SO WHEN IS A CHICKEN SANDWICH *NOT* JUST A CHICKEN SANDWICH?
Posted July 30, 2012on:
Why when it gets involved in a political controversy involving a couple of mayors most likely seeking to create their own little bit of publicity of course, and when the owner of a chicken joint is a hard-nosed, Bible-Belt “Christian”.
First of all, let me say that Chick Fil A makes a damned good chicken sandwich and other chicken products. I”m particularly fond of their nuggets. They beat Mickey D’s hands down in my opinion. Also, I can say I have always been treated courteously when I have patronized their stores and the stores I have been in have been spotlessly clean. However, the company’s president has created some hubbub over recent comments that he made and later affirmed. It seems that his company supports the idea of the “traditional” family and Mr. Cathy, the president of the company believes that by trying to push for marriage equality we are gonna be invoking the Almighty’s wrath and bring it down up the country.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
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,’ 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 about,” Cathy said in that interview, which can be heard here.
Well alrighty then and let me whip a bless your heart on you Mr. Cathy. I know your company closes your stores on Sundays because it says so on the Chick Fil A website. It also says it’s so “their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so.” (bolding mine) You have a private company and don’t answer to stockholders. If you want to run your company this way and you believe the way you do, then I shall exercise my God-given right to not patronize your establishments as I feel differently about marriage equality.
That being said, I think we can all agree that boycotting Chick Fil A restaurants is a good thing if you happen to not follow ole Dan’s ideas on marriage equality. Therefore, we can put “done” on this. Except that a couple of big-city mayors have decided that a boycott or whatever is just not good enough to punish Chick Fil A. Instead, Chick Fil A must be punished by not allowing them to expand or open businesses in their communities based upon the hateful words of Mr. Cathy. The mayors of Boston and Chicago decided that Chick Fil A is just not welcomed in their cities because the owner is an asshole and hateful and they will use their powers to block the company from either adding additional stores in their cities or banning them outright from entering their cities. Except, they can’t do that. And the reason they can’t do that is because of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It’s the one that gives us free speech, whether that free speech is full of assholery or whatever.
Glenn Greenwald had it right. Rahm Emanuel’s statements about Chick Fil A were:
The anti-gay views openly espoused by the president of a fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches have run afoul of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman, who are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.
“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Emanuel said Wednesday.
“What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city.”
Glenn goes on to say:
Obviously, it’s perfectly legitimate for private citizens to decide not to patronize a business with executives who have such views (I’d likely refrain from doing so in this case). Beyond that, if a business is engaging in discriminatory hiring or service practices in violation of the law — refusing to hire gay employees or serve gay patrons in cities which have made sexual orientation discrimination illegal — then it is perfectly legitimate to take action against them.
But that is not the case here; the actions are purely in retribution against the views of the business’ top executive on the desirability of same-sex marriage…
Greenwald also notes the comments by a colleague at Salon who wrote on the Boston issue:
As my Salon colleague Mary Elizabeth Williams noted when writing about the controversy in Boston: “Aside from the fact that Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday, there’s no evidence those beliefs have been institutionalized in any way. There’s no record of refusing service to gay patrons, or unfair hiring practices, or a hostile work environment.” Indeed, Joe Moreno, the Chicago alderman who represents a “hipster ward” and who initially blocked the business’ expansion, made clear that he was motivated not by any alleged discriminatory business practices but solely by “bigoted, homophobic comments”: namely, the Chick-fil-A President’s view that the Bible mandates marriages be between men and women only. And as Williams noted, the company oversees a “foundation that’s contributed financially to” numerous right-wing groups: Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, among others.
More Greenwald here:
It’s always easy to get people to condemn threats to free speech when the speech being threatened is speech that they like. It’s much more difficult to induce support for free speech rights when the speech being punished is speech they find repellent. But having Mayors and other officials punish businesses for the political and social views of their executives — regardless of what those views are — is as pure a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech as it gets, and beyond that, is genuinely dangerous.
And Greenwald is, obviously, correct. Mr. Cathy’s words and beliefs may be completely egregious and offensive to all of us here but you cannot use that as a basis to deny permits and such to a business. And too, as he says, it’s always easy to get people to condemn threats to speech when people like it (particular speeches) but more difficult when the speech/words may be offensive. Think ACLU and Skokie Illinois.
If you really want to stand on your principles, but you also really love Chick Fil A Sandwiches, here’s a link that will show you how to make your own. Just remember the pickle juice. Also, Hilah Johnson is absolutely precious in the video.
Finally, here’s a point to consider: Maybe God has already laid a can of whoop-ass on Chick Fil A. Is it a sign? Who knows? Just sayin’…
This is an open thread.
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