Chris Graham: The last Chick-fil-A sandwich
Chick-fil-A makes a damn good chicken sandwich. What is good to the taste buds might be hard to stomach considering the hateful comments from company president Dan Cathy, who in a radio interview this week said the U.S. is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”
“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about,” said Cathy, igniting a firestorm of controversy that could have a lasting impact on the company’s bottom line.
A majority of Americans support giving gays and lesbians the right to marry. And the issue is a cultural touchstone for those on both sides without a lot of common ground.
To be sure, Chick-fil-A’s success is based on sales of those damn good chicken sandwiches to social conservatives and progressive liberals alike. Which might explain why the company quickly posted a statement to its Facebook page affirming the company’s commitment to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
“Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” the statement read.
The effort at damage control is admirable, but it’s not like this is the first time that Chick-fil-A has faced questions about its stance on gay rights and its support of anti-LGBT political efforts.
Me personally, I love Chick-fil-A food, and I’ve had good feelings about my relations with the local Chick-fil-A restaurant that opened in Waynesboro two years ago. The local owner and staff have gone out of their way to involve themselves in and give active support to a number of community organizations.
I appreciate those efforts, but I also recognize that doing that is also a smart business practice.
The revelations about the money that Chick-fil-A had made in the past to anti-gay rights organizations had given me pause about continuing to patronize its restaurants.
This latest bromide from Cathy leaves me thinking that Chick-fil-A looks at me as just another sucker falling for the company’s PR spin so that I will continue to buy its damn good chicken sandwiches and in the process provide money that it can give to groups that I consider to be on the wrong side of a human-rights debate.
If I have any willpower at all, I have eaten my last of those damn good chicken sandwiches.