Protesters carry signs as traffic passes a Chick-fil-A restaurant Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in Little Rock, Ark. Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the Atlanta-based company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” Gay rights groups and others answered with calls for boycotts. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
As my colleague, Brandon Morse, noted earlier today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey ruffled feathers over the weekend when he tweeted a screenshot indicating he’d purchased Chick-fil-A. The claws for the “hate chicken” came out and we were once again reminded that everything is political anymore — right down to chicken nuggets and waffle fries.
I wrote a piece back in 2012 when the controversy first erupted and thought it might be interesting to take a look back at what I said then and compare it to where I stand now. The earlier post:
Why Chick-Fil-A Gets My Vote Today
I don’t like chicken all that much. I will eat it, but it is not my first food (or fast food) of choice. Also, I am often lazy when it comes to food. What that translates into is the fact that, prior to this week, I’d never been to Chick-fil-A. The two closest to me are still 5-7 miles away, and there are plenty of other fast food places in between.
Still, I’ve always heard good things about their food, and I’ve admired the fact that they’ve made a point to build their business around their Christian values, and not been shy about acknowledging that. I am a Christian, and I understand Biblical teaching re: the issue of marriage. I understand the moral arguments for and against gay marriage. At various times, I’ve made both. Legally-speaking, I cannot reconcile a state (or any government) granting marriage licenses — and the legal privileges that come with them — for heterosexual unions, but not for homosexual ones. IF a state allows civil unions or domestic partnerships that afford the same legal privileges, then fine.
I think the fight to legally define “marriage” is a lose-lose. I resent those pushing to redefine it and the use of this issue to bash Christianity. I resent those who use the issue as an excuse to gay bash. As far as I’m concerned “marriage” is between you, your partner and your God, god or non-god, whatever the case may be. The state should stay the hell out of it.
I don’t share Dan Cathy’s views on the matter exactly. But I support the hell out of his right to hold them and express them. And I support the hell out of the right of those who disagree to not frequent his company and to express their disagreement. What I do NOT support is Tom Menino or Rahm Emanuel or the mayor of any city declaring that they will not allow a business to set up shop in their city because of their views. Their VIEWS.
So, with that said, I made a point to stop by Chick-fil-A Monday evening and grab dinner. And it was pretty good. Not great, because, as I said, I’m not that big a fan of chicken. But good. The waffle fries were excellent. I hesitated on going today because of Mike Huckabee’s involvement with it. I cannot stand Mike Huckabee. I loathe the man. But…I loathe the idea of infringing on free speech more. So, I had myself some Chick-fil-A for breakfast this morning — their bacon, egg & cheese sammich and hash browns are pretty damn good!
So…how have I “evolved,” since August 2012 on the issue? (Evolving is what all the cool kids do on such things, right?) The short answer is — not all that much. The longer answer follows:
- I like chicken more than I used to. In fact, I eat it most days for lunch, either in a salad or on flatbread. I’ve developed a significant appreciation for “buffalo chicken” — particularly in a wrap — and I dig KFC’s popcorn chicken (dipped in Buffalo sauce). Still don’t do wings, though.
- I’m still lazy and still not conveniently located near a Chick-fil-A, so I don’t dine there, really ever.
- I still admire their business being built around their Christian values (and unashamedly so).
- I still can’t come up with a solid legal argument against gay marriage and don’t disagree with the outcome of Obergefell.
- I understand the moral and faith-based arguments against it and accept that my personal beliefs don’t necessarily square with them.
- I still believe “marriage” should be between you, your partner and your God, god or non-god, whatever the case may be and the state should stay out of it.
- I still support the right of Dan Cathy (and any other CEO) to hold and express their views on any matter they so choose, recognizing that the market may not be kind to their doing so, particularly in the present day, where mob mentality runs rampant.
- I don’t think it necessary that every corporation be political and set forth its stances on political issues. I’d like to get back to a place where not all things are political.
- I still don’t agree with the mayor of any city (or any government official or entity) declaring that they will not allow a business to set up shop in their city because of their views.
Looks like my primary “growth” has been that I’m more tolerant of chicken than I used to be. Might be time to try out Chick-fil-A again.
Follow Susie on Twitter @SmoosieQ