Report From the Front: A Visit to Chick-Fil-A

I had never been to a Chick-fil-A fast-food outlet before, had scarcely even noticed them, but today, on the third day of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Week, I decided to go have lunch at the one in the local mall.

I was  inspired at least partly by the announcement that gay groups intended to demonstrate at Chick-fil-A outlets throughout the country. They were planning “kiss-ins,” meaning that same-sex couples were going to ram their sexual preferences down the mealtime crowd’s throats by kissing each other in public. This was to be in retaliation for remarks by one of the chief honchos at Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, who recently told an interviewer that he was a religious man who thought marriages were appropriate only  between heterosexual partners.

Mr. Cathy’s remarks had caused the mayors of Chicago and Boston to proclaim that Chick-fil-A outlets, which serve mainly chicken sandwiches, would not be welcome in their cities. That, in turn, prompted former GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee to organize Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day two days ago, in which people were encouraged to eat a meal at the restaurant chain in support of religious freedom and freedom of speech. The turnout, as you must have noticed in the news, was enormous in almost every community where Chick-fil-A has its 1,600 restaurants.

I showed up at the local restaurant after 1 p.m., or past the peak lunch period, but there was still a long line of people waiting to place orders, and there were some seventy-five diners — a staggering number for a single fast-food restaurant at a single moment — seated inside the restaurant and in a spillover area in the hallway.

I scanned the crowd apprehensively, but could see no kissing couples, homosexual or heterosexual. I did notice here and there an occasional pair of males, and an occasional pair of females, but evidently they were just good friends.

I had to wait in  line for ten minutes before I could place my order for a chicken deluxe sandwich and a strawberry milkshake. The shake was delicious, but the sandwich seemed too peppery in spots, and in other spots too bland. I have had better chicken sandwiches.

I asked the young fellow who took my order whether he was keeping busy enough, but he didn’t seem to appreciate the gag. He seemed resentful. Perhaps he doesn’t like to work hard, or perhaps he is not entirely in sympathy with the reason that most people are patronizing Chick-fil-A these days. I can only guess whom he kisses when he gets home.

My meal was brought to me by a pretty, good-natured young woman whom I would gladly have kissed if I had detected the slightest encouragement. I  told her that the lunchtime turnout seemed amazing, and she agreed, but quickly added that she hoped people would decide that the food was good on its own merits, and would keep coming back. “Let me know if there is anything else you want,” she said cheerfully, and it was all I could do to keep from banging my forehead on the table.

As I was finishing, an elderly employee came by to collect my tray, and I chatted with her too. She said that on the big day, Wednesday, some of the diners came from as far away as 150 miles, because they didn’t have a Chick-fil-A in their own towns. She said she hoped that more outlets would be opening in the region as a result of the surge in public support.

I was kind of  disappointed that I didn’t get to see some demonstrators smooching, although it might have interfered with my digestion. On the other hand, perhaps it is just as well that everyone restrained himself, because this is a very red city in a very red state, full of people with strong opinions. I am not sure that the amorous couples would have left the premises under their own power.

Was Obama’s ‘Evolution’ on Gay Marriage a License to Bigot-Bait?

It had long been known that Dan Cathy, president of the restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A, was a supporter of traditional marriage and ran his company along socially conservative principals. Thus, it’s kind of odd that it suddenly became a huge news story when he merely affirmed those long-held beliefs in an interview earlier this month.

Yet, only now are massive boycotts of the restaurant being organized by proponents of gay marriage. Only now is the Jim Henson Company, owner of The Muppets franchise, considering pulling their toys from Chick-Fil-A’s kids meals. Only now are Democratic mayors like Rahm Emanuel, Thomas Menino, and Vincent Gray declaring that the franchise is not welcome in their cities. Only now is the national media interested at all in Dan Cathy’s opinion on the topic.

One has to wonder: Why is that? What’s different now?

It’s not as if it was announced that Chick-Fil-A would no longer be serving homosexuals. It’s not as if it was announced that Chick-Fil-A would begin discriminating on who they hire, based on prospective employees’ sexual orientation. No, Dan Cathy has been consistent about his views for some time, and he hasn’t implemented any restaurant policies that have anything to do with anyone’s sexuality.

Someone else, however, has not been consistent. Someone else of high stature has recently ‘evolved’ on the issue of gay marriage, and that seems to be the only real difference here.

I’m talking of course about President Obama, who less than three months ago announced that he had changed his position on gay marriage. In 2008, he ran for the presidency on a platform that included his belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. In other words, for pretty much his first three and a half years as president, his professed opinion on the topic was essentially the same as Dan Cathy’s.

Yet, supporters of gay marriage weren’t up-in-arms over President Obama’s previous stance on the issue. On the contrary. The Muppets and the whole gang from Sesame Street have happily appeared alongside both Mr. Obama and first-lady Michelle Obama, yucking it up with glee. Rahm Emanuel was, of course, President Obama’s Chief of Staff. It seems clear that whatever moral qualms Emanuel had with serving a traditional marriage administration were kept solidly in check back then. And if there was any significant uproar from gay marriage supporters over the president’s view, the national media sure didn’t let us know about it.

It’s all very odd, don’t you think? After all, who is more influential: The President of the United States of America… or a guy who owns a chicken franchise?

When the president announced his ‘evolution’ on the issue back in May, many believed that he did so for political reasons. Others scoffed at the notion, insisting that the move would actually hurt him politically. Opinion polls following his declaration seemed to substantiate the latter, with North Carolina for one swinging away from Obama and over to Mitt Romney.

However, it seems that President Obama’s ‘evolution’ did in fact serve a political purpose after all, and we’re seeing it now with the backlash against Chick-Fil-A. What his flip-flop on gay marriage did was open the door for supporters of traditional marriage to be portrayed with impunity as bigots.

Now, I’m not saying that President Obama is behind the backlash against Chick-Fil-A. I don’t believe that. Despite Barack Obama’s flipping back and forth numerous times on the issue throughout his political career, I don’t doubt that he supports gay marriage (and always has).  It wasn’t a move designed to paint some business franchise as an example of intolerance.

However, the president has faith – and for good reason – that whenever he drops a contentious social issue into the laps of his liberal base and the liberal media, they’ll find a way to use it as a wedge against his opponents – usually social conservatives. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing with Chick-Fil-A. The president creates another shiny, social-issue debate to distract away from his poor job performance, and he gets to keep his hands clean while his minions carry out the dirty-work of exploiting it and developing whatever narrative the media will let them.

The absurdity and hypocrisy of it all is nothing new, and for people who don’t share the lefties’ vision of America, it’s also incredibly frustrating. It’s the same sort of thing we saw back during the Iraq war. Both parties sent us in to that war, but somehow the Democrats managed to escape accountability for the results once they began dropping their support.

The media has an irritating habit of glomming onto whatever tasty morsels they’re fed by the liberal establishment without any regard whatsoever to history – even very recent history.

Unfortunately, with an American public that has a serious case of Attention Deficit Disorder, shameless hit-jobs like this aren’t going to go away anytime soon.