understand your venom, though.

              • Noway says:

                Facts are facts, Calypso. Don’t care if you like them or not. Insipid? Did you have to look that up? We’ll just agree to be on different sides of this issue. Let’s also agree to re-visit this after the election and see if Christian turnout was higher than last time around. Fair?

  1. Napoleon says:

    Let me also add that I fully support and respect anyone’s right to boycott CFA, but just as long as they support and RESPECT my right to show the company my support.

    However, regardless of what you believe about Dan Cathy’s views, everyone should be infuriated at the threats by government officials (Rahm Emanuel, etc) to use government to stomp out CFA because of Cathy’s religious beliefs.

    These government officials need to be arrest, tried, convicted and exiled to France like all petty dictators. My patronage of CFA this week was in response to them, not the gay community.

    • James says:

      Napoleon’s comment highlights the absurdity of some of the pro-Cathy folks. These guys cry at what they perceive as “government [stomping] out CFA because of Cathy’s religious beliefs,” but are completely fine when government stomps upon the religious beliefs of many by barring them from getting married.

      • Napoleon says:

        You mean those whose religion embraces polygamy? I don’t think the government prohibits them from getting married in a religious ceremony under their faith. The government just does not recoginize more than one spouse.

        • James says:

          No. Those whose religion says that it’s perfectly appropriate for two loving homosexuals to get married.

          • Napoleon says:

            I don’t understand what you mean. Homosexuals have the same right to get married as anyone else.

            Also, I think I noticed a typo in one of your aboved statements. Above you say, “at what they perceive as ‘government’ stomping out…” I’m sure you ment to say, “promised as government stomping out of CFA.” I know I hate the fact the edit function is gone too.

            • James says:

              Um, not sure what you mean, Napoleon. If gays can get marriage licenses in Georgia then I’ve missed something big.

              • Napoleon says:

                They can get marriage licenses in Georgia. Gays have the same marriage rights any Georgia has. Why is this confusing?

                • James says:

                  Not sure if you’re trying to be funny or are just poorly informed. Check out O.C.G.A. 19-3-3.1, entitled “Same Sex Marriages Prohibited.” Among other things, this statute says “it is declared to be the public policy of this state to recognize only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state” and “No marriage between persons of the same sex shall be recognized as entitled to the benefits of marriage.”

                  Am I missing something?

                  • James says:

                    Maybe you’re arguing that “well, gays can call themselves married.” Not quite the same thing as being in a married relationship recognized by the state–which, as described above, does not happen in Georgia thanks to bigots like Dan Cathy.

                    • Napoleon says:

                      No, I mean gays have the exact same rights to obtain a legally recognized by the state, marriage license and the whole nine yards that all Georgians have. That’s in addition to a spiritual marriage.

                    • Napoleon says:

                      Even the law you cited does not change the fact…homosexuals have the same right to marriage that all heterosexuals have. I’m not being funny, but stating a legal fact.

                • bird says:

                  Same-sex couples can’t get marriage licenses in Georgia. It’s not ambiguous. It. Is. Prohibited.

                  • Calypso says:

                    You guys are missing Napoleon’s veiled message. Homosexuals have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, that is they can get a marriage license—as long as they are marrying someone of the opposite sex.

                    • Napoleon says:

                      Close Calypso, but even your statement doesn’t tell the full story. Can I get a marriage license to marry anyone of the opposite sex? Or are there numerous legal restrictions that I, and all Georgians have to block our choice of marital partner?

                    • bird says:

                      Oh. Semantics. We stand in awe of your intellect Napolean.

                      Of course, you have also made this an unproductive discussion.

                    • Napoleon says:

                      How so? No one has yet to explain how homosexuals have any different rights right now than any heterosexuals have. I have asked the question, no one has given me an answer, until Calypso.

                    • John Vestal says:

                      Basically, it’s the same type of contorted reasoning used in numerous court decisions upholding various anti-miscegenation laws prior to all of them being overturned by Loving v. Virginia 388 USC 1 in 1967.

                      The narratives found in some of these rulings would be comical if they weren’t so frighteningly sad.

    • Stefan says:

      You don’t cede your first amendment rights when you take elected office. What Emanuel said is protected speech, granted if he used his office in any way to discriminate based on the viewpoints of Cathey, that would obviously be unconstitutional. Regardless, if you want to complain about other’s intolerance, (“arrest, tried, convicted, and exiled”) you might want to reread the final paragraph that Charlie wrote above.

      • Napoleon says:

        Stefan. I’m surprised at you. You must have not read hat I wrote. I ever even remotely suggested Rahm was not entitled to his views. What he is not entitled to is use the government to enforce those views in violation of the Constitution. While there is a difference between words and actions, since CFA would not have a cause of action in court until Rahm put his threats into action/policy, it is dangerous for a government official in Rahm’s position to even threaten. What if the focus is not CFA which has deep pockets to fight City Hall, but a small Christian company whose entry into the Chicago market is chilled by Rahm’s “saber rattling?”

        I think Bloomberg had the most measured response, but when even the ACLU has had to tell Rahm he went too far, he went too far.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    Yet part of the Winshape Foundation is Winshape Marriage, which conducts pre-marital counselling, marriage ‘strengthening’ programs, and marriage counselling programs and retreats, which they advertise for in their stores; I’ve seen them with my own eyes.

    Somehow I doubt married gay couples are encouraged to attend. I’m not judging right or wrong here, and it’s entirely possible gay couples have participated in Winshape Marriage. If not, though, is it because they’re encouraged not to? Or not allowed? I admit I don’t know the answers, I’m just posing the questions. Because if the company line is they treat all customers with respect, but they advertise in their stores to encourage people to participate in Winshape Marriage, I would think they’re open to married gay couples participating, no?

      • Napoleon says:

        Looking at the website it looks like Winship, as one would expect, embraces the Biblical definition of marriage. As such I don’t think a homosexual couple, along with other non-Biblical marital groupings, would be welcome.

    • bird says:

      Gay couples are not allowed to attend.

      The Truetts and CFA also donate to some pretty tough anti-gay groups, including Exodus International, which is committed to turning gays straight.

      • Napoleon says:

        Bird, are you saying a homosexual person can’t become straight and happily so? I so you must believe a heterosexual person can not ever decide to become gay.

  3. Three Jack says:

    Well said Charlie! I’m a bit older than you and remember when Greenbriar Mall opened w/that Chick-fil-A tucked in the corner. We lived closeby in Red Oak, so I was lucky enough to go there at least once a week. Always a treat (eating a sandwich now with their fresh lemonade).

  4. Blake says:

    “The company believes in treating all employees and customers with respect.”

    I don’t know about customers, but employees who have filed multiple employment discrimination lawsuits over the last 25 years would beg to differ with you, Charlie. Moreover, Chik-Fil-A et al. may not “hate,” per se, but it’s just semantics. Mr. Cathy’s beliefs (and the company’s, apparently) mean he does not respect gay people and their equality before the law, simple as that. No apologetics about amount of charity work and sincerity and “I’ve met the man” can evade that.

    • James says:

      What if Dan Cathy had said “I don’t think black people should be able to vote, but I’ll treat them with respect in my restaurant”? Something tells me we wouldn’t be singing hosannas about his right to speak his mind.

      What he said is just as bad as my hypothetical above (if not worse).

      • Rick Day says:

        whoo boy…

        1. I’ve met Truett Cathy on several occasions. and you are not biased, are you?
        2. Truett was big into charities that shaped children’s’ lives. Little Muslim and Jewish and Wiccan and non-believer children amIrite? *nods nods* wait..what? ah hah haaaaa!
        3. The Cathy’s love their neighbors. All of them. Especially all the white rich ones; and the pool guys and landscapers, too! Pedro gets Bibles for bonuses.
        4. The planned day to boycott Chick Fil A didn’t exactly go as planned. Lines wrapped around stores and cars blocked traffic in an effort to show appreciation to the Cathy family for standing firm for their Christian belief Did you go to these events? Did you talk to the people participating? Rallying about a hateful position only makes those who came out as guilty of intolerance as Team Chicken™
        5. [directed at Cathy’s detractors]There are other passages about loving thy neighbor. There’s also one about turning the other cheek. The passage goes: But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
        you resist not evil

        *nods* Good advice, Charlie. Good advice indeed.

      • Napoleon says:

        I may be mistaken in this as I don’t claim to know everything that’s in the Bible, nor the tenants of every major religion, but I am not aware of either any major tenant of the Judeo-Christian ethic or any other doctrine of faith that says “black people” shouldn’t vote. I would like to know that information so I can avoid that religion.

          • Napoleon says:

            I am a bit confused…what discrimination, who is Cathy discriminating against? I will agree Cathy’s views are bigoted, but no less so than mine or yours. In fact, cracking open the actual hard copy nearly 2000 page dictionary (yes, I actually still have one of those), bigoted is defined as, “one whose attitude or behavior expresses intolerance, as because of race, religion, politics, etc.”

            So while Cathy might be a bigot on the political issue of same sex marriage, you are obviously a bigot on issues of religion. I would admit I am bigoted on many political issues, mainly economic issues. As this is a political blog with many differing ideas and ideologies, I would say political bigotry runs amuck here.

            I also am extremely bigoted, as I am completely intolerant, of those who would use the police power of the state to bully someone with threats of economic hardship and ruin based solely on their longstanding, Christian-based and rather mainstream views of marriage.

            Being a bigot just means you stand for something. Hopefully all of us are intolerant of murders and rapists and pedifiles and corrupt politicians. I hope few, if any of us, are intolerant of someone simply because of their race, religion, or even their sexual orientation. However, negative bigotry is usually met with negative bigotry. Christians aren’t perfect people (heck, if Christians were perfect, there would be no need for God’s grace through Christ’s death and resurrection, thereby negating Christianity itself) and I myself have been on the receiving end of bigorty by professed Christians based solely on my ethnic heritage just as I know professed Christians who have shown intolerance to homosexuals solely because they are homosexuals. But the answer to bigotry by some Christians is not an eye for an eye. Christians are required to be intolerant to sin, they are required to be not just tolerant, but loving, toward sinners. The gap between this ideal and actual practice is where Christians must struggle for improvement through divine grace. For the most part, it’s an impossible goal to reach, but one Christians are required to try to reach. I freely admit that it’s not one I’m close to reaching in all areas, but it doesn’t mean I stop trying.

            • Napoleon says:

              Also, you haven’t answered my question…what religion says black people can’t vote. I would like to know as I would express bigotry toward that religion (unless the religion believes no people should vote, which by definition would include blacks. I would disagree of that view, but not be intolerant of it).

    • Blog Goliard says:

      So you must have felt the same way about President Obama until about 15 minutes ago too…

      Judging whether a man is a good person or not by whether or not he’s on board with a radical redefinition of marriage that a small clique of people has suddenly, out of the blue, decided is an Immediate Moral Imperative, even though 99.99999% of all the human beings who have ever lived (including 99.99% of all the homosexual human beings who have ever lived) would consider it impossible or incorrect or flat-out preposterous, is simply lunacy.

      The Cathy family have always been way, way above average when it comes to the quality of treating actual human beings they come into contact with respectfully and as they would wish to be treated…and they have trained thousands of employees to do the same. This is the sane way to evaluate their character.

      And the sane way to evaluate their overall impact on the world. Even if I agreed that the Cathys’ refusal to suddenly abandon their orthodox Christian views on marriage and sexual ethics per your sudden command was a grave defect of character and a mark of evil, I would still argue that the company’s customer service ethos–a standout in their industry or any other–which produces tens of thousands of efficient, cheerful, attentive, and respectful contacts with customers every single day, builds positive karma and adds kindness and courtesy to our world in vast quantities.

      Quantities that, I daresay, dwarf the unease that some people feel when they note that the Cathys not only disagree with them but also–gasp!–have the audacity to promote and advocate for some of their beliefs, due to their sincere conviction (utterly orthodox and unremarkable over the scope of Christianity reaching back to the very beginning) that that value structure is best for promoting healthy families.

      • James says:

        “Radical redefinition of marriage”? “99.999999% of all human beings . . . would consider it impossible”? Blog, I didn’t realize they had time machines back in the 1500s. Welcome to 2012. Please adjust your views accordingly.

        • Napoleon says:

          I’m only about 37 years old. Now let’s suppose for argument’s sake that I was at least 12 before I was really aware there were such things as homosexuals and what that meant. Also, let’s add that I really wasn’t aware of politics until around that time (ok, I do remember Reagan being shot when I was 5 and his reelection when I was 9, but 11 was when I started watching SNL which means that I was pretty aware of key political issues when I was 12…that and I could do a mean imitation of Dana Carvey’s Church Chat). Now from that time, around 1987-1988 until about a decade ago, 2001, 2002, gay marriage was not really in the forefront of major American social and political issues. Legalization of marijuana was much, MUCH higher among social issues. Also, the right to die and assisted suicide were also big topics. Maybe after Clinton’s sexual scandals, Americans had no interest in discussing gay issues.

          While you might say I just had heterosexual blinders on, that would be inaccurate as from 2001-2004, one of my two roommates was openly homosexual (yes, I am confident enough in my own sexuality that I had no problem sharing living space with someone who is gay). Never once did I remember the discussion of gay marriage even come up.

          Really, I don’t think it was until sometime prior to Prop 8 in California that the issue came to the forefront of American political thought and debate. Prop 8 was passed in 2008.

          So I will give you that Blog may be living with a mindset concerning marriage that goes all the way to the distant past of 2005 American society, but that’s roughly half a millennium difference from the 1500. I realize we have come a long, long way since those distant days when you couldn’t buy Google stock and we had visionary men like Steve Jobs (I feel sorry for some of the younger Peach Pundit readers who never had the opportunity to live through the exciting days of Apple’s renaissance and really can’t understand the impact Jobs had on America in those dark days before the iPhone and iPad) making magic each day in Silicon Valley, but just because an idea is a little old doesn’t mean it is outdated. Personally, I think the ideas in the Declaration of Indepence, despite being 236 years old, are still pretty good.

          • Napoleon says:

            Oh, I will add a caveat…I do remember in the mid to late 1990s a episode of Friends where Newt Gingrich’s sister performed a marriage ceremony for Ross’s ex-wife and her partner. While I still would say the issue was on the back-burner for several more years, you could definitely argue that Blogs mindset concerning marriage goes all the way back to the dark ages of 1996.

          • James says:

            People once believed that slavery was supported by the Bible. If someone made that claim today, we’d laugh at them. People once believed that opposition to women’s suffrage was supported by the Bible. If someone made that claim today, we’d laugh at them. People once believed that opposition to segregated schools was supported by the Bible. If someone made that claim today, we’d laugh at them. People once believed that interracial marriages were prohibited by the Bible. If someone made that claim today, we’d laugh at them. People once believed that opposition to contraception was supported by the Bible. If someone made that claim today, most of us would laugh at them.

            I hear your point about the recent emergence of pro-gay marriage support. But gay marriage’s time has come. In 20 years we’ll be laughing that there was even opposition to this fundamental right. Opposition to gay marriage is outdated.

            • Napoleon says:

              Yes, but they were wrong. If the Biblical view was slavery was the ideal, then God would have never sent Moses to tell pharaoh to, “let my people go.”.

              The Bible recognized the modern state as it was in Roman and realized that there would be Christian slaves and Christian masters (and some Christian slaves would have non-Christian masters and visa versa). To string that to state that God approved of slavery was to basically ignore the entire Book of Exodus was false Christianity. Same as the Inquistion. I’ve found nowhere in the Bible where Christians are commanded to torture Jews to death or conversion.

              Segregation was not Biblical, but based on Plessy v. Ferguson, a Supreme Court decision. I’ve never read anything suggesting that Separate but Equal was also Biblically based. Once again, I would love to be enlightened as a consider myself to be somewhat of a history buff and this would have been something I missed. If you have any books you can suggest as to how religion was used to justify Jim Crow, I would be very interested.

              Once again I must be missing something. It is my understanding that homosexuals have the same marriage rights that everyone else has.

              • Napoleon says:

                Oh, and before you say Cathy is bastardizing the Bible to come to his views regarding homosexuality just like Southerners did to justify slavery, there are massive differences as to how the Bible treats the issue of slavery versus homosexuality. Biblically, homosexual behavior was a capital offense. Being caught in a homosexual act would result in death for both individuals. Paul basically said in his letters that one of the things that happened to a people when God gave up on them was He would give them over to their sexual immorality, which always includes the practicing of homosexual acts. (see Romans 1:18-32)

                In fact, 1 Timothy 10 puts slave trading and practicing homosexual acts on the same level, “9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

                I do not quote these passages to evangelize, far from it, but to illustrate there can be no doubt as to what the Bible says about homosexual acts. This is what Cathy believes and what billions of Christians around the world believe.

                Just like he slave traders had to ignore Exodus and the passage I quote above from Timothy to Bibically justify slavery, the minority of Christian churches which embrace the practice of homosexuality must also remove large sections of the Bible to arrive at their conclusions. By the time the South was justifying slavery, most of the Christian world had rejected the idea of slavery as being in line with the Christian faith.

                I have no problem if you disagree with the Bible and think it was about as much to do with the mind of God as Tolstoy’s War and Pease, but that’s not how the Cathy family views the Bible. To them it is the Divine Word of God, infallible and unchanging. Once again, you don’t have to agree with their religion, but, as an American, you should respect their First Amendment rights of both religious freedom and freedom of speech to be infuriated when government officials threaten economic harm against the Cathys for expressing those views.

                There used to be an old saying…”I disagree with what you said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

                The question is, which side of freedom are you on?

                • jiminga says:

                  Really verbose, and you lost me in the first sentence. It seems you have signed onto the revisionist history that only the South had slaves. News flash….so did yankees, including Washington and Jefferson.

                  In any case, what people choose to do to or with other people in privacy has been with us for thousands of years. DADT applies here.

                  • Napoleon says:

                    Jim, you may not be aware of this, but Jefferson and Washington were considered Southerns. They were from a slave state…VA. Washington himself was used on the seal of the Confederacy. I can only assume that you really did not mean what you wrote and we can blame the mistake on the lack of modify button…that or you were being humorous which is the one thing I hate about blogs, it’s difficult to always grasp when someone is trying to be a bit tongue-in-cheek.

                    I 110% agree with you…people have been doing weird things behind closed doors with whatever partner they felt fit to have since we had door to close, regardless of what religion and law says about the action. I don’t think that’s the issue here. Cathy’s comment, and personal belief, has everything to do with the “open and public” and not “behind closed doors.”

                    We do concern ourselves regularly with what happens behind closed doors. If a man takes a three year old girl behind closed doors, we greatly concern ourselves. If a man takes a prostitute behind closed doors, we concern ourselves (I don’t want to get into a prostitution legalization debate so please don’t waste time going there). The idea that society and order stop when the bedroom door closes, or that it even should stop when the bedroom door closes, is extremely dangerous. I am sure that’s not what you are trying to say here as it would mean you would put what a man and a woman, a man and a man, and a man and a five year old girl all on the same level.

                    I doubt Dan Cathy gets too worked up about what a homosexual couple does behind closed doors. I assume he believes it’s a sinful act, but he would also believe that about the unmarried heterosexual couple or the married man committing adultery. I understand Winship Marriage in their premarriage counseling promotes abstinence until both say, “I do.”

                    I am also willing to bet the Cathys donate to abstinence programs in general.

                    • jbgotcha says:

                      Only a quote from one of my favorite activists/authors, Chris Hedges, can address this. The quote is from his appearance on Bill Moyers’ show about how people who work for corporations that support discrimination can continue to do so knowing the pain it is causing others: “It’s moral fragmentation. I mean, they blind themselves to what they do all day long, and they define themselves as good human beings by other criteria, because they’re a good father or a good husband or because they go to church. But it is that human trait to engage in what I would have to describe as a system of evil. And yet, look at it as just a job.”

                      He is talking here specifically about Goldman Sachs employees, but I think the quote fits for any corporate entity.

                • John Konop says:


                  If I follow your logic you would be for a law banning people who got divorced of being allowed to get married again? As you know the Bible has way more about divorce.

        • Blog Goliard says:

          What a peculiar moral universe you must inhabit, James, where you determine right and wrong by checking the calendar. (The ones I’ve bought at Chick-fil-A didn’t have expiration dates for moral principles and religious beliefs printed anywhere on them…but they wouldn’t, would they?)

          Or do you not need a calendar–since as a member of the adjustment bureau, you were the one who made the decision on behalf of us all in the first place, of which views it would be mandatory to adjust when the calendar flipped to 2012?

          I’ll stick with Chesterton’s understanding instead, thanks:

          “Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea.” — from Orthodoxy (chapter titled “The Ethics of Elfland”), by Gilbert K. Chesterton

              • Blog Goliard says:

                It’s so much more fruitful than just hurling around insults like “bigot”, “hater”, and “bully”, isn’t it?

                (I hate it when I get sucked into the name-calling game myself…it’s been so distressingly easy to do so in this ridiculous kerfuffle especially.)

                • James says:

                  So much to say, so little time. So I’ll leave it at this: if one’s opposition to same sex marriage is grounded in tradition, well, your tradition sucks. And like it or not, that “tradition” is coming to an end soon.

                  That’s why I don’t get too worked up about the gay marriage debate. Opponents of gay marriage are on the wrong side of history, much like those that fought against women’s suffrage, desegregation, civil rights, etc.

                  • Napoleon says:

                    Once again James, you have not stated how a homosexual’s right to get married is any different than a heterosexual’s right.

                  • Great point re: tradition. It certainly has it’s place but to choose to be bound by it for no other reason than its existence is depressing. It was once a tradition to be ruled by kings, ride around in horse drawn buggies and keep the books for your company in an actual book. Ho hum.

                    • Napoleon says:

                      Chris, that technology, not tradition. The fact groups like the Amish still do that…well that’s tradition.

                  • Blog Goliard says:

                    It’s not grounded in tradition, but it’s supported by it; and that support is not only strong evidence in its favor, but should make people think much harder about demonizing people on the other side.

                    As for the “wrong side of history”, people love trotting that out when they run out of actual arguments in favor of their position. Keep on singing “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”; I’ll remain unimpressed.

                • Napoleon says:

                  Did you read my treatise of the word “bigot” above? Being a bigot isn’t always a bad thing. Call be a bigot against bullies and thought police. I will proudly proclaim myself a bigot towards people who show intolerance against traditional, mainstream values. Rahn Emanuel is as much of a bully full of intolerant hate as the kid who steals your lunch money. He is the Scott Farkas of thought who cares more about what Dan Cathy says to a Baptist publication in Atlanta, GA than about young black teens being gunned down by the droves 10 miles from his office. Maybe he just feels it is easier to bully Christians than to actually stop his own, personal Rwanda on the streets of South Central.

      • Blake says:

        I think you were replying to me, Blog Goliard–it’s a little hard to tell given the intervening threaded comments. Assuming that’s so, then yes, I had similar problems with Obama’s equivocations up until his declaration of support for same-sex marriage (disregarding your hyperbole about “15 minutes ago”); I cut him a bit more slack because 1) his stated views weren’t anywhere near as hard, fast & objectionable as Cathy’s, and 2) it seemed pretty clear to me that it was just hogwash and he was hedging his real views for misguided political reasons.

        I hope your “lunacy” comment is similar hyperbole, but I suspect it’s not. As preliminary background before getting to your main point, it is not a “radical” redefinition–we’re still talking about two humans, after all, not a human and some other animal, a human and an inanimate object, a human and an abstract concept, or two non-human entities getting married–it is not a “small clique of people” (a majority of the country and growing), and it is not “out of the blue”: the movement for gay marriage is to my knowledge at least 20 years old. Moreover, you seem smart enough to know that arguments from majority or history are flat-out fallacies, so I won’t go into detail about how absurd it is for you to claim you know the views of 99.99999% of all people/99.99% of all gay people who have ever lived; I will note that there are historical precursors for gay marriage, including church-blessed same-sex unions in medieval Europe that used startlingly similar language to marriage vows, so the idea is not so novel as you suppose.

        I think it’s lovely (assuming it’s true, and I have no reason to believe otherwise) that the Cathy family have been so polite and decent to anyone they have met in person; I note you fail to acknowledge the many employment discrimination lawsuits that have been filed against their company, which undermines your point that “they have trained thousands of employees to do the same.” Apparently they have not been quite so successful on that front as you suppose.

        To finally get to your main point, however, it is not “sane” to limit one’s assessment of someone’s character, or their overall impact on the world, by limiting the assessment to how that person treats other people in person. To take a more extreme example, I have no doubt that President Obama treats everyone he comes into contact with with the utmost respect, but I still consider him a murderer for extrajudicially killing innocent people via drone. It is on the contrary nonsense to not consider a person’s indirect impact on other people when it is of such moment. As I say, the example is more extreme; President Obama is head of the United States, the most powerful nation on earth, and is depriving innocent people of the right to life, whereas Cathy is merely the COO of a food company and expressing his opinion that fellow human beings should not enjoy the same civil rights he does, but in both cases these executives are causing harm.

        The question of “overall impact” is not that interesting to me; maybe 99% great customer service outweighs disrespecting someone else’s rights, but I don’t know how you quantify that.

        (A side note: calling my expressed opinion my “sudden command” is more than hyperbole, it’s just wrong. Your argument, externally civil, is rendered incivil through such fabrications and attributions of insanity.)

        Finally, I hope you will acknowledge that the test of healthy families is not an external value structure, but the documented outcomes of said families, and acquaint yourself with actual studies of those outcomes.

    • c_murrayiii says:

      Name one discrimination case that has been decided against Chick-fil-a. Every major corporation, I would argue, has faced discrimination lawsuits and accusations. It would be greater surprise if Chick-fil-a was an exception. Just because someone sues, doesn’t mean theres a company-wide policy of discrimination, nor even a non-official tradition of discrimination. You need to come up with a better argument if you are going to accuse a company of systemic discriminatory practices.

      • Blake says:

        Demanding a judgment against Chik-fil-A to prove employment discrimination is a ridiculous standard. Almost no lawsuits ever get to trial; almost all are settled or dismissed. And yes, any large company will have its share of all sorts of litigation; however, please quote me where I accused the company of “systemic discriminatory practices.” Charlie said the company believes in treating everyone with respect; I submitted employment discrimination lawsuits as an indication that at least in practice, those supposed beliefs don’t always appear to hold up.

        As far as the basic notion that the company believes in treating people with respect, if you don’t support someone else’s civil rights, you don’t respect them; so if Cathy’s views are representative of the company, then obviously the company doesn’t respect gay people. That’s an open-and-shut argument.

        • Charlie says:

          No, you submitted an unsubstantiated claim of employment discrimination.

          A friendly reminder: Religous preference is protected from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. Homosexuality is not.

          If you want to try to make this a legal thing, you’re on the losing side. Time to regroup your argument, as the law is not on your side at this time.

          • Blake says:

            What you said: “The company believes in treating all employees and customers with respect.”

            What I said: “I don’t know about customers, but employees who have filed multiple employment discrimination lawsuits over the last 25 years would beg to differ with you, Charlie.”

            Readers can come to their own conclusions as to whether that is “an unsubstantiated claim of employment discrimination.”

            Also, friendly reminder: At least one of those employment discrimination lawsuits was for religious preference; others were sexual harassment and sex discrimination. I am perfectly well aware that sexual orientation is not a federally-protected category, despite its being a more immutable characteristic of the individual than religion.

  5. kyleinatl says:

    I just wish they wouldn’t cook those sandwiches in Peanut Oil, rips my stomach to shreds…I guess it wouldn’t taste the same if they changed it. I’ve had to become a Zaxby’s man because of it.

  6. jiminga says:

    Great post, Charlie. “The company believes in treating all employees and customers with respect. This includes those who believe the family and the chain are filled with hate.” And possibly the best example of that is the viral video of the former CFO out west who railed against the drive-thru worker. She remained calm in the face of extreme abuse and dealt with him as if he were an admirer, then wished him a good day. That young woman’s decorum will live on as the exemplification of Truett Cathy’s business philosophy.

    Good food, good people, good management.

  7. And I’m sure there were a lot of otherwise great people who were against inter-racial marriage and supported slavery – all things you can point to the bible to justify if you so desire.

    Good lesson for businesses – keep it positive and we don’t even have to have this conversation.

  8. saltycracker says:

    It is difficult but important to seperate the secular world of business and government from personal religious beliefs, missionary goals and charitable work as the former is based in the culture of the latter.

    I imagine Cathy gives more to charity than Obama, Biden & Gore (notorious poor givers)combined. I’ve heard him speak, have talked to him and even sans 100% buy in, he is an incredible value to this State.

    I’ve also been cornered on a plane by a Chick Fil A exec on a personal pro-life mission and it had no bearing on my next CFA sandwich, fries & lemonade. Been on a political committee with a franchise owner and will always think kindly of him for bringing chicken bisquits.

    Great post Charlie.

  9. saltycracker says:

    Here’s a stop the bickering question:
    Why does the government have to define marriage ? Declare it a first amendment issue and leave the definition, if any, to religious beliefs.

    Let the government just define individuals and dependents and recognize legal, recorded contracts. That would end all the inherent spousal “rights” business.

    What legal fun we could have !

  10. Spacey G says:

    I just can’t ever get out of my head, my heart, how deeply deeply hurt so many people likely were, family members for example, to see people they knew and loved and worked with and lived with and played with every single day, lined up around the block to support Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay marriage giving back agenda. What an ugly thing to have done.

    • Napoleon says:

      Don’t forget their anti-premarital sex agenda (Dan Cathy hates single people), their anti-abortion agenda (Dan Cathy hates women), their anti-poverty agenda (Dan Cathy hates poor people), their anti-hunger agenda (Dan Cathy hates skinny people), their anti-ignorance agenda through sponsorship of the NCAA and college scholarships (Dan Cathy hates anyone who didn’t go to college), their anti-street orphan agenda, (Dan Cathy hates Oliver Twist, both the book and the musical…darn show tunes).

  11. Noway says:

    Spacey, is it not ok for those who support Cathy’s views to support him by patronizing the restaurant? Where is your tolerance? Those at the Kiss-In were supporting the beliefs of the gay marriage folks. Was that ugly, also?

  12. PegM says:

    Lest the facts not be forgotten in this general kerfuffle over Dan Cathy’s remarks, let’s review the circumstances. Mr. Cathy, a devout Christian, was being interviewed by a reporter from a Christian magazine, and merely said he believed that “marriage is between a man and a woman according to the Bible”. He did not diss gays, he was not homophobic, he just expressed his opinion based on his Christianity. Furthermore, his business has always operated with genteel employees encouraged to behave courteously, and to politelys serve all who come in the store, and in no way be doctrinaire about anything. You can still be tolerant and kind while holding differing opinions.

    • Napoleon says:

      Peg, everything I have written above would not have been necessary if I were as eloquent as you just were. Perfectly stated!

  13. DeKalb Wonkette says:

    I’ve been trying to stay out of this. Not my issue and I thing Jon Stewart said what needed to be said.

    Plus, I am feeling “Buzzed” from his own response to comments following his “we don’t hate you” column.


    Chick-fil-a is NOT the PICKRICK!

  14. saltycracker says:

    Never thought much of making out in public, regardless of participants:

    Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A’ draws kissing activists

    Scores of same-sex couples celebrated “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A” by kissing each other outside some of the fast-food chain’s 1,600 stores on Friday night in protest of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s controversial public comments against same-sex marriage.

  15. Engineer says:

    It is my belief that you should never mix food and politics, all it does is lead to everyone taking things way too personal. As long as the food is good, I generally don’t care about what a restaurant owner’s beliefs are.

  16. saltycracker says:

    Said it a few times -doesn’t matter what my restauranteur’s or movie star’s or musician’s opinions are as long as they deliver what I came for.

    It does matter what my government defines and regulates.

Comments are closed.