Political correctness has made us a nation tolerant only of “one-legged opinions,” a friend of mine recently observed. We take a stand on a hot issue, but only on one leg at a time, shifting when necessary so as not to offend the beliefs of others—but never standing solidly on two feet.
Like a modern day parable, the story of a lone, courageous businessman has taught us what it means to be guided by truth, rather than political fad.
Dan Cathy is the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, a privately owned chain of quick service restaurants with annual sales of $4 billion. The company is ranked the 10th fastest growing retailer in the country, although Chick-fil-A restaurants close their doors every Sunday, the best sales day of the week for those in this business sector.
Cathy recently expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman as defined by Scripture. The howls of self-righteous indignation condemning Cathy for his stand are puzzling, since his position was shared until recently by President Obama. Perhaps the President’s prior stand was of the one-legged variety.
When asked whether he agreed with a biblical worldview, Cathy had the courage to say yes, so now he and his company are facing a public relations firestorm. His two-legged opinion is in opposition to what some insist is the new cultural view on gay marriage—tolerance.
Predictably, those who trumpet tolerance have responded with hysterical intolerance and a campaign to persecute Dan Cathy and—if successful—injure a stellar company.
For starters, the mayors of Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco have announced that Chick-fil-A is no longer welcome in “their” cities. DC Mayor Vincent Gray called the Atlanta-based chain “hate chicken.”
This is not only childish name calling, but the decision by these mayors usurps the constitutionally protected right of an individual to operate his business according to his own values and accept the consequences of his choices in a free market society.
The Los Angeles Times lists further reaction by both sides:
The Jim Henson Co., creator of the Muppets, announced it would sever a deal it had with Chick-fil-A to make toys for children’s meals. Local politicians in a few blue-state cities said Chick-fil-A was not welcome. Nearly 6,000 people signed an online petition vowing to boycott Chick-fil-A for its stance on gay marriage (and its financial support of some groups opposed to the practice). The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is urging supporters to make their feelings known in a same-sex kiss-in at Chick-fil-A’s across the country on Friday [August 3, 2012].
A counter-protest took shape: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has urged people to make Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who held many events at Chick-fil-A locations during his presidential campaign, urged his Facebook followers to patronize the chain: “Help us fight for traditional families and eat chicken at the same time.”
Money over Morals?
The media has joined in the campaign to bring Dan Cathy back into the politically correct fold. Bloomberg Businessweek editor Diane Brady offered Cathy a lesson in one-legged opinions from Bill Marriot, the chairman of Marriot International.
“A few months ago, I had an interesting conversation with Bill Marriott. As a prominent Mormon-controlled venture, his hotel company was an obvious target in 2008, when the church vigorously supported California’s now-overturned ban on gay marriage…
“In Marriott’s personal life, marriage is something reserved for a man and a woman. But he has long been reluctant to impose that view on the company his father founded…
“‘This church helped me raise a family and has brought great joy and happiness to my life,’ he told me. But that didn’t mean gay employees had any less status at Marriott. ‘We have to take care of our people, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else,’ he said. ‘We are an American Church. We have all the American values: the values of hard work, the values of integrity, the values of fairness and respect…
“‘Our church is very much opposed to alcohol and we’re probably one of the biggest sales engines of liquor in the United States. I don’t drink. We serve a lot of liquor. You’re in business. You’ve got to make money,’ he said. ‘We have to appeal to the masses out there, no matter what their beliefs are.’”
One-legged take-home message: Don’t let your religious values impact your business model.
Marriott International is not alone. Giant corporations like Amazon, Kraft, J.C. Penney, General Mills, Starbucks and Microsoft have similar policies either promoting or supporting the rights of those known as LGBT or lesbian, gay, bisexual and yes, even transgender. The pressure to compromise is great.
A Time to Stand with a Respected American Enterprise
For those who don’t kiss the ring of political correctness, the repercussions are extreme. Economic persecution for those who support Christian values is now the norm in the United States. This flies in the face of our First Amendment guarantees of free speech, freedom of religion and right of conscience.
While the left preaches tolerance, Dan Cathy’s right to run his business as he wishes, speak his mind and organize his affairs in a manner respecting biblical principles is under attack.
Is America still the land of the free and the home of the brave? This vitriolic response to Dan Cathy is an attempt to punish a man for running a private enterprise according to his deeply held religious beliefs. Dripping in hypocrisy, it is the work of a small but very vocal minority that would gladly take away a man’s right to free speech while exercising their own.
I for one say it is time to take a stand by voting with your wallet. Buy a Chick-fil-A sandwich tomorrow, use the company to cater your next business luncheon or event and get a Chick-fil-A gift card for your relative’s or friend’s next birthday.
Dan Cathy is no chicken—let’s stand with him on two legs. Together we can create a response that declares that this kind of intolerance won’t be tolerated.