As I’ve taught my children to say when they don't like a meal they've been served, here’s my take on the anti-gay bigotry of Chick-fil-A: “No thank you, I prefer something else.”


The recent barnyard brawling over the anti-gay stance of Chick-fil-A has certainly raised a commotion in the hen-house. Squawking and cackles erupted over news of statements made by the fast food eatery’s president/COO Dan Cathy, who seemed to publicly embrace that position after growing attention focused on donations the company makes to anti-gay groups.

In an interview, Cathy told the Baptist Press, “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”

In another interview, Cathy reiterated his belief:  “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Just in case it wasn’t explicitly clear, Cathy was blunt about describing the company’s support of ‘traditional’ marriage, “Guilty as charged.”

Cathy, the son of Chick-fil-A’s founder, made these statements after reports surfaced that the company, via its charitable arm, made close to $2 million in donations to groups actively working to discriminate against homosexuals and the LGBT community, including making some behaviors illegal and criminal, here and abroad. The issue at hand isn’t just about gay marriage, but also about employment, life choices, health insurance and, in some cases, survival.

Let's be very clear about the brouhaha raised after Cathy’s comments:  This is NOT a first amendment issue; it’s really a civil rights issue. When you have an organization contributing money to groups actively engaged in trying to disenfranchise, segregate and isolate—let alone strip away civil rights from citizens—it is clearly a civil rights issue.

I emphatically contend that Cathy is entitled both to his opinion and his freedom to express it. In fact, I’m gratified that he has expressed it, because now we know where we stand, with him and with his company. His statements demonstrate his prejudices and bigotry, and they shed light on the discriminatory efforts his company’s profits support.

I’m perplexed by the contradictory nature of Cathy’s statement, characterizing those who have the ‘audacity to define what marriage is about’ as ‘prideful’ and ‘arrogant.’ Isn’t that exactly what Cathy was doing? Defining what marriage should be—between a man and a woman?

Protesters speaking out and demonstrating against those views are not intolerant of them. They are merely expressing their own view, that discrimination and segregation—whether cloaked in religious, moral or first amendment arguments—is still bigotry.

Imagine learning that KFC contributes to organizations campaigning for outlawing marriage between men and women of different races, based on arguments of sanctity or morality. Imagine discovering that the president of Taco Bell donates significant company profits to organizations that campaign for removing tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues, because of his interpretation of the phrase, ‘separation of church and state.’ If those moves were true, we’d certainly classify them as bigotry. So too, can we call Chick-fil-A’s actions as bigoted.

I’m glad to see that there have been mounting boycotts and protests against Chick-fil-A’s corporate dealings. They are not intolerant of someone else’s opinions or religious beliefs. Instead, such protests demonstrate an intolerance of intolerance itself, akin to those that that advanced civil rights legislation forward 50-60 years ago, and beyond. They harken back to sit-ins, Rosa Parks, abolitionists, Stonewall and women suffragists. We have a national history of accomplishing legislative equality and increasing public support in this way—that, to me, is more American than anything else.

In this case, like the others, it’s also tantamount to standing up to a bully.

But if we’re searching for some sort of religious foundation for condemning Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy, perhaps we should look no further than the Golden Rule which, in addition to having some basis in all of the world’s major religions and ethical traditions, is a major tenet of Christianity:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s also expressed: “Love your neighbor as you would yourself.”

Isn’t that the most traditional value of all?

Glen K Dunbar August 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Personally, I'd rather be dead than be gay. Why do "they" seem to think the world should bow to them?? Why can't the world pay a bit more attention to ME. GLEN
whynewcanaanwhy August 07, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Heather, Dan Cathy's opinion expressed was the same one Barrack Obama held a few months ago, and I am sure you had no problem with that. Now that he is pandering for votes, Obama will do anything, and suddenly changed his opinion and wants it on the party's platform. (Don't you think he should be a little more concerned with the economy?) I also guess you won't be headed to In and Out burger or Forever 21 either- they too are businesses that are based on Christian values. (Don't look under the cup or on the shopping bag- you might be spooked by seeing 3:16.) The Chick-Fil-A battle is about liberty and being able to express your personal beliefs, that our constitution protects. The left say they are all for this, unless you express an opinion that opposes theirs. We must stand up for liberty and not be taken by this fascism.
Lisa August 07, 2012 at 05:58 PM
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” / Barack Obama, April 17, 2008,
Heather Borden Herve August 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Joe, people who are gay are not intolerant of people of faith or who practice a religion. they are free to believe what they want to believe. No one who is gay says "I don't believe in heterosexual marriage so therefore you should be able to marry if you're not gay." The intolerance is in the ACTION of someone who, based on his or her religious faith and belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, ACTS to impede someone who believes differently. Gay people aren't trying to stop you from believing or practicing what you want; They're just not happy when you try to stop them from believing or practicing what they want.
nyyankees August 07, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Why are you so stunned that a Southern Baptist has such conservative beliefs? He has the right to express his opinion, but liberals love to bully anyone who does not share their beliefs. Furthermore, he really walks the walk, closing Chick-Fil-A restaurants on Sundays. I bet you think Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas talks and tweets too much about God too. A civil rights issue- no one was denied service or employment or discriminated against by Chick-Fil-A-then that would be a civil rights issue.
Heather Borden Herve August 07, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Money from Chick-fil-A profits is donated (by the charitable arm of the company, not just Cathy himself) to organizations like the Family Research Council and the Marriage and Family Foundation and others--which actively campaign against legalizing gay marriage, and promote public relations campaigns against homosexuals, including making some activity illegal; and they also do "missionary" work overseas in countries where being gay is illegal to support activities against gays there. Significant money is donated by the company--about $2 million in 2010. When the company promotes actions targeting a specific group of people from receiving equal rights (in this case gay people) that to me is a civil rights issue. Chick-fil-A is actively engaged in trying to prevent gay people from having equal rights. That to me IS a civil rights issue.
nyyankees August 07, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Why don't you address how the Nation of Islam treats gays, or would that be politically incorrect for you to criticize them? Your real beef seems to be with conservative Christians. Remember many states have voted on same sex marriage, and they aren't in your camp.
Heather Borden Herve August 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Actually I have no problem with the companies you cited, Forever 21 and In and Out Burger, nor do I take any issue with them printing John 3:16 on their packaging. I love the organizations they help, through outright monetary donations, in kind product and grants--helping sick children, Japanese Red Cross Earthquake support, breast cancer, homelessness, and countless more. If they do so citing their faith--faith which they say urges them to HELP other people, that's wonderful. The issue I have with Chick-fil-A is they put their money toward organizations that aim to prevent a group of people from having the same rights as everyone else, based on their sexual orientation. They want to deny a group their rights, to discriminate and to prevent. There's a huge difference between that and helping. I admire those companies and their leadership for acting out of kindness and humanity, and that that's what they find in their faith.
J Bauer August 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
There are two things here: First, Chik-fil-a is a family run business and the owners of the business can donate to whatever causes and churches they choose. If someone has a real objection to those donations and views, then there is no need to patronize the business. It should be as simple as that. The protests and all the attention is a bit silly. Second is the actual issue of gay marriage. Personally, I could care less who people marry. Afterall, it's not like anyone is being hurt by gay marriage anyway. However, the reality is that the bible condemns such unions so there are always going to be strict biblists that object. This is just a fact of the situation, but I think that in the long run people who object are going to be on the wrong side of history. One of the commentors above mentioned that marriage is about property not anything else in this country. If that is the case, why wouldnt the gay and lesbian community be happy with full legal unions and just not call it marriage? See, it's because marriage is about a lot more than property.
George R. Frost August 07, 2012 at 08:40 PM
What about the gay couple that sued a wedding venue run by a Christian that did not want to hold their reception? They didn't let that lady express her religious beliefs because they wanted to force her to do something against her religious convictions...
George R. Frost August 07, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Let them donate their money as they see fit. Take your issue up with the organization that is getting the money if it's such a problem.
Red Dragon August 07, 2012 at 09:32 PM
first of all children go to this sight. why do you have such a disgusting picture up here. typical non caring media.
Glen K Dunbar August 07, 2012 at 09:37 PM
NYYankee: Islam. True. They treat people terrible. Their rules are for the birds and unfair. Beards for the men. Girls have to wear scarfs over their LOVELY faces. Crazy. Plus, the sad part is they kill people who do not believe what they do. GLEN
S Tadik August 08, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Check your pantry J Bauer, you may need some fish oil again.
Del Dridle August 08, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Get that Revolting Picture Off Your Website. Who wants to see that garbage.
Ron August 08, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Of course she misses the entire point. There is nothing wrong with boycotting anything you don't like. That is not the issue. The issue is that the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco wanted to prevent Chick-Fil-A from opening in their cities, and the City Council President of NYC actually asked NYU to kick them off their campus. That is illegal and outrageous. "I emphatically contend that Cathy is entitled both to his opinion and his freedom to express it." No you don't. Because if you did, you would be horrified that these public officials want to prevent Mr. Cathy from opening businesses in their cities. Just not wanting to send him to prison does not mean you believe he has 1st amendment rights. And are you are aware that there are companies (like Starbucks) that are just as passionately for gay marriage as Mr. Cathy is against gay marriage? But I have never heard of any anti-gay marriage public official calling for banning Starbucks. Have you? And finally, you state this: "Imagine discovering that the president of Taco Bell donates significant company profits to organizations that campaign for removing tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues, because of his interpretation of the phrase, ‘separation of church and state.’ If those moves were true, we’d certainly classify them as bigotry." Bigotry? Huh? What?
J.James August 08, 2012 at 02:04 PM
If you took our the word "gay" from this scandal,and replaced it with the word "black", the entire country would be up in arms ready to defend the african-american community from hateful bigotry. However, because the scandal had to do with the homosexual community and their rights as human beings and American citizens, the bible-thumping lunatic fringe is ready to crusade across the nation and scream the word of God from their soap boxes in a pitiful attempt to reinforce their antiquated beliefs. For all that think marriage is such a sacred union and should be upheld with only the strictest convictions to the standards that the "Lord" set down, there certainly are a lot of divorce attorneys working these days. Also, for a group of people so fascinated with the sexual lives of everyone around them, nobody seems particularly concerned with the fact that the growing numbers of Catholic priests caught molesting children are not being punished, but rather just moved to another Parish. By all means, let us subscribe to a belief system that excuses such deplorable behavior and allow them to tell us that they know better than everybody else what constitutes a marriage. The more hateful bigotry and verbal violence they spout, the more people leave them behind in favor of a rational life. But it's like Jesus said right? "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them in my presence." Luke 19:27
Ron August 08, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Show me a restaurant chain that used the word black instead of gay, and I will show you a restaurant chain that is out of business, and rightfully so. Equating gay marriage with race discrimination is beyond absurd. There are people who are against gay marriage by are not so-called "homophobes." So J. James, do you support politicians who would ban a new Chick-Fil-A from opening in an area that is zoned for fast-food restaurants? If you do you are un-American.
J.James August 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Absolutely not. Dan Cathy has every right to hold his views against gay marriage, and he has every right to put his restaurants wherever he sees fit. My objection is with the company's support of anti-gay organizations. Money from the company is contributing to the oppression of an entire group of people. There are many people who believe that interracial couples are immoral. The fact that they hold those beliefs says to me that their views are antiquated and ignorant. However, if they're not acting out those beliefs and contributing to an oppressive movement, I don't rightly care. Holding bigoted beliefs and acting upon them are two entirely different things. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of us disagree with the KKK. Why? Because they're active. Nobody cares about the front porch racists and their ignorance because they make no impact. A religious view has no place in deciding or dictating the rights of those who don't hold them. When a church and its followers interferes with the rights of others, especially by influencing a vote as they have every step of the way for the gay marriage and LGBT rights, we are treading in the dark, dangerous waters of theocracy. I refuse to accept that religion is above ridicule. Oppression and bigotry, be it aimed at blacks, hispanics, protestants, Jews, or gays, is wrong, and the fact that we're just standing back and allowing it to continue is sickening. Land of the free, indeed.
Ron August 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
So don't eat there. And don't go to a church that is against gay marriage. What's the big deal? And by the way, Obama was against gay marriage until his chief fund raiser told him he better become pro-gay marriage if he wants Hollywood money.
J.James August 08, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I don't care how Obama feels about it. I didn't vote for him, and I didn't vote for McCain. The fact of the matter is that Chick-Fil-A is directly contributing to the oppression of the gay community by donating money to organizations that devote all of their time to make sure that they don't have equal rights simply because what they do conflicts with their outdated, religious-bred ignorance. It also says in the book of Leviticus that if your wife speaks out of turn, you are encouraged to take her outside and stone her to death in public. Religious views have NO PLACE in politics, and, as American citizens who love to protect the constitution, we should not be allowing them to influence our policies.
CT Girl August 08, 2012 at 03:19 PM
CT Girl August 08, 2012 at 03:21 PM
to EV - yeah, it is REVOLTING. not my words, Gods: Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
Ron August 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Thank you for the information about the stoning. I will let my wife know when she comes home from work tonight.
J.James August 08, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Leviticus 15:20: "and everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean." Leviticus 15:29: "and on the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting." Leviticus 15:30: "And the priest shall use one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her before the LORD for her unclean discharge" If you're gonna take your bible literally, read the whole thing. I hope you've been making your monthly sacrifices to atone for the unavoidable sin of having a menstrual cycle.
Judge Crater August 08, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Apparently Catholics in Philadelphia don't agree with you. A diocesan administrator got a prison sentence of 3-6 years in state prison. "Msgr. William J. Lynn was sentenced Tuesday to three to six years in state prison by a judge who said he turned a blind eye while 'monsters in clerical garb' sexually abused children, devastating families and shaking the Catholic Church across Philadelphia and beyond." They would have indicted the Cardinal who directed the administrator but he died first. Clergy administrators who obey bishops and bishops who cover up and/or transfer child abusers are now looking at jail time. There are more investigations coming. The DA is Catholic, too and the new archbishop is taking credibly-accused priests out of ministry. Using your logic, it will now be permissible for the Church to say what it wants about marriage.
Jeff M August 09, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Jeff M August 09, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Here's a great excerpt from the film "American President" (the president talking at a press conference): America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". (end of quote) There's gotta be room for everyone in the country or there's not room for anyone. The folks in DC have made hating the other point of view very popular. And this conversation shows it as well as possible. Don't like something? Get over it and make it better. Everyone's acting like Red Sox fans: hate the Yankees first. How about supporting what you believe in... and know that not everyone's going to agree.
Katy Joyce August 09, 2012 at 04:25 PM
To EV, well written, and true, To CT Girl, as kiss is not "lieing with" someone. I am sorry that two member of the same sex exchanging a loving kiss is distresses you so much that you need to use the term revolting and demand it be removed. it is LOVE and KINDNESS and CONNECTION and CARING being shared. Even if you disagree that it should be between members of the same gender how can it be SOOOO horrific. It isn't mutilation, death, pain, illness, loss, rejection, fear, dying. Those things are awful, not love.
Sean M September 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Heather, your comment "people who are gay are not intolerant of people of faith or who practice a religion." is patently false. Gay people are working to stop people from what they are believing. How many gays demand being married at any church they want? Just ask around and the number is staggering. In CT, if you work in the wedding business and do not want to be involved in gay weddings, you can be sued. Go look up the $30,000 a couple in VT just paid for refusing to hold gay weddings at their business. There are plenty of examples on this one. These are just some of them.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »