Editorial: Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A came out stating that his belief, based on biblical truths, was that marriage should be defined between a man and a woman. That is it. No anti-gay message or political statement, simply a personal belief. The backlash however ensued with a proposed boycott by the gay community. What happened was a huge statement by those who believe in traditional marriage. Governor Mike Huckabee suggested that August 1 be Chick-fil-A appreciation day. With just a couple days notice, the idea circulated through social media outlets, mainly Facebook. Many ideas like this circulate Facebook on a regular basis such as the famous “don’t buy gas on a certain day” events. However, what came of this idea might be the most significant social event of the 2010’s. Millions of Americans lined Chick-fil-A’s across the country. Pictures show the story of impeded traffic and hour-long lines to purchase the original chicken sandwich. From coast to coast, it was consistent, people showed up in droves to voice their support for this iconic fast food chain. Mr. Cathy, although not stating the numbers of the privately owned company, stated that it was a record setting day for the brand.
Some attribute the influx of patronage to the assault on free speech regarding Cathy’s words. Rham Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, went as far as to say that Cathy’s beliefs were not Chicago’s beliefs. Progressive cities have no place for Christian values it seems. With the mayors of both Boston and Chicago protesting the establishment locating in their towns, many believed that the government has no place attacking the private sector and its private beliefs. In a show of solidarity against politicians’ attack on Christianity, nuggets flew off the shelf. Even not-so-conservative comedian Jon Stewart said, “Pretty sure you can’t outlaw a company with perfectly legal business practices because you find their CEO’s views repellant. Not sure which amendment covers that, but it’s probably in the top one.” Other media outlets were not as straight-forward about the issue however. The Asheville Citizen-Times’ headline read “Hundreds pack Asheville Chick-fil-A.” In what was surely an attempt to downplay the magnitude of the event, the press changed thousands to hundreds. A Tribune reporter sighted hundreds in line at one location, before noon, with lines over an hour in wait. The record numbers speak for themselves though. While standing up for freedom of speech is a noble cause and was undoubtedly a factor, another aspect is the support of Cathy’s beliefs. For years, traditional beliefs have been under assault. Anyone who stands up for the principles of their ancestors are seen as closed-minded bigots. Only those who believe in the liberal progressive agenda are enlightened, the rest are in the dark ages. So when traditional beliefs were attacked on the national level, the opportunity arose for those who also have those beliefs to stand up in support of Mr. Cathy. Over thirty times nation-wide, gay marriage has been on the ballot. Every single one of those times, the people have voted in favor of traditional marriage. Throughout America, the majority has spoken again and again that they believe marriage is one man and one woman, simply put. All too often, business owners stand silent on their beliefs so that they won’t offend potential patrons. When under fire, Dan Cathy doubled down on his beliefs. Americans admire a man that will stand up for what he believes in, and they proved this with their pocketbooks across the nation. At the core of America are a group of people that largely stay silent. They work hard, provide for their families, and raise their children the best they can. While gay rights marches take place, they bite their tongue and continue with their busy schedule. Every night they watch the evening news and grimace at the moral-less society they find themselves in. At a certain point, they inevitably reached their breaking point. Millions of Americans headed out to, and waited in lines, at Chick-fil-A’s across this land to support a man’s right to have a traditional belief, the belief that a family starts with a man and a woman.