‘Chick fil-A Appreciation Day’ announced by Mike Huckabee

Tim Carman/The Washington Post The Chick-fil-A sandwich doesn’t come these days without a healthy heaping of the culture wars. When … Continued

Tim Carman/The Washington Post

The Chick-fil-A sandwich doesn’t come these days without a healthy heaping of the culture wars.

When is a chicken sandwich more than a piece of protein on a bun? When it’s a culinary weapon in the culture wars.

After Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s comments on marriage launched a national “Eat Mor Chikin” backlash, another cultural bigwig, former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, announced Sunday that he was coordinating a campaign in support of the “company run by Christian principles.”

“Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day,” Huckabee wrote on his Facebook page, has a simple goal: “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.”

Huckabee continued: “Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant.”

More than 95,000 have agreed via the event’s page to participate. (Updated.)

Eat Mor Chikin, take a stand against gay marriage?

The company, which the Cathy family proudly claims to operate by biblical principles, including famously keeping its restaurants closed on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath, may be feeling the heat. It wrote on its Facebook page July 19: “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

A July 16 article in the Baptist Press drew attention to Cathy’s beliefs about marriage. “Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family,” wrote K. Allan Blume, the article’s author. “ ‘Well, guilty as charged,’ said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.”

Cathy continued: “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.”

The attention focused by Cathy’s comments to the Baptist Press also pointed people to statements the businessman made on “The Ken Coleman Show,”a syndicated radio show.

On the June 16 episode, Cathy said (listen here):

In response to Cathy’s comments, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald that he would act to block the company from opening in his city: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.” The Jim Henson Co. promised to avoid future partnerships with the eatery, and thousands tweeted, blogged and took to Facebook in opposition to Cathy’s statements on marriage.

On the other side of the food-as-political-fight, Oreo found its popular cookie in the center of the gay rights debate in June, when a rainbow-colored Oreo was posted to its Facebook page on Pride Day “with accompanying text that read ‘Proudly support love!’ ”

Your Take: Have you taken a stand on Chick-fil-A’s marriage controversy? Will you take up Huckabee’s case on Aug. 1, or are you more likely to stay away from the sandwich shop in protest? Is the gay rights cause now a food fight?

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • ruby pattison

    Why is it ok for liberals to have their views considered the right thing and those of us that believe what we believe is considered wrong? Whatever happened to free speech?

  • Taylorsucram

    Ah Racists never learn. Remember Denny’s and their treatment of black secret service agents? Remember the lawsuit settlement? Remember Texaco and their board talking about how the black marbles seem to be left behind or stick to the bottom? Now we have “Chick (I wouldn’t eat that stuff if I were you) Fil-A”. It’s a short hop from being homophobic to being racist!

  • [email protected]

    You talk about homophobia…but you fail to see your own bigotry against someone’s decision and stand for what has always been God’s standard. If those who support the Homosexual life style have a right in their discision then why does the opposition not have the same right??? The Bible is very clear in the idea that marriage is between one man and one woman and is ment for re-creation . on the last word God will certainly have it.

  • ODKoik

    What is the difference between believing in a standard and hate?
    If a student does not pass 12th grade and does not receive a diploma, does the school hate him or her? Or is the school maintaing a standard?

  • dane1

    Just keep eating that crap, all you obese, cholesterol-toting gay-bashers. And look on the bright side–the more of it you eat, the less chance you will be viewed as a sex object.

  • dane1

    Because those of you who ‘believe that what you believe’ is right, are wrong? Plus, you might have look at the Bill of Rights, your putative sacred text, before bemoaning the lack of ‘free speech’.

  • seaduck2001

    Your last sentence is hard to comprehend, but I think you meant “is ment [sic]” for procreation, not recreation. Many couples choose not to have children, or marry late in life when they are unable to produce children. The New Testament values of faithfulness, love, sacrifice and promise-based commitment can be practiced by heterosexual couples without children — and by same-sex couples as well.

  • cswalker21

    Mr. Cathy’s bigotry is deplorable, but the main reason not to eat Chik-fil-a is that the food is horribly unhealty. Mr. Huckabee does his already-obese followers a disservice by encouraging them to eat heavily breaded, deep-fried chicken on a bleached white bun with deep fried potatoes and a giant sugary soda.

  • Ruth

    I will be taking part in the August 1 appreciation day if at all possible. I have never eaten at Chick-Fil-A because there is none in our town, but in the future I will be deliberately looking for a location whenever I am away from home.

    It is amazing to me that when a corporate business contributes to a gay pride organization, it’s responsible business but when it contributes to a family-friendly non-profit organization it is “political”.

    Tolerance is not the same as affirmation; tolerance is allowing one to express their belief even if you disagree with it. That should go both ways.

  • JAH3

    Obviously, you’ve never eaten at a Chick. I’ll have two originals (the chicken isn’t breaded, by the way), please, a diet Coke and two-dozen gift certificates to give to my fiends, neighbors, business associates and customers who enjoy eating at the Chick as much as my family and I do.

    Tasty fresh food, clean stores, extraordinarily great service, motivated associates with manners and clean fingernails who speak clear, easy to understand English and can count change back. That’s the Chick!

  • jgmann

    Don’t do it! Their chicken is like crack. Once you eat it, you will only want more. I have been known to drive nearly 40 miles just to have some, since there is none in our town. I have stood at their locked door on a Sunday and cried. When I lived in FL, I ate there for lunch 5 days in a row before my co-workers intervened and forced me to go to the nearest Taco Bell for treatment.

    I’m not a fan of Dan Cathy’s or his politics, but I am a fan of his chicken recipe.

  • Ricke

    we all have rights, but no one’s right should be above another One’s right
    and so far Homosexuals are imposing their right over God believers.
    I believe that promoting homosexuality is damaging; Sycologicly and physical for all our children, But we should consult with a professional Doctors on Physical and sycologicly effects on children, instead of just giving our own opinions.
    God made us with special skill to help each other.so let ask those Professionals with knowledge of the Human body and mind

  • cswalker21

    Thank you for your response, JAH3. At one point, I ate Chik-fil-a at least once a week. I never said it wasn’t delicious, just that it is horribly unhealthy. I supose they have a non-breaded version of their sandwich, but everyone I know gets the breaded version; It’s more breading than chicken. The waffle fries are as salty and greasy as they are addictive. A pickle slice is not a healthy serving of vegetables. Fresh? I won’t even dignify that with comment.
    I agree about the superior customer service and cleanliness that you won’t find anywhere else in the fast food industry, but you are still feeding your body garbage. Diet Coke is no healthier than regular coke, BTW.

  • The Man

    Cswalker… you obviously dislike chick fil A due to their political stance or you are a vegan/vegetarian. You are totally incorrect their food is unhealthy. Yes the waffle fries are a bad choice… get a substitute, but their chicken is not heavily breaded and if you’re paleo, like I am, you can order their grilled chicken. Either way don’t claim their food is unhealthy.

  • The Man

    I have a lot of gay friends. Some are in civil unions (domestic partners). When they talk about their significant others they refer to them as “partner” not husband or wife. You can’t have a marriage without a husband or wife.

  • bob60506

    Some think that support from customers who believe in traditional marriage will have only a short-term effect. I disagree. There are many who did not know of Chik-fil-A’s owner’s values (including making sure that ALL of his employees may spend Sundays with their families and friends). Thanks to the publicity generated by the homosexual community, many have now been informed. There are many who are tired of spending money with companies with no apparent moral compass, so you can expect a larger dedicated customer base for Chik-fil-A as a result of this bruhaha.

    As for short-term effects, I think the backlash by homosexuals and their “supporters” will take a back seat to the quality of the product and service Chik-fil-A provides. Bigotry has never been a hallmark of this company in its restaurants; if it had, it would not have achieve the great success that it has. Homosexual customers may stay away (which would please true homophobes and homo-haters no end), but I wouldn’t count on their erstwhile supporters doing it for any length of time.

    By the way, “homophobia” is a misnomer — and that is true virtually every time I see or hear it used. A phobia is a fear of something, hence, homophobia must be a fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. Just because people think homosexuality is WRONG, that doesn’t mean they’re AFRAID of it. Some people may actually be afraid of homosexuals, but not many. I think more people simply detest homosexuality; more still simply view it as abnormal behavior by people in need of psychological help (the APA’s declassificaion of homosexuality as a mental illness notwithstanding).

    “Gay” is also usually a misnomer. To be gay is to be happy, which is the message homosexuals were trying to get out about their “lifestye” when they hijacked the word. Supposedly, declaring their homosexuality to the world endowed them with bliss. It was a con job. Plenty of homosexuals are no more happy — even LESS happy — than normal, heterosexual peopl

  • Debi

    Freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed to all Americans. If you don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-a – don’t. But you don’t have the right to say I can’t by closing them. I am not trying to close Target, JCPenneys, etc because they are in favor of gay marriages. Why are the politicans getting envolved in this? Where is Democracy? They want to push their beliefs on everyone – that is a dictatorship.

  • PredictableScenario

    It is one thing for a company to have strong personal beliefs regaurding a controversial topic, however, it is something COMPLETELY different for them to become so active in these beliefs that they are now showing outright discrimination against a specific group of people.

    From a personal standpoint, the concept of ‘the nessesity of upholding values of the traditional marriage and family’ is, quite frankly, ridiculous concidering in the past the accepted normalities of marriage have been altered and redifined in order to better support the ultimate goal of equality upon which this nation was founded.

  • larryclyons

    Its beyond the ignorant troll of a CEO shooting his mouth off, last year the corporation gave almost 2 million to various anti-gay hate groups like Focus on the family and Exodus International.

    Would you have the same opinion if CFA were donating to the KKK for instance?

  • larryclyons

    In other words,

    Look! Squirrel!

    Your comments are so wrong on so many different points, but they are so manifestly ignorant that I’m not going to bother correcting them. There are just some things, and some people who are terminally ignorant.

  • larryclyons

    The Man – so do you have any objection to a corporation donating thousands if not millions to the KKK?

    Last year CFA donated just under 2 million to several anti gay hate groups like Exodus International (a group based on fraud) and Focus on the Family.

  • larryclyons

    Your bible has 6 admonishments about gays and over 360 against heterosexuals. Doesn’t that say something about what those 8th Century BCE Bronze Age tribal sheep fu, um herders were more concerned about?

    Also aben, last I checked this country was not a Christian nation. Why should your twisted interpretation of Christianity rule this country?

  • Catken1

    “Some think that support from customers who believe in traditional marriage will have only a short-term effect.”

    Customers who believe in traditional marriage don’t need to campaign for special government favoritism to “protect” it from the scary competition of a legal alternative that doesn’t even APPEAL to heterosexuals, nor do they insult the institution by suggesting it needs it.

    “The REALITY is that there is a SUBSTANTIALLY higher rate of suicide, depression, bulimia, and substance abuse among homosexuals than heterosexuals. So much for being “gay.” ”

    And of course, that has NOTHING to do with people like you who call them “abnormal” and “disordered”, make their lives hell as teenagers, and seek to deny them the blessings of marriage and family as adults. NOTHING. (I suppose that if we find that depression, suicide, and related problems are more common among Christians in places where Christianity is persecuted, you’ll blame the religion rather than the persecuters?)

    “I predict a backlash to this post by those who refuse to see the errors of their ways. Have at it; I won’t dignify it with a response”

    I.e. “If you disagree with me, you must be wrong, and just don’t want to admit it. Go think about your errors and maybe you’ll understand why I Know Best What’s Best For You.” Typical condescension from those who oppose other people having the freedom to make choices other than those they personally approve.

  • Catken1

    I know plenty of gay married couples who talk about their “husband” or their “wife”. What’s your point?

  • Catken1

    “we all have rights, but no one’s right should be above another One’s right
    and so far Homosexuals are imposing their right over God believers. ”

    Awww, did they take away your marriage and tell you to marry another man or do without?

    Or did they just take away your “right” to run their lives for them and require them to conform to your personal religious beliefs?

    Personally, I think fundamentalism is damaging to rational thought (and spelling/grammar ability, too). Are you imposing your right over me by insisting on your right to practice your faith even though I don’t like it and find it sinful and damaging? Should I help you get over your sick and damaging religion, instead of tolerating your right to practice it?

  • Catken1

    “t is amazing to me that when a corporate business contributes to a gay pride organization, it’s responsible business but when it contributes to a family-friendly non-profit organization it is “political”. ”

    Ah, yes, because “family-friendly” means “attacking any family that doesn’t meet our religious criteria, while doing nothing whatsoever to help anyone.”

    And of course, you also fail to see the difference between “Hey, X customers! Good on you for being you, we like you!” and “Hey, X customers! You’re an abomination and will bring God’s wrath upon this country! I’m going to give lots of money to have your marriages and families taken away, and to support having vulnerable members of your community subjected to ‘reparative therapy’ which will essentially torture them out of being themselves!”

    Would you not see a political and moral difference between two devout Muslim shopowners, say, one of whom said, “Christianity is an idolatrous cult. God will punish us if we permit it to continue. I don’t want to redefine MY word, ‘religion’, to include an idolatrous cult. Therefore, I will give lots of money to organizations seeking to bar Christians from practicing their faith, to deny their cult the same benefits and privileges other religions receive in this country, and to have young Christians tortured into becoming Muslims,” and the second of whom said, “To my Christian customers, I support your right to worship as you please! Merry Christmas/Happy Easter!” ? Would there not be a difference in how you responded to these two shopowners?

    “Tolerance is not the same as affirmation; tolerance is allowing one to express their belief even if you disagree with it. That should go both ways.”

    Yes, yes it should. And it is wrong for governors and mayors and political officials to bar Cathy from business permits just because of what he says (if he violates antidiscrimination laws, on the other hand, it’s a different story). But it is equally wrong for Cathy, or you, or anyone else

  • Catken1

    If that student does meet all the criteria for passing 12th grade, makes good grades, and passes all the tests, and doesn’t get a diploma because she has the wrong set of genitals, is the school behaving fairly? Or are they just maintaining a standard that “education is for males only?”

    The rights and responsibilities inherent in the civil contract of marriage are not in any way dependent on having a certain pairing of dangly bits, or in assigning family roles based on who has what dangly bits.

  • Catken1

    ‘ If those who support the Homosexual life style have a right in their discision then why does the opposition not have the same right??? ”

    They do indeed. They may marry whatever consenting adult they choose, and run their families by whatever religious and moral beliefs they choose.

    But just as a gay person does not have the right to make you enter a same-sex marriage or make you structure your marriage and family life on someone else’s religious dogma, which you find abhorrent, you do not have the right to interfere in THEIR choice of spouse or the way THEY choose to run THEIR families. Pure and simple.

    “on the last word God will certainly have it.”

    Well, then, why do you need special privilege from the civil law to support your beliefs? Isn’t it enough for you to know that all those blasted gays who had the temerity to want to fall in love and have families will burn forever in agony because of it, and you’ll get to watch, and fawn on the god who does it?

  • Catken1

    Because your right to free speech does not mean that everyone has to kiss your rear and tell you that your opinions are true and correct and moral?

    Other people are as free to criticize the content of your speech as you are to criticize the content of others’ speech. No one says you have to agree with everything anyone else says – but other people can disagree with you, even vehemently.

  • Catken1

    Not to mention the fact that if you can’t uphold your own values without government privileging you over other people as a reward, you don’t deserve to have your values “protected”. If you can, you don’t need to.

  • rgse90

    When we tell businesses how to believe in order to sell something than we are in trouble. I am a gay male and I may not agree with someone but I am not going to tell someone they should not be able to sell something because they do not believe what I might believe. This is America and we are not a land of prosecuting people on their beliefs. So if they want to sell something I have the right not to buy it but not block them.

  • Rachel

    Stick to your idea. Marriage is between a Man & Woman. This is what God has written & it has not changed, because man wants it to..People will ridicule you for your beliefs, but there is NO hatred involved. However, IF you go there way(Gays rights)then you are doing what is right according to them, NOT according to GOD…Has nothing to do about the sale of chicken, they are just using it to make you back down. Again DO NOT bend your values, YOU will do fine..And those that state your company is “homophobia” don’t give it a thought, because you are going by God’s word & they don’t like that. Most people these days, want to believe that IF they want to do IT, it is right NO matter what the bible states, because they belive it is old fashioned, WHAT A PITY. But GOD will be the final judge of us all. The bible clearly states, you HATE the SIN, but LOVE the sinner.. Stay on track & your business will flourish.

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