The controversy over Chick-fil-A continues

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After it was revealed that the Cathy family – which owns the fast food chain – has given as much as $3 million in donations to anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council, both the cities of Chicago and Boston have publicly said Chick-fil-A is not welcome within their city limits. Also, the Jim Henson Company has pulled its Muppet toys from Chick-fil-A kid’s meals.

But leave it up to Republican John Huckabee to rush to the defense of the bigoted restaurant. He’s declared next Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” for standing by “godly values” – which to Huckabee and other dinosaurs on the Right mean denying civil rights to millions of Americans. There are certainly legal issues that could be raised should either Boston or Chicago formally reject permits for Chick-fil-A.

But that hasn’t happened. What has happened is that hate and bigotry has been called out – and that’s a good story.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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Comments

It's local government barring buisness on religious beliefs

Commonsense461
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Jul. 2, 2012 9:48 am

Non story

If a Republican doesn't like a restaurant , he doesn't eat there.

Socialists demand that those they don't like be picketed and shut down.

Call in the OWS guys they have nothing to do.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

This is the way it is supposed to work in a democracy. A company publicly supports a cause that a group doesn't like. The group peacefully protests and makes their case. All the comments from the company I heard indicates they don't have a problem with it. If I have to put up with the LaRouche people with their Obama Hitler poster outside the Post Office........

DynoDon
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Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

What is not supposed to happen in this country is a Mayor of a large city sticking his/her nose into the fray with their unasked for opinion..

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am
Quote DynoDon:

This is the way it is supposed to work in a democracy. A company publicly supports a cause that a group doesn't like. The group peacefully protests and makes their case. All the comments from the company I heard indicates they don't have a problem with it. If I have to put up with the LaRouche people with their Obama Hitler poster outside the Post Office........

Yes you can protest but a city can not deny a permit because they disagree with a religous belief.

Commonsense461
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Jul. 2, 2012 9:48 am

Those opposed to gay marriage are forced to tolerate it in states in which it is legalized. Those in factor of gay marriage do not have to eat at Chick-Fil-A but they can certainly tolerate others' patronage. Tolerance should work both ways. Plus, it's about the food, not about political beliefs. Get over it!

SaltoftheEarth
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Apr. 25, 2011 6:01 pm

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Progressive is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

I wonder if these mayors want to boycot middle eastern oil that comes into their cities from regimes that do horrendous things to homosexuals?

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Let's see, if I'm a liberal I can't shop at:

Walmart, Target, Home Depot

Shop at Costco instead but then you have to buy "mass quantities."

Eat at:

Carl's Jr, Chick'fil (we don't have them locally though), Domino's Pizza

Drink Coors beer.

By Brawny paper towels and a litany of other products own by the Koch brothers.

Keep my money or loans at any big bank. Instead have them in a credit union or local bank (check to make sure it wasn't founded by a Republican).

Subscribe to DirectTV.

This is probably a way tiny list though so feel free to add other businesses not to patronize. <grin>

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Those who get upset seing inter-racial couples have to live with it. So do opponents of marriage equality. So do those who want women barefoot and pregnant have to keep their shit to themselves. It seems the least we can require.

There are people with just concern about the treatment of animals. Some of them are concerned because they eat meat and others want to encourage more vegetables with a range of beliefs about human health and species integrity. I know very few militant vegetarians or vegans. Those who are dedicated to their own practice often produce very good food as part of their living witness, but I am not hectored for being an omnivore. I know of no legislation banning meat other than about some of the fois gras goose procedures. It is always about the treatment of the animals and not about what you can eat per se.

You know, a major investment in solar and wind to get us off that homophobic Middle Eastern oil would be a great way to follow up the Chick-fil-A protest. If you can help make the connection with your freedom loving patriots on the Right, together we can do it!

Does anyone else find "Chick-fil-A" sort of "gay" in the field of Fast Food? Compare with Sonic, Burger King or Popeye's. See what I mean. They are all bold and punchy while "Chick-fil-A" has that cute French lace lilt. Have a side of irony.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote Commonsense461:
Quote DynoDon:

This is the way it is supposed to work in a democracy. A company publicly supports a cause that a group doesn't like. The group peacefully protests and makes their case. All the comments from the company I heard indicates they don't have a problem with it. If I have to put up with the LaRouche people with their Obama Hitler poster outside the Post Office........

Yes you can protest but a city can not deny a permit because they disagree with a religous belief.

Is opposition or support of gays a religious belief? If it is then it can't be made illegal. If it's not then it's just bigotry. Either way it's you or my option to speak out against it or for it. If a franchise wants to come out publicly with their beliefs then they are going to have to deal with the consequences. Good or bad.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote Redwing:

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Progressive is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
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Right.

And if a Progressive is a Christian, he doesn't go to a Mosque or other house of worship.

But if a Conservative is a Christian, he tries to get all other religions banned for everyone.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

OOOps, I forgot Dairy Queen.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Small side point, but when you discuss fast food chains don't forget that some of them are franchises. So they can be run by people of all kinds of different beliefs just as money making investments. A friend who is an Indian restauranteur even bought 5 Arby's in one community. Wendy's, Jack-in-the-Box, Subway are other examples of franchises.

captbebops's picture
captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Commonsense461:
Quote DynoDon:

This is the way it is supposed to work in a democracy. A company publicly supports a cause that a group doesn't like. The group peacefully protests and makes their case. All the comments from the company I heard indicates they don't have a problem with it. If I have to put up with the LaRouche people with their Obama Hitler poster outside the Post Office........

Yes you can protest but a city can not deny a permit because they disagree with a religous belief.

Is opposition or support of gays a religious belief? If it is then it can't be made illegal. If it's not then it's just bigotry. Either way it's you or my option to speak out against it or for it. If a franchise wants to come out publicly with their beliefs then they are going to have to deal with the consequences. Good or bad.

Yesit is a religious believe which makes it a 1stamendment violation for these cities to refuse them permits.

Commonsense461
Joined:
Jul. 2, 2012 9:48 am

Bloonberg already tried to back out of his uncalled for comments about Chick-fil-A. He is now off trying to ban baby formula from newborns in hospitals. This guy may be even more arrogant than Obama. Keep going big government. You make us proud.

http://www.examiner.com/article/michael-bloomberg-wants-hospitals-to-hide-baby-formula-force-breastfeeding

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

There's no way I would eat at Chikfila now, even if I were an evangelical - who's making the sandwiches? Even if no homosexual would dare spit in the sauce, her heterosexual sister, brother, friend might.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think it is hilarious that the CAAP has come out in support of Chik-fil-A. If that doesn't rouse the cognitive dissonance of progressives nothing will. LOL

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camaroman
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May. 9, 2012 11:30 am

From Rod Dreher: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/what-to-do-with-the-heretics/

Excerpts:

Got that? If you are a Christian who opposes same-sex marriage, and you make this known publicly (through your own words, or through contributions), then you open yourself up to a government investigation, even if you have a policy of non-discrimination in your workplace. Who wants a federal investigation of their business? Better keep your mouth shut and your head down. The chilling effect.

Leaving aside the legal arguments, there are practical ones. City officials have a lot of power to make it hard on businesses to open, and to do business. A Chicago alderman — a very powerful figure in that city — has openly said that he will do whatever it takes to keep Chick-fil-A out of his ward. He has now been told that’s unconstitutional. OK, fine — but if he’s determined to make good on that, he can do all sorts of things to make life difficult for Chick-fil-A. If he does, Chick-fil-A may choose to fight it in court. After all, it’s a multibillion-dollar company. What about mom and pop businesses that can’t afford to? They would be a fool to invest in a place where the political leadership is on record as determined to harass them, not because they discriminate in the practice of their business, but because of the opinions of the owners.

Similarly, there is the shakedown model that Jesse Jackson pioneered with his Operation PUSH, and later with his lucrative Wall Street Project. It amounted to, That’s a great business you have there; shame if something happened to it. As an arbiter of racial correctness, Jackson leveraged tremendous power over businesses who were eager to get his blessing — and who changed policies and gave big contributions to his organizations to get it. The day is fast-coming when business owners will not only have to keep their mouths shut and give no money to causes labeled as anti-gay, but they will also be expected to pony up protection money to gay-rights organizations to prove their commitment to gay rights (and as insurance against government investigation).

I have my own opinion about SSM, but I don’t want to live in a world in which any normal businessman — pro-SSM or anti-SSM, or pro/anti whatever — has to live in fear that his private religious or political opinions, and giving money to support organizations that advance his viewpoint, will be subject to the equivalent of a whipping at the pillar in the public square. I have spent most of my professional life working among cultural liberals, and living in cities that are culturally liberal. In my experience, it is hard to overstate the epistemic closure and intolerance of many liberals on this topic. They consider it an open-and-shut matter, with no gray area, and no reason to give grace and tolerance to anyone on the other side of the issue. I have even heard it seriously proposed that companies should be careful about hiring people with “anti-gay” opinions, because the presence of such people could cause gay employees to feel “unsafe,” thus creating a “hostile work environment.”

You don’t think this is coming too? Chick-fil-A has not been accused of discriminating against gay folks, not in hiring nor in the way it treats its customers. It is being excoriated because the man who owns the corporation holds traditional Christian opinions about same-sex marriage, and gives money to organizations that share that view. Chick-fil-A can defend itself with its army of lawyers. Can you, when they refuse to hire you, or sic the government inspectors on you, or picket your business because they found that you signed a petition against gay marriage, or gave $25 to a campaign to support traditional marriage?

Though I am a conservative and a traditional Christian, I am gratified that ours has becoming and is becoming a country in which gay people no longer have to fear for their livelihoods and live in the closet because of their sexuality. That was cruel and unjust, and we are a better country for leaving those days behind. But we are on our way to becoming a country in which traditional Christians have to fear for their livelihoods and live in the closet because of their religious convictions. And the most right-thinking liberals among us have no problem with that, because they believe, like the most reactionary 19th-century pope, that error has no rights.

Coalage1
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Mar. 14, 2012 8:11 am

Thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands, turnout to support the company.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote mjolnir:

Thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands, turnout to support the company.

There are millions of bigots in the world. Kind of a shitty turnout if you ask me.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote mjolnir:

Thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands, turnout to support the company.

There are millions of bigots in the world. Kind of a shitty turnout if you ask me.

A mostly spontaneous demonstration of support so large even the liberal media was forced to acknowledge it. If supporting free speech is bigotry sign me up.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Thanks to the media this was the greatest free advertising campaign in a long while. They got thousands of new customers that never heard of them prior to the left created dust up over nothing. I had my first Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich. It made the 35 minute wait in line well worth it.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am
Quote Redwing:

Thanks to the media this was the greatest free advertising campaign in a long while. They got thousands of new customers that never heard of them prior to the left created dust up over nothing.

Well, unless they're planning for a Tea Party rally everyday at their restaurants, the rush of new customers will likely subside, while other customers and potential customers, turned off by the politics will likely stay away. It's bad business to wear your politics on your sleeve.

Quote Redwing:

I had my first Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich. It made the 35 minute wait in line well worth it.

Why didn't they plan for the rush? Thought private business could nimbly handle this. They knew it was coming. 35 minutes for a fast food sandwich? Kind of like the DMV, right?

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Mr. Cathy has the right to voice his religious and political beliefs. It's bad business though. That's why they have front groups.

They are likely to be the cause celebre for awhile for the right, but that will die off. And others customers, or potential new customers, who disagree, and didn't know of the activism, will stay away. If I'm not mistaken this Southern based chain is is trying to break into other areas. "Other areas" means not the South. News to Mr. Cathy - Beware, you are not living in your conservative Southern cocoon any more. You are likely to alienate customers in your proposed expansion areas outside of Bubba-land.

I don't support Dem Mayors and other Dem politicians blocking new restaurants coming in their areas. Bad move. Makes Dems look anti-business. If your constituents are against it, let them stay away from the restaurants, and get rid of them that way. But with his comments, Mr Cathy is inviting Fed investigation re discrimination practices. As a businessman he should know it's best to STFU about divisive issues.

I generally believe discussing politics with customers is bad business. With new or prospective customers, it's even worse business. He risks limiting his chain to a Southern, or Christian themed chain. If that's his aim, more power to him.

But you don't grow your business by insulting large parts of your prospective customer base.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"The College Park-based chicken sandwich chain rang up the fast-food industry’s highest average sales per store last year [2010] — almost $2.7 million per shop — putting it ahead of industry giants such as McDonald’s, which posted $2.4 million."

http://www.ajc.com/business/chick-fil-a-model-1273562.html

That while being closed on Sunday. Of course they only have 1600+ locations but I think they will continue to do well. God willing. :-)

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Sounds familiar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Karcher

The irony is that this chain founded by Mr Conservative is now known for running racy TV ads.

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

So who's going to the kiss-in?

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Framing debate

Thom,

Here's how we on the Left need to start controlling the debate by framing it using the Right's ideology against them.

What is happening here is not a 1st Amendment issue, because the government is not doing anything to censor Chick-Fil-A. The 1st Amendment does not protect you from criticism.

What IS actually happening here is the right-wing's own holy Free Market exercising ITS right to boycott them for their bigotry, and inform the public of it.

Keep up the great work!

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cfdem
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
...the cities of Chicago and Boston have publicly said Chick-fil-A is not welcome within their city limits...

When elected officials publicly announced that they don't want/wont allow Chick Fil A in their town, it became a free speech issue. True, it was only criticism by Mayors and councilmen- but only the most obtuse would argue that other business owners would not consider that they better keep their opinons to themselves if they want to be able to do business in the communities where the elected officials made such threats due to another business owner's personal opinon.

Anyone capable of objectivity should consider what their reaction might be to a conservative elected official making such statements over a business owner professing support of gay marriage.

stwo's picture
stwo
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thom HartmannA...., It is Mike Huckabee. John Huckabee is a wildlife veterinarian.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm
Quote mjolnir:

"The College Park-based chicken sandwich chain rang up the fast-food industry’s highest average sales per store last year [2010] — almost $2.7 million per shop — putting it ahead of industry giants such as McDonald’s, which posted $2.4 million."

http://www.ajc.com/business/chick-fil-a-model-1273562.html

That while being closed on Sunday. Of course they only have 1600+ locations but I think they will continue to do well. God willing. :-)

http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/04/02/chick-fil-a-widens-lead-over-kfc-...

"

Chick-fil-A Widens Lead Over KFC As No. 1 US Chicken Chain By Nearly $1 Billion

"

"Last year, Chick-fil-A had 1,775 locations and pulled in $5.05 billion in sales, according to Technomic. KFC had 4,438 stores that brought in $4.22 billion in U.S. sales."

It appears GOD was willing, at least for now. :-)

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote Redwing:

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Progressive is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

You mean if a fundie Republican is against abortion... they do NOT want it banned for everyone????

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ulTRAX
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