Chick fil-A Controversy Hits a Nerve

The firestorm of controversy around Dan Cathy's comments reveals the passion in the hearts of many conservatives. Could it be a portent of things to come in November?

Dan Cathy’s unapologetic and sincere comment in July interview that Chick-fil-A is “guilty as charged” in support of “the biblical definition of the family unit” created a political firestorm that burned into this past weekend. Three big city mayors, Boston's Thomas Menino, Chicago's Rahm Emanuel, and San Francisco's Edwin Lee said that if Chick-fil-A was going to build in their communities they should reflect their city’s values an implicit threat to block the company’s expansion. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee challenged conservatives to advocate for the First Amendment promise of free speech by creating a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which was held Wednesday, Aug. 1.

A steady flow of the chain’s franchises around the country were packed in support. The LA Times, under the headline "Frenzied Sales Sets Record" reported that Chick-fil-A would not release the actual figures, but they had smashed the record for a single sales day in their chain.  Last year, the day after Thanksgiving yielded the company $17 million, a record. Rumors are the company netted sales in excess of $30 million last Wednesday, nearly double the Black Friday total.

LaDonna Ryggs, managing editor of Palladian View, posed a question on the publication's Facebook page and the interactive write-in section of the web site asking the readers if they "supported Chick-fil-A and whether they planned to eat at Chick-fil-A August 1 to show support?" The query yielded the highest response for a single question in the site’s one-year history. Moreover, while 100 percent of those responding were in support of Chick-fil-A, 92 percent of the supportive answers indicated the reader "would eat there today if they were in my area, or had already been."

This was just a snapshot of one demographic which was emblematic of the intensity of reaction across the rest of the country.

It is of no surprise therefore that nationwide, conservatives openly showed support for Chick-fil-A by dining at the chain. Conservative leaders like Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Allen West and Governor Sarah Palin, joined by her husband Todd, were covered by mainstream media. Likewise, photos and statuses across social media ; and those that could find receptive press frequented the restaurant as a sign of support. Politicians mirror those they represent, and the effect of Mr. Cathy's was a full-length reflection of what is on the minds of many conservatives.

What an interesting juxtaposition to that of the Starbucks CEO who formed a pact with 100 other CEOs refusing to give political donations until gridlock in Congress had been addressed…there was no Starbucks appreciation day. Why not?  Mr. Cathy’s subtle humility and strong faith was neither calculated nor political. His words were plain spoken and people immediately related to both his candor and religious position.

The significance of the Chick-fil-A founder's comments is the "raw nerve" or intensity of reaction by the public and politicians alike. The straight forward and heart-felt statement by Mr. Cathy resonated with conservatives nationwide and is emblematic for defending the guarantees of our constitution’s First Amendment’s freedom of speech.

Karen Floyd is the founder of Palladian View, a digital magazine for the conservative Republican woman.

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Paula Byler August 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
wonderful! I didnt know about the appreciation day so lets have another one!
Robert Kelly August 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM
One has to admit it is impressive how many people took 30-45 minutes on a work day to stand in a long line at CFA for a sandwich to show support for civil rights discrimination. I know my office would have charged anyone an hour of vacation time for that, and I wonder if these people took that kind of honest approach, maybe stayed late, or did they just let their job suffer? In any event, what did this have to do with free speech? Mr. Cathy has a political point of view, and puts his money where his mouth is. No one challenges his right to do that, whether it was his personal money or the corporate money. He may speak. The issue was how people stand up for beliefs to deny benefits to a specific category of person; and clearly there are a lot of people who are prepared to eat a high-fat fried chicken lunch to prove they don't want gay people to have he same rights under the laws of our republic as straight people. Aren't they marvelous.
william clark August 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Robert , yes they are marvelous, its about time those "straight' people as you call them stood up and let it be known.we are not denying benefits to anyone who the law at present does not allow them. Our Moral compass has been destroyed enough . lets not try to destroy the very bedrock foundation of the normal and natural Family Unit as God ordained it . The One man and one Woman fit together as one flesh in Marriage. and that is the only moral and natural marriage bed that is not defiled.
william clark August 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM
For two men to marry is not a civil right . and for the homosexual to steal the civil rights of the Black peoples movement for equal rights under our constitution is a sorry way for the homosexual community to use it for their lust and sexual perversion. Like its going to get them favor within a nation that condemns it as well . They have taken God's rainbow and used it for their flag, God is not pleased with that at all. That alone shows their hate for God .
william clark October 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM
It is better to obey God rather than man . Amen.


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