Monday, 07 February 2011

Pro-Christian Chick-fil-A Targeted by Gay Rights Groups

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Gay activist groups prove yet again that their cries for freedom of speech and expression are limited to those on the Left. In the last month, fast food giant Chick-fil-A has been boycotted by gay activist groups after the family-owned restaurant donated refreshments to a conservative conference at the Pennsylvania Family Institute called “The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design.”

The Blaze reports:

The chicken eatery is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and has chains located across the country, with many in the country’s Bible Belt. In addition to serving up tasty fried chicken sandwiches, the company is also known for promoting Christian values. Chick-fil-A’s founder, S. Truett Cathy, is a devout Christian whose religious beliefs shine through his company, which invests heavily in community service organizations. In addition, all Chick-fil-A locations are closed on Sundays.

A number of gay advocacy blogs targeted the conservative conference as an anti-gay marriage event. In response to the attacks, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy posted a Facebook video clarifying the restaurant’s stance: “Let me be clear, Chick-fil-A serves all people and values all people.”

He added, “Providing food to these events, or any event, is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate.”

Coming to Chick-fil-A’s defense was Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, who asserts that Chick-fil-A merely donated the food as “good neighbors.”

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The Blaze writes that the defensive assertions are unsatisfactory:

But bloggers weren’t satisfied and criticized the Cathy family’s business for past donations to conservative family groups which oppose gay marriage, including the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, a project whose primary purpose is to support traditional marriage.

Students and faculty at Indiana University in South Bend even petitioned the school’s administration to ban the restaurant and actually succeeded in getting the chain suspended from campus while the school took "time to properly review the issue."

Chick-fil-A also came under attack by a Muslim franchise owner-in-training who sued the company, accusing it of firing him for abstaining from Christian prayer during a work training event. Naturally, the company denied the allegations, but was forced to settle the issue outside of court, likely to avoid negative publicity.

Lake Lambert, author of the book Spirituality, Inc., indicates that Chick-fil-A will continue to be the target of leftist groups. “If you have a faith-based corporate identity and you want to function in the national marketplace, you’re going to continue to encounter resistance to those values because not everybody is going to share them. The only other option is some sort of secular identity and that’s not where Chick-fil-A is going.”

Unfortunately, the company is succumbing to the pressure. It has already announced that it will be withdrawing its support for allegedly “anti-gay” groups.

In a written statement released on Saturday, Dan Cathy said, “In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”

The Cathy family contends that the debacle will not interfere with their faith, however. Dan Cathy added, “Chick-fil-A’s Corporate Purpose is ‘To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who came in contact with Chick fil-A. As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it. At the same time, we will continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families. To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles.”

Chick-fil-A is just one of many organizations attacked by gay activists groups for not embodying pro-homosexual ideologies. Recently, the Harp Food store in Mountain Home, Arkansas was targeted for trying to protect children from a magazine cover photo of Elton John and his homosexual partner. The store elected to put a “shield” over the US Weekly magazine at the checkout stand, prompting the homosexual activist group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAA), and of course, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the removal of the shield.

Likewise, four San Diego firefighters were forced by their supervisor to take part in a “gay pride” parade in 2007, where they were exposed to verbal abuse and explicitly sexual gestures. The Christian firefighters were so angered by the violation of the freedoms that they sued their department and won, but the victory certainly does not negate the efforts to force homosexuality on Christian Americans.

Further examples of this type of prejudice indicate yet again that freedom of speech and the right to choose are rights limited to those on the Left and are scarcely afforded to those who tout Christian and patriotic ideals.

 

Related article: Gay Rights Groups Fry Chick-fil-A