Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-a Day

Today I went with some coworkers to support Chick-fil-a on the official Chick-fil-a day.  If you don't know what Chick-fil-a day is about, let me briefly explain.

Recently, a baptist news organization was interviewing Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A. In the interview he said, "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."

To me, this doesn't sound like a particularly divisive statement.  However, there were those who took issue with him referring to the "biblical definition of the family unit."  Those same individuals resorted to boycotting, protesting, and in some cases, trying to get government to shut down Chick-fil-a restaurants.

Conservative circles decided to rally together to support Chick-fil-a and their stand for traditional marriage.

Since I happen to have a deep and abiding love for chicken, I thought it would be fun to participate in this event.  Participation was simple, you just had to show up and buy something delicious.  (How can you not support a cause when it means eating delicious food?)

Lest there is confusion, I thought I should clarify what I was supporting.
1.  Chicken.  It's delicious.
2.  Fidelity.  He is still married to his first wife.
3.  Christian Principles.  I've always been impressed with Chick-fil-a and the fact that they are not open on Sundays.
4.  Willingness to take a stand.  He has been willing to stand for what he believes in in spite of the consequences.

I was not supporting the following
1.  Hatred.  He didn't say anything hateful to anyone or about anyone.
2.  Discrimination.  Had he said anything discriminatory about any group, ethnicity, sexual orientation or anything else, I would not be in support of his statement.

The above disclaimer aside, I was blown away by how many people were there.  I decided to make this video below to show how many people I saw.

We had to stand in line for a little over an hour. But it was worth it.  As the great Leeroy Jenkins once said, "At least I have chicken."
Even that girl behind me is excited that I have chicken.


  1. I would've gone but I really didn't have time after work. :/ I drove passed the AF one though and the drive thru looped around until it was down the street! It was so crazy to see. Wish I could've supported!

    1. You can still show your support by eating delicious chicken on any other day. :)

  2. I found a few videos on youtube that have me in them.

    I'm in this video at about 0:54

  3. I'm in this one waiting for my food to come at about 0:04. I'm also pretty sure the "heck yes" at the very beginning is me.

  4. I'm also waiting for my food at the very beginning in this one. I'm the guy in the black shirt with my back to the camera.

  5. You did a great job editing your video. You are really getting good!

    1. Thanks, my love! Thanks for watching the various iterations of the video as I created it.

  6. Well said Jeff. I'm not sure how people are making his statement into one of discrimination. You make that clear.


  7. there are a lot of people who wanted to document you buying chicken. you must live an exciting life. Glad you supported chicken and the family and all it stands for.

    1. Ya, it was like the paparazzi. They just couldn't get enough of me and my chicken eating ways.

  8. I am all for free speech. I just wish there was a way to support it without sending an arrow into the heart of every friend of mine who happens to have been born gay. This demonstration was hurtful to many. Watching the video made me feel very sad.


  10. "This is about a lot more than just marriage. It's about the millions of dollars that Chick-fil-A has donated to anti-gay and anti-trans groups who are working tirelessly to ensure that we never receive the same protections and rights that straight and cis-gendered people receive simply for being born non-queer (and who are in some instances endeavoring to "cure" queer people of their sexuality/gender identities).

    When you buy food from Chick-fil-A, you're basically saying, "Here, take this money and see to it that queer people can not only not get married, but that they also can't adopt, can be fired simply for their sexuality and/or gender identity and continue to live in a society where they are regularly terrorized, mutilated, murdered and driven to suicide." Because that is what these groups do.

    I, too, am in love with the First Amendment, and I want everyone to have the right to say whatever they want -- even if it's totally bonkers. But do I have to sit around and take it? Nope. And I sure as hell don't have to give those people my money to use against me. And neither do you."

    1. I have two points I'd like to make in response to your quote from the article.

      The first is that you'll notice I said nothing about the First Amendment in my post. That's not to say I don't support it. I happen to think it's one of the most important amendments to the Constitution. However, this was not a first amendment issue for me. The first amendment says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech" It does not say, "You can say anything you want and no one is allowed to get cranky."

      I believe the right of all those who wanted to boycott and demonstrate in other ways is just as important when it comes to freedom, as Mr. Cathy's right to say what he said.

      I know that others have said this was about free speech, and they are free to say that. I, however, disagree.

      Second, we live in a world where people don't understand the difference between disagreement and hatred. Mr. Cathy disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle. He didn't say he hated anyone who was gay. He didn't say he supported "a society where they are regularly terrorized, mutilated, murdered and driven to suicide."

      Are there people that treat gays in those ways? Certainly. But, I would stand against that in a second. I don't know Mr. Cathy, but I would bet he would gladly stand against that sort of abuse as well.

      I feel like trying to categorize every Christian as a hate mongering bigot who would carve "dyke" on a lesbian's arm (to use the example from the article) is disingenuous, and I feel it hurts your cause.

      The mayors of Boston, Chicago and NYC have all talked about trying to shut down Chick-fil-a within their respective cities. Can you imagine if a Christian mayor said they wanted to shut down a company owned by a gay individual? There would be riots. And yet, making a statement about "biblical marriage" is considered hate speech.

      I think there's a double standard. I think we all need to understand that hate is hate. It's mean, it's ugly, it tears down everything that is good. Someone who says "I'm married to my first wife and I thank God for that" is not in the same category.

  11. The reason CFA is being boycotted, protested, and potentially banned from some cities is not what Dan Cathy said. It is what he has done, and what he has funded. To clarify what he has done and funded right away, he has funded anti-gay hate groups and lied about it.

    When CFA takes in your dollars, this is what it does with them:

    This is what CFA's PR claimed in January of 2011:

    "ATLANTA, Jan. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, there have been some misleading stories about Chick-fil-A in the media and on the Internet. As a result, I feel strongly about the need to clarify some things. In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. ... Chick-fil-A's Corporate Purpose is "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it."

    A gay blogger explains what the effect is on him and the person he loves here:

    - In 29 states in America today, my partner of 18 years, Cody, or I could be fired for being gay. Period. No questions asked. One of those states is Louisiana, our home state. We live in self-imposed exile from beloved homeland, family, and friends, in part, because of this legal restriction on our ability to live our lives together.

    - In 75 countries in the world, being gay is illegal. In many, the penalty is life in prison. These are countries we can’t openly visit. In 9 countries, being gay is punishable by death. In many others, violence against gays is tacitly accepted by the authorities. These are countries where we would be killed. Killed.

    - Two organizations that work very hard to maintain this status quo and roll back any protections that we may have are the Family Research Council and the Marriage & Family Foundation. For example, the Family Research council leadership has officially stated that same-gender-loving behavior should be criminalized in this country. They draw their pay, in part, from the donations of companies like Chick-Fil-A. Both groups have also done “missionary” work abroad that served to strengthen and promote criminalization of same-sex relations.

    - Chick-Fil-A has given roughly $5M to these organizations to support their work.

    - Chick-Fil-A’s money comes from the profits they make when you purchase their products."

    This isn’t about mutual tolerance because there’s nothing mutual about it. If we agree to disagree on this issue, you walk away a full member of this society and I don’t. There is no “live and let live” on this issue because Dan Cathy is spending millions to very specifically NOT let me live. I’m not trying to do that to him."

    1. This is an excellent example of a straw man argument. Yes, there are countries that will put homosexuals to death. (Interestingly, OPEC is owned by individuals who would gladly put homosexuals to death, but no one is calling for an oil boycott.) I wasn't aware that it was still legal to fire someone for being gay, but if that is true, I would not support any company that discriminated on those grounds.

      However, to say that CFA is in support of those who would put a person to death for being gay is pretty far fetched. They don't even support any kind of discrimination, either to their employees or to customers.

      Here's the thing. If you want to fight hatred, bigotry, abuse, murder or anything along those grounds, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. The first time I read what happened at Stonewall in 1969, I wanted to go fight the police.

      But to say that anyone who is in support of the traditional family is instantly associated with Islamic radicals who demand that you convert or die is intellectually lazy and frankly insulting. I think it hurts what you're trying to stand for and makes many people who would probably want to help you, just turn away from your movement.

  12. So... I really thought about talking about this when we were talking on Sunday, but I chickened out. Since you said you like discussions and differing viewpoints, I decided you wouldn't mind too much if I offered mine.

    Here goes:
    As the commenters said above, people in my world called for a boycott because money spent at Chick-Fil-A went to support causes and organizations that they disagreed with. (Organizations that fight against marriage equality, organizations that fund reparative therapy, etc.) Just like the "other side" called for a boycott of Starbucks and JCPenney recently. Every single person has the right to decide where they spend their money and why they do it. There was nothing wrong with participating in CFA day. There was nothing wrong with calling for a boycott. Nothing wrong with either side, but I felt sad seeing the crowds gather for CFA.

    It might help you understand my sadness if you think about this:
    A business gives millions of dollars to an "anti-mormon" organization (We could even call it a Recovery from Mormonism organization to make the analogy more complete.) When asked about it, the COO says, "Yes. We are Christians following God, and we support Christian values." There is nothing hateful about his statement... And... How do you feel when thousands of people line up to buy a sandwich knowing that a portion of all of that money goes to that organization? How do you feel about his statement - that he supports an "anti-mormon" organization because he is a Christian and is following God? Would you speak out against him, because what he is saying is true to him, but not accurate based on your experiences?

    I don't know if my analogy is good enough. A business is giving money to organizations that fight against something I feel very strongly about. Thousands of people gather to support that business. It feels sad.

    1. Those are good points.

      First, I should say your sadness (nor the sadness of anyone else) was not my intent when I ate that chicken sandwich. The intent was not to hurt anyone.

      I mentioned a few of the things I was supporting in my post above, but let me tell you about the specific moment when I decided I wanted to support CFA as a company. It was before there even was a CFA day.

      I have always liked CFA. I think their food is delicious and I've always admired that the national chain is closed on Sunday. I love that every employee can spend the Sabbath with their families, and probably at a significant cost to the owners.

      I had heard that he had made his statement about supporting "biblical marriage". Then I heard that, in response to his statement, several mayors were trying to use their power to shut down (or prevent) restaurants in their cities. A mayor trying to become a dictator really bothers me.

      I thought about how he was just stating his beliefs (to a baptist newspaper no less) and was being persecuted by the government for those beliefs. I did think a little about how he might lose money because of the boycotts, but mostly I really wanted to support the fact that he has stood for what he believes for decades despite the fact that Christianity is becoming less and less popular in our culture. I just really wanted to support that.

      So, while I was supporting his statement, I was more in support of what he and his company have stood for over the decades they have been in business.

      I did not support the boycott on JCPenney. (I never had an opinion on the boycott of Starbucks since I didn't know about it until I read your comment.) I thought it was stupid that people felt that an individual (Ellen) could not be a spokesperson for a company simply because she was gay. I feel that what you do in your own bedroom is your own business and you should be able to earn a livelihood regardless of that.

      Now, I generally buy all my clothes at Walmart because they're cheap, so I haven't shopped at JCPenney since they hired Ellen, but I also didn't shop there for years preceding that either. However, I did put my voice out there in conservative circles that I thought the boycott was stupid.

      The anti-mormon question is actually a very good one. And in many ways very applicable to this situation. Dan Cathy is baptist. The Baptist Church is in many ways an anti-mormon organization. There are obviously different flavors of baptists, but many of them preach anti-mormon sermons as part of their Sunday worship. Dan Cathy has never said anything anti-mormon that I know of. However, Mike Huckabee, the guy that came up with the idea of CFA day has made a number of anti-mormon statements in the past.

      So I guess that sort of answers your question in a way. I was willing to put aside our differences on how they feel about mormons in order to support a business I've liked for a long time, and their stance on the importance of the family.

      In truth, though, I can't really fully answer that question. I'm sure I would be sad to see funding going to (more focused than a church who doesn't like us) anti-mormon causes. I identify with your sadness, and I can understand it.

      It's the people that claim that I'm a homophobe or that I hate anyone because I ate a chicken sandwich that I truly disagree with.

      I didn't really make the above video as any kind of political statement. Sure, I had wanted to support CFA, but I made the video because I was surprised to see so many people gathered there that day. When we saw the line, we almost left to go support another restaurant's stance on all you can eat chinese food.


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