If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.–George Washington
In 1967, a man named S.Truett Cathy transformed a tiny Atlanta diner called the Dwarf House into a restaurant that would eventually become the nation’s second largest quick-service chicken chain–a place many Americans know and love–called Chick-Fil-A.
Because S. Truett Cathy holds strong spiritual beliefs that are the foundation for every aspect of his life, it’s been no secret to anyone who cared to notice that Chick-Fil-A was a different sort of place. A place I wonder if many of those now shrieking in protest have ever actually taken the time to visit.
Walk through the doors of any Chick-Fil-A restaurant, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a rude employee, a lack of superior customer service, or an unclean indoor playground–all extremely rare, and all extremely refreshing. Name another fast food chain whose employees take the time to deliver food to your table, refill your drink, throw away your trash, decorate the tables with fresh flowers, or routinely clean each table as the customer leaves. How about one whose employees offer freshly ground pepper for your salad, or…get this…an umbrella covered walk to your car on a rainy day? Think these services aren’t important? Think again. Chick-Fil-A leads the industry in profits, and is nearly debt free. I’d say something’s working in a big way, and my bet is, it’s the amazing customer service they go the extra mile to provide.
You can imagine, then, how shocked I was last week when I returned home from a business trip and learned that the same lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community that demands “tolerance” from the rest of us had launched yet another protest of Chick-Fil-A because of their support of traditional marriage. Even more alarming than that was the false media report that became the launching point for said protest–a gross mischaracterization of remarks made by S. Truett Cathy’s son Dan, who now runs the company, and a story reporting that the Muppets announced they would not be allowing Chick-Fil-A the license to include their toys in kid’s meals. Here’s what actually happened:
- Dan Cathy, in an interview with a publication called the Biblical Recorder, explained that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t claim to be a “Christian business,” because Christ didn’t die for a corporation, he died for the individual. He explained that a corporation can operate, however, on biblical principles and that is exactly what Chick Fil A does. He went on to talk about the creation of the Chick-Fil-A Winshape Foundation–a foundation that offers college scholarships, a foster care program, an international ministry, a conference and retreat center, and a marriage program, among other things. When asked about the accusation of Chick-Fil-A’s support of traditional marriage, Cathy’s response was “guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family–the biblical definition of the family unit…”
- CNN mischaracterized the above exchange, stating that Cathy’s statements were about gay marriage, claiming that direct questions had been asked about gay marriage. The fact is, no such questions were asked.
- Shortly after the CNN report, media outlets began reporting that the Jim Henson Company, who makes the Muppet toys, had severed ties with Chick-Fil-A because of their stand on gay marriage. No such thing occurred. On July 19th, Chick-Fil-A actually withdrew plans to include the Muppets items in their kids meals due to safety concerns. On July 20th, the Jim Henson Company announced its decision to no longer partner with Chick-Fil-A.
Now, about that protest…the LGBT community began to immediately renew its hate-filled protest against Chick-Fil-A based on their support of traditional marriage. Until Boston’s Mayor, Thomas Menino, decided to weigh in on the subject with a threat to Chick-Fil-A’s CEO, the debate was about traditional v. gay marriage. Once he, and others, chose to use the office of Mayor as a tool to intimidate and silence a private citizen, this became a much different issue–one that freedom-loving Americans are not going to let go.
No self-serving Mayor with a progressive (or any other) agenda has the right to tell a citizen that he cannot open a business in his community because he disagrees with him. There’s this seemingly little-known document called the United States Constitution, something I dare say the Mayors of a few American cities haven’t taken much time–if any–to read. Our beloved Constitution is very clear on the issue of free speech, and nowhere in its pages is there a clause that allows a political official to silence someone simply because he disagrees with them on matters political or otherwise. The fact is, the LGBT community has every right to oppose Chick-Fil-A, and I have every right to support traditional marriage. I will fight till my last breath for the right of any individual or community to speak freely with, as one friend put it, their voices, their wallets and their feet. Try to silence me or others for our beliefs, and I’ll do everything I can to expose you for what you are.
There’s no place for tyranny on these shores.
Last time I checked, we still live in freedom, and I intend to do everything in my power to keep it that way.
So, today, armed with my camera, my wallet and a comfortable pair of shoes, I loaded up the family and off we went to a nearby Chick-Fil-A in Warrenton, VA (for the 5th time in a week) in support of Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. Both the Chick-Fil-A and adjoining parking lots were filled with cars, the line both indoors and out was well over an hour long, and Chick-Fil-A employees did what they do best. They served. I spotted an elderly woman walking in wearing a shirt that held words from the Constitution. When I offered a compliment, she replied “enough’s enough,” got in line, and purchased a full meal for each member of her family. This happened nationwide, all day long, and when I went back at 9:00 tonight, nothing had changed. The atmosphere was happy and carefree, they were still extremely busy, and I left with the sense that America is going to be all right. Because as tough as the fight seems most days, there are still millions of Americans who love freedom, and would do anything to defend it.
**stay tuned for my report on how colleges are bending under the threat of the LGBT community and suppressing academic diversity by closing the doors of Chick-Fil-A restaurants on campuses nationwide.