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On the Chick-fil-A Front of the Culture War


Two weeks ago, Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta company famous for its juicy chicken sandwiches, appeared on "The Ken Coleman Show" to air his biblical belief that those who champion same-sex marriage are risking divine retribution upon us all.

"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,'" said Cathy. "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

Speaking of the company his father started after World War II, Cathy went on, "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."

With 1,600 restaurants and 50,000 employees in 40 states, Chick-fil-A is among our fastest-growing food chains. Obedient to the commandment, "Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day," Cathy closes his outlets on Sundays.

Reaction to his remarks has been little short of hysterical.

Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Thomas Menino of Boston and Edwin Lee of San Francisco said they no longer want Chick-fil-A in their cities. "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," says Rahm.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says there's no place for "hate chicken" in the nation's capital. Boycotts of Chick-fil-A, its expulsion from campuses and "Same-Sex Kiss Day" at local outlets are planned.

Rush Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin have come to the defense of Cathy and Chick-fil-A, and on Wednesday scores of thousands of loyal patrons dined at outlets in solidarity.

What does this battle tell us about which way the tide is running in the culture war? If intolerance is a mark of rising faiths and movements, the news is not good.

For consider. Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against any patron, and after Cathy's remarks, the company issued a statement that, as Paul Gottfried writes, reads like something out of the Department of Education.

Said Chick-fil-A's PR office, we "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender." Nor have charges of systematic civil rights violations in hiring or promotion been leveled against the chain.

What, then, brought down the firestorm of abuse on the company and its president as homophobic, intolerant and bigoted?

Answer: It is simply what Cathy said and what Cathy believes.

The homosexual rights revolutionaries can no longer tolerate the public expression of beliefs, held since the time of Christ, about the immorality of homosexuality — beliefs still taught in Christian schools and preached in Christian churches. Those who profess or promulgate such beliefs are to be shunned and subjected to social and economic sanctions.

What is astonishing is that we are not talking here about the expression of Nazi ideas, but of teachings about the spiritual and social consequences of homosexuality embedded in our country's own Old-time Religion. In the more progressive precincts of America, the retelling of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lessons therein, is apparently now a hate crime.

Remarkable is the change in society we have witnessed. It was not 10 years ago that the Supreme Court declared that states could no longer outlaw private sexual behavior between consenting adults and tossed out the anti-sodomy laws of 17 states.

In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the court had "taken sides in the culture war" and "largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda." This decision "effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation" and makes same-sex marriage a logical result, said the justice.

Scalia was right. Consider how far we have come since.

While homosexual marriage has been rejected by voters in all 31 states where it has been on a ballot, it is being imposed by state legislatures and judges. Now we have the spectacle of a public caning of a private citizen for expressing religious beliefs held by perhaps 100 million American adults.

What is behind the rage, other than a hatred of Cathy's Christian beliefs and a determination to see them stamped out?

As the individuals attacking Cathy obviously reject his biblical beliefs and consider them absurd, what are they afraid of? Mr. Cathy is not some fascist about to seize power, but a socially conservative businessman.

Indeed, not until this year has a timid Democratic Party decided to endorse homosexual marriage in its platform. In 2008, Barack Obama was still for traditional marriage.

If the Republican Party has not gone wobbly in the culture war, it will take up the challenge of that Democratic platform and make homosexual marriage the social issue of the fall election.

The GOP might just drive a wedge through the Democratic coalition and send Obama down to defeat. But if the Tampa Republicans are unwilling to fight the culture war, culture warriors should look to themselves.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



14 Comments | Post Comment
Almost every consrvative writer has thrown their 2 cents in on this issue, but not one opinion from a liberal writer. This leads me to believe this story has been blown way out of proportion. I do not see a message of hate being preached here. I don't even eat fast food anyhow.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:26 AM
"What we are talking about" is a holier than thou attitude which always leads to over reaction from believer and non believer alike so if that was his point, it worked. But a rich man claiming to know and understand God's word and holy book is as unimportant as the street preacher making the same claim. Problem is, this guy is taken more seriously because he has some serious cash and people think if a rich white man said it, it must be true. So again, the over reaction is no surprise.

Remember when only those who could read or were rich were telling the rest of us what it's all about? I don't remember either, but it's the same. Remember when "true Christians" were citing "God's Written Word" that blacks should never enter into their white churches and claimed interracial marriage as an abomination bringing about God's judgement. We've overcome that "divine retribution" threat. Now we need to overcome the rest of the 'holier than thou" drivel that comes out of the bigoted reprobates.

And I say unto you....."Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Comment: #2
Posted by: morgan
Thu Aug 2, 2012 3:14 PM
Is the resturant refusing service to gays? Refusing to hire them? Calling them bad names? No, no, and no. This is a total overreaction. The Christain owner of a resturant was asked his views on gay marriage on TV. What did you think he was going to say?
Comment: #3
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Aug 3, 2012 6:27 AM
Re: Chris McCoy... I am with you on this one... If you really think fast food is fast; just try getting it off your waistline... You would swear it was fast-ened with a three in anchor bolt...
Comment: #4
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Aug 3, 2012 11:29 AM
Re: Chris McCoy;... Get real Chris... How do you think the question came up... I have been around close to sixty years and not one person has ever asked me out of the blue: What do you think of Gay marriage....May be I have I don't give a shit what people do in private written all over me, and have not noticed; but seriously, I have not once been asked that question...
Comment: #5
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Aug 3, 2012 11:34 AM
Sir;... The idea that a whole people would be punished for the actions of the few is one that fell apart with the development of the individual as a legal fact and a philosphical idea...I will grant you that society worked a lot better with group responsibility, group rights, and group responsibility... Back then, ones community was entrusted with his defense, with justice for him or vengeance, and offered him a safe haven where freedom was reality...
The notion of the legal individual has been destructive of communities since it was formed, and its damage is not yet complete... Why is it that this yardbird man thinks that God will hold us all responsible for the failures of another or others, but that he bears no more responsibility than the law finds he has to offer society support???...These rich always expect others to carry their weight after they have carried them to the bank...They have only empty pockets to show the society that made them rich... Where is the devotion??? Where is the love of country and kind??? Let these yardbirds worry about devine retribution on the way...
I would ask: What we have done to deserve each and everyone of them as a curse??? A devil from hell would make no worse a citizen than our rich....At least a devil might be inspired to pay taxes...
Comment: #6
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Aug 3, 2012 11:50 AM
Re: James A, Sweeney... Hey dum head... One of your responsibilities above should have been obligation; which the concept of the individual leaves those who desire so, -to ignore...
Really??? They have to be asked to sacrifice for their country??? The rich have no problem expecting the poor to sacrifice their lives for them and the country, but then, what else do the poor have to sacrifice???... Can anyone, anywhere think of anyone anywhere who does not sacrifice for their relationships??? If a man did not occasionally take out the trash and clean the toilet though in his heart he knows he deserves a parade of honor; still he makes the sacrifice, and without that there would be no relationship... What the rich tell us with all their moralizing, with their using of people and their avoidence of obligation to country is that they do not value our relationship, and think they could do better without us... LET THEM TRY... Do not hold them back when they stomp off in tears... If they want to run away, then pack their bags... Everyone else has to sacrifice for the privilage of being an American... Why not thy wealthy???
If I hear one more of these wealthy or their mouths pontificate on morality I think I will split a seam, and a good one...They don't get any one of the ten commanments right, but they want to save the world... Join the crowd, but only by way of saving one own soul first... I do not preach perfection because only Allah is perfect so to speak... What is the problem with common human decency??? I know the rich believe that with all their knowledge and science and prosperity at what cost, that they have humanized the world, and made themselves international...
They should consider that while they think they do not need us, and that they could make better use of our rights than ourselves, that they depend upon us here for their defense as abroad... They think because they own the generals and all the cops that America is one large Alcatraz no one can safely get off of even if we wanted to... My suggestion is that these people better pay up, and mind their manors...
Their whole being rests upon a shaky frame of attitude... One little change of mind, and they could be a booger on the page of history... That is what happens... People first change their minds, and then the world... I ask you old man, who needs these people, these chicken fingers, these trumps without a jack, these wealthy spouting off as though their opinions should matter... They are tolerated and well... They should not try our patience...
Comment: #7
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Aug 3, 2012 2:07 PM
Sir;... Your Nazi's are on the other side... People often should and do get quite animated with the defense of their rights and all the more when they are not recognized as rights by any means...Real Nazis were quite willing to sacrifice their individuality and individual lives for a group goal and effort...I cannot say why it is that a clearly evil purpose can draw such devotion and willingness to sacrifice when a good purpose cannot... It may be that people are more willing to die for love, even of another man's wife than we are to take one in the nads for the team... The common good is not much of a draw as individual pleasure is; but in defending their own rights the gay people defend the individual rights of all of us...
We believe in liberty... This chicken king does not... There are many, many objections to his sort of behavior in the bible, and only a few admonitions against homosexuality which must have been as common then as now...He does not listen to those that apply to him...That makes him a hypocrite...
But worse is the fact that he stands against freedom when he must certainly know that to outlaw all that people usually do, is the worst sort of tyranny, and incompatable with democracy... Christianity is a form of slavery, and the word means property of Christ, which is fine, if they would save their souls and watch the world go by...For them to meddle in politics which is the social point of reason is to threaten all liberty... But this is no servant talking on the benefits of slavery, but a slaver of the enslaving class...Does he obey the law in regard to hiring???...Does he discriminate... These questions are pointless... Does he obey the law???... We all obey the law, except that some do not have to think about it because they are moral, and some are compelled to do so...
WE do not live with group honor, or group guilt... The Greeks used to carry the corpse of a criminal executed, and throw it bodily out of the country... Heave ho, MF; your sin is not going to bring the wrath of God down upon us.... And if they could not find a scape goat for their sins they would elect one by names on Ostra, and drive him out...
The mind space this chicken dude is laboring in is so far past it is nearly unimaginable, but to him, it is real... Okay; so the guy has got to grow up, figure things out, and get up to date on reality... Even the Catholic Church which is a feudal and backward looking organ has not accepted this belief in regard to sin for a thousand years or more...Can anyone take this rube seriously???
Comment: #8
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Aug 3, 2012 2:45 PM
Re: Sweeney, with your one little comment you said it all: " ... in defending their own rights the gay people defend the individual rights of all of us...".
Well said!
Comment: #9
Posted by: morgan
Fri Aug 3, 2012 3:38 PM
Sweeny, I bet no one asked you that question because you don't owe a multi-million dollar business. Just a thought. This is a mountain made out of a molehill. No one is being discriminated against. An opinion was stated. If you want to boycott this resturant, thats your right. Protest? Go for it. Facebook about it? Why not. But realize its chicken guys right to take these positions.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Aug 3, 2012 7:47 PM
Gay people can be gay and talk all about being gay. The chicken guy can have what ever religion he wants and talk all about his religion. This is just another attempt of the dirty Nazis of the republocrats to suppress freedom of speech.
Comment: #11
Posted by: SCOTT
Mon Aug 6, 2012 2:24 AM
Re: Chris McCoy... Invariably what people say, they do... What they would do, and intend to do, they first talk about doing, and then do... And this was true of the nazis, and it is true of the radical right in America... And it is for this reason that I want to hear what people have to say...And that does not mean I am going to allow them to spout nonsense unmolested for it... We have to look at the actions of chickenman as the result of too much privilage given to property, and to church that has made social and political injustice so commonplace as to cause objections to it seem intolerance...
It is not injustice to speak out against inequality... It does not matter that chickenman obeys the law, for the law is only the bare minimum of social responsibility...Does he get the idea that protection of church from the power of government was protection of church from church in control of government as occured in England??? We need protection from these churches that control government and schools and tilt our foreign policy to fit their biblical premonitions...
No one is going after them, and they threaten everybody, even by wrecking our ability to defend ourselves from people who actually believe in education free of theology... Churches are the enemy of democracy, and for that reason they attack individual freedom which is a sinequanon of national liberty...Their liberty rests upon ours and they attack liberty's base...
It is good they demand liberty for themselves, but one man's liberty meets its limit in the liberty of another; and this goes for chickenman too...I don't care what the bible says... SHOW me where loving relationships between anyone or ones is bad for a society... The moment love is considered evil we are too far gone as a nation to know right from wrong, even with a bible in our hands...
Comment: #12
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Aug 6, 2012 5:21 AM
Re: SCOTT... Chickenman is not simply talking about his religion... He is using something that is commonwealth, our national airwaves to spout a moral opinion likely to affect many thousands of people in this country and harm them, and take their rights...And he may think it is okay and that the religious privilages granted to him by the constitution and the people makes such talk his right... People have a right to voice their opinion on the political issues that affect them... People have a right to the religion they choose...No one has the right to injure a fellow citizen or deny him rights he claims for which no social injury can be shown...
The churches have the right of existence unmolested... That has never been good enough for them... They think they should have the authority to pronounce upon all issues affecting the people, and for that we have government, which should be driven by reason, but because of the churches, has never been so guided...My objection to what the chickenman says is to what he says, and the reason behind it which is false, and hypocritical... He cannot claim to be a Christian and hold his wealth but for the allowance of his church, and yet he takes what is ours, our peace, and our national airwaves to malign some of ours minding their own business and following the course of nature as it seems to them, and for that, they deserve our outrage and protection as chickenman does not... He is beyond the pale...
If we need to talk about rights we should first, in general, try to define them, and then make all allowance possible for the variation of people and of cultures...
Comment: #13
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Aug 6, 2012 5:38 AM

"We need protection from these churches that control government and schools and tilt our foreign policy to fit their biblical premonitions..."

Amen to that. Well said!
Comment: #14
Posted by: morgan
Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:12 AM
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