Posts Tagged ‘Cathy’

A college in North Carolina is considering a ban on products from  Chick-fil-A in response to complaints over the chicken sandwich chain’s  connections to social conservative groups.

Davidson College‘s Union Board, a student organization that oversees events  at the campus, decided last week to consider halting the use of Chick-fil-A for  its popular “After Midnight” monthly program.

Bill Giduz, director of Media Relations at Davidson, provided The Christian  Post with a statement regarding the pending decision.

“In light of the controversy over Chick-fil-A, the board has decided to  gather student input on the matter and discuss it at one of their early-semester  weekly meetings after classes resume on August 27,” read the statement.

“The Union Board serves different menus at After Midnight throughout the  year, and Chick-fil-A is served once or twice annually … Until a final decision  is made, alternative options will be served at After Midnight and other Union  Board events.”

“The only process envisioned is that the students who are members of the  College Union Board are planning to discuss the issue,” said Giduz to CP.  “They’re the party responsible for the ‘After Midnight’ events and what’s served  on those occasions. They have not yet set a date for their deliberation.”

Davidson College is not the only academic institution mulling over a ban on  Chick-fil-A products because of the fast-food chain’s connections to  organizations like Focus on the Family and Family Research Council. New York University may also ban Chick-fil-A over the  ideological viewpoints of its leadership.

Philip Lentz, director of Public Affairs for NYU, told The Christian Post  that the university had in the past seriously considered removing Chick-fil-A  from their campus.

“In 2011, the Student Senators Council passed a resolution asking that  Chick-fil-A be removed from campus. However, this spring, the council withdrew  that resolution, saying a ban would have limited freedom of expression,” said  Lentz.

“These types of issues at NYU are typically considered by our University  Senate, which consists of representatives of the faculty, students,  administrators and deans … So the issue has not yet been presented to the  University Senate.”

Lentz explained that the effort to ban Chick-fil-A from NYU reappeared on the  agenda after the much publicized remarks of COO Dan Cathy regarding same-sex marriage.

“In the wake of the recent controversy over Mr. Cathy’s remarks, the NYU  administration has asked the University Senate to take up the issue of  Chick-fil-A’s status on campus when it reconvenes this fall,” said Lentz.

“As of right now, the Chick-fil-A on the NYU campus is closed for the summer  and is scheduled to reopen when students return for the fall semester.”

Cathy said last month that he supports the biblical definition of the family  unit. He also remarked that America was “inviting God’s judgment” for saying “we  know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”

If the media reports an earthquake was a breeze in the forest, did the earth still move? I’m not sure TownHall Finance is the natural venue for that question, but I’m also not sure why the Denver Post—my local paper—put a significant political and cultural event on page umpty-something, in the business section.

If you didn’t see it with your own eyes, you might have missed something big last week. Under fire by gay activists and their media amplifiers, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy unapologetically confirmed he supports the biblical definition of family as he understands it. This modern heresy quickly went viral. Reaction was harsh. Big city mayors and councilors channeled Al Capone with a badge: “Don’t file no stinking permit applications in our town, Chick-fil-A!” Pundits nodded righteously. But, what happened next didn’t follow the script.
Backlash welled up, not just from social conservatives, but fiscal conservatives and libertarians, outraged that politicians would trample the First Amendment, brandishing political litmus tests for the right to do business. Social media and web commentary buzzed with rebellion. A great day of fried chicken and Chick-fil-A appreciation was proposed.


Last Wednesday, I met friends in north suburban Denver at about 11 to beat the rush. Fail. The lot was packed, the drive-thru and building tightly coiled by a boa of cars, tail extending to the street. Inside was standing room only, with a switch-back line that triggered post-Disney traumatic stress. Yet, amid the din, cheer was high. The besieged staff moved helpfully and efficiently, and the line shuffled like a smooth deck of cards.
The friendly mob cycled through, holding steady in size the hour I was there. Judging scientifically by anecdotal Facebook posts, it stayed that way all day and evening, at every Chick-fil-A around Denver, throughout the state, and across the nation. The outpouring was unforeseen, the magnitude unimaginable. The chain’s coffers got a short- and probably long-term boost.
After 20 years around politics, I’ve seen how activists can generate pretty good ink just from a press release and 50 people on the Capitol steps in front of a borrowed guitar amplifier. I also know how hard groups sometimes have to hustle to assemble their 50. So I was eager to see what the media would make of this human tide.
Thursday’s Denver Post business page answered: “Coloradans voice their opinions on Chick-fil-A; Outlets flooded by supporters and opponents.” Not even close. Without space to fully deconstruct, I’ll acknowledge the article did say the crowds were large and the protesters few. But the headline and details caught maybe half the story and missed the essence. A few thoughts, on the event and the coverage:
Especially without any central organizer or major media promotion, the numbers were staggering, and broadly replicated across the country. If a protest warrants a story, this event deserves a Pulitzer-nominated multi-part investigative series.
It wasn’t a forum about the First Amendment, Cathy’s marriage views, or even political bullying. Whatever their motivation, the crowd arrived as a smiling, hungry lunch and dinner crew. It was a massive show of implicit support and protest, for reasons that deserve examination.
My table included a friend who supports civil unions, one for gay marriage, and one who thinks government should get out of the marriage business, letting people and churches make their own agreeable arrangements. We didn’t discuss the fourth person’s view, or anyone else’s that day, because lunch was don’t ask don’t tell.
It’s clear many diners intended to rebuke bullying politicians and the un-American idea that approved political views are required for permission to be in business. Does this resentment go further, and reflect anger at transgressed lines between private and public management, corporate and government bedfellows sharing money, policies, and favors?  Is that resentment building toward a November eruptian?
Another strong positive is rejection of a vicious double standard: One side airs views through a respectful media, while others get vilified for different opinions. It’s breathtaking that liberals seek to redefine fundamental cultural concepts and muzzle the opposition; those who question or disagree should be attacked and cowed into silence, even while they speak for majority opinion. That happened with California’s ballot measure on marriage, as more than one financial supporter was hounded from high profile jobs. Wednesday was a salutary fist at that ugly trend.
Finally, what to make of the subdued coverage. Did our scribes not recognize an  important cultural moment? Because it doesn’t interest them or flatter their vision? That’s the fish-don’t-know-they’re-wet view of media bias. Or, do they know full well and work carefully to contain the story? Of course, either way, the effect is the same.

Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.

Dan Cathy could have saved his company, Chick-Fil-A, a lot of trouble. All he had to do was keep his views about family to himself.

Instead, he answered a question honestly. In a recent media interview, the company’s president and COO said what he believes and why he believes it. But his politically incorrect views are intolerable, judging from the anger of many on the left, including several big-city officials who are dead-set against his views.

In the interview, Cathy said he is “very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel took exception: “What the COO 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 the city of Chicago believe.”

Now, spirited debates about controversial topics are an American tradition. But it didn’t stop there. The politicians began threatening to block Chick-Fil-A’s plans to expand in their cities.

In a letter to Chick-Fil-A, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote: “I was angry to learn, on the heels of your prejudiced statements, about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, and no place for your company alongside it.”

Joe Moreno, a Chicago alderman, told Chick-Fil-A to forget about its plans to build a second store in the Windy City: “I’m not gonna sit on the sidelines and allow them to come in when I know in my heart that they believe in discriminating against gay people.”

In Philadelphia, meanwhile, city councilman James Kenney told Dan Cathy to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.” He also said he plans to introduce a resolution condemning Chick-Fil-A at the next council meeting.

At this point, we’ve moved well beyond debate. It’s a free-speech issue now.

These officials did not merely express an opposite point of view. They threatened to use their political power to punish a man, and those who work for him, for saying something they disagree with. The message this sent is crystal-clear — and chilling: Conform to the “accepted” view, or else.

Emmanuel and company spoke in breathless tones about how offensive Cathy’s beliefs are. Yet what could be more offensive than what they’re trying to do? What could be more, yes, discriminatory than using the power of the state to punish private viewpoints under the guise of standing up against “discrimination”?

“You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino said. But the company does no such thing. Chick-Fil-A hires employees and serves customers without regard to sexual orientation. The head of the company simply expressed his privately held view on the issue of family.

And it’s not just talk. The Cathy family has been a model of corporate responsibility, helping tackle social problems and strengthen civil society. For years, they’ve taken concrete steps to strengthen families through the programs of its WinShape Foundation. Founded in 1984 by S. Truett Cathy, WinShape supports college scholarships, foster care and international ministries. It works hard to strengthen marriage, offering counseling and help for couples in crisis, saving marriages that had been on the brink of divorce.

WinShape also works with other like-minded groups that seek to strengthen marriage in America. “It’s the kind of work that will take decades — even generations,” writes Jennifer Marshall, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. “And it’s not the stuff of headlines, which is why many Americans probably have no idea this critical effort is under way.”

What does make the headlines? False and outrageous charges of discrimination from opportunistic politicians with little respect for free-speech rights.

“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,” Cathy added in the interview that led to the controversy.

After hearing the way he’s been treated since then, you have to wonder: Do we, in fact, live in such a country anymore?

Ed Feulner

    Dr. Edwin Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation, a Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today  .

Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities!

Whether for or against same-sex marriage, what part of the First Amendment do these radical mayors not understand? The First Amendment is about preventing government from infringing on political speech. This is a clear-cut case of suppression and punishment of Cathy’s right of free speech.

In an interview picked up by the Baptist Press, Cathy told the Biblical Recorder that he operates his business on Christian principles, including closing on Sundays. About gay marriage, he said: “I think we’re inviting God’s judgment when we shake our fist at him, you know, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ And I pray on God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try and redefine what marriage is all about.”

Even worse for critics, Chick-fil-A donates millions to WinShape, which regularly contributes to conservative pro-traditional marriage groups like Focus on the Family.

Polls show Cathy’s view of same-sex marriage is held by at least half the country. And voters, when given a chance to vote on the issue, have consistently voted against same-sex marriage, including those in liberal states like Oregon and California. Voters in 31 states have approved measures defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

As recently as 90 days ago, Cathy and President Barack Obama shared the same view. During the 2008 presidential debate hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, Obama explained: “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. … I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage.”

But today, Obama’s three-months-ago position makes one a homophobe.

About Cathy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said: “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.”

Not consistent with “Chicago values”?

Anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan recently offered to help police high-crime areas of Chicago in the wake of an uptick in murders. Mayor Emanuel accepted Farrakhan’s assistance. Has the mayor heard Farrakhan’s views on gay marriage? After criticizing Obama as “the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid,” Farrakhan condemned homosexuality as a “sin, according to the standard of God.” To politicians, he said, “If the book is no good, what the hell are you using it for to take an oath of office to uphold, not the Bible, but the Constitution?”

So, zero tolerance for a white critic of gay marriage, but not for a black critic? One is almost tempted to accuse Mayor Emanuel of … racism! Even Chick-fil-A’s opponents admit they find no instance where the company denied service to a customer, refused to hire someone because of sexual orientation or fired someone for being gay.

Microsoft and Apple, to name a couple, donate to pro-gay-marriage groups. Should opponents of gay marriage find the companies’ stance on marriage so offensive that they, too, launch consumer boycotts?

Liberals sure expect tolerance from others, don’t they? Take the Olympics.

One of the co-hosts of the London Olympics is the smooth, relaxed veteran Bob Costas. But on his radio show in 2007, Costas went hard political. He said it was an “inescapable fact” that President George W. Bush had a “tragically failed administration”: “I think it is now overwhelmingly evident, if you’re honest about it, even if you’re a conservative Republican, if you’re honest about it, this is a failed administration. And no honest conservative would say that George W. Bush was among the 500 most qualified people to be President of the United States.” Nice.

Actor Morgan Freeman voices the Visa commercials running during the Olympics. But Freeman recently blasted the tea party as “racist”: “The tea partiers who are controlling the Republican Party … their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What underlines that? Screw the country. … We’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here. It is a racist thing.” Sweet.

Yet those offended by Costas and Freeman are expected to show tolerance and open-mindedness, despite the attacks on Bush and the GOP-embraced tea party. The same expectation of tolerance for the views of others, however, does not extend to Chick-fil-A and the issue of gay marriage.

There is good news for the company. Cathy’s comments, when the dust settles, might actually help business. A SurveyUSA poll conducted for KABC in Los Angeles finds the numbers of people who intend to buy Chick-fil-A — as a result of the controversy — outnumber those who refuse to buy.

It seems that America’s tolerance for intolerance goes only so far.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is in hot water with the LGBT community because he committed the cardinal sin in an age of political correctness: Thou must not speak ill of anything gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders wish to do.

In an interview with the Baptist Press and later on a Christian radio program, Cathy, whose father, the philanthropist Truett Cathy, founded the company, defended marriage between a man and a woman and when asked about the company’s support of traditional marriage said, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” Cathy believes American society is rotting (and where is evidence to the contrary?) because the country has turned away from God.

That was it. Cathy did not say he would deny someone with a different view than his the right to eat in or work at any of his fast-food restaurants, which would violate the law. He did not say anything hateful about them. He simply expressed a deeply held conviction rooted in his Christian faith.

The reaction tells you everything you need to know about certain liberals who believe every sort of speech, activity and expression should be protected, except the speech, activity and expression of evangelical Christians.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he would try to deny Chick-fil-A’s application for permits to open restaurants in that city. Now that’s discrimination. Menino wants to ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, not for discriminating against customers or employees, but because of its owner’s beliefs, a threat he has since backed away from. Does Boston have “thought police” who might be ordered to investigate whether other business owners already operating in the city hold similar views? I’ll bet there’s someone at Durgin-Park who holds similar views. What about a player for the Boston Red Sox? Better follow them to see if any of them go to church.

Maybe Mayor Menino would like to force business owners in the city to testify before an official panel of grand inquisitors and then deny operating licenses to anyone who believes traditional marriage should be the norm?

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.” Are Chicago values represented by the anti-Semitic firebrand Louis Farrakhan with whom Emanuel is going to partner in hopes of reducing the number of homicides in his city? Are Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic and anti-gay sentiments somehow more palatable, more of value, than Dan Cathy’s support of marriage and family?

The Weekly Standard found a video posted on the Nation of Islam’s website of a Farrakhan speech two months ago in which he blasted President Obama for endorsing same-sex marriage. Farrakhan said Obama is “the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid.” He added, “…sin is sin according to the standard of God” and “the Bible forbids it.”

That goes a lot further than Dan Cathy.

The Jim Henson Company has decided to pull its Creature Shop toys from Chick-fil-A and donate profits already made to GLAAD, the media-monitoring group that promotes the image of LGBT people. I knew Jim Henson when we both worked at the NBC-TV station in Washington in the mid-1960s. While we never discussed politics, I don’t think at the time, at least, he would have wanted his characters, which appeal to everyone, involved in a cultural and political battle.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Senator Rick Santorum, both also former presidential candidates, have called for a show of support for Cathy. They want people to eat at Chick-fil-A restaurants on August 1.

This is more than an economic battle. It is a First Amendment issue. Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. Dan Cathy has a right to his opinion, so does Farrakhan, so do we all.

The real “war” in this country is not only against the supposed civil right of nontraditional marriage. It is a war against conservative Christians and a denial of the same rights the LGBT community claims for itself. Free speech is an American value. We shouldn’t settle for anything less.

Cal  Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America“.

Renowned evangelist Billy Graham – who has been among the top 10  of USA Today/Gallup poll’s annual most admired people in the world list more  than 50 times – issued a statement Thursday in support of Chick-fil-A’s leaders  and their public stance on marriage.

Graham called Chick-fil-A’s founder Truett Cathy and his son and company  president Dan Cathy “good friends” whom he has known for many years. And he  applauded the Cathys for being able to grow their family-owned chicken sandwich  restaurant without “compromising their values.” Within less than 50 years,  Chick-fil-A has expanded to more than 1,600 stores and had over $4 billion in  sales last year.

“Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must  always be measured by God‘s word,” said Graham, who is sometimes called the  pastor to presidents for his close relationships with U.S. commander-in-chiefs.  “I appreciate the Cathy family’s public support for God’s definition of  marriage.”

The controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A and gay marriage began earlier this  month after the Biblical  Recorder published an article in which Cathy said he was “guilty as  charged” when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family.

Cathy went on to say, “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.”

Gay activists were up in arms about Cathy’s clearly-stated support for the  traditional family unit, which implies he is against the redefinition of  marriage to include two people of the same sex. Hollywood actors, elected  officials, and individuals have called for a combination of personal and  government boycotts of Chick-fil-A.

In response, Huckabee rallied his radio listeners and fans to support  Chick-fil-A and the Cathys by eating at their restaurants on Aug. 1.

“The goal is simple: 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,” wrote Huckabee on the Facebook  invitation page.

Graham, 93, said that he plans to participate in Chick-fil-A Appreciation  Day.

“As the son of a dairy farmer who milked many a cow, I plan to ‘Eat Mor  Chikin‘ and show my support by visiting Chick-fil-A next Wednesday,” Graham  stated.

Graham, who is known for preaching the Good News more than taking a stand on  hot-button social issues, had also voiced his support for the marriage amendment  in his home state of North Carolina earlier this year. The amendment passed on  May 8.

The latest Chic-fil-A controversy is beginning to take on the  nature of a frat house food fight, according to some commentators on both sides  of the issue, and calls for restraint have begun. Here’s what’s gone on in just  the past few days:

• In a July 2 story published by Biblical Recorder and later reposted by  Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy asserts his support for traditional  marriage by saying the company was “guilty as charged” when asked about the  opposition his company was facing for supporting traditional marriage. • Actor Ed Helms and leading gay rights activists express outrage over Cathy’s  comment and suggest yet another boycott of the company’s products. • Last  Friday Jim Henson and his company, saying their company embraces “diversity and  Inclusiveness,” announced they would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A. • The National Organization for Marriage, along with former Gov. Mike  Huckabee, try to rally pro-family supporters by encouraging them to eat  at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. • And finally, elected officials in  Boston and Chicago have vowed to block Chick-fil-A from building additional restaurants in  their cities.

Needless to say, the issue is not only defined by culture  but has drifted into the political spectrum with calls of action coming from  both sides of the aisle.

Huckabee wrote on his website, “No one is being asked to make signs, speeches  or openly demonstrate. The goal is simple: 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.”

Over 100,000 people have responded by saying they will show up to support  Chick-fil-A.

Yet the tit-for-tat sparring between gay activists and pro-family supporters  has turned out to be what some are calling an old-fashioned, college era food  fight.

Dana Milbank, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, penned in a column  Tuesday:

“Huckabee is starting this food fight for the spirit, not the body.  Unfortunately, he is doing violence to both. His defense of the fast-food  restaurant will make Chick-fil-A a fat target in the culture wars and will  further divide Americans. Apparently, it isn’t enough to be split on matters of politics; now we must choose  sides between red and blue eateries, retail stores and consumer products.”

But supporters on the other side of the counter say it wasn’t Huckabee who  started the fight, instead, pointing their fingers at pro-gay activists and even  other retail giants such as Home Depot, JC Penny and General Mills for promoting  their goods to the homosexual community and dismissing others who make up the  larger majority of their customer base.

However, Milbank is also making the case that Cathy and Chick-fil-A are  trying to retreat from their position, pointing to a statement the company made  after the most recent controversy erupted.

“Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex  marriage to the government and political arena,” the company said after the news  of Walt Disney’s Jim Henson and Company severing ties with the fast-food  giant.

But as writer George Rasley noted on Richard Viguerie‘s Conservative HQ,  Chick-fil-A is still standing strong in the face of adversity.

“And by publicly affirming those biblically-based values, Mr. Cathy gave one  of the most courageous professions of Christian faith we have heard in modern  America – not because he is likely to suffer the kind of physical harm the  fathers of the early Church faced, or that modern martyrs face in places like Iran, China and Sudan today,” wrote  Rasley.

“No, but Mr. Cathy is facing something that in its own way may be just as  harsh — the wrath of the leftwing media and Democrat politicians ready to  pander to the radical homosexual agenda that quickly combined to call for Mr.  Cathy’s business to be banned from their fiefdoms and for him to be  muzzled.”

Yet with all this said, the food fight and the issues that linger with it  will mostly likely continue for the foreseeable future.