I guess it’s time for me to weigh in on the Chik-fil-A storm.

“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

That’s the official Chick-fil-A corporate purpose. Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it? Who would want to patronize a place like that? Apparently, millions of people. But some don’t care for that philosophy. They think that the chain should be boycotted. Run out of town. Forced to close its doors.

Why? Because they don’t like the principles espoused by Dan Cathy, President and COO of the chain. That, and the fact that the company gives lots of money to foundations and organizations that promote traditional marriage. (For the purposes of this firestorm, that means only one man marries only one woman).

Mr. Cathy has long stated that his religious beliefs imbue his work life as well as his personal life. Does this mean that he encourages his employees to discriminate against customers that they don’t care for?

No. It means that he dedicates his life to service. His goal is go the “second mile”, to make sure that the customers of Chik-fil-A have the best experience possible. Except on Sundays. Sundays are reserved for rest and worship.

In addition to promoting customer service, Mr. Cathy does not hesitate to promote his concept of traditional marriage. Chik-fil-A also touts its participation in what it calls “marriage enrichment” activities. It has for a long time. It is just this sort of thing that has gotten Carly McGehee’s dander up. Who is Carly McGehee? She’s a lesbian who’s been unsuccessfully trying to have a kiss-in to protest Chik-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage for months.

She was getting nowhere at first. Then Mr. Cathy made the mistake that millions of others have made. He granted an interview to the press. This press happened to be The Baptist Press, but the principle appears to be the same. Don’t talk to any media people unless you want to have your world turned upside down as a result. If you are already on top of the world, like Mr. Cathy, this could be end up being a very bad thing. But if you are Carly McGehee, this is exactly what you are looking for.

When she discovered that Mr. Cathy had the temerity to speak his mind, she decided to do what any tolerant liberal would do: she used it as the perfect opportunity to try to shut him up.

As did numerous government officials, to their shame. It’s one thing for citizen activists to call for the closing of a business because of its employees’ religious stance. It’s unconstitutional for government employees to attempt the same thing.

Why is it that activists, whether of the gay-rights variety, the tree-hugger variety, the snail darter variety, or any other variety you care to name, try to go about converting people through protests? If they feel that strongly about issues, why don’t they go out and make a ton of money the way that the people against whom they are protesting did, and use their money to effect change?

DSCN0533You don’t like Chik-fil-A’s attitude toward gays? Start your own chain of algae burger restaurants, make millions of dollars, and finance the campaigns of politicians who will support laws allowing gay marriage. Or set up a foundation that will draft legally enforceable civil contracts for gay couples in all fifty states. Be pro-active instead of negative. Not much ever got created through negativity.

It’s one thing to try to close down an enterprise that you feel is harmful. But a restaurant chain that does its best to make sure that its customers enjoy their food? How does protesting its existence help anybody?

So far, I haven’t noticed any laws being enacted, debated, or even being introduced or drafted. All that the gay protests seem to have done is give Chik-fil-A days of record-making profits, and a lot of air time.

That is fortunate for the 61,000 employees who work in the 1,600 Chik-fil-A restaurants. Just imagine that Ms. McGehee and her cohorts are successful in their endeavor to force Chik-fil-A out of business. What do they plan to do about all those people who will now be out of work?

Absolutely nothing. Because the gay stance is more important than people’s livelihoods. Just not patronizing the place is not sufficient. Just going about your own business isn’t fulfilling. Ponying up your own money to build your ideal world doesn’t cut it. Apparently only punishing those who are simply trying to earn a living is the only thing that works.

I don’t understand the liberal mindset that requires them to get rid of anything they don’t like. Flush it away. Don’t even think about it. The marketplace of ideas has no place in this scenario. And yet, they call themselves tolerant. The big tent. Come one, come all—unless we disagree with you. Then it’s off with your heads—just what they accuse the conservative set of doing.

And the worst of it is the end result. Mr. Cathy has proven that he has the tools to be successful. He can weather the storm, and begin again. He has choices. He can opt for retirement, devoting his entire life to perpetuating his philosophy instead of just promoting it in his spare time. Or he could start a whole new chain of restaurants. Or any other business. Will the gay activists make it their business to follow him around, sabotaging his efforts at creating new financial concerns? Putting more people out of work?

Because it is those 61,000 employees who will be the real losers. Them, and the followers of the activists who believe that protests truly are the way to effect change. The activists will make a name for themselves; Mr. Cathy will move on; but otherwise, things won’t change.

In order for that to happen, we must do more than squawk.

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Filed under Critical Thinking, Politics

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