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Lessons From Chick-fil-A

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I’m always amazed at the topics that make news. The Saucer Kid, Sara Palin’s wardrobe, Octomom, to name just a few. Now comes Chick-fil-A, the fast food chicken restaurant, headquartered in College Park, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. The COO of Chick-fil-A is, Dan T. Cathy, who remarked in a recent interview, that he is a strong proponent of traditional, “biblical” marriage. He did not mention same sex marriage, or demean anyone in a same sex marriage relationship, in any of the quotes from the interview.

Are We Missing The Real Message?

Once again, the tunnel vision, mainstream media, is focusing their attention on the secondary, rather than the primary story. The secondary story, in my opinion, is the battle between same sex marriages vs. traditional marriages defined as one man, one woman.

As a result of Cathy’s interview, a gay-straight feeding frenzy erupted. Groups that support same sex marriage saddled up to do battle. Not with Cathy, but to bring down his business.

Boston mayor Thomas Menino, Chicago alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, and current Mayor Rahm Emanuel said they hoped to block franchise expansion into their areas. And there is the primary story the media is missing. You will not be allowed to do business in the United States of America, the freest nation on the face of the earth, until your opinions are “rubber stamped” by the elite ruling class.

The Real Message the Media is Missing

Suppose I went on my weekly radio show and said, “Ya know what? I really don’t like art so I don’t have any paintings in my home.” Should I expect a group of art lovers to picket the station? Stake out my home? Egg my car? Or, suppose I said, “Ya know what? Those NSCAR drivers aren’t real athletes.” Should I expect some kind of bumper sticker rebellion? Sugar in the gas tank?

The real point to be made today is this — opinions vary. And isn’t that what Cathy was giving — his opinion? His opinion, his feelings, his belief, his life direction, the morals and guidelines of who he is? So what if it conflicts with other differing opinions? Did I miss something? Was the First Amendment repealed and I missed that somehow? Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s famous quote, often incorrectly credited to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Boycott’s: Unintended Consequences

In our “kneejerk” reaction society, the intolerant groups on both sides reacted swiftly. Gay and lesbian groups took to the airwaves to condemn a private citizen voicing a personal opinion. Rather than simply issuing a statement of disagreement, the groups decided to issue a boycott against the innocent workers and managers earning their living working at Chick-fil-A. Let’s cripple a company during a time of 8.2% unemployment.

Not to be outdone, Mike Huckabee, of Fox News, threw more gas on the fire by calling for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Many restaurants were deluged with customers lining up around the block and down freeways.

Huckabee’s actions were just as intolerant as the gay and lesbian groups. He interjected religion into what is no more than a matter of opinion. Neither group did much to strengthen the fabric of our society. In fact, it probably drove more of a stake between the two groups than doing anything to bring them together.

Some Final Thoughts

I realize some readers will be disappointed that I’m not siding with the Huckabee, Fox News crowd. If this were a same sex vs. traditional marriage issue I would have written this article. But it’s not. It’s one man giving an opinion of what he thinks and feels about his life and beliefs. It’s not a right opinion; it’s not a wrong opinion, — it’s his opinion. People who are unhappy with his beliefs have many other fast food choices. Are you prepared to vet everyone you do business with based on differing opinions? If so, you are going to be very busy.

As a Vietnam vet, I was very disappointed in John Kerry’s “Vietnam Vets Against the War.” I felt it gave aid and comfort to the enemy, and helped prolong the war. But I still have Heinz ketchup in my fridge. We have a difference of opinion, John and I. But, I have no desire, or need, to try to put him out of business for what he believes. Let’s all rethink our differences. How boring would life be if we all believed exactly the same thing?

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