Chick-fil-A and Progressive Bigotry

Before reading this post, it is imperative that you take a couple of minutes to watch this video:

That was rather moving, wasn't it? It is extraordinary that a company would spend the time, money, and effort at creating a video that does not even advertise its own product. It is an act of pure, unadulterated good will. It is completely philanthropic in the truest sense of the word, exhibiting a "love of humanity." Indeed, it exhibits a love of people on an individual level, regardless of race, color, creed, socio-economic level or background. It celebrates and takes an interest in the unique dignity and "story" of every single person.

Progressive bullies are now declaring war on this company, which employs 61,000 people. 

Chick-fil-A is a chain of restaurants owned and operated by committed Christians. Since its inception by devout Southern Baptist S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A has sought to be a positive influence in the lives of everyone it impacts. Its mission statement is "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." To that end, the restaurant is famously closed on Sundays, not because they are Puritans who demand that everyone go to church, but because they believe giving a regular day off to every employee to spend with their families makes good business sense and is a public, social good.  Cathy said:

I was not so committed to financial success that I was willing to abandon my principles and priorities. One of the most visible examples of this is our decision to close on Sunday. Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring God and of directing our attention to things that mattered more than our business.

Wait. Something matters more than business?

Not only has Chick-fil-A been one of the most successful fast-food restaurant chains in the country; it is one of the most admirable businesses in the country. We live in a time where progressives are "occupying" Wall Street, railing against greedy corporations for caring about profits more than people. Here we have a company that self-consciously, arguably to their own financial detriment, puts people above profits. Indeed, they make inspiring videos about how special people are, and how we ought to take an interest in each other's stories.

The Left wants you to believe that these are terrible and terrifying people.

As you may have heard, Chick-fil-A has come under fire because their current President, Dan Cathy, made some remarks in an interview that he and his company are pro-traditional family: "Guilty as charged." That is, one must infer, they oppose the public policy of state-sanctioned same-sex "marriage." As part of their mammoth mountain of charitable giving, they support various non-profit groups that promote traditional marriage public policy.  Oh, the scandal! By the way, the irony is that in the interview cited as hate-mongering, Cathy actually said nothing whatsoever about same-sex marriage. Details, details... Chick-fil-A was obviously already in the sights, and a marginal opportunity emerged for their opponents.

One would think, given the outrage, that somehow Chick-fil-A was banning homosexuals from entering their premises or even working behind the counter. Nope. Not even close. The simple fact that they give money to pro-family organizations means that they have been declared enemies of the body politic. Supporting marriage and family, according to progressive activists, is beyond the pale.

The mayor of Boston vowed that if Chick-fil-A attempts to open a restaurant in Boston, the necessary permits will be denied: "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies." What policies would those be? Are they discriminating against somebody? Of course not. "Policies" means "unless they agree with me on a controversial public policy." I hardly need to explain how frighteningly anti-American that sentiment is. It is one thing for a person or group of people to choose not to go to Chick-fil-A, as they are free to do. It is another thing altogether for the government to actively seek to damage Chick-fil-A.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel opined that "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values." Really? He knows that each and every person in Chicago supports same-sex "marriage"? On the contrary, Chicago has a very large black population, a demographic whose majority consistently opposes same-sex "marriage." A pretty arrogant and ignorant attitude. I know, shocking coming from Rahm Emmanuel.

So here we have it. A hugely successful company renowned for its philanthropy, a company that has done nothing but positive social good in the course of employing of tens of thousands of people, is thuggishly castigated, threatened, and boycotted for not bowing to elite orthodoxy.  

Jesus told us to expect this, of course:

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." Matthew 5:11

Did you catch that "falsely"? They say that Chick-fil-A is an organization of hatred and bigotry. They say that Chick-fil-A is misanthropic instead of philanthropic. Go ahead. Watch that video again. Charges more patently false cannot be imagined. Is all of this because of Jesus? Of course it is. More than any other company in the world, Chick-fil-A openly acknowledges the Christian foundations of its business practices. The anti-Christian progressive left cannot tolerate it, and so they fabricate this phony "controversy" to stoke Christophobia.

A grassroots effort has sprung up to declare August 1, 2012 as "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." I myself do not live in a locale with a Chick-fil-A restaurant. But if you do, will you show your appreciation for the Cathy family and their great American business, as well as their unapologetic and uncompromising dedication to philanthropy and the public good?

That would be refreshingly American: it is not for politicians like Rahm Emmanuel to decide what businesses get rewarded and punished. Let the market decide. May they decide overwhelmingly on August 1st.

Brian Mattson