What's The Reason?
Pam's House Blend:
"After enduring a major public-relations tsunami this summer, Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based sandwich shop that's closed on Sundays, says it will end its decade-long corporate support of culture-warrior groups that oppose gay marriage."
After Mike Huckabee's successful Chick fil-A Appreciation Day (in which notable Right Wing celebrities like Sarah Palin participated), one would think that the franchise's Christian Right stance against gay marriage (and by extension homosexuality) would have stayed firm, at least for a while. So the recent revelation by Chicago Alderman, Poco Moreno that the Atlanta-based fast food franchise will stop funding hate group organizations such as the American Family Association and Focus on the Family may come as a bit of a shock - especially to those organizations that have received the chain's largesse. The official reason given by Chick fil-A:
"The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the
organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its
stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas."
Cast of Players
Self-righteousness provides the American public a lot of entertainment, and the entertainment that was a welcome distraction from this year's election melee was definitely Chick fil-A, or rather the play that ensued following it's founder David Cathy's statement about Biblical values and same-sex marriage. Some of the players (in what eventually became theater of the absurd) were as follows:
- Mike Huckabee, who called for Chick fil-A Appreciation Day
- Sarah Palin, former half-term governor of Alaska who displayed support prominently in a photo-op.
- Bryan Fischer, American Family Association, who suggested that Appreciation Day would be "ominous for Obama and an opportunity for Romney"
- Joe Mareno, Chicago Alderman, who would not allow a new Chick-fil-A franchise in Chicago
- Rick Santorum, who supported Appreciation Day during primary run for President
- Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, who requested that the franchise back out of plans to have a franchise in Boston
But the real characters in the drama were played out by the hordes of supporters, like the ones interviewed and video-taped by Anzy McWha, a 16-year-old from San Marcos, CA (see below). As adults misquoted Jesus and teens misinterpreted the Constitution, the incredulous Anzy (whose mother is a lesbian) keeps her cool until the very end. It is a latter-day American Gothic that amazes many but surprises few.
And The Awards Went To...
Past recipients of WinShape Foundations' (Chik fil-A's charitable
arm) donations include Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, the
American Family Association, Exodus International and Eagle Forum (founded by
Phyllis Schlafly). Two of them (the FRC and AFA) have been cited as hate groups.
Exodus International has been considered a "pray-away-the-gay" group.
All are cited as groups with strong Christian Right ties.
The reactions to Chick fil-A's turnabout may vary from
"kow-towing to the homosexual agenda" to "liberal political
pressure " but they will certainly differ from the truth: any form of animosity towards one group is not good for
"More immediately, the company's corporate plans to broaden its reach outside of the South may also be a factor in its policy change. The company's socially conservative management has made news before, but the firm's values seemed in sync with many Southerners' views on church, God, and marriage. But Chick-fil-A's efforts to expand into places like Chicago and cities in California have put those values into the limelight, raising difficulties not only in obtaining construction permits but also vis a vis local and regional consumer attitudes."
Whatever the reason, the reaction to this latest development in the culture wars will be loud and virulent.
Maybe Mike Huckabee will explode.