Maybe Divorcés Should Boycott Chick-fil-A

The latest skirmish in the culture war is over whether or not to patronize Chick-fil-A (a popular fast-food franchise known for its chicken sandwich, rich shakes, and observance of the Sabbath, for those of you across the Pond.)

Dan Cathy, President & CFO of Chick-fil-A, granted an interview to The Bibilical Recorder, later distributed by Baptist Press, in which he said among other things that the company was "guilty as charged" of supporting traditional marriage.

The story has morphed into a great hue and cry, with The Usual Suspects on both sides performing as expected. Gay groups are boycotting Chick-fil-A and staging homosexual kiss-ins at the famously family-oriented restaurants. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel are threatening to prevent Chick-fil-A from operating within their cities' environs.

Gay marriage opponents are naturally rising to Chick-fil-A's defense. In case you're wondering why all of a sudden your friends are tweeting that they're at Chick-fil-A: that's why. Every Wednesday is now Chick-fil-A Wednesday If YOU CARE about Western Civilization AT ALL. Or so Facebook informs me.

Five quick points.

1. The Anchoress as usual gets it right. Hizzoners Menino & Emmanuel are what this blog likes to call Perky Little Tyrants. So far their threats seem to me like mere posturing and bloviating -- they didn't even read what the man said, but more on that later.. Making good on those threats would set a dangerous precedent -- do you have to declare your political beliefs before getting a business license? What kind of thought police crap is that?

(And how stupid is it to declare as beyond the bounds of civic discourse the exact same position President Obama, head of the Democratic Party, professed until oh, 2 minutes ago? Not only do these gentlemen think we all have to "evolve" on the issue of marriage, we now are required to evolve at the exact same pace as the President. )

2. I'm not a believer in corporate giving or the tax code that caused it to develop. Much as I don't approve of unions using member dues to support political candidates and causes, I don't approve of corporations donating to causes without the consent of the workers who helped build the business and make the profits. I think it's unhealthy to inject every transaction of public life with partisan significance, which is the logical result of that policy. But so long as the code is what it is, Chick-fil-A is simply exercising its rights in conformity with the law and a free market, precisely the way companies on the other side of the marriage issue (Starbucks, Home Depot, etc.) do. It is giving to causes it likes. It's not refusing to employ or serve entire constituencies, which is entirely different.

3. Politics ain't beanbag. If a company chooses to inject itself into a political battle, it has no right to cry foul when consumers take that choice into account. You can't give an interview throwing down the gauntlet at a particular constituency and expect them not to react. This is why I haven't really understood the response of friends who promote a boycott of Starbucks because they're pushing gay marriage but are offended and surprised by the gay groups' response to Chick-fil-A. Sauce for the chicken....

4. Turns out that is not what happened here. Chick-fil-A did not take on gay marriage nor insert itself in any way into that debate. Thanks again to the Anchoress, who points us in turn to Terry Mattingly's piece showing that Dan Cathy never said nor was asked a thing about gay marriage. That story is crock from CNN. Here's what Cathy actually said. First of all, he doesn't claim to be running a Christian business.
We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” Cathy told the Biblical Recorder in a recent visit to North Carolina. He attended a business leadership conference many years ago where he heard Christian businessman Fred Roach say, “There is no such thing as a Christian business.”
“That got my attention,” Cathy said. Roach went on to say, “Christ never died for a corporation. He died for you and me.”
“In that spirit … [Christianity] is about a personal relationship. Companies are not lost or saved, but certainly individuals are,” Cathy added. “But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be. [We are] based on biblical principles, asking God and pleading with God to give us wisdom on decisions we make about people and the programs and partnerships we have. And He has blessed us.”
And then he was asked about his WinShape Foundation, which includes programs to support and save marriages.
The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation ( The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners. It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.
“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. …
“We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “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.”
You can argue I suppose that if Dan Cathy supports the Biblical view of marriage we know he also opposes same sex marriage. But he didn't make his comments as a dig at gay marriage, but as a support of a marriage culture. He had keeping couples together in view when he spoke. In fact, if there's anything at all to get huffy about in what he said it's this:
We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
Married to your first wives? (My God, he is an extremist isn't he?)

It's divorced people who ought to be boycotting!

5. Here we have a story and moral outrage on both sides entirely ginned up by sloppy journalism. (Do read Terry Mattingly's entire piece.) More than sloppy: reckless. Brian Ross and George Stephanopolous are to pay no price for falsely accusing a man of mass murder last week. This week CNN is to pay no price for recklessly endangering the livelihood of thousands of Chick-fil-A employees, who now face a boycott and are inserted into the culture war for no good reason other than journalists have no standards and manage to sink below them even so.

Update: a 6th point. I'd like to thank the two demagogue mayors for so roundly answering the question, "How will same-sex marriage effect me?"