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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eat More Chicken

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” — Leviticus 20:13, 1769 Oxford King James Bible.

According to the Wall Street Journal the Muppets are severing their connection with the fast food chicken chain Chick-fil-A.:

“The Jim Henson Company, the force behind the Muppets, recently announced that it’s cutting ties with Chick-fil-A because of the fast-food chain’s stance against same-sex marriage. The company posted this note on its Facebook page: “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.”

The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.

CNN reported on July 19th that the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on July 16th have ignited a social media wildfire:

"Guilty as charged," Cathy said when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

"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," Cathy is quoted as saying.

Strong feelings of support and disagreement have followed, making Chick-fil-A the top Google trend on Thursday morning as the company's Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.

"Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me," Duke Richards wrote on Facebook.

"Goodbye Chikkk-fil-a! [Sic] your food was delicious, but I can no longer eat nuggets filled with hate!" read a post by Blake Brown.


But the support for the company was just as vehement.

"Just wanted to say I'm proud that you stand firm in your beliefs. You knew the risks, and still took the plunge. May God bless this company with abundance. Never back down!" said a Facebook post from David Jones.

"Thank you for standing up for what you believe. The truth is not hate. It's just the truth," wrote Sharon R Boyd.

"I love the values that this restaurant stands for and will support it every dang chance I get! Pay no attention to the morons spewing hate!" read a post from Raymond Joy.”

Dan Cathy oversees one of the country's most successful businesses. As president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, Cathy leads a business with 1,608 restaurants that had sales of more than $4 billion dollars last year. They sell chicken and train employees to focus on values rooted in the Bible.

His father, S. Truett Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House). In 1967, his father opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta. Today, Chick-fil-A is the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States based on annual system-wide sales.

Dan Cathy's success has not erased the biblical values he learned as a child in a Baptist800px-ChikfilaMcDonaldsGalleria church. He is a warm, common man who is deeply committed to being a faithful Christian witness. And he is fully involved in New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga. He drives Chick-fil-A's efforts to provide genuine hospitality, ensuring that customers have an exceptional dining experience in a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Based on Matthew 5:41, Cathy is on a mission to provide customers with "second-mile" service — exceeding even the highest expectations of a typical fast-food restaurant. The Baptist Press reported:

“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."

Rather than leading from his corporate office in Atlanta, Cathy chooses to spend the majority of his time traveling to the chain's growing family of restaurants and interacting with Chick-fil-A's committed team members. His actions stem from a belief that working in the field provides a clearer understanding of the needs of Chick-fil-A customers. Leading from the front line also enables him personally to convey his servant spirit to the chain's 61,000-plus employees.

Cathy believes strongly that Christians are missionaries in the workplace. "Jesus had a lot of things to say about people who work and live in the business community," he said. His goal in the workplace is "to take biblical truth and put skin on it. ... We're talking about how our performance in the workplace should be the focus of how we build respect, rapport and relationships with others that opens the gateway to interest people in knowing God.

"All throughout the New Testament there is an evangelism strategy related to our performance in the workplace. ... Our work should be an act of worship. Our work should be our mission field. As long as we are stateside, let's don't think we have to go on mission trips by getting a passport. ... If you're obedient to God you are going to be evangelistic in the quality of the work you do, using that as a portal to share [Christ]," he said.”

In yet another example of progressives attempting to curtail the rights of those they do not agree with Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, wants to ban the opening of any new Chick-fil-A restaurants. The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Also not a fan of Chick-fil-A’s position: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. In an interview with the Boston Herald, Menino vowed to block the chain from opening up shop in his city, promising to make it extremely difficult for the company to procure the required licenses.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino told the publication. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”

Nearly 4,000 people have signed a pledge to boycott Chick-fil-A.”

The Times report continues:

“But Chick-fil-A has its share of supporters, including Mike Huckabee. On his Facebook page this weekend, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate wrote that he has “been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company.”

He called the Cathy clan “a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story” – one “that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”

Huckabee declared Aug. 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

“Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant,” Huckabee wrote.

On Thursday, Chick-fil-A said in a statement that it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” and refrain from “proactively being engaged in the dialogue” on the subject.”

The majority of people in the United States believe marriage is between a man and a women. This has been proven in California, Oregon, Maine, and North Carolina where anti-gay marriage initiatives have been passed with the approval of the voters. It is only in states where the legislature and governor’s mansion is dominated by Democrats that pro-gay marriage laws have been enacted.

In North Carolina, the latest state to outlaw gay marriage, the voters approved Amendment One by 61%. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council — a conservative Christian organization — released a statement applauding the vote.

“We applaud North Carolina voters for joining voters in 31 other states upholding the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman” the statement said. “At every opportunity, the American people have demonstrated a deep appreciation for the unique benefits that marriage between a man and a woman brings to families and society. They recognize that marriage is the only kind of union that results in natural procreation and keeps a mother and father together to raise the children produced by their union.”

North Carolina had previously been the only Southern state that did not have a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Some 29 states already have statutes or constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage. Additionally, in Hawaii, the state legislature has the power to define marriage, though the state does not currently explicitly ban same-sex marriage. North Carolina will now become the 30th state with such a law. Same sex marriage is currently legal in six states, plus Washington, D.C.

For his statement, Cathy is accused of potentially offending his customers (Washington Post) and of not liking "gay people" (Ed Helms). Moreover, Helms has been joined by Jane Lynch, Deepak Chopra, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, and the Kardashians in announcing a boycott of Chick-fil-A.

It appears Cathy's crime isn't so much that he holds the convictions he holds, but that he has the courage to voice them.

As Jena McGregor asserted in her Washington Post column:

“On the one hand, you could argue leaders of businesses, particularly private, family-owned ones, should be able to speak their minds. But when a business leader elects to take a public and vocal position on a hot-button political issue in an election year, he or she also risks losing the support of many of its customers.”

Note that McGregor's line of thinking doesn't cross over for businesses like Office Depot, which shares its convictions with every customer via signs in their stores that read, "Be Brave," along with the tagline, "We Support Bravery."

For the record, the signs are not referencing Office Depot's support of the military, but of Lady GaGa's "Born This Way Foundation" — a foundation supporting same-sex "marriage" and which Office Depot has guaranteed a $1-million donation.

Don't hold your breath for a Washington Post column criticizing Office Depot for this anytime soon. And don't expect to hear anything negative from the celebrities who were so quick to criticize Cathy for possessing the courage of his convictions.

It's all part of the duplicity we've watched the progressive left demonstrate for decades, but it's also part of a larger, more recent phenomenon that should trouble every American. Those on the left are insisting that those in business have no right to have convictions of their own if they don't mirror what the left believes. This is the tyranny of political correctness. If you do not believe as I then we will sanction you.

What Cathy is experiencing is the tip of the iceberg. Right now, people are in court and being severely fined simply because they wish to exercise their faith convictions in how they run their businesses. Elane Photography is in court because the co-owner of the small New Mexico photo company couldn't in good conscience user her artistic skills to beautify a same-sex "commitment" ceremony. Hercules Industries is in court in Colorado because the Obama administration wants to force its owners to abandon their faith convictions when it comes to providing health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Hands On Originals, a T-shirt company in Kentucky, has been dragged before a human rights commission because it wouldn't print T-shirts to promote a "gay pride" festival. The list goes on and on.

Never mind that none of these events has caused anyone a problem in getting the goods or services he or she wanted. The goal is strictly to punish those who won't go along and approve of leftist orthodoxy.

Just ask the Susan G. Komen Foundation, after it incurred the wrath of Planned Parenthood for simply saying that it wouldn't fund the abortion giant anymore with a small amount of grant money to which Planned Parenthood has absolutely no right. Of course, that didn't stop the liberal politicians whose campaigns Planned Parenthood supports from demanding that Komen bow to the abortion agenda.

Sadly, Planned Parenthood at least partially succeeded in bringing about a concession from the Komen Foundation. Let's hope Dan Cathy continues to stand strong and resist whatever pressures are wrongfully applied to him for staying true to his convictions. He has a great record of charity and community service to millions that people should not ignore just because a few on the left put their social agenda above all else.

We are living an America dominated by the tyranny of factions. No business or person should be punished by government for adhering to their beliefs as long as those beliefs do not translate to actions that adversely affect the rights of others. This goes for Chick-fil-A, Office Depot, and Elane Photography. Chick-fil-A is not refusing service to people who do not believe as their president nor is Office Depot refusing service to me because I do not agree with their slogan or involvement in LGBT issues. (I shop for my office supplies at Staples because I like the service there). As the owner of a small photography business I would not sanction a same sex marriage ceremony with my camera. People have a right to shop and eat where they wish and government has no right to interfere with their choice, Boston mayor, Thomas Menino included.

I have never eaten at a Chick-fil-A restaurant but I surely intend to do so, and soon.

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