ATLANTA — The Chick-fil-A sandwich — a hand-breaded chicken breast and a couple of pickles squished into a steamy, white buttered bun — is a staple of some Southern diets and a must-have for people who collect regional food experiences the way some people collect baseball cards.Of course, there is no evidence that Chick-fil-A "actively loathes" gay people, and last time I checked its employees don't go around force-feeding Chick-n-Strips to homosexuals.
New Yorkers have sprinted through the airport here to grab one between flights. College students returning home stop for one even before they say hello to their parents.
But never on Sunday, when the chain is closed.
Nicknamed “Jesus chicken” by jaded secular fans and embraced by Evangelical Christians, Chick-fil-A is among only a handful of large American companies with conservative religion built into its corporate ethos. But recently its ethos has run smack into the gay rights movement. A Pennsylvania outlet’s sponsorship of a February marriage seminar by one of that state’s most outspoken groups against homosexuality lit up gay blogs around the country. Students at some universities have also begun trying to get the chain removed from campuses.
“If you’re eating Chick-fil-A, you’re eating anti-gay,” one headline read. The issue spread into Christian media circles, too.
The outcry moved the company’s president, Dan T. Cathy, to post a video on the company’s Facebook fan page to “communicate from the heart that we serve and value all people and treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect,” said a company spokesman, Don Perry.
Among some customers who are not religious, the outcry seems like overkill.
“I’m not a fan of Jesus at all, but I still go to Chick-fil-A maybe once a week,” said Tony Parker, 25, of San Antonio. “Your reason for not going to a fast-food place is bad customer service and poor food quality, not religion.”
But Douglas Quint, a concert bassoonist who operates The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in New York during the summer, said he believed that people should make informed decisions about their food.
“It literally leaves a bad taste because I know the people who are putting this food in my mouth actively loathe me,” he said. “I’m all for freedom of religion, it’s just that I know where I want my money to go and I don’t want my money to go.”
What's the problem here, again?
h/t: Mitrebox. Cross-posted.