Chick-Fil-A Under Fire?

Chick-Fil-A and the mayor of Boston Tom Menino are going at it.  The issue began to heat up when Cathy was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying:

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.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271

Then Mayor Menino replied to Mr. Cathy.  He sent a letter to Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A regarding a restaurant currently proposed to be located in Boston.   Here it is below.

“In recent days you said Chick-Fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said that the generation that supports it has an “arrogant attitude.” Now—incredibly—your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston. You called supporters of gay marriage “prideful.” Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are “guilty as charged.” We are mindful of pride for our support for same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights. I was angry to learn  on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to recognize equal marriage rights, I personally stood on City Hall Plaza to greet same sex couples coming here to be married. It would be an insult to them and to our city’s long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick-Fil-A across the street from that spot.”

You can read the copy of the actual letter it here:

http://bostinno.com/2012/07/25/read-mayor-tom-meninos-full-letter-to-chick-fil-a-about-not-coming-to-boston-image/

Let me focus on a few things.

1)      Free Speech.  Mayor Menino is getting upset regarding the personal stance of the Owner Dan Cathy.  While Chick-Fil-A is tolerant of others viewpoints, they maintain a respect for those of differing views, a statement from their Facebook page below:

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. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/ChickfilA

It is ironic that while Mayor Menino values his free speech, he is outraged by Dan Cathy’s free speech.  While Chick-Fil-A is not condemning anyone, Boston’s Mayor is.

2)      Discrimination.  This has to be one of the most blatant statements of hypocrisy I have seen.    Mayor Menino says “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it”.  Did I just read that right?  The Mayor is upset about Chick-Fil-A voicing an opinion in which Cathy discriminates against same sex marriage while Menino himself discriminates against Chick-Fil-A coming to Boston.

At least if you disagree with Chick-Fil-A, Mr. Mayor please make a non-circular argument as to why you disagree.  But Menino’s not done, he also comments

“Are there other companies? There might be, but their president, their ownership doesn’t speak out as loudly as this individual (Dan Cathy) has. We can make all kinds of excuses, but it’s no excuse when you discriminate against other folks,” Menino said.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/07/26/meninos-letter-to-chik-fil-a-president-fuels-national-debate/

And what’s your excuse you when you discriminate against other folks at Chick-Fil-A Mayor?

3)      Diversity and Inclusiveness.  Mayor Menino’s mistake is not limited to himself, other companies are arguing against their own stance’s as well.

That stance didn’t go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Muppet characters have been served up as toys in Chick-fil-A’s meals for kids.

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors,” the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/national/muppets-mike-huckabee-join-chick-fil-a-fracas-over-dan-cathys-same-sex-marriage-comments#ixzz21kaQn78e

Let me state, I have no problem with The Muppets choosing not to do business with Chick-Fil-A.  I do have a problem when people are hypocritcal about ‘other companies not being diverse’ when they themselves are not being diverse.  So “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness”  but they refuse to include Chick-Fil-A in their business ventures and do not respect the Christian perspective in their diversity.  If The Muppets don’t want to work with Christians fine, but don’t claim to be diverse and inclusive when that’s exactly what you’re not doing by cutting ties with a company that promotes a message you don’t agree with.

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