It's a sad state of affairs when one of the biggest political scandals rocking our nation is the political opinion of the head of a chain of fast-food chicken restaurants. But unfortunately, this is what our nation has been reduced to. It's a bit ironic that it's those on the Left who most often decry the polarization of American politics, yet it is they who show the greatest amount of intolerance any time someone expresses an opinion they disagree with.
The Chick-Fil-A "scandal" is just a case in point. Dan Cathy
was asked a question by someone with a Christian media outlet, and he answered honestly. The question was about the company's support for traditional marriage and opposition to gay marriage.
Here is what Dan Cathy said initially (his response when asked if his company supports 'the traditional family'):
Well, guilty as charged. 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. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families ' some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that ... We intend to stay the course. 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.
He went on to say this on a radio show:
As it relates to society in general, 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 that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.
This really isn't that controversial ' Cathy's comments mirror the views of millions of Christian conservatives across America...but the Left reacted to Cathy's remarks as if he had put out a call for anti-gay lynch mobs. Given what Dan Cathy said, the reaction truly has been mystifying. The same crowd who thinks it's okay to defecate on a police car and camp out in a private park for an indeterminate amount of time (while covering up various sex and drug related crimes going on in their camp) and defend the right to show in-your-face blood and sex on television all under "freedom of speech," are so offended by a company that stands for traditional heterosexual families?
To date, absolutely no evidence has been presented showing that Chick-Fil-A has discriminated against homosexuals in any way in its hiring practices or customer service.
The response to Cathy's comments was swift and extreme: the mayor of Boston announced that Chick-Fil-A would not be allowed to open a store there. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said the same about Chicago. Both of these mayors have since walked back their comments ' likely because the legal departments in their respective cities informed them that to do so would violate the First Amendment ' but the bans have not stopped. The mayor of San Francisco stated via Twitter that Chick-Fil-A should stay away, and the mayor of Philadelphia has jumped on the bandwagon, as well.
Rahm Emmanuel's statement was particularly interesting ' he released a statement saying that "Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values." Personally, I find this comforting. I don't think I would be comfortable eating at a restaurant that lived up to Chicago's main values of corruption, cronyism, and out-of-control gang violence. It's also interesting to note that a very short time after Emmanuel condemned Chick-Fil-A, it was announced that he had invited extremist race-baiter and anti-Semite
Louis Farrakhan to his city. So while traditional heterosexual marriage is not one of Chicago's values according to Rahm Emmanuel, apparently anti-Semitism is okay.
Anti-Chick-Fil-A leftists have also ginned up accusations that Chick-Fil-A's chicken causes cancer. The accusation is based on a study
by a group called the "Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine" that was highlighted in the LA Times' blog. While I did not see any overt political statements on PCRM's web-sites, they do fit into enough of a left-wing stereotype that I'd be willing to bet that there aren't many conservatives on their staff.
According to the PCRM study, grilled chicken from restaurants such as Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, McDonald's, Applebee's, and Chick-Fil-A (the study tested chicken from seven chains in all) contains a carcinogen called PhiP, "one of a group of carcinogens called...HCAs." PCRM is suing the chains, claiming that under California law, the restaurants must post signs stating that their grilled chicken poses a risk for cancer. The restaurant chains are fighting the suit (with the exception of Burger King, which settled), and they are right to fight.
If you read PCRM's press release carefully, you will find this tidbit:
"HCAs are formed from the creatinine, amino acids, and sugar found in muscle tissue, and are produced by long cooking times and hot temperatures. This makes grilling, pan frying, and oven broiling particularly dangerous cooking methods.
As mutagens, HCAs can bind directly to DNA and cause mutations'the first step in cancer development."
So according to this, I am at the same risk of cancer if I order grilled chicken from Chick-Fil-A as I am if I throw some chicken on my Weber grill at home. Does this mean that my grill should come with a warning sign, as well? PCRM's press release goes on to state that the best way to avoid HCAs is to "try grilling up homemade veggie burgers, portabella mushrooms, or vegetable and tofu kebabs." PCRA's clinical research arm, the Washington Center for Clinical Research, does not have any information on the grilled chicken study from what I could find (they may not have conducted the study, as PCRM states that they "commissioned an independent laboratory."), but they do seem to push veganism in every published study listed on their website.
This study and the accompanying lawsuit are obviously a push by a pro-vegan group to smear the fast food industry, which is already under attack on several fronts, but many on the Left have twisted the study's findings, based on their own assumptions, saying that fast-food grilled chicken causes cancer due to hormones or chemicals or whatever other buzz-word they can come up with.
Normally I wouldn't feel any compulsion to defend the fast food industry - I think that everyone knows by now that there are healthier alternatives out there...but it disgusts me that people who are supposedly pro-tolerance would spread these lies about a restaurant chain just because they disagree with the religious beliefs of its CEO.
And while that's all that the attacks on Chick-Fil-A amount to: biggoted attacks on perceived bigotry, the fact that the Left's first reaction beyond a boycott of the chain was for government officials to try to ban the chain is disturbing. We already know that the Left doesn't believe in the free market, and this time they jumped straight from disagreement to censorship. There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason some leftist government officials have started moving away from their initial comments is because a ban on Chick-Fil-A by city governments is clearly illegal, that doesn't mean that will stop them from using zoning laws or permits to hold up any new Chick-Fil-A restaurants. Because for the Left, it isn't enough just to make a statement with their spending decisions - it's all about ideological purity via government regulation.
Whether you agree or disagree with Dan Cathy, you have a choice: you can eat at Chick-Fil-A, or you can go somewhere else.