Former Governor Mike Huckabee may have been the unwitting spark that lit a grassfire throughout America by declaring August 1 as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Huckabee, along with millions of other Americans believe that Dan Cathy, the President of Chickfil- A has the right to say what he believes about marriage, and suggested that Americans show their support by patronizing their local franchise. I’ll go one farther: the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects Mr. Cathy and his right to have an opinion on what constitutes marriage without any qualification whatsoever, and the lines around the block of cars and people spoke loudly that they agree.
Marriage has, from time immemorial, always been defined as either being between a man and his wife, or a man and his wives. It is inherently heterosexual, else there would be no life brought forth, and mankind would cease to exist. It doesn’t involve unions with kids, animals or objects. Does Mr. Cathy have the right to hold to his views, whether they be corporate or private, part of an address or just a sideways comment? He does, and the mayors of Chicago, San Francisco and Boston cannot interfere. People can disagree with Dan Cathy, should they choose to, and there are those who do.
If the President of the United States indicated back a few years ago that he believes marriage is between the sexes, and then changes his mind, as maddening as it is, the Constitution cannot step in and prevail against him. But when it comes to public policy, no mayor can say that a business is unwelcome because their CEO expressed an opinion with which the majority of Americans happen to agree. As Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day gathered steam, many wondered if the mainstream media would report on it or ignore it. At least the network affiliates in the Valley acknowledged what was going on, and has always been the case since the advent of social media, it is the citizen reporters and alternative media that have carried the day. What I found particularly remarkable was that there were reports of Wendy’s outlets that recommended that their customers, just for one day, go have lunch at Chick-fil-A. Perhaps the almighty dollar doesn’t have the power we have thought it has, and Americans actually have some spine.
In Athens, the Chick-fil-A store was packed, the drive thru wrapped around the building, the parking lot full, and cars were parked up both sides of the street. But what I enjoyed was the upbeat feeling that I encountered when I opened the door. People were patient and quietly celebratory. The staff was friendly, and if I hadn’t needed to put the paper to bed, I would have stood in line for as long as it took to get some tea. Hmm, perhaps Americans will now have a second Independence Day, to be celebrated each year on August 1st, where we’ll drink tea, eat chicken, and tell our progeny about the day when we shocked everyone, including ourselves, and defended the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Athens Now Information & Inspiration