The Media Completely Invented That Chick-Fil-A Story
Did you hear the shocking news that Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy is anti-gay? You can read about it in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, CNN, and, at last count, 1,000 other print and broadcast news sites.
The fallout has been so severe that Boston mayor Thomas Menino is banning the fast-food joint from his city. The Jim Henson Company has stopped partnering with Chick-Fil-A's children's meals. And a nationwide boycott is in full swing.
And guess what: the story is a complete media invention.
Now, only a bunch of secular city-dwellers on fad diets would think it's news that Cathy and his company espouse Christian values. They do. Some people, if you can believe it, think this is a feature and not a bug of the company. (Although it is frustrating that you always want Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday but the company policy is to remain closed on Sundays for a day of rest for employees.)
And, like Jesus, Cathy believes that marriage is a conjugal union of one male and one female. Like Jesus, Cathy opposes divorce and premarital sex and extramarital sex and polygamy and the like. (For more on Jesus' politically incorrect views on sex and marriage, feel free to read this brief passage from the Gospel of Matthew).
Now in our sex-saturated, all-gay-news-all-the-time culture, it may be hard to understand traditional Christian views of sex. Some in the media have spent so much time demonizing these views that they may not even realize how much of the country subscribes to them. The idea that people would only have sex with their spouse is offensive to some, much less the idea that the spousal union be conjugal. Support for traditional marriage has recently included a reaction against the efforts to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual unions or polygamous groupings. That's true. But it's also about opposing cohabitation, some divorce laws, the epidemic of children being born outside of marriage, men and women having children with different partners and not being married to any of them, encouraging couples to remain married and the like.
And some of us actually teach and believe this stuff. And it was in that context that Cathy spoke with a Christian publication about one of his company's charitable arms:
The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.
It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.
"That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.
"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," Cathy emphasized.
"We intend to stay the course," he said. "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."
I think Cathy meant to say he was thankful that he used to live in such a country.
In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we learn "One LGBT activist told the AJC she was surprised Cathy was 'picking a fight' at a time when the furor over the restaurant’s conservative connections was dying down."
Of course, it's obvious that Cathy wasn't picking a fight but, rather, answering a question about corporate policy. And it's the media -- and various activists -- that are picking a fight, initiating boycotts and banning restaurants from cities.
How's that grand bargain working out for everyone?