Controversy: Is this a question of anti-homosexual opinions or a fight against freedom of speech in America?
Chick-fil-A company president, Don Cathy, and his company are undergoing threats of boycotts due to their fundamental beliefs and traditional one-man-one-woman marriage viewpoint.
Politicians have joined in the fray further threatening regulatory powers to prohibit licensing by local governmental agencies to deny Chick-fil-A restaurants to be established claiming discrimination.
However, that is like calling the kettle black when these anti-supporters of the growing restaurant chain endeavor to deny common rights and privileges of this American company’s leader to have freedom of speech.
From what Cathy said, he exercised his freedom of speech and what he believed. It did not say that he will deny employment to homosexual personnel; it did not say that he would forbid employee advancement to anyone not sharing his beliefs. In fact, it is well known that Chick-fil-A has hired homosexual employees.
Cathy simply stated his feelings and expressed his opinion. Even Ken Coleman, where Cathy expressed these feelings, said in a CNN interview that “the irony in this whole thing is that people who preach tolerance are being intolerant right now.” (click here for full interview)
And for that and that alone, Chick-fil-A has undergone a series of hate and fury as though the entire business developed into a terrorist organization.
So what did Cathy really say?
According to a section of the soundtrack of the Ken Coleman Show June 16, he is recorded as saying:
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say you know, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”
For this, the entire country has been stirred up in a maelstrom of hate and intolerance hurled at the Chick-fil-A company. Even to the extreme that this statement was released July 27 by Jerry Johnston, Chick-fil-A Corporate Public Relations:
“Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day S. Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
“Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” (Chick-fil-A statement to the David Webb Show)
It is not as if S. Truett Cathy, founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A has hidden his convictions and belief. Blatantly on the website is a comprehensive outline of why the successful fast-food chain is never open on Sundays:
“Cathy’s practice of closing his restaurants on Sunday is unique to the restaurant business and a testament to his faith in God. Within the first week of business at his Dwarf Grill restaurant in Hapeville, Ga. more than 60 years ago, Cathy knew that he would not deal with money on the “Lord’s Day.” Today, the Closed-on-Sunday policy is reflected in the company’s Corporate Purpose:
“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.
“To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” (Chick-fil-A’s Sunday policy)
From this, you would think that the politicians of the towns endeavoring to boycott Chick-fil-A due to Dan Cathy’s statements would know that perhaps – just perhaps – the company’s president might feel strongly against homosexual marriages since he was following the direction started by the founder?
Many others on the other side of the spectrum have come out in support of Dan Cathy’s stance issuing an Appreciation Day on August 1 for the Chick-Fil-A company and encouraging all, whether anti-homosexual, faith-based, traditional marriage supporter or even an advocate of freedom of speech to support the restaurant company that day.
So the question/issue still remains:
What was the real issue on the maelstrom of hate hurled at Chick-fil-A? A question of a company’s president’s anti-homosexuality opinions or an issue of denouncing an American who controls a privately owned successful business of his freedom of speech rights?
Each of us will have to come to our own conclusion.
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