"Stick to food and get off the soapbox."
That was the general reaction to a food critic's recent review of fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, who declared that "you probably shouldn't eat" at Chick-fil-A not because the food is bad, but because of the restaurant's lack of politically progressive values.
That's right: According to Ryan Sutton at Eater.com, you shouldn't eat Chick-fil-A because of politics — never mind the delicious chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.
The review, posted Friday, bashed Chick-fil-A for its stance on same-sex marriage and lack of progressive values. Chick-fil-A is known for being a Christian-rooted business, who even observes a Sabbath by closing all restaurants on Sundays.
But for Sutton, regardless of the restaurant's food, which prompts extremely long lines each and every day, the company's Christian values and its stance on same-sex marriage is enough to shun the restaurant.
In his review, before he even addresses the menu items, Sutton rakes the resturant over the coals for advocating for Biblically defined marriage.
Millions of dollars of the chain’s past profits funded groups that opposed same-sex marriage during an era when millions of Americans were fighting for their civil rights; smaller donations went to a group that practiced conversion therapy, a practice that stems from the discredited belief that homosexuality is a mental illness.
About a year before the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, chief executive Dan Cathy said that “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” Following an uproar over those comments, Chick-fil-A pledged, on Facebook, to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena, and “to treat everyone “with honor, dignity and respect,” regardless of sexual orientation.
Instead, Sutton encouraged "poultry-purveying" readers to patronize more progressive restaurants like Shake Shack and Fuku, which are found mostly in the northeast.
Sutton explained the point of his review was to report Chick-fil-A's "pretty average chicken sandwich." But that wasn't all he said he intended to report.
"I’m also here to report that it’s the only top 10 quick-service restaurant that doesn’t mention sexual orientation in its online equal opportunity statement, and that it holds a zero rating on LGBT benefits and worker protections from a prominent advocacy group. McDonald’s scored 100," he wrote. "When I asked Chick-fil-A about this, a rep responded with a general statement reaffirming its commitment to equal opportunity and said that it’s up to local franchisees to determine benefits."
But in America, Chick-fil-A's food, its generosity in times of need and its "my pleasure" staff," have proved to be a bridge that more often than not bridges the partisan gap that exists between all types of people, which is why the company rakes in billions in profits each year.
Needless to say, people ripped the food review to shreds:
Completely out of touch with reality...— Joe Matthews (@jmatthews1065) June 10, 2017
This article is laugh out loud absurd. Firstly, people care about chicken, not politics. Also, it's delicious. Waffle fries 3/10?! LOLOLOLOL— Hampton Vernon (@HamptonVernon) June 9, 2017
So basically you hate Chick-fil-a because of the founder's religious beliefs. That's actual bigotry.— City Beautiful Game (@citybeautifulsc) June 10, 2017
Never knew so much could be written about an increasingly successful fast food chain who dares to boldly proclaim their Christian Faith!— LoriGirl🌹μολώνλαβέ (@conservtivemom) June 10, 2017
I read this article expecting a reason to not eat chick-fil-a, and never found one.— Brian. (@Bbrad5150) June 10, 2017
They only ranked the food as a way to write a personal article on what they don't like about a business standing it's ground.— Canglin (@Canglin220) June 9, 2017
Chik-fil-a is really good. Eater, not so much.— Chuck H (@c_gt1982) June 10, 2017
This is laughable. Terrible article 👎🏻👎🏻— Kelly (@kellynferg) June 10, 2017
That's the dumbest thing I ever heard— The Rev Dr BigDave (@BigDavesRants) June 9, 2017
I love it, you must suck at eating and tasting food. You might want to try a different line of work. This food review thing, ain't your gig— Afterseven (@Afterseven) June 10, 2017
You must be a lefty on another conservative witch hunt. Their food is delicious— Lincoln Head (@thoushalt1) June 10, 2017
Why? Because it's delicious? Because they pay their employees well? Treat customers with respect? I'll eat there twice today 🖕— Ashley (@sfaaxo113) June 10, 2017
Me at Chick-fil-A : pic.twitter.com/oQILtNSmOw— Makeup Fairy ✨ (@Glamazon1026) June 10, 2017