Two Persistent Lies about Chick-fil-a in the Press

As I have been watching the controversy about Chick-fil-a over the past week, I have been struck by the persistence of two lies about Chick-fil-a that have been perpetuated through a variety of media outlets. Most of the time, the lies are reported as quotations from another source, but they are rarely challenged or fact-checked by the one reporting the story.

Lie #1: That Chick-fil-a discriminates against homosexuals.

Mayor Tom Menino gave this explanation for why Chick-fil-a is not welcome in Boston: “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.” Likewise, the Alderman leading the charge against Chick-fil-a in Chicago said this: “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward.” Are these allegations accurate? Is it true that Chick-fil-a discriminates against homosexuals? That claim is patently false.

In a statement that has been largely ignored by homosexual activists, Chick-fil-a clarifies:

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. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

This statement and the well-known track record of Chick-fil-a are why even some opinion writers who support same-sex marriage are now editorializing in favor of Chick-fil-a. The pro-gay marriage editors of The Los Angeles Times write:

If Chick-fil-A were to refuse service to gay customers; the city has a right and an obligation to prevent discriminatory actions against its residents and visitors. But there’s no evidence that any such thing has occurred.

Likewise, Eric Zorn of The Chicago Tribune is also in favor of gay marriage, but he editorializes in favor of Chick-fil-a as well. He observes that “Chick-fil-A, doesn’t… discriminate against customers or employees” based on their sexual orientation.

Americans need to understand what is going on in this debate. No one is being discriminated against at Chick-fil-a, despite false reports to the contrary. The President of the company, Dan Cathy, simply expressed his point of view on the issue of marriage—a point of view rooted in his Christian beliefs. And now at least two mayors of America’s two leading cities are saying that they will use their power to punish Chick-fil-a for those views. This is a moral outrage and a violation of the first Amendment to the Constitution. Every American—no matter what your view of gay marriage—should stand against this kind of tyranny.

Lie #2: That Dan Cathy made an anti-gay marriage statement.

This imbroglio began as a result of an interview with Dan Cathy that was published in the Baptist Press. From what I can tell, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Baptist Press story, and it went national. Subsequent reports in the national media described Cathy’s remarks in decidedly negative terms. The Huffington Post described his stance as “anti-gay.” CNN reported that Cathy responded “guilty as charged” to the accusation that he opposes gay marriage. Time magazine had a headline that spoke of Chick-fil-a’s “homophobic attitude.” Did Dan Cathy really plead “guilty as charged” to accusations of having a “homophobic attitude” or of being “anti-gay” or even of being against “gay marriage”?

The truth is that Dan Cathy never mentioned gay marriage or homosexuality at all in the interview. I invite readers to read it for themselves to verify. While Cathy’s remarks certainly have implications for gay marriage, Cathy framed his comments in decidedly positive terms. Moreover, they were set in a context that was addressing more generally the pro-family stance of Chick-fil-a—a stance that has implications beyond the issue of gay marriage.

The Boston Herald reported that Dan Cathy said that gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” In actuality, the Baptist Press report said nothing about “God’s judgment.” That phrase was taken from a radio interview recorded a month earlier on a radio talk show in Atlanta. And in that interview, Ken Coleman wanted Cathy to talk about fatherhood and family. So Cathy made some wide-ranging remarks about the family in general and about his own father in particular—remarks which had no reference to homosexuality.

Cathy also emphasized how crucial it is for children to be raised by both a mother and father. As an aside, he mentions that that’s why he believes it’s arrogant to try and redefine marriage. It’s bad for children and invites God’s judgment. Cathy never says anything about homosexuality or gay marriage explicitly. You will not find the words “gay marriage” or “same-sex marriage” anywhere in this interview. Again, I invite readers to verify this for themselves by listening to the audio below. The interview begins at the 22:00 minute mark.

I do not mean to suggest that Cathy’s position on gay marriage is unclear. It is very clear that Cathy supports traditional marriage as the union of one man and one woman. What I am suggesting is that his advocacy is understated and respectful. It is nothing like it has been reported in the media over the past week.

71 Responses to Two Persistent Lies about Chick-fil-a in the Press

  1. Jason Kates July 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Well presented.

  2. David Thomas July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Note than even the ACLU is siding with Chick-Fil-A on this:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/26/politician-plan-to-block-chick-fil-is-unconstitutional-legal-experts-say/

    I ahve also been encouraged that a number of gay people on message boards have resisted activist calls to block Chick-Fil-A, citing human and constitutional rights. I only wish all were so reasonable.

    These mayors overstepped themselves severely. At least for now, cooler heads are taking the floor.

    • Denny Burk July 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      I think you’re right, David. But they showed their hand, didn’t they? We now know what many of them would do if they could get away with it. I think there is coming a day when they will get away with it.

      • David Thomas July 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

        What you just said I might have said myself. They are what John Polhill once called “fundamentalist liberals”–freedom for all…who /agree/ with them!

        I think this is why we must shift, and teach our people to shift, to an almost exclusively theological vocabulary on the matter. Arguments are starting to fail because arguments are based upon presuppositions of rational thought and a bank of generally accepted virtues. Once those are gone we are back in pagan Rome, leaning ont he Spirit to do the work of confirming the Word we speak. Those appointed unto salvation will respond.

        Shessh…now I’m sounding like a CALVINIST! :-)

        • Denny Burk July 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

          Amen!

        • Peyton Mulder July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

          nothing wrong with that!

          • David Thomas July 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

            We mostly-Arminians have to step carefully about such things, you know!

        • Margot Goldberg August 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

          What about the separation of Church and State? What about the millions of people in this country who don’t belong to the Christian faith? To have this conversation only in a theological context is blatantly unconstitutional.

        • craig miller August 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

          David…David, bro, it’s ok to sound like a calvinist. It’s ok, man.

      • buddyglass August 3, 2012 at 11:15 am #

        We might should take care not to generalize. As noted, many (possibly “most”) supporters of same-sex marriage have come out against the mayors. “They” showed their hand, but in this case “they” is the mayors, not s.s.m. supporters in general.

        I know it annoys me when some putative Christian makes some ridiculously inflammatory statement (e.g. “we should punish homosexuality with the death penalty”) and the opponents of biblical orthodoxy respond with, “They showed their hand, didn’t they?” Well, no, not really, because there is no universal “they”.

  3. JM LaRue July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    The activist are now changing their tune to go after Cathy’s financial support of organizations they deem to be anti-gay.

    I have heard a number of them say, “Yes, Chickfila doesn’t discriminate, but he still funnels money into organizations that do.”

    • Travis McKee July 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Yes, and we evil liberals have known about the financial support of Exodus Intl for years and have been voting with our wallets for years. This is a hyped up story, but one that has never been hidden. I, along with several other level headed evil liberals, don’t want to support a group that uses their profits to support Exodus, a group that I feel does great psychological harm.

      Now, all this being said, I think you are entitled to your opinion, too, and have the right to buy food from Chick-Fil-A. Lord knows, no one’s taking that away. In Boston and Chicago, these are city governments making their voice heard, too. Maybe Larry Flint wants to put a strip club in these locations, too, but these government officials would speak out against that as well.

      Buy it, enjoy the fact that you can. Please do! But know that any “boycott” that is being called for is only for those that want to do so. Know that others have boycotted Disney for ALLOWING gay days at their parks. Know that others have prevented gay people from marrying. Please don’t assume this “live and let live” attitude is only perturbed by the Liberals, because there are many things I would like to have the right to support, but some others have told me it would be bad for society.

      • Stephen Beck July 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

        Actually, city governments have little legal right (the government can do what the government wants, but we’re talking about following established American law here) to keep CFA out of their cities and also little economic incentive. The Boston mayor finally today agreed that his statements had no backing:

        http://bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1061148712

        The worst part of this article I linked is the final paragraph; I don’t think Menino realizes yet that “people’s rights” DO include CFA’s right to set up shop in the same manner that other business can. Also, elected officials are not elected to “make their opinions known” but to administrate a government more-or-less for the betterment of its citizens.

      • Bruce H McIntosh July 28, 2012 at 11:28 am #

        Actually, the dispute with Disney is not over *allowing* Gay Day events, but rather for not following the same policy that Disney follows for any other narrow interest group event (for example, the Night of Joy Christian music festival that’s held in September). Disney’s stated policy is to hold such events after regular park hours, opening the park involved until late at night to accommodate such events, so as not to interfere with the “whole Disney experience” for vacationing families, and to avoid the appearance of favoritism or advocacy for any such groups.

        • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

          “Gay Days” is not an official event, which is why it is not held outside of park hours. And BTW, if a family with same-sex parents vacationing at Disneyland is “interfering with the whole Disney experience” for others? I suggest they enter the 21st century. Not all families look alike.

          Love from a straight, married woman who understands the 14th Amendment

    • Tim Kramar July 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      So what? Every person has a right to his or her own beliefs. Don’t agree with someone? Then don’t associate with them. Or maybe, try to find common ground with the person and treat them with tolerance.

      We all ride this big blue ball until we die.

  4. Chris Yarzab July 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Thank you for the post. Giving thanks to God in all circumstances. Amen.

  5. Chris Fox July 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Thank you for a balanced and (finally) fact-checked report of the apparent culture war breaking out.

  6. Johnny Mason July 27, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    What Boston and Chicago government officials are doing by denying Chick-Fil-A permits for their speech has already been found unconstitutional and a violation of the first Amendment.

    http://www.volokh.com/2012/07/25/no-building-permits-for-opponent-of-same-sex-marriage/

    • David Thomas July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

      And that resolution to the matter speaks directly to the gist of Denny’s post and this discussion. The mayors of Boston and Chicago may have played a political gambit on this one, but they seem to have lost more than a pawn; liberal newspapers and legal agencies have roundly slapped them down for what they’ve said. It appears a prime case of Proverbs 29:20.

      Then again, what Denny said about them “showing their hand” is most true. Their position is the future, but also their eternal demise.

      Regarding Cathy’s motives (some have happily remarked that he is “crazy like a fox–his sales are skyrocketing from a massive free advertisng surge), I would call him a true Christian, one who defines success as faithfulness and recognizes his business came from God and in the end will pass away with everything else temporal in this world. His reward is elsewhere, and He knows that’s the only thing worth anything anyway. “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

      • buddyglass July 30, 2012 at 9:16 am #

        “liberal newspapers and legal agencies have roundly slapped them down for what they’ve said.”

        Then again, they undoubtedly scored points with a certain segment of the voting public. I’m not convinced *on its face* that the move was a bad one.

  7. Tara b July 27, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Thank you for checking the FACTS. What a novel idea for a writer.

  8. Doug Hildemann July 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Chik-Fil-A donates money to the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council is not just anti-gay marriage; they are anti-gay. They have called for the criminalization of homosexual behavior, fought against gay adoption, and claim most pedophiles are gay. Why is Chik-Fil-A giving money to a group like this? It’s not about being against gay marriage; it’s about supporting a hate group.

    • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Yep. The Southern Poverty Law Center has the FRC (and the so-called American Family Association, another recipient of Chick-Fil-A funds) on their list of known hate groups for at least two years that I’m aware of.

  9. Megan Dawson July 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Denny, I truly can’t understand your persistent desire to divorce the backlash from everything except for that Baptist Press article. Even if we grant that was the proximate cause of the current dust-up, you seem to believe that interview popped up in a vacuum. It obviously didn’t. It popped up into a context in which Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage is well known, and that context clearly includes a just-one-month-prior interview in which he said gay marriage invites God’s judgment. This “but wah? all he said is that he supports the traditional family!” is a dead-end argument, and I think you’re more than smart enough to realize that. It’s tired; give it up.

    Furthermore, it’s all well and good that he phrases his opposition in positive terms, and that he places it in a larger span of issues. But I also think you’re more than smart enough to understand why this won’t fly with the gay community. It won’t fly for the same reason that it wouldn’t fly with you if a well known abortion rights advocate held forth on the importance of being supportive of “women’s rights” in a larger context.

    I’ll grant that a lot of this has spun out of control. Public officials are idiots if they think they can bar a business because they don’t like the founder’s views–and I think most reasonable people agree. But I find it problematic to assert that people should be expected to react only to a context-free reading of the BP article…or that Cathy should get some bonus points because he wants to block access to rights he himself regularly enjoys, because at least he’s doing it nicely.

    • David Thomas July 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Megan, doesn’t Denny address these very points in his final three paragraphs?

  10. Rose July 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for your posts on this hot topic, Denny! I’m ruminating on a blogpost…Why I’m Still Eating at Chick-Fil-A. :-)

  11. Mitch Dean July 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Denny,

    I am very sorry to have to say this old friend but YOU are telling a lie here and that lie is:

    “Cathy never says anything about homosexuality or gay marriage explicitly.” (referring to the radio interview)

    I honestly can’t believe that nobody has posted this but here is the full text of his statement (text which is not in your post):

    “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.’”

    Now, unless you are very VERY stupid, you fully understand that this is an anti-gay marriage statement.

    For those devoted members of the Denny Burk flock who may be wondering “who is this jerk?” Denny and I met in the 6th grade and we have known each other for over 25 years. So, I am very well qualified to say that he is a LONG way from stupid.

    Denny, you know very well what Dan Cathy meant when he made the statement above (and everybody else with an IQ of 2 or better knows it too). If you disagree with this statement, that is fine, say so and trot out all the bible verses that you love to quote and then enjoy your self-granted smug superiority but STOP saying that Dan Cathy has not made an anti-gay marriage statement.

    • Denny Burk July 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

      Yes, Mitch! I agree that he was referring to gay marriage! I never meant to imply otherwise. My point was that Cathy expressed his opinion in an understated and respectful way, not in a blustering and cantankerous way. I understand that many people disagree with his opinion, which is rooted in his Christian faith. But if expressing a controversial opinion in respectful tones is now out of order in our democracy, thpluralistic our pluralistic society is unraveling.

      • David Thomas July 28, 2012 at 12:20 am #

        Honestly, I don’t understand the misunderstanding here (i.e., the idea that some think you were suggesting Cathy didn’t speak to the gay marriage issue). I understood, again, from Denny’s final paragraphs, that his point had to do with Cathy’s tone/demeanor and the precision of language issue.

        On the other hand, Denny and I sat through many a colloquia session together and experienced a parsing of words that would drive many folks crazy. If you haven’t been through that, Denny’s exactitude might come off as pedantic or evasive. For me, it’s not.

        For the record, I have heard/read on message boards from some of the more frankly progressive folks involved in the discussion that the matter goes beyond–far beyond–whether 2 people of the same sex may marry. Once the issue of family goes out the window, and marriage is basically about romantic partnership and not procreation and the nurture of children, then anything goes. Some have openly pushed marriage between siblings (either same sex or of different sexes, the latter so long as one/both is/are sterile) as well as polyamory (including open marriages of multiple people of both genders–think a hybrid between polygamy and gay marriage). Holland has already fully embraced this, and bet on other European countries following (Plus, California is already changing its documentation to allow children more than two “parents.”) Gay “marriage” is only the beginning, friends. The bigger issue is the standard of what marriage is and means in a society. Once that’s gone, all bets are off. Anyone who scoffs, “Why, that’s ridiculous” is ignoring the fact that that is the way we were talking about gay marriage a few years ago.

        Mr. Cathy’s remarks refer precisely to his adherence to the biblical standard, and I have little doubt regarding what was in his mind. But it is worth noting that what he says has broader application, because once we abandon Scripture, there are many, many ways to perdition. Gay marriage is just one of them.

        • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

          I’m sure you have verifiable, mainstream sources for your assertions here. Thanks in advance for sharing them.

          BTW, since this is a secular nation, your “road to perdition” has no basis in legal reality.

    • Denny Burk July 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

      P.S. I love it when you comment. You keep me honest!

      • Mitch Dean July 28, 2012 at 4:02 am #

        Good! Then please don’t be too mad about my new comments on the Regnerus “Gays Ruin Kids” study. :)

  12. Cindy Collins July 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    What a lively discussion. When I was younger I never would have thought I’d live to see such a debate. The only thing I had ever heard about homosexuality was that it was illegal in some states, (short reference in a health class I had in 7th grade-though I really didn’t know what they were talking about). I’m wondering what the debate it all about. I may be just an old, southern, housewife but I can read and have found over the years that every issue I’ve come across can pretty much be settled by reading the instruction manual to life. The answer to this one can, among other places, be found in the first chapter of Romans. I know God loves all HIS children and some choose not to be, but that doesn’t change the rules He put down. Nor should we ignore His other rules about loving all people and trying to lead them in the right direction or for standing up for what we learn through His Word to be the truth. It’s our responsibility. Mr. Cathy, it seems to me, has not only the right but the responsibility to stand up for what is right. I know there are debates all the time about who and what makes that determination but why continue to try and figure it out by talking or reading what this or that person has to say, or has reasoned with his limited mind, when we have the Creator’s Word telling us? Makes no sense to me. I’ve heard there is going to be a day of support for Chick-Fil-A on August 1st, 2012 and though there isn’t one in my small town I’ll be sure to travel to my nearest Chick-Fil-A to show my support, because I believe I have the responsibility to support those who are trying to follow God’s Word.

    • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      You say you have the responsibility to support those who follow God’s word. I’m guessing you haven’t paid too much attention to the red letters, ma’am, because Jesus was pretty clear that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves … and there were no codicils that said “unless they’re gay/a different religion/have a different skin color.”

      Maybe you can help me understand how this is anything but bigotry, since no one else has been able to. Prettying it up in language that says “it’s what the bible says,” especially in a secular nation, doesn’t change the facts.

  13. Cherie Bartlett July 29, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Mr. Cathy has a right to his opinions. The point is, part of the money you spend at Chick-fil-a will be donated to their charitable arm and that charitable arm donates to groups who are actively working against gay marriage. It’s a small amount – but if you don’t want to contribute even a small amount to these groups, you’ll choose to eat elsewhere. I don’t care if he thinks only Lithuanians should be able to marry, I’d still eat there. But if he was supporting groups working to prevent anyone but Lithuanians the right to marry, I might think twice.

    The rest is all just window dressing.

  14. buddyglass July 30, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    “he mentions that that’s why he believes it’s arrogant to try and redefine marriage. It’s bad for children and invites God’s judgment. Cathy never says anything about homosexuality or gay marriage explicitly.”

    If Cathy believes its arrogant to redefine marriage and that redefining marriage invites God’s judgment, how is he *not* talking about same-sex marriage? The Boston Herald’s claim, at least, seems to be fairly accurate. Cathy was clearly talking about same-sex marriage.

    • John Smith August 4, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Just because Cathy says “its arrogant to redefine marriage and that redefining marriage invites God’s judgment” does NOT mean he was “clearly talking about same-sex marriage”. That is an iterpretation – his statement was referring to the Biblical definitiion of marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman, anything else is deemed wrong. As has been said in another comment, there are people wanting to have marriage between siblings, multiple partners, (same sex and opposite sex), and the list can go on. You can say that he is purposely saying he is against gay marriage specifically because that is the current hot topic for that segment of the population. But, the TRUTH is, he believes the only definition of marriage is what the Bible says – which would of course INCLUDE gay marriage.

      The comparison of Dan Cathy to Larry Flint is totally unfounded – most cities have ordinances regarding most varieties of businesses, and there are ones that specifically address adult entertainment establishments. City governments do NOT have the right to deny a business permits based on the moral beliefs of its CEO.

      As for the arguments that say that Cathy supports anti-gay groups, I suppose you could call them anti-gay since they are for keeping the traditional moral values this country was founded on in place. Saying that they are discriminating against gays is an unfair thing – think about this – if it goes against your religious beliefs to support the “modern” society’s way of thinking and you are being forced to support it by government mandates and laws, are you not being discriminated against as well?

      What it seems to boil down to is there are groups on both sides of the debate that want to say that if you don’t agree with their beliefs you are ‘anti’ what ever it is the debate is about from their point of view.

      As a teenager I was approached and ‘hit-on’ by a gay man. When I told him to leave me alone, he started screaming that I was anti-gay. I could have been gay myself, but because I did not welcome his advances he automatically assumed I was against gays or (to use the polarizing term) a homophobe. Now while I do not condone or accept the gay orientation itself, the people that ARE gay are God’s children and He instructed ALL of His followers to love everyone, regardless of what they are like, including enemies! I have had many gay friends over the years, and they know my beliefs, but never called them into question, nor did I beat them over the head with what the Bible says about homosexuality. True tolerance is respecting the views and beliefs of someone else, even if they go against yours. It does NOT mean you have to ACCEPT those views and beliefs.

      • Sharon E. Cathcart August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

        “That is an iterpretation – his statement was referring to the Biblical definitiion of marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman, anything else is deemed wrong.”

        Except that’s not the Biblical definition of marriage. http://strplace.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/challenge-you-want-the-biblical-view-of-marriage/. There’s an infographic at this link that shows the Biblical definitions (note plural) of marriage, with the chapter and verse citation.

        No one is discriminating against “Christians,” no matter how many times you try to pretend it’s so. People calling you out for bigotry is not discrimination; it’s truth-telling. It’s self-proclaimed “Christians” such as the folk commenting here who turn many people away from Jesus, and cause believers like me to longer self-identify as “Christian.” I call myself a believer in Jesus’ teachings which, in case you missed the memo, include loving your neighbor as yourself.

        Why is it that so many anti-gay people, like “John Smith” above, insist that they have “many gay friends” and that those “many gay friends” are okay with people like John Smith campaigning to limit and/or eliminate their rights? Can someone help me understand that?

  15. Helen July 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    When I click to play the audio, it just says “file not found.” Is anyone else having this problem?

    • Denny Burk July 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      I think I got it fixed. Try it again. Thanks for the heads-up!

  16. Susan Cope July 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I don’t pretend to match wits with the intellectual level displayed here. All I know is that free commerce is all about people being able to vote with their wallets. I have a sneaking hunch that other companies contribute to things I abhor and that are against my Christian values but I don’t have the luxury of knowing every little thing every corporation dabbles in. At least Chick-fil-A is up front about what they believe (a refreshing concept). If mayors are going to ban companies from their cities for what they contribute to or even what they say then lets get ALL of the companies to disclose what they are doing and scrutinize every little thing the CEOs have said.

    • Jason Ruzek July 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      I’m not gonna stop buying from Amazon anytime soon, and their CEO just gave 2.5 million to those who are working towards gay marriage.

      • Susan Cope July 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

        See! How would you feel if you were denied the choice of using them if Amazon were somehow denied the right to conduct business in your city because what views their CEO had! Yet it is okay to do the same to a smaller business who doesn’t happen to hold popular views? As a citizen it is MY choice to do business with a company or not, NOT government’s.

  17. Eric Goodman July 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    A very well written article. People are free to vote with their wallets as the previous post said. Dan Cathy knows this all too well and he is not afraid of the Liberal agenda. I talked with a local franchisee at a CHick-fil-a event this past week and he said that sales across the country are UP 20-30% nationwide. Sounds like America is ticked, and they are tired of a small group of people pushing their homosexual agenda on the rest of the country. If you don’t like what they stand for, you don’t have to shop there. If you do, show your support!

    • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      “Liberal agenda” – please provide me a copy as I don’t have one.
      “Homosexual agenda” – please provide a copy of that as well, since none of gay or lesbian friends have one either and we’d all like to know. Thanks.

  18. charles July 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Under point #1, you’re “violation of the 1st amendment” argument makes no sense. The 1st amendment protects free speech from GOVERNMENT encroachment, not private parties. You can say almost anything you want in the U.S. — just don’t expect to be protected from potentially adverse treatment from others.

    • Denny Burk July 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

      Yes, that’s right. And when mayors and city council men threaten to deny permits to Chick-fil-a, that is GOVERNMENT encroachment on first amendment protections.

      P.S. Please use your first and last name in future comments (see my comments policy). Thanks.

  19. Steve Martin July 31, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    The “tolerant” left just can’t stand it when someone disagrees with them, so they will try and shut them down, in one way or another.

    I just had my first Chick-Fil-A sandwich yesterday (here in So. Cal.).

    I loved it! Will go back for many more!

    • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Sweetie, it is not intolerant to call out intolerance. It’s called naming and shaming.

      Nor is this a first amendment issue. No one has hauled Dan Cathy away for speaking his opinion. I will be the first to say that people are more than welcome to hold any benighted opinion that floats their proverbial boat. The 1st amendment says the government won’t haul you away for doing so What it does *not* do is guarantee you an adoring, agreeing audience or free you from judgment. Because, see, other people have the same right to free speech. Isn’t freedom grand?

  20. Scott Marler July 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I’m sorry Denny, but your blog post, while well researched, is still just wrong.

    Point #1: Chick-Fil-A DOES discriminate against LGBT people with its corporate donations and with its Christian corporate culture that trends homophobic, especially here in the South They have for years. Saying “we love all our customers, regardless of sexual orientation” while continuing to proudly fund organizations that want us to disappear is truly an insult to me, my partner of 13 years, and our supporters. So CFA wants our money, just not our relationship or our rights to live, love, or support our own families freely. Can you see how this upsets not just us, but several million straight allies who support our lives? The media is reporting a legitimate firestorm based on several years of simmering indignation and discrimination towards the LGBT community.

    Point #2: Dan Cathy has made several anti-gay marriage statements! With pride! Speaking on behalf of his privately-held family-owned company, that donates millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations. Assuming you’re a straight man, I believe you’ve probably never had a reason to “home in” on this kind of speech or atmosphere because it has never directly threatened you personally. I submit that you have never successfully imagined the constant stream of implied and explicit, nonverbal and verbal, written-in-policy or unspoken, abuse and threats that we in the LGBT community have been subjected to for as long as disgusted, misinformed people have been able to write, print, speak, shoot, quote, preach, burn, laugh, yell, stab, whip, kick, or punch. I respectfully reject your authority to decide whether or not Dan Cathy’s advocacy is understated or respectful, since by definition his statements presumably have no offensive power over your life or your family, as they do mine. I’m speechless at the thought that the LGBT community daring to call these things to attention has actually made straight folks feel offended and feel the need to rush to support CFA’s highly successful business and product against 5 to 10 percent of the population.

    Finally, I’d like to say that most fair-minded, freedom-loving folks do instantly recognize the knee-jerk reactions of a few city mayors as just that, hasty overreactions; very very few people support the idea that banning Chick-Fil-A or denying their right to speech or commerce is an honest or just response to anything CFA has done. I personally do not want to ban CFA nor do I have any sinister hidden agenda as a gay man to tear down any just American institution or restrict its free speech; I simply join the growing number of people who refuse to patronize CFA’s business (or any such businesses that actively work against my family.)

    Thank you for allowing and promoting reasonable discussion and best wishes for enlightened and thoughtful understanding, for all of us. Signed, Scott Marler, gay Christian, Atlanta Georgia (Chick-Fil-A HQ city, they’re everywhere here)

    • Aaron James August 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      Scott, maybe you can help explain this for me: Why is it that businesses/people that subscribe to gay marriage can financially support organizations for the protection and promotion of their beliefs and it is NOTdiscrimination? Yet, when businesses/people who subscribe to traditional marriage financially support organizations for the protection and promotion of their beliefs it IS discrimination. It seems very self-serving and hypocritical to me.

      • Brenna Morrigan August 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

        Because pro-gay supporters are just that — supporters. They’re not trying to take anything away from anybody or prevent anyone from having certain rights. Anti-gay organizations are prohibitors, and they want to take away the rights of others. It’s a big difference.

        • Jason Ruzek August 2, 2012 at 12:28 am #

          That is not correct. Firstly, the marriage revisionists want to force everyone else to affirm them, that’s what gay marriage is, getting the state to make everyone endorse your life style. Your read on this issue is entirely backwards. Secondly, “pro-gay” and “anti-gay” are not helpful terms, in that one can have pleasant and loving relationships with persons of different lifestyles without endorsing the lifestyle, one one can certainly be opposed to the state forcing everybody to endorse the lifestyle and not be “anti” the person. It is inflammatory and incorrect, and just succeeds at making procuring more enmity. Perhaps that is your goal.

          • Sharon E. Cathcart August 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

            “Marriage revisionists,” Jason? Really? Dude, marriage is now and always has been an elastic institution. It’s been “revised” (to use your word) in my *lifetime* with Loving v. Virginia. In fact, many of the arguments used against marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples were used back in the day to support anti-miscegenation laws.

            I’m hopeful you can tell me what the “gay lifestyle” to which you object looks like. You see, my GLBT friends’ lifestyle looks much like mine: go to work, buy groceries, do the laundry, walk the dog, etc. I see a whole lot of objections to the so-called “gay lifestyle,” but no one who objects to it seems to be able to tell this straight, married woman what it is.

            Thanks.

  21. Becky Evans July 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    I see the word “homophobic” tossed around a lot, and I’m honestly kind of tired of it. Suddenly anyone who is willing to stand by (and speak out about) their beliefs that marriage should be one man and one woman, they are “homophobic”. The word is used a little too loosely and should really be looked at for what it is. Phobia is an extreme fear of something.

    I have plenty of friends that are gay, who I care very much about. I’m not terrified of them, especially not because they’re gay. And maybe I’m looking at it a little too simplistically, but I think it’s a little too discriminatory considering who it usually comes from.

    • Jason Ruzek August 2, 2012 at 1:13 am #

      It’s just name calling, no different than half the publications in the country saying that anyone who disagree with our President is ‘racist’. It really is one of those moments which indicate just how unsettled the person making the argument is.

  22. Leslie Dougherty August 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Aaron, I am a straight woman, but I’m going to answer for Scott. It is not discrimination, because it is INCLUSIVE, to support equal rights for everyone. Discrimination is EXCLUDING a certain group, like gays from marriage, I hope that clears it up for you.

    • Jason Ruzek August 2, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Though you are ostensibly correct, your emphases are very poorly considered.

      Can you conceive of any union which you would exclude from the legal definition of marriage? That is, is there any moral or logical point of discrimination (this is not a dirty word, people, short people aren’t hired for the NBA, men aren’t hired as wet-nurses, etc.) which you would want enforced in the marital covenant?

  23. Bees August 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Thank you.. I appreciate some comon sense in this whole contraversy.. Wanted to let you know the “audio” has been removed which is too bad.. I would really like to hear the truth of his comments.

    • Denny Burk August 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      I just fixed the audio. Thanks for the heads-up!

  24. Ed Martin August 3, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Maybe we should all stop traveling to Chicago, as it appears they do not support freedom of speech. There are attractions and convention centers in other cities that do.

  25. Amy Redd-Greiner August 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I feel like this debate is very difficult to navigate because so much of it is a matter of perception and belief. This article is arguing that very issue. But the press isn’t “lying” about Cathy’s statements and Chick Fil A. Your interpretation of the press coverage is framed by your agreement or disagreement with Cathy, essentially. From my point of view it is a clear line from being anti-gay marriage to being anti-gay. If you hold a belief system that says there is something “wrong” with a same sex couple marrying, then you are, by extension, arguing that there is something “wrong” with the couple. So much of what I read has been individuals stating that “I don’t have a problem with gay people, I just don’t think they should be allowed to get married”. Well, then you DO have a problem with gay people. At the very least there should be a realization that that’s the way it’s perceived.

    And Dan Cathy’s comments regarding God’s judgement demonstrates a clear thought process regarding his perception of gay people. It’s a tad absurd to suggest that people can’t extrapolate his meaning from that. “Inviting God’s judgement” on a same sex couple certainly doesn’t suggest approval. That’s also incredibly insulting to the many same sex couples raising happy and healthy children in a safe and loving environment.

  26. kathy breslin September 20, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Well said

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