It’s About More Than Just a Chicken Sandwich

There’s something unsettling about the public flogging of Chick-fil-A by government officials hell-bent on destroying a privately owned American company simply because of the owner’s personal opinions.

Democratic lawmakers in more than a half dozen major cities have led the charge – slandering Chick-fil-A’s owner and calling for all-out bans on the company’s expansion efforts in places like Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco.

And Chick-fil-A’s only crime – is being a family-owned company that ascribes to the teachings of the Holy Bible – a belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Chick-fil-A’s president has been called a bigot, a homophobe. The mayor of Washington, D.C. accused the company of peddling “hate chicken.”

Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a resolution condemning the company — and its president – Dan Cathy.

“This particular individual is rabidly homophobic and wants to deny Americans civil rights that are enjoyed by every other American,” Kenney said.

There are efforts underway to shut down Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country. Student groups are launching similar campaigns on university campuses.

Lost in their outrage over a belief held by a majority of the American public, is the fact that Chick-fil-A employs thousands and thousands of people.

And with unemployment hovering around 8.2 percent, you have to wonder what sort of message Democrats are trying to send to the nation.

Perhaps the party of President Barack Obama believes it’s morally better to be unemployed than to be anti-gay marriage?

American Christians are facing uncertain times. Our nation’s values are under assault. Religious liberty has been undermined. We live in a day when right is now wrong and wrong is now right.

The vicious leftwing assault against Chick-fil-A should serve as a wakeup call to people of faith. It’s not about a chicken sandwich. It’s about religous liberty. It’s about free speech. It’s about the future of our nation.

“Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. “Such evident discrimination and attempts to marginalize those with religious values have no place in American democracy.”

And while Chick-fil-A’s public flogging has garnered headlines, there are other instances of Christians facing persecution for their religious beliefs.

  • A family-owned bakery in Indianapolis was subjected to a city investigation after they declined to make cupcakes for National Coming Out Day. The owner of Just Cookies explained to local media they have “two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that.”
  • The artistic director of the California Musical Theater resigned under significant pressure after he gave money to support a measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California. Scott Eckern, who is Mormon, was outed by activist bullies. As one activist told the New York Times, “I do believe there comes a time when you cannot sit back and accept what I think is the most dangerous form of bigotry.” Spoken like a true bigot.
  • The Washington Blade published the names and addresses of 110,000 Maryland residents who signed a petition to put the state’s new marriage equality law onto the November ballot. Why? To intimidate the voters? I suspect the names were not published so readers could send them Christmas cards.
  • The Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colo. is facing a boycott and picket lines after the owner declined to bake a gay couple’s wedding cake. The couple cursed out the owner before posting the incident on Facebook. The owner said he would rather shut down his business than violate his personal beliefs.
  • Impact Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Miami, is facing eviction from a public school building because the pastor preached a sermon about marriage. The Miami-Dade County school superintendent told a local television station that the church’s opposition to homosexuality “appears to be contrary to school board policy as well as the basic principles of humanity.” The superintendent said he wanted to evict the church as a “rejection of prejudice and intolerance.

Those who preach tolerance – are the least tolerant of all. And I suspect Councilman Kenney spoke for many when he issued a not-so-subtle threat to individuals like Mr. Cathy who support traditional marriage.

“If he really, truly believes what he believes, that is his right to do so,” he said. “But there is often a price to pay for that.

In other words, Councilman Kenney wants people with dissenting views to shut up – or else face the consequences.

Pastors across the fruited plain addressed the attacks on Chick-fil-A from their pulpits on Sunday – but none was more eloquent or passionate than Charles Lyons – the pastor of Armitage Baptist Church in Chicago.

Lyons issued an appeal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, urging him to reconsider the verbal assault he made on people of faith.

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values,” Emanuel said. His remarks left many wondering if Christians were welcome in the Windy City.

“Mr. Mayor, do not dismiss us,” he implored. “Do not disrespect us. We too, are Logan Square. We too, are Chicago.”

The pastor admonished Mayor Emanuel without so much as a shout or a hint of anger. His remarks were peppered with applause and the occasional Amen. Midway through his appeal, Pastor Lyon’s paused – and delivered a not-so-subtle warning to city leaders.

“If the thought police come to Armitage Baptist Church, we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die on this hill holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other,” he said.

Pay attention, people of faith.

Dark clouds are gathering. The winds of intolerance are blowing. There’s a great storm approaching.

The days of persecution are upon us.

Todd Starnes is the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America” – an expose of President Obama’s war on traditional American values. Click here to get your copy.