Years ago, in my hometown, I saw a boy skateboarding down Market Street wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed, “If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything”. It clearly left a mark, because years later it was the first thought that popped into my head when I was faced with a serious conundrum. Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-Fil-A, my beloved go-to fast food restaurant, made a statement of opinion in direct conflict with my own. I was going to have to choose, To Eat Greasy Fried Chicken On A Biscuit, Or To Not…or so I thought.
On the 2nd shelf of the left interior door of our refrigerator, there are about a dozen packets of Chick-fil-A sauce. Kyle, the cashier at my local Chick-fil-A, is always so kind to replenish my supply at no charge, and as many I ask for. I slather everything from celery to Quorn chicken cutlets in this BBQ mayonnaise honey mustardy type concoction. It is, quite possibly, the nectar of the Gods.
So, this summer when Dan Cathy decided to get political, my packets sat in the fridge collecting dust (or in my case, a sticky residue of spilt orange juice). I had a dilemma on my hands. A deep fried, greasy moral dilemma.
His quote sparked a media firestorm and drew a line in the sand…from a Chicago politician banning a franchise to click on “I support Chik-fil-A Day” all over Facebook. Chik-Fil-A’s Vice President of Public Relations died of a sudden heart attack and thousands, maybe millions of people were left in sweet potato fry purgatory.
Dan Cathy’s view on traditional marriage was no surprise to me. I lived in Atlanta and extensively travelled the state for work in the early 2000’s. Anyone familiar with Chik-Fil-A knows that it is family run business…a very religious, traditional family run business. Although I have never subscribed to Mr. Cathy’s opinions (all you need is love, people), I long ago had decided that just because I bought waffle fries deep fried in peanut oil, didn’t mean I was somehow funding legislation on stopping same sex marriages. Also, I was comforted by knowing for a fact that not all of his employees believed or lived in “traditional biblical unions”.
But, after the media blew up the story, I had to go on peach shake hiatus. What if I didn’t stand up to Mr. Cathy? What if eating a deep fried, breaded chicken breast on a lard infused biscuit meant I supported his beliefs?
Interestingly, but not surprisingly enough, about a month later, Mr. Cathy made it easy for me to restock my 2nd shelf.
On Sept 19 ABC News posted an article on it’s website quoting;
The Chik-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,” Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Tracey Micit said in the statement. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the Chick-fil-A policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Translation: 3rd quarter sales were down, too much negative media attention, time to smooth ruffled feathers and get those profits arising. P.S. Don’t forget lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits….
Thank you, Dan Cathy, for falling for anything. Now I can eat my Chicken Caesar Wrap and not worry about you funding any hate groups that could hurt my friends who aren’t “traditional”. It’s just not good for the profit margin…