Chick-fil-A and the Ironic Allegation of Bigotry

A few days ago, one of my friends sent me this article, asking if I’d write a blog post on the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A’s stance on marriage. For those who aren’t already aware, the fast-food chain is well-known for its emphasis on Christian values. Restaurants are closed on Sundays, and the company has made significant donations to organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the WinShape Foundation, and the National Christian Foundation.

I’ve seen a large number of blogs, articles, and Facebook posts expressing outrage over Chick-fil-A’s endorsement of traditional marriage – many of them vowing to boycott the restaurant chain. Obviously everyone has the right to purchase – or refrain from purchasing – whatever they want (except for health insurance, I suppose). I don’t have any problem with people boycotting businesses that don’t represent their beliefs.

I do take issue, however, with some of the language being thrown around. Almost without exception, Chick-fil-A’s critics accuse the company of “hate” and/or “bigotry”. Actress Roseanne Barr even went so far as to suggest that anyone who eats at “S%#@ Fil-A” deserves to get cancer.

Roseanne Barr

Accusing a person (or company) of “hate” is a difficult and dangerous thing, since it presumes to know the motive behind someone’s stance. If someone opposes the legalization of marijuana, for example, it isn’t automatically assumed that they “hate” those who smoke pot.

Reading through the statements made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, it seems far more likely that his support for traditional marriage is merely driven by a desire to promote the biblical definition of the family unit. The company has also issued a statement saying: “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender…”

Even more perplexing, however, is the allegation of “bigotry”.

Bigotry is defined by Dictionary.com as: “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

Bigotry involves not only negative feelings, but also an unwillingness to discuss – or even listen to – the opposing viewpoint. It involves shutting oneself off from conflicting ideas – often with an attitude of superiority or self-righteousness. Is there any evidence that Chick-fil-A shows “complete intolerance” toward homosexuals? I certainly haven’t seen any.

Although not true of everyone criticizing Chick-fil-A, it’s worth pointing out that many are themselves “stubborn and completely intolerant” of any viewpoint that doesn’t call for the legalization and cultural acceptance of gay marriage. These are the people who seek to shut down debate by labeling those who disagree with them “bigots”. One friend even told me outright that “there shouldn’t be a debate”, and that those who hold more traditional views on marriage should simply “acknowledge that it’s OK to be gay”.

There seems to be a great deal of intolerance lurking behind this liberal facade of tolerance.

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43 thoughts on “Chick-fil-A and the Ironic Allegation of Bigotry

    • It’s much easier to dismiss the opinion a “bigot” than that of a nice person who happens to disagree with you.

  1. Matthew, this is a great article, and absolutely true. Thank you for expressing what so many of us believe so eloquently. I’m sharing this….and proud to know you’re my brother-in-Christ.

  2. It’s an uproar that doesn’t need to be an uproar. If you don’t like the fact an organization feels the need to push their Christian Values in your face, then simply don’t interact with them.

    • pushing it in your face? its always that, isnt it?
      isnt it ok to be a Christian and promote Christian values? or is it only ok for the liberal crowd to “push in your face” their values?
      k☼

  3. As usual you write fairly without unkindness to either view, yet pointing out logical truth. Reblogging…oh are you ever going to sign up as my follower again!!!??? Otherwise I may have to accuse you of bigotry towards old white men…hehe.

  4. Thanks Matt for addressing this for me! So many people have said that Cathy didn’t have a right to express his views since he owns a business, but the president of the United States can express the opposite views and he runs a country. It seems these days that we are losing our freedom of speech, isn’t that what this country was founded on? To be able to express views that are against the popular norm?

  5. It’s completely amazing the issue that the “tolerant” are having with someone else’s view being expressed. I am surprised, but I shouldn’t be. It’s no different then the flack Kirk Cameron got when he told Piers Morgan that being gay was unnatural.

  6. Reblogged this on Devoted2Prayer and commented:
    This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Many Christians are taking a stand on the side of the LGBT and that is completely unBiblical.

  7. My 2 cents Matt:

    At the root of it all is cowardice. No one has an excuse – all know because His power and nature have been seen (http://wp.me/p2nZKA-3i)

    They are afraid to look God in the eye and shake their fist at him in defiance. They attack the people that hold to his word rather than attack God directly because they are cowards.

    I might seem harsh here, but that is the root. Eventually, and in numbers, they may get brazen enough to shake their fist at God – but I doubt it because cowards, even in numbers, are still cowards.

    Cowards are full of hypocrisy. You can’t believe what you want to believe unless we approve of it. Maybe that is ironic – looks more like fear to me.

    Messiah has to be coming again soon – it wasn’t that long ago that you couldn’t cuss on a CB radio or TV because of FCC – now porn is freely available, multiple partner marriage, and those that don’t accept homosexuality are the problem?!?

    These skirmishes are going to get worse and more frequent because the lines are becoming blurred – even blurred in the church with homosexual pastors, churches that play secular music for worship . . . some in the church are accepting worldly values as on par with God’s word: 2 roads, 2 choices – that battle lines were drawn long ago. Dan Cathy has chosen the road he will travel – the hard road, a road that takes courage, a road that for many of us, is not negotiable.

    Blessings!

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  11. Well and kindly said. I wonder why unbelievers always say that we are the haters. I don’t see uncritical condemnation in most Christian commentary. More often it is the anti-Christians who react with a knee jerk condemnation of every Christian belief.

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    • Indeed it is ironic that the left calls us haters. For a movement that started with the free speech movement at UC Berkley, they have become a movement to surpress ideas they don’t like.

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  15. I stand with Dan Cathy – regardless of my opinions, I think a company that doesn’t wavier on its set values just to please the current social wave. A strong businessman with a strong value system that has nit hurt him so far. CFA does a mighty fine job for a establishment that is not on every corner still has a standing that is strong and not faltering.

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  19. Excellently thought out and well written.Wish everyone took the time to think things through before making statements as you obviously have done here instead of the often times from the hip reactions to something they may not agree with… BRAVO!

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