Ever since the Chick-fil-A President Cathy voiced his opinion in favor of the tradional view of marriage, politicians have been stumbling over themselves to threaten to discriminate against the Chick-fil-A company on the basis of the free expression of one of its executives.
In what seems to be an orchestrated skirmish in some bizarre culture war, three innocuous sentences out of a 1300-word article have brought attacks from government officials on a company not for the way it treats its customers — which is superb, in case you’ve never been to a Chick-fil-A — but for an interview one of its executives gave.
“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.
The repressive precedent of government interference with the free speech and religious rights of individual citizens seems lost on those pushing the agenda. We have free speech precisely because we insist on preserving the rights of those with whom we disagree.
The strange thing is, most Americans agree with Dan Cathy in the first place.
Despite a giant push from the leftist press to sell the idea that the company’s stance would hurt it economically, Chick-Fil-A is experiencing a sales boom. In an example of The Streisand Effect, many people who previously didn’t know anything about Chick-fil-A’s corporate culture have heard about it — and they seem to approve.
Sales figures for the company are not available, but anecdotal results obtained by calling individual stores show sales up 15-20% over the last week.
Cathy was not expressing a political opinion, but a religious one. His critics don’t seem to understand religous liberty. Perhaps they do understand it, and don’t like it.
Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and others have announced plans to resist Chick-fil-A expansion into their cities.
Mayor Vince Gray of Washington, DC chimed in on Twitter:
— Vincent C. Gray (@mayorvincegray) July 27, 2012
Mayor Gray later tweeted to clarify that “I said I oppose them, but cannot legally bar them: http://ow.ly/cz2DF “
There’s a reason you can’t legally bar them, your Honor. What Chick-fil-A officers do on their own time is even less your business than it is their customers’. Most people prefer to ignore what executives do in their spare time.
“I don’t care about the personal views of the executives of companies where I buy stuff,” said one customer. “Apple people even donate to all kinds of causes I don’t like, and I don’t care, because I like their products.”
Most people also don’t find anything wrong with what Dan Cathy had to say in the first place. When a Christian is interviewed by a Christian publication about his Christianity, people expect him to talk about Christian themes.
What was intended as an attack has been turned to a blessing for the company.