Fast food with a side of faith
February 5th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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Over at the Belief Blog our colleague Dan Gilgoff delves into the ongoing flap between gay rights supporters and the management of fast food chain Chick-fil-A.

The restaurants, founded by businessman Truett Cathy in 1960s Atlanta, operate on a "Five–Step Recipe for Business Success" that includes a mandate for all branches to remain closed on Sundays as "our way of honoring God and of directing our attention to things that mattered more than our business" and puts "principles and people ahead of profits" through community service.

At least one of Chick-fil-A's other three guiding principles is in peril, though: Never lose a customer. Activists and gay rights groups including the Human Rights Campaign launched a letter writing campaign after the company donated free food to a marriage seminar sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, an organization opposed to gay marriage.

The uproar gained traction on the company's Facebook page, prompting Chick-Fil-A president and founder's son Dan Cathy to create a video and written response declaring in part:

In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions. We seek to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect, and believe in the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself.

We also believe in the need for civility in dialogue with others who may have different beliefs. While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.

...

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 come 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.

The company has pulled its sponsorship from The Art of Marriage - now sponsored solely by the Pennsylvania Family Institute. Still, activist groups and blogs such as Good As You and Change.org continue to monitor the situation - as well as exploring the potential for bias in reporting.

Chick-fil-A is hardly the only fast food outfit to make its founders' religious leanings part of its recipe. Western U.S. burger chain In-N-Out, founded in 1948 by Harry and Esther Snyder and still privately owned, has since at least the late 1980s, printed citations of bible passages on various pieces of packaging.

The verses themselves are not explicitly printed out, but rather text on the soft drink cup reads "John 3:16" which indicates the bible passage, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The single burger and cheeseburger wrappers bear "Revelations 3:20" - "Behold: I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me," the milkshake cup cites, "Proverbs 3:5" - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding," and there are others as well.

In-N-Out, however, makes no mention of their religious leanings on their website. They have made no public statement on the matter, other that company spokesman Carl Van Fleet reportedly saying that Richard Snyder, son of the founders told him, "It's just something I want to do."

Domino's Pizza has often been incorrectly cited as directly funding anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue and Right To Life. Rather, staunchly Catholic founder Tom Monaghan, who sold off the controlling stake of the company in 1998 and now helms the Ave Maria Foundation which "support[s] a variety of organizations which bring Catholic life and culture to the world," has long publicly championed conservative causes and opposed abortion - but has used his private funds to do so. Still, in 1988, the National Organization of Women organized a country-wide boycott of the pizza chain to protest his activities, and regional chapters followed suit in following years until his separation from the company.

Carl Karcher, founder of Carl's Jr. hamburger chain was similarly invested in Catholic-based philanthropy and passionately outspoken against abortion and gay rights until his death in 2008. Like Monaghan, he funded these pursuits - including the "Briggs Initiative," which was a 1978 California ballot proposition to ban gays and lesbians from working in the state's public schools - personally, rather than directly from company coffers. Still, gay rights and pro-choice activists targeted Carl's Jr. for boycotts because of the affiliation.

Wendy's, too, came under fire in 1997 with a boycott from the gay and lesbian community after the company pulled its advertising from the sitcom "Ellen," when it was revealed that the main character, played by Ellen DeGeneres, would come out as a lesbian. However, in 2006, four years after the death of founder Dave Thomas, the Equality Project announced that company would amend its workplace nondiscrimination policy by adding new written protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity for all employees - a move applauded by LGBT advocacy groups.

A fast food franchise's perceived lack of moral stance or too-permissive leanings can also leave a bad taste in some diners' mouths.

In the September of 1990, Christian Leaders for Responsible Television, a media watchdog group affiliated with the American Family Association called for a boycott of Burger King, asserting that the company sponsored 18.85 instances of sex, violence or profanity for every 30 seconds of commercial airtime they purchased during primetime network television - but did not cite any particular shows. CLeaR-TV chairman Reverend Billy Melvin, however, noted that acceptable programming would include, "a man and a woman not engaging in premarital sex until they are married, of a man and woman committing themselves to this relationship the rest of their lives."

The burger behemoth struck back with newspaper ads declaring, "Burger King wishes to go on record as supporting traditional American values on television....We believe the American people desire television programs that reflect the values they are trying to instill in their children."

On October 31st of that year, while CLeaR-TV released a statement saying that the two forces had reached a "mutual understanding," a Burger King spokesperson told the press, "It must be stressed that Burger King Corp. did not change its principles of its media buying strategies as a result of the boycott."

The American Family Association later held McDonald's feet to the flames with a call for boycott in response to the company's membership in the Washington-based National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - the largest LGBT business group in the country, representing 1.4 million businesses. Text from an internet archive of the now-defunct BoycottMcDonalds.com states, "It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture wars. McDonald's has chosen not to remain neutral but to give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage."

The AFA also objected to McDonald's sponsorship of the 2007 San Francisco Gay Pride parade, bolstered by a television commercial with a company official "bragging" that McDonald's is "a company that actively demonstrates its commitment to the gay and lesbian community."

In 2010, The Advocate reported that the NGLCC had since severed their ties to McDonald's after Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief of operations said that "cultural norms" would prevent a gay-friendly commercial for their company, such as one that recently aired in France, from showing up on American television.

Does a side of moral stance flavor your patronage of fast food establishments?

Weigh in below on companies putting their morals where your mouth is.

Read Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on restaurant's Christian DNA



soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Personal Fitness Coach

    Enough! Enough with the gay rights supporters and the management of fast food chain Chick-fil-A. Go to another restaurant.

    January 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Reply
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  4. Thinking things through

    I don't eat fast food to begin with, and there is no Chik-fil-A near me anyway.

    I have no problem with faith-based fast food chains per se (I do want to try an In and Out ONCE, since I hear they are awesome but also not near me, just for the experience).

    One thing I note: these chains aren't all that brave: they're Christian. Try doing a Buddhist-oriented, or a Pagan-oriented chain and see how far you get.

    I have no problem with Chik-fil-A (or the Salvation Army) promoting their anti-gay agenda - these are all private organizations! But I donate to Goodwill instead, and if I DID eat fast food chicken, I'd pick KFC, who as far as I know doesn't have a political policy on that issue.

    June 15, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
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  6. mamablueyz

    I’m a Christian with a daughter who just so happens to be a lesbian. She is a kind hearted, giving, generous woman who believes in God. All Christians do NOT have the same beliefs and all Gay do NOT have the same beliefs. Why such a Hubb-Bubb about a chicken sandwich?

    March 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • codi

      Thanks for your words mamablueyz, i hope my own mother speaks as kindly of me as you do of yours. I do think its more than just about the sandwich though. When a company "actively promotes or financially backs those that do" an organization that fights to discriminate against ANYONE in ANYWAY, I feel the need to give my money elsewhere. Its as simple as that.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  7. Molly

    I eat where the food is good. I wasn't aware of any particular religious leanings at fast food joints. So CNN is chosing to crucify Chick-Fila for giving free food to some organization that opposes gay marriage, who the heck cares!!!!!! If I boycotted every store, restaurant, movie, hollywood actor that I didn't agree with then I'd be a hermit. There's more pressing issues in life to concern myself with than who gave free food to who.

    March 2, 2011 at 7:27 am | Reply
  8. Harrison

    The poll suggests that people don't really care about where the heck they eat!! I am a Christian and i will not boycott some place like Target just because they support gays! I would have to boycott everything then! I agree with the others who pointed out that boycotting the company would make people loss jobs.. Do the gay people really want that on their conscious? gay people don't seem to care about anybody but themselves!

    March 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  9. AleeD

    I find it fascinating that there are, at this point 87 comments on this blog and over 500 on the Would You Eat Rabbit? blog. People's prioritiess fascinate me. :)

    February 10, 2011 at 10:13 am | Reply
  10. erky

    I've a great idea for a christian hamburger restaurant... Jesus Burger.
    The beef patties could be blessed beforehand by a priest, so it would represent the body of Christ. And the sodas?, you guessed it, they could be the blood of Christ.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  11. Gr8fuldude

    Wow...Lots of Christophobia on here. What is it about Christanity that scares so many? Why do you feel threatened?

    February 8, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Sam

      There is no God. The world is too cruel.

      February 8, 2011 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • Elephantix

        @Sam All the more reason to put your hope in an afterlife. Maybe this world isn't intended to be your only home.

        February 8, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Markus

      Are you serious? Either believe in Jesus or you go to hell. Sounds like an ultimatum to me.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  12. Momo

    I hope we get a chain that says "We don't support Christians" and see how the people above respond then. Would it still be the restaurant's choice to uphold their belief to you? Probably not.

    February 8, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • @Momo

      It's okay for zealots to practice their religion at everyone elses expense, but as soon as the shoe is on the other foot....

      February 8, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
      • Ed Norton

        Oh snap! You mean that Euro-Designer shoe, eh? Two snaps up, baby! Ha ha! Anyway, the shoe is on the same foot for everyone. If you disagree with an idea behind a food place, don't eat there. There doesn't need to be a group of loud mouths descending from "on high" telling that company and their patrons are narrow minded. People have a right to hold their own opinions of whatever the hell they want . . . which allows for the freedom to not eat at a food place who's ideas with which you don't agree. Hmm, see the hypocrisy? It's a full circle. Same goes for nutty religious zealots.

        February 8, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
    • Cole

      I would respond in the exact same manner. It doesn't matter what you do in your personal life, or in this case, what a company does outside direct customer interactions. As long as they serve and treat Christian customers with respect, that's all that matters.

      February 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  13. Waddyaknow

    You've missed a key item in your poll in an attempt to make it mor extreme. If you're going to present the option "It won't necessarily stop me, but if I have the choice, I'll eat elsewhere." you should also have the option of "It won't necessarily stop me, but if I have the choice, I'll EAT THERE". There's a distinction that allows for faith to influence the decision but not be the only driver.

    February 8, 2011 at 7:40 am | Reply
  14. madcynic

    i won't eat anywhere that doesn't include everyone–gay/straight, black/white, rich/poor, etc. they skipped sonny bono's restaurant that said some weird crap about kids on welfare. and totally missed the boat about mrs. field's link to operation rescue. i know it's not food, but food get's you there, curves, the chick gym? the founder is uber crazy conservative and supports many of those groups. i won't give any of these people money to support things i don't. i don't care if they spend their money or the company's, they still got their money via the company. it's like i'm payingg for that opposition protester to be there. or for my purchase to be turned into a donation to a cause i oppose. sadly, i have to admit, my only exception is in n out. i've been hooked since i was a kid, long before the bible quotes. i wish i could kick the habit. :(

    February 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  15. Jellefo

    Why is it that gays get permission to sound off on anything they want as though they are always in the right, just because they are the minority? Aren't Christians a minority in America too?

    I'm tired of being attacked for my beliefs and lifestyle by homosexual activists. Stop eating at Chic-fil-a, fine. Just please stop whining about it as you go.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Pudding@Jello

      If you feel like you're being attacked and treated unfairly, you are cordially invited to leave this blog. You seem to be more than willing to pick apart others statements & do a fair amount of whining yourself.

      No one faction of these blogs is "more allowed" to voice their opinion than another. If you had a live-and-let-live attitude, you wouldn't write as hatefully as you do. At what point were you attacked in this blog?

      Get over yourself.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Truth@Pudding

        Actually puddinghead, if you really want to see hate in action, listen to Christanity being attacked whenever it is mentioned on a blog. The hypocrisy of the far left is sickening when those who cry the loudest for "tolerance" of their lifestyle are the least likely to give it to another's religion.

        And for the record, the assurance that Chick-Fil-A will not be full of gays will only enhance the chain's appeal.

        February 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Rainbow Coalition @ Truth

        "And for the record, the assurance that Chick-Fil-A will not be full of gays will only enhance the chain's appeal." Do you really that your Bobby Flay looking azz is so appealing that the gays would be throwing themselves at you right and left? By the way, your "the left always does this" and "the right always does that" comments are getting really old. One more thing, we all know that you would make Reagan look like a fan of the New Deal so please stop flapping your gums about it.

        February 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • Jellefo

        Jellefo@Pudding Let's back it up a step: this "live and let live attitude" you seem to be championing is missing from the groups in the article. The gay rights are not "living and letting live" when they start boycotts. "Living and letting live" would be: stop eating at Chic-fil-a, find a restaurant you agree with, preach the awesomeness of that restaurant to all that will listen.

        But no, that's not where we live today. It's like the political arena- don't say what you stand for, just say that what the other guys stands for is wrong. I'd love to see these "forward thinking" "live and let live" gay rights groups practice what they preach. Speak out in support of what you like, and if it turns out to actually be right, people will be won over.

        And to correct your statement, if there is a place to whine- it's an internet comment board. Second, please don't label what I write as "hateful." Your misuse of such a strong word robs it of its power and ignores plenty of other, more applicable words.

        February 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • Jerv@Jello pudding pop that got away from Bill Cosby

      "gays get permission to sound off on anything they want as though they are always in the right" Dude, in this country, there a lot of groups of folks expressing their opinions. It is called the right of association and free speech. Better get used to it and blog on down the road.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
      • Jellefo

        Jellefo@Jerv I don't mind discussing people's opinions. I take issue with the sense of entitlement.

        February 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  16. Ed Norton

    They have a right to manage their company any way they want. If you don't agree with anything about them, not even their delicious food, then eat elsewhere! Homosexual "Rights Groups" (which is run by the very few who love the power, at the expense of the progress of the larger group they claim to represent) don't need to arrange for protests or boycotts. Grow the hell up, people! Chick-Fil-A has a right to voice their beliefs, concerns, and rights all they want to! They have a right to shove it in your face, because that's their right, don't you agree? Isn't that what you "Rights Groups" do? So how can you disagree with their right to express their beliefs and that they may think you are wrong? Get a clue . . . PC is on the way out. Mmmm, their chicken sammaches are soooo good . . . mmmm . . .

    February 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  17. Cari

    I maybe wrong but why is everyone bashing Christians for not condoning homosexuality but unlike Muslims they don't believe in beheading them. Why all of a sudden are all Christians being labeled such a horrible people?

    February 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  18. Lori

    There was some stink a few months ago about something Target donating money to a person running for office who was anti-gay marriage. Lots of gay people urged a boycott, but I think you have to look at the big picture. What if you did boycott Target? What if enough people boycotted it that it really affected their sales to the point that they had to let staff go? What if they let people go who had a family to support? What if that person then lost his or her health insurance? You have to look at more than one incident when you are deciding whether or not you should continue to patronize a company. I know that Chick-Fil-A has family movie nights, they do child fingerprinting at least once a year so that parents and police have their kids prints on file should the need ever arise. Maybe you don't agree with everything that they stand for, but at least look at all they stand for and decide from there.

    February 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  19. Michael

    I hate to say it, but I could care less about whether people are straight or gay, UNLESS you're going around bashing people for not supporting the fact that you're a minority (gays), and you want everyone to treat you special. Look, what I do in the bedroom, I don't share with you, and expect the same from you. I don't have a parade because I'm straight. My God!!! Get over yourselves!!! You're "attention whores", plain and simple. If you want to be free to live your life the way you want, why can't you at least accept that some people are going to disagree??? WHY they disagree is immaterial and inconsequential- they disagree. You cant' agree with everyone all of the time! So, if you just want to eat at places that ONLY support YOUR political stance (this was not about morality, it was about politics, and trying to get marriage to include everyone, which I believe it should, legally. And, I'm Christian... a very strong believer. As far as religious rituals of marriage, the religions are free to make their own choices, but as far as City Hall, it should include EVERYONE without bias.), go for it. BUT DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT and try to ruin someone's livelihood because they don't conform to ONE PIECE OF your way of thought. We are all very much alike at our cores. Find the common ground, people...

    February 6, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
  20. Allen

    After posting the previous comment,your comments were quickly read,to all of you self confessed "christians" I ask only this.Before you discovered your name in the lambs book of life were you spiritully empowered to comment from a biblical perspective?We live in an age characterized by all of issues raised by all of you folks above,Laodicea is its given name,for you church goer's.Bottom line in this generation even many who believe are blind,the letter of the law kills,it is the Holy Spirit who gives life and He can only be discerned by those who are spiritually minded,the carnal mind is unable to perceive this.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
  21. Allen

    Firstly I have not read a single other comment yet!Trivial questions such as the one posed mean very little in the grand plan of life,as in ALL things it's a matter of choice,as are the myriad questions the two subjects always generate.Religion and morality are not always linked in making decisions of any kind,laws will not change nor protect what is at the heart of the matter,your God given right to choose,what so ever is good what so ever is right think on these things as you look at the face looking back from the mirror.Truth never changes on your way through life,it's always black or white if you stand in the light!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
  22. M

    Somebody is just stirring the pot, leave them alone, they produce a good product, have been good employee's (that I know of) and general are top notch, compared to other chains that employee's back talk, throw the food at you and god forbid if you complain at a Micky D's or BurgerQueen. They chain is a good choice if you what happy people to give you good service.....

    February 6, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Cari

      I agree. I have always thought highly of them for what they do for their employees. I have never worked there but they are closed on Sundays and holidays so the employees can spend time with their families. I am so disappointed in Walmart for being open last Thanksgiving. This country is becoming so hard our children don't have a chance.

      February 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  23. Sam

    In a country like the US with people from all different cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, you're bound to meet up with people who disagree with you in one way or another every single day. I think the gay community is shooting itself in the foot by going on a rampage against this or that business or person. How can you claim to promote "tolerance" as a general principle if you are actively seeking out enemies to target? If people think you are strange or scary, don't reinforce that by trying to destroy everyone who disagrees with you. I'd like to see a gay fundraiser for homeless children or for feeding the poor. If you're only out there to serve yourself, you have no business attacking Christians (who actually are out there helping the homeless and feeding the poor).

    February 6, 2011 at 5:47 am | Reply
    • Wes

      Well said Sam, my thoughts exactly. "Tolerance" really isn't tolerance at all if you are going after those who are against you. The gay community is making themselves look horrible by attacking those who even appear to be against them. Rather than being reacting in fear, they should be proactive in engaging their communities in love and peace.

      On a side note, I am friends with many people who are gay and the one thing that I find common for all of them, is that their primary identity is that they are gay. This is sad because people are WAY more than their sexual orientation.

      February 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  24. Matt

    Christians should be rounded up, sent to camps and incinerated.

    February 6, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
    • gerald

      Yes this view is growing. "blessed are you when they revile you all because of me for yours is the kingdom of God". Go see the movie the rite. Then ask, who do I sound the most like?

      February 6, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • Christian in CT

      The harder you push against true Christian's, the stronger we will become. The Romans fed us to the lions, but apparently that didn't work! You have chosen your side. Evil. In the end you will be judged by God. Really, good luck with that I'd hate to be in your shoes.

      February 6, 2011 at 9:41 am | Reply
      • Matt

        Christians are inherently evil and un-American. I have chosen the side that is right. You have chosen the side that is wrong. Into the oven!

        February 6, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
  25. Stacie

    Christians are taught homosexuality is wrong. There is a an entire bible story dedicated to it. Though the vast majority make no waves about their beliefs and stay out of it. The last I heard churches run food pantreys and out reach programs to our nations homeless and down trodden more than any other organization here and in other countries. In the process they ask no questions about peoples sexual preference. I have never seen bands of Christians handing
    out food or blankets to everyone but " the homosexual" or even heard of it. So, they don't agree with gay marriage?
    News flash MILLIONS of people don't and not all of them Christians. All over our country attempts at making gay marriage legal are repeatedly shot down by the pubic in landslides. This restaurant made no attack on the gay.
    community. They donated food to a another Christian group.
    The gay community and it's supporters has attacked them for that.
    But here is the fact: they have every right to donate (as do we all) to whom ever they like
    wether you like it or not and I'll bet every dime I have that they have donated more than
    just food to all sorts of chairities and groups and nobody will bother to bring that up. Christians
    are good people in most cases and generally don't cause harm. They help non Christians all the
    time and even go as far to risk their lives to go to other countries and lend a hand. Many, many
    of our solders are Christians as well...These are not the religious fanatics you see screaming
    and picketing. They are a small family from the bible belt. It amazes me that people can be so
    intolerant of people who are just trying to live by their beliefs....if they don't match your own. You won't eat at their
    stores but if God forbid you lost you home in a fire! Because by the same princapal you could take any donations of food, clothes, blanks, anything from the local churches who would step up to help you and even offer you shelter. Because not a single one of them is donating money to make sure gays can get married....they are too busy feeding the homeless and paying peoples electric bills.

    February 6, 2011 at 1:52 am | Reply
    • gerald

      The Catholic Church provides more hospital beds for aides patients than any other organization. Most of them gay. They don't ask how they got aides and kick them out if they had g-a-y s-e-x.

      February 6, 2011 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • lovethelamb

      Thank you , Stacie, for bringing up those important points. You are absolutely right about all the good things that Christians do for others without regard to their political beliefs. I have gone to pantries when I had no money and I can confirm that no one asked whether or not I was gay. Now, whenever I have extra money to help another, I give something to eat or drink to people on the street and I don't screen them for their religious or political beliefs. I don't condone the gay lifestyle, but I believe in compassion for others.

      February 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  26. Wes

    This is ridiculous. People who believe that being a Christian means anti-gay is seriously misguided. Sure there are a few (or more than a few) wackos who are hateful, but that does comprise of ALL people who call themselves Christians. That is like saying that all Muslims hate America, that's just not true. All this media backlash is because Chick-fil-a is an overtly Christian company, which the media hates. hmm...

    February 6, 2011 at 12:14 am | Reply
  27. Jeff

    Very interesting. I'll be sure to also now avoid In N Out Burger as well as Chick Fil A. The only time I ever eat at Chick Fil A is when my sports team does well in a game and my ticket stub can be used for a free sandwich. I don't even like them but I always make it a point to get one to cost that company money. Every $1 they don't have is $1 less they can use to donate to conservative causes, which I personally find are turning this country in to an international joke.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • jerinpa

      Really? International Joke? Do you know anything about history? As someone who immigrated to America this is one of the best countries in the world. You have free speech and in the case of religion have the right to practice or not practice a religion. So if you disagree with something like this then dont shop/eat there. I hope I misunderstood your comment but people have come to the United states for hundreds of years to have freedom. And historically the country has always held fiscally conservative values that have made it one of the best places in the world. I would hope someone look at it critically and think about the rest of the world. People do like the US because of the freedoms we have that go against their beliefs. Where else in the world can you say what you want? Donate to a cause you believe in, or have the equality we have (Men, Women, race, and gender preference). I mention this because in most other countries these beliefs or opinions could have deadly consuequences. Instead we can sit her and discuss this subject. If anything the world frowns upon us now because we has a collective have borrowed to much money to fund everything from politicial programs (both sides), and the avg person. Most people have credit card and mortgages on there homes and fund everything with plastic. As a result the American GDP is slowly creeping into a scarry state. When this gets worse, then the world will look at us differently. In the mean time the United States of America is by far one of the best places in the world to live. I am thankful for it everyday.

      February 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Dave

        Thanks for your encouraging perspective.

        February 22, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Elephantix

      @Jeff Why you want to avoid 2 of the best chains in our country for your logic is beyond me. Consider the idea that they have to pay for labor, materials, and marketing at a minimum. You'll soon realize that 100% of their revenue does NOT go towards conservative causes and that you can eat at either restaurant knowing that you've put a dollar into the pocket of the 17-year old kid at the register. That's the more likely end result. You're throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  28. Lewis

    Chick filet should be free to adopt what they are doing. If you don't like it, eat somewhere else. You are free. They are in the free market. To say that we should leave "religious" views at home is to limit the freedom of expression. People have the right of free expression and free association.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Kate

      I take it that goes for the enormous number of Christians who say "I have nothing against gays but they should keep their lifestyle in their homes and stop trying to force it on everyone. Then they'd be ok.". That's the same thing, isn't it? Freedom of expression, right?

      February 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  29. Jacinda

    @Mike–I like you, in spite, or maybe because, of your constructive criticism. (Not to mention your wit!) Thanks for pointing out my intolerance. I still won't eat there, though!

    February 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  30. PJ

    Gays are here, gays are there, gays are everywhere. And we ain't goin' away. Jesus had 12 male friends and only 3 female ones.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • layo24

      So being condescending and irreverent is the way to get people to have a serious dialog with you?

      February 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • AleeD

      Sounds to me like you're trying to lighten up the subject – one that people take so seriously that they can no longer see the humor. Sad.

      BTW, some of us don't want you to go away. Some straight folk believe in & support alternative lifestyles.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • Jellefo

        @AleeD Out of curiosity, why do you refer to gay relationships as "an alternative lifestyle?" Even you are making a distinction in your attempt to support the gay cause, which means we are on the same side. Humor me if you will:

        There are 2 categories of people: A) a group that sees homosexuality as no different than any other committed relationship; or B) a group that sees homosexuality as different.

        B) then divides into sub-groups:
        B.1) Acknowledges that homosexuality is different, but doesn't care much that it is. (AleeD)
        B.2) Acknowledges that homosexuality is different and cares that it is. (jellefo)
        Both sub-groups acknowledge that homosexuality is different than other relationships, yet disagree on response.

        Gay activists, on the other hand, are not making the distinction at the level of subgroup B.1 or B.2. They are trying to force people into the belief that group A = group B. There should be no distinction between gay relationships and any other kind of committed relationship. So by using the term "alternative lifestyle," you're actually affirming your spot in Group B, which is the real argument here. A is different than B is what is at stake, not B.1 vs. B.2. Gay activists do not let you decide to fall into camp B.1 or B.2. You HAVE to choose A or B (and B is not an option).

        Daily, gay activists accuse people of "hate" and "discrimination" and "intolerance" while doing those things themselves. They are actively "hating" and "discriminating" and being "intolerant" of anyone who wants to not only think differently from them, but attempts to frame the argument on any terms other than what they have defined.

        February 8, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • AleeD@Jellefo

        Sadly, homosexuality is termed an alternative lifestyle because it is not accepted in mainstream society in America – yet. How many people practicing alternative lifestyles would consider openly showing affection to each other in the stands at a NASCAR event? Not many who want to live thru it.

        I support changes in any laws that make everyone more equal than they are now. I'm thinking terms of "spousal" benefits and any marriage between two consenting adults regardless of their sex. It's a shame some rich, old guy in a cloak has to make the decision for them that they are equal in the eyes of the law. In an accepting society, all you should need to do is change a few words on a marriage license and be done with it.

        If two people love each other and/or are attracted to each other, I support their happiness. I couldn't care less what their sex is.

        Your rationalization is flawed and twisted in ways I would not begin to unravel. BOTTOM LINE: regardless of what YOU call same sex couples, I support their rights the same as I do mine.

        February 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
      • Jellefo

        @AleeD I welcome any specific feedback you have as to how my "rationalization" might be improved.

        February 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
      • Jellefo

        @AleeD "regardless of what YOU call same sex couples, I support their rights the same as I do mine."
        – To clarify, I didn't call same sex couples anything. YOU wrote "BTW, some of us don't want you to go away. Some straight folk believe in & support alternative lifestyles."

        The only terminology in question is why YOU use the words "alternative lifestyles" when talking about gays, then blame it on the "mainstream" of America. Stop using the words and they'll go away. You can't have it both ways.

        "I support changes in any laws that make everyone more equal than they are now. I'm thinking terms of "spousal" benefits and any marriage between two consenting adults regardless of their sex."
        -That's great that you want to change the wording of marriage. Maybe me and my girlfriend want to be considered "married" but don't want to pay the fees associated. Do we get to be considered "married" too, just because we want to change the wording to fit our needs and we want the benefits? No, because we are dating. Marriage is a ceremony between a man and a woman. We don't fit that description. Get over it. A civil union is between any two people you want. I support those. Those are fine. Choose to have one of those, many of which come with legal benefits. Problem solved. But nooooo, the Veruca Salt side of the gay community has to have what the other girl has, and won't stop until they get their way.

        "It's a shame some rich, old guy in a cloak has to make the decision for them that they are equal in the eyes of the law. In an accepting society, all you should need to do is change a few words on a marriage license and be done with it." You know what? Maybe we don't live in an "accepting society." Ever thought of that? I don't accept things you believe, and you certainly aren't accepting mine. You can pretty much throw out the notion that we'll ever live in a perfect world and learn to live in this one. (By the way, even "changing a few words on a marriage license" still requires a "rich, old guy in a cloak.")

        "If two people love each other and/or are attracted to each other, I support their happiness. I couldn't care less what their sex is."
        – A guy in town has a crush on an underage girl. She likes him back. They are happy. Should we be changing laws to protect their feelings, or should we tell them to knock it off and follow the rules?

        February 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • @Jello

        Jesus dude!!! Read in context and lighten up!

        February 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  31. Jacinda

    Let the bigots eat there. There are certainly enough closed-minded, intolerant, so-called Christians in the country to keep this chain alive.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I think you are intolerant of intolerant people, which makes you a bigot too.

      Why can't people disagree with the fundamentalist Christian mentality of many issues, like homosexuality, but not campaign against them like they are ... well, the Anti-Christ.

      Food for thought on these thoughts of food.

      February 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • layo24

      I don't know why you believe all Christians are bigots. That in itself is a bigoted statement.

      February 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  32. Yahbut

    Look at the way this poll is phrased. Other than the outside options (don't care or kinda care) you have two choices; Conservative or Immoral. Ridiculous.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • Kate

      Yep, I see that. I was going to respond to the poll until I saw how ridiculously the poll was phrased. You're either conservative or immoral, according to the wording of that stupid thing. Well, Chick-Fil-A will not be on my list of restaurants to patronize, nor will the others. I don't feel like contributing to bigots hiding behind Christian values – the old "we love you but you ain't equal to us" song and dance.

      February 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
      • lovethelamb

        Kate, Where did you get the idea that just because someone disagrees with your point of view that they are a bigot? You are stereotypying people. If a person is a Christian, he or she will readily admit being a sinner, just like every other human being. That proves that he or she believes to be equal to you. The Bible says, "No one is good- no one in the world is innocent. No one has ever really followed God's paths, or even truly wanted to. " (Romans 3:10-11) However, because we believe in the saving power of Jesus, we surrender to His Lordship. It doesn't mean we are better than anyone: we recognize that God has laws and we strive to keep them. When we err, we trust in Jesus to wash away our sins.

        February 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  33. Murray

    I don't spend my money with a company that will take it and work against what I feel is right. I don't do it in political donations so why would i do it in everyday expenses? I am not going to support causes I don't believe in and certainly not those that are working against what I believe in. It doesn't make a difference whether its a non-profit or a for profit organization.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  34. Cole

    A common ground here is that at work we all want to be judged on our performance and not by what we do outside of our work. If your boss is liberal and you get fired because you're a member of the NRA, that's wrong. If your boss is conservative and you get fired because you're a member of PETA, that's wrong.

    If you condemn or praise Chick because of their beliefs, well, that's wrong (course, they don't mind the praise). You, as the customer, are their boss, and you should judge them by their work (their food and service). Those that are condemning Chick are basically DISCRIMINATING THEM FOR THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. You know, doing the same thing that you claim you're against.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      You're missing the point. If I have some strongly held beliefs, and I know that as a result of my frequenting a business my money will go to supporting the opposite of those beliefs, shouldn't I withhold the money?

      Personally, while I will not frequent them, I don't condemn Chick-fil-A. Any place who clearly demonstrates their beliefs like they do is fine. And as a consumer, I will choose not to eat there because of those beliefs, but I respect their desire to have a Christian-based company. I hope they, and you, will respect my decision not to support them with my money.

      February 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
      • Cole

        That's pretty much the same line that organizations use to justify denying gay couples the right to marry. "We love and support gay people, we just won't treat them like they're equal." "I like x, I just won't support them because of what they believe." Right... Whatever lets you sleep at night.

        If a business puts out a good product and respects its customers that's all that matters. This whole Chick business is just as ridiculous as all the nuts going after restaurants/business that offer Halal food. "How can you eat there?! You're supporting terrorist!"

        February 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
      • gerald

        They are not discriminated against any more thant opposite sex bathrooms. Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is a relationship that can bear children. Gay sex can not. They can marry if they marry someone of the opposite sx. I would not be in favor of such an arrangement but if you want to have gy unions call it something else! Hello. It's not marriage as defined over 6000 years by the languages of the world. Now you want to change the language. BS.

        February 6, 2011 at 8:35 am | Reply
      • Cole

        Uh... By your logic, infertile people can't get married and couples without children should have their marriages annulled. I don't think I have to add anything to that pile of stupid.

        February 6, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • gerald

        Don't put words in my mouth just because you don't have the logic and understanding to handle what I say or have a clue why I believe what I believe.

        February 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
      • Cole

        You linked reproduction/sex with marriage. That was very clear and central to your point. I pretty much blew it apart. Actually, I can even go further... Since you clearly connected marriage with producing offspring...

        If a woman gets raped and becomes pregnant, she should be forced to marry the rapist (incest too!). If two people have sex, they should be forced to marry and have kids. Heck, just make it a law so that you can only have sex is your intent is to produce a zygote. Sperm and Egg donors should be forced to marry those involved in producing a baby. Course, all this means that polygamy has to be widespread.

        February 7, 2011 at 9:39 am | Reply
      • Elephantix

        @MIke Very nice, level-headed, constructive perspective on this topic. I think it's the mode of thought that gay right activists are either missing, or purposely ignoring.

        February 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
      • Fat Gal

        I believe I will not frequent their establishment because their waffle fries threaten my waistline!! Yummy!

        February 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Pam

      Does Chick believe in animal rights or, are they using those cramped, tortured hormone laden, chickens?

      February 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • Fat Gal

        You're on the internet! Google it! Don't waste blog space asking questions that are easily answered elsewhere.

        February 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  35. Philip

    Good for them, they've build their business on a strong set of principles and character which has obviously earned the respect and business of millions of Americans. I'm more than willing to give them my $. Maybe CNN can do their next article on all of the community and foster care support they've done over the years for thousands of teenagers. You can choose to eat wherever you want...take your business to Burger King as I'm sure their principles will earn your respect.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  36. tommymack

    For the record, McDonalds now has the "southern chicken sandwich" which is a blatant ripoff of Chik-Fil-A and tastes the exact same (even down to the "one pickle"). And there's a lot of McDonalds out there.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Pam

      Except for the part where Chick-fil-A actually uses chicken. Did you know that 100% Beef is the brand... it's not actually made of 100% beef. I'll bet All White Meat Chicken is a brand too. I'm done with that gooey mealy crap that comes in mcdonalds.

      February 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  37. gerald

    Thanks for the list of restraunts that deserve my patronage. I do declare that I am a 4OPhobe. I dogmatically declare that 2 + 2 is 4 and those who want to say it is six are wrong.

    February 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  38. CK

    Really...there are not other things to be concerned about. A fast food chain gives some meals to a conference – and folks go crazy after digging and finding something to complain about...really. What ever happened to picking your battles...its chicken for Pete's sake!

    February 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • gerald

      Spoken in the true mentality of religion is free except in the workplace. Those who have religous views should leave them at home.

      February 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
      • ahmed zahmed

        Oh really?!? Then those who are gay should leave it at home too.

        February 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • MooHammadHairyBack@Ahmed

        Zip up your pants,INFIDEL!

        February 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • scott

        @ ahmed. No problem, then straight people need to leave their information about their wives and husbands and kids at home too. I'll expect to not hear any conversations about family of any kind, at all, from anyone. Not really practicle is it? Life kinda comes up, and gay families are just as valid and deserving of respect as straight ones. On the other hand, to tell everyone to leave religion at home. No christian influence, no islamic influence, no atheist influence. Everyone can do a pretty good job of avoiding that and still finding that they are not short of things to talk about. Same thing with politics. We can go all week without ever talking about political topics at work. Families however, tend to come up. So you see how one request is not exactly equal to the other request. Either one can be valid, IF it is applied uniformily to everyone, in every respect, but one is easier to achieve and more pragmatic. It's a little easier to edit religion and politics than families.
        And to be honest, if I found out my employer were spending money (personal or company) to fund a conference for a church union seeking to find ways to take apart the mormon church and bring 'traditional' christian values back to americans i would quit, and if i worked at chik-fil-a i would burn the uniform when i was done. You shouldn't work or shop anywhere where hate is a part of package. Not if you have a problem with hate and its consquences. It's like voting your values and then funding the repeal campaign when they pass. In and Out listing bible quotes-doesn't send me across the street to eat (but gets close to making it a not equal oppourtunity employer), but chik-fil-a is homophobic, has been for some time, and is not just exercising religious freedom. It is actively engaging in events that are hostile to equal rights. And facing proper market consequences for it. It's defenders are usually religious and therefore tender on the subject, and also tend to be a little under informed about where Chik-fil-a spends their money. Besides, the food there is awful; no self respecting, forward eye facing, bipedal, predator (or prey for that matter) with any other options should eat it.

        February 8, 2011 at 4:29 am | Reply
    • Mike

      This country is going crazy with all this politically correct stuff. I am a Christian and believe in Jesus Christ. I believe these people are taking it out of context. Christians are here to serve GOD and not the media or anyone else. We get scrutinized heavily because of our beliefs. I truly believe in what the BIBLE states about such things. But it is our duty to treat everyone as they were out brother. I may not agree with the Gay Lifestyle but I would welcome them in my home or help them whenever needed. A lot of the media picks up on Chick Fil A donated to an organization that supports ant-gay and I do not believe that to be true. Chick Fil A supports everyone no matter race, color, religion, sexuality, etc. If this country would wake up and quit blowing everything out of context it would be a better country. Tell me why its okay for someone else to judge us but go insane when they feel they are being judged. I try my best to not judge but I am human and have my own sins as well as everyone in the world. We were born into SIN and JESUS is the only way to remove our SINS whenever we confess that to him.

      February 6, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
      • Cari

        Well said.

        February 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Atheus

        Oh, yes, Christians are soooo oppressed and misunderstood. I weep a thousand tears for you and every other majority group who has been maltreated by the big bad minority.

        February 8, 2011 at 3:39 am | Reply
      • Momo

        For one, because religion is a choice (unlike race, sexuality, or gender), and two, because it has no part in the business or political world. Being religious is nothing but an opinion of belief, often an illogical one at that. Being gay is not something you choose and it doesn't affect anyone else either, unlike religion which is crammed down our throats whether we're religious or not – as seen by Chick-fil-A here. Hating a gay person is bigotry, hating religion is not. Besides, I don't want to hear whining from the straight male Christian majority, who get all the benefits in this country anyway.

        February 8, 2011 at 8:18 am | Reply
      • @Mike

        Blah blah blah, "I support this and I support that" and "we should love all people as our brother." (Yes I'm paraphrasing." Bigotry and hate go hand in hand all wrapped in the cloak of religion. Open you eyes, my brother.

        February 8, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
      • oliver n

        Dear Mike and all others I am from Serbia and I have not read the text on the top but saw your comment... I do not eat meet . Jesus sad that we should not kill. I am the new 32. reincarnation of Jesus now Vienna Meher Baba named after my birthplace after the reincarnation as Avatar Meher Baba and I am for the love to God after the teaching of Sri Srimad Baktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and that we all have the same soul as a part of God. Yours Oliver Vienna Meher Baba

        February 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        @Sam

        There is a GOD... God guides us everyday but the world has quit listening to him and doing there own thing....

        February 9, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
      • lovethelamb

        Thank you, Mike. I would like to add for those who have not read or do not understand what Chick-fil-A President Truett Cathy stated,.." We are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions.We seek to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect, and believe in the importance in loving your neighbor as yourself. We also believe in the need for civility in dialogue with others who may have different beliefs. while my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees." This statement is crystal clear to me. It means that just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you disrespect them. There is a huge distinction between accepting a person and accepting their beliefs. It's not necessary to condone or promote another's belief in order to be respectful of them. I don't think it's fair for people to criticize Christians for sticking to their beliefs or for having the right to donate their hard-earned money to a organization which is in line with the principals they support.

        February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Pam

      Chick-Fil-A sponsers all sorts of religious events with food... It's no secret they are closed every sunday. It's no secret Any right wing Christian is against abortion... just look at all the defective, closed minded, ignorant children they birth by the hoarde to carry on their archaic beliefs. "Proverbs 3:5" – "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding," i.e; Don't think. Just take it in the ass... Well, don't literally take it in the ass 'cause that's gay and you'll go to Hell.

      February 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • Dorothy De Sade

        Even more well said.

        February 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Reply
      • Elephantix

        @Pam I'm still waiting for a point in your post. What is it?

        February 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
      • Lauren

        I'm not really sure why it is offensive to provide a non-profit group with a free or reduced-priced meal, or to give employees a fixed day off once a week. @Pam, you have a terrible chip on your shoulder. You're welcome to your opinions, but no one is making you eat at Chick-Fil-A, or attempting to convert you to Christianity.

        February 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply

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