Over the weekend, a woman I went to school with changed her Facebook status from “in a relationship” to “married”. That digital declaration was followed by the obligatory versions of “congratulations”. A few hours later, a picture of the happy couple popped up on the newsfeed, followed by a domestic partnership license. Turns out, she married the woman of her dreams.
What’s so interesting is that revelation, while it came as a surprise to me, wasn’t a big deal. For me and millions more, who one chooses to love is a-ok. For Chick-fil-A, its decision to publicly and collectively state its lack of support for gay marriage might be a tough pill to swallow if it backfires. It could mean fewer chicken sales, store openings and, of course, debit or credit card swipes.
Last week, the company’s president, Dan Cathy, said he, his family and his company support the traditional family unit as well as the “Biblical definition of marriage”. So is Cathy showing the fibers that define a faithful modern businessman, and through that determination, a strong company? Or is he being unrealistic by forcing his beliefs onto his restaurants and more importantly, the profits? He insists that he nor any of his employees would ever discriminate against anyone – gay, straight or otherwise, but that he has the right to run his company in any way he chooses.
Now, lesbian and gay advocates say a boycott is in order. They say Cathy and his company are attacking their community. But is he? After all, part of the company’s mission – easily found on its website – 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. Wikipedia
It’s a brave move, especially considering the religious barometer in this country in recent years.
Not only that, but this company’s president is free to operate under any premise he chooses – provided it’s legal, of course. If the days receipts include a drop in credit card swipes due to those who don’t support his stance and religious convictions, and if he’s OK with that, then where’s the harm? It’s important to also keep in mind that he’s consistent. Since the fast food restaurant’s inception, it’s been closed on Sundays so that “employees and their families may have a day of worship if they choose to do so”. It’s the only fast food restaurant that follows the Fourth Commandment, which is keeping the Sabbath.
Folks have taken sides, including former governor turned television news pundit Mike Huckabee, who suggested that as the LGBT community was planning its boycott, those who supported the restaurant’s decisions should make Wednesday a day for enjoying Chick-fil-A. And his suggestion might be stronger than anything opponents might be planning.
Some say the more those opponents complain, the less likely their message will hit its mark. Meanwhile, Cathy was on Huckabee’s Fox News show on Sunday night. The 80 year old is still the helm and adamant in his beliefs and decisions. He did continue to reiterate it’s not about prejudice, but simply a core belief that he admits is unpopular. He’s OK with that, as his family and employees.