November 30, 2018

Love & Gay Marriage: The Sinful Hypocrisy Of Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-a rainbow logo and Chick-fil-a Chicken Sandwich Deluxe with a two Bridegroom Topper


As we celebrate the success of our ‘rainbow wave’, and the record numbers of gay and lesbian  candidates elected to Congress and state legislatures across the country, it’s dispiriting to hear about the violence and hateful rhetoric directed at the LGBTQ community on a constant basis.

Today I read about another controversy that involves Chick-Fil-A and gay rights, and the ensuing right-wing backlash. I’ve never stepped one foot into a Chick-Fil-A because they hate our community, and doubt I ever will.

Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, is a private institution. They asked students to complete a survey about dining options on campus, and didn’t include Chick-Fil-A in the survey “based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community.”

As a private secular university they can do what they want, and that caused a protest and outcry from right-wingers. Rider University can reject Chick-Fil-A's bigotry, and I support and applaud them for it. Chick-Fil-A’s bigotry has alienated millions of potential customers.

Six years ago when he was trying to defend and justify Chick-Fil-A’s support of anti-gay groups, CEO Dan Cathy said, “I think we are 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’.” The CEO fails to see the hypocrisy in his statement. He’s doing the same thing he's criticizing. He knows what the definition of marriage is, and he will ignore the rule of law, and continue to support bigotry.

Let’s establish the facts.

The Facts About Chick-Fil-A:
  1. Chick-Fil-A has a history of making charitable donations to anti-LGBTQ Christian organizations and hate groups that use lies and hate speech to spread misinformation and propaganda about the gay community.
  2. Chick-Fil-A is a privately held Christian family business.
  3. Chick-Fil-A has a Christian mission “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”
  4. Chick-Fil-A stated “We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda.”
  5. Chick-Fil-A might not have a policy to officially discriminate, while they continue to make donations to religious organizations and charities that DO discriminate. By association they discriminate.
  6. Chick-Fil-A does not have an employment non-discrimination policy, and can terminate an employee if they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or they’re perceived to be LGBTQ, in states that don’t have laws offering those protections.
  7. Chick-Fil-A's Christian tradition embraces hate speech and discrimination, which has severe consequences on the mental and physical health of non-Christians and LGBTQ people alike. That should be enough to deter anyone's bad behavior, but has little to no effect on Chick-Fil-A, and they continue to represent anti-gay discrimination and hate.
I first became aware of Chick-Fil-A's controversial views in 2012. When I hear high profile business leaders publicly endorse anti-LGBTQ positions, it bothers me. Ignorant public statements can be harmful to LGBTQ kids, as it affects their mental health.

We presume that chief executive officers are hard working and smart. You'd think they would have empathy and compassion for their employees, and be sensitive to their corporate image and their  messaging, because these issues affect the reputation of their brand.

The truth is publicly held corporations that have to answer to shareholders are much more sensitive to messaging and public relations, and privately held companies (especially a family business) don't care as much.

I wrote to Chick-Fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy in 2012. I reread the letter and it still applies today. The CEO didn't answered then, he's certainly not going to answer it now, and that's a shame.

I will continue to stay out of Chick-Fil-A restaurants and be a thorn in their side, until they stop supporting anti-gay organizations, adopt an anti-discrimination employment policy, and they welcome everyone with open arms.

I hope you'll stand with me.

Straight talk indeed.   

Dear Mr. Cathy: 
You recently appeared on the radio program The Ken Coleman Show, and you made some controversial and incendiary remarks that included your personal belief that you think marriage equality is challenging God’s definition of marriage. 
You said: 
I think we are 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 to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about. 
I’m confused about why you personally think it’s audacious, as well as prideful and arrogant, to demand or expect equality. 
Your personal beliefs and statements raise a few questions that I’d really like you to answer. 
There isn’t ONE WORD about marriage equality in the Bible, so I challenge you to cite where God or anyone else condemns marriage equality anywhere in scripture. 
Do you have a hotline directly to God? Has he spoken to you about this? What has God told you? 
The institution of marriage has been evolving over hundreds of years. There was a time when a wife was the “property” of her husband, and the Bible has many representations that support this fact. As our culture has progressed, a woman is no longer her husband’s property. As such, marriage was redefined. How does God view that? 
For many years women couldn’t charge their husband with assault, or rape. Since they were personal property, like a slave, they weren’t given legal standing in a court of law. As our culture has progressed, if a husband physically or sexually assaults his wife, he can expect to be arrested by the police and be charged with a crime. Again, marriage was redefined. How does God view that? 
If you want to cite scripture to support your view, even though scripture never touches on marriage equality, what do you think of Leviticus (20:9)? In case you are unfamiliar with this passage, if anyone curses their mother or father they must be killed. 
How about Leviticus (20:10)? In case you are unfamiliar with this passage, it says if a man is unfaithful to his wife, or a wife is unfaithful to her husband, they both must be killed.

Since the Bible was written, our society has evolved and we don’t kill anyone for adultery in this country. Marriage was redefined. How does God view that? 
Hell – in Deuteronomy (13:6-10) it states that if a family member worships another God, you should kill them. In our society today, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and Agnostics live side by side. We are friends and neighbors, and in some cases a family member might have a different faith. We don’t kill someone for their religious beliefs. How does God view that? 
In the United States of America we believe that all men and women are created equally. While you don’t share this view, and you think the LGBT community should be singled out and denied basic civil rights, how do you think God views that? 
A better question is probably – how do you think God views you? 
I’d like to remind you of Corinthians (13:1-3): 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 
Marriage has been redefined many times over the centuries, and it will continue to evolve and be redefined. 
God wants everyone to love and be loved. At the end of the day - that’s what really matters Mr. Cathy – not your nonsense. 
I’m not shaking my fist at God and telling him that I know anything more than anyone else. I’m shaking my fist at you Mr. Cathy – and telling you I know what the definition of marriage is – and if you would look beneath your bigotry, you might learn it too. 
Sincerely, 
Roy Steele


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