First Amendment and the Chick-fil-A Controversy: A Look Back

Perhaps readers remember the attacks on the Chick-fil-A Corporation over Dan Cathy’s exposition of “the biblical definition of the family unit.”  The attacks by same-sex marriage advocates on the restaurant chain of course backfired, giving Chick-fil-A franchises all across America records sales.  Thanks to Christians who responded to Governor Mike Huckabee’s call to show their support, the Chick-fil-A Corporation won a battle it did not even ask for and would have preferred to avoid.  Those who would suppress freedom of speech and religious liberty not only lost, they were publically embarrassed.

Most of the people—though not all of them—who turned out to stand in long lines to show their support for Chick-fil-A were Christians who agreed with Dan Cathy’s statement concerning the Biblical definition of marriage.  Those who were not professing Christians were there to support the First Amendment; particularly freedom of speech.  Ironically, there were non-Christians all over America who stood in line for hours at Chick-fil-A restaurants to show support, not for the Biblical definition of marriage per se, but for the right of Dan Cathy to exercise his freedom of speech in stating it.

Following that erstwhile controversy on the nightly news and in the morning newspaper, I noticed a tone of desperation in the over-the-top attacks on Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A.  It is as if radical homosexual organizations feared that the pro-family, pro-Christian values of one of America’s most successful restaurant chains might, once again, take hold in an America that has forgotten these values.  Certainly, Chick-fil-A is an island of traditional American values in a sea of moral relativism, secular humanism, atheism, and a host of other nefarious “isms.”

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Looking back, a few things should be clarified. First, Dan Cathy made no negative comments about homosexuals in the radio interview that caused the firestorm of controversy.  His exact words were: “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.”  If anyone was going to be vexed by this simple statement, it would make more sense for it to be divorced men than homosexuals.  Second, Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against homosexuals or any other group.  Homosexuals are just as welcome to purchase a chicken sandwich as anyone else at a Chick-Fil-A and there are openly homosexual men and women who work at Chick-fil-A franchises.

In retrospect, it was predictable that the attacks by leftwing bullies on Chick-fil-A would backfire and generate more rather than less support for the Cathy family and it franchises nationwide.  Further, it was predictable that the support shown for Chick-fil-A would translate into more business for the chain—just the opposite of what the SSM advocates wanted.  These things were predictable because Americans had already seen a preview provided to them by J.C. Penny—once one of America’s leading retailers.

To see where the overwhelming majority of Americans stand on the issue of family values versus the anti-First Amendment agenda of radical homosexuals, one need only look to the J.C. Penny debacle in which the company hired a well-known lesbian as its marketing spokesperson only to see its profits evaporate overnight and its stock plummet like a rock thrown over a cliff.

Liberals like to tout diversity as if the concept is the invention of the left.  But when it gets down to actually embracing diversity, they are the least tolerant people in America.  He Constitution is the best friend of people who truly want to see society embrace diversity because in protecting freedom of speech (and religion), the First Amendment protects diversity.  Those who seek to suppress free speech—for example those who had hoped to shut down Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide—are the enemies of diversity because they want to punish those who hold opinions that do not comport with theirs.  When only one point of view is allowed, there is no freedom of speech.


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