The tenth most popular fast food chain (according to Yahoo finance) is trending on social media this morning, not because people are hungry for a spicy chicken biscuit, but because of its president and CEO's religious views.
"We don't claim to be a Christian business," said Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy in an interview with the Baptist Press earlier this week, "But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be." That includes being closed on Sunday, donating millions to charities some would consider anti-gay, requiring an invocation before the ACC vs. SEC college football Chick-fil-A Bowl, and taking a stance on same sex marriage. When asked about his company's support of families led by a man and a woman Cathy replied, "Guilty as charged."
He made a stronger statement last month on the Ken Coleman Show. Riffing on the subject of 'strong fathers' Cathy said, "I think we're inviting God's judgment when we shake our fist at him, you know? 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' And I pray on God's mercy on our generation, that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try and redefine what marriage is all about."
This is not huge news. Chick-fil-A's opposition to same sex marriage (or support of the traditional family, depending on your sensibilities) as a corporation has long been talked about, but by putting his face behind those beliefs, Cathy's recent statements seem to have brought the issue to a boil (or a fry, as the case may be):
There are supporters online as well:
And of course, Twitter is also having a little fun with the controversy:
One YouTube chef has even come up with a recipe for a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich alternative you can make at home. She calls it the 'Chick-fil-gay' and says it's for people who love Chick-fil-A chicken but don't agree with their stance on marriage equality:
Regardless of the social commentary, Cathy says Chick-fil-A plans to "Stay the course." His interview with the Baptist Press ends with this quote: "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution received this statement from Chick-fil-A spokesman Don Perry: "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of belief, creed and sexual orientation. 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."
Where do you stand on this issue? Let us know in the comments below!