A legal team that specializes in religious and civil rights and the Constitution says city officials who are promising to punish Chick-fil-A restaurants for the religious beliefs followed by their chief are asking for trouble.
“These government officials ought to be ashamed. For a public official to threaten denial of a right to do business because the president of a private company supports natural marriage is the height of stupidity and intolerance,” said Mathew Staver, chief of Liberty Counsel.
“Unfortunately, their response is typical of intolerant homosexual activists. They will go to any lengths to silence the majority of Americans who believe that children do best when raised in a natural family with one mom and one dad,” he said.
The issue has turned into a firestorm over the last couple of days. Among the results? The Henson Co., creator of the Muppets characters, said it no longer would work with Chick-fil-A. The mayor of Boston publicly bashed the restaurant chain. Chicago officials said they would not want the company to operate in their wards. And “kiss-in” protests were announced in front of company outlets on college campuses.
All brought on by advocates for homosexual behavior because Dan Cathy, whose father, Truett Cathy, founded the $4 billion-plus a year business, gave an interview to the Baptist Press.
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Cathy said.
In a separate radio interview, 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. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think we can try to define what marriage is all about.”
Earlier today, Billy Graham, the longtime dean of Christian leaders in the United States, expressed his support for the Cathy family
“I want to express my support for my good friends Truett Cathy and his son Dan Cathy, and for their strong stand for the Christian faith,” he said in a statement released by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
“I’ve known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values. Chick-fil-A serves each of its customers with excellence, and treats everyone like a neighbor. It’s easy to see why Chick-fil-A has become so popular across America,” he said.
Liberty Counsel noted the city officials who are on thin ice include Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, who “said that he will deny Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald that he would block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the ‘Cradle of Liberty.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel followed suit.”
“There is absolutely no evidence that Chick-fil-A has discriminated against anyone,” Staver continued. “The intolerance displayed by these government officials ought to serve as a wakeup call to the majority of Americans who support the commonsense understanding of natural marriage.
“If given the chance, these intolerant officials would silence anyone who supports natural marriage. They have placed extreme ideology over freedom,” Staver said.
“To deny business permits or zoning approvals to Chick-fil-A because the president of the privately owned family business expressed his biblical view of natural marriage is outrageous. Any city trying to ban Chick-fil-A will not win this battle,” Staver said.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
But as WND reported, hundreds of thousands of people across America are pledging to support Chick-fil-A restaurants.
A Facebook campaign has been launched by Gov. Mike Huckabee seeking to build support for the chicken-sandwich chain famous for closing its stores on Sundays so employees can attend church if they choose.
Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, invited Americans to join him Wednesday, Aug. 1, for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Some supporters are advocating showing support every Wednesday.
He noted the company now is a $4 billion a year effort with more than 1,600 stores.
“The militant homosexual advocates have launched an all out assault on Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A, pushing for a boycott because the Cathy family has contributed to traditional marriage organizations. The attempts to hurt or destroy Chick-fil-A is nothing short of economic bullying. In the name of ‘tolerance,’ there is an effort being mounted to put pressure on people to stop eating at Chick-fil-A. Even worse is the vilification of the company and its employees. The Christian world view of Dan Cathy is being met with intolerance and vicious hate speech,” Huckabee’s announcement said.
“I ask you to join me in speaking out to your constituency via Facebook, Twitter, email, broadcast, etc., to make Wednesday, August 1 ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.’ No one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate. The goal is simple: Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.”
John Hayward at Human Events said the attacks are reaching unhealthy levels.
“The name of the game being played against Chick-fil-A involved ending the discussion, by ruling one side of this important social debate completely out of order, and dismissing their beliefs as unworthy of respect. All resistance to gay marriage is instantly transmuted into personal hatred of gay people. On the other hand, criticism of traditional marriage proponents cannot be viewed as hateful, no matter how angrily it might be expressed. It’s a rigged heads-we-win, tails-you-lose game,” he said.
Chick-fil-A appears to have taken itself off the soapbox, at least for now, with a corporate statement that said: “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”