A Lesson in Love from the Drive-Thru

The Story: A minor Internet sensation erupted this week when Adam Smith, former CFO and treasurer of medical supplies manufacturer Vante, videotaped himself bullying a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee. Smith was fired by his company because of his behavior, but the young woman he harassed provided a model in how to respond to hateful speech.

The Background: In the video, initially titled ”Reduce $’s to Chick-Fil-A’s Hate Groups,” Smith orders a “free water” from the Chick-fil-A drive thru for the purpose of insulting and harassing the young service worker. “I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here,” he tells the employee at the window. “I don’t understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better.”

“I’m a nice guy, by the way . . . totally heterosexual,” he continues. “Not a gay in me, I just can’t stand the hate.”

The company that Smith works for issued a press release announcing that Smith is “no longer an employee of our company” and that they expect their “company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others.”

Why It Matters: Unfortunately, Smith’s actions are neither remarkable nor surprising. Such behavior has become all too common among those who support homosexual rights and will likely occur with increasing frequency in the future. But what makes the video noteworthy is the gentle and kind response of the Chick-fil-A employee.

I don’t know if, Rachel, the young woman in the video, is a Christian, but her response provides a helpful model for believers. Caught off guard in an uncomfortable and demeaning situation, she responds with civility and gentleness, expressing a desire to serve others. There’s a time to respond with arguments and persuasion and there are times when all that you can do is respond with kindness. Rachel has obviously developed the type of character that would allow her to quickly realize what response was needed.

“A soft answer turns away wrath,” Proverbs says, “but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I don’t think that was the lesson Smith thought would come from his experience at the drive-thru, but it’s one that we can all learn from.

UPDATE: Mr. Smith apologized to Rachel and answered questions about his actions.

  • Clint

    Well done, Rachel. Well done.

  • http://lerheims.wordpress.com Bridget @ Le. Rheims

    Good for Rachel. She did a great job in a bad situation. Also, I love how that man assumes the “college age students” are there to protest, because that’s what studies are showing right now, right? Not at all a trend in the other direction of younger people being more and more conservative in their values.

  • Dean P

    Why is this video even posted here. Has TGC suddenly become “World Magazine” or “FOX News”. Can we just leave the Chick-Fil-A stuff alone for a moment? This is become overkill and overall ridiculous.

  • Lorretta

    Wow. That’s the problem as clear as a bell….so much “assumption” and ignorance. Mr. Smith probably views himself as some sort of poster child or martyr for a cause but he is so poorly informed of the facts in this situation. He set himself on fire and Rachel offered him water and a quiet, patient demeanor. This is love in action in the face of *real* hate.

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

      You’re right! The “real” hate is from those who are believe they are the champions of tolerance. And this is part of our complex problem today. It used to be, simplistically put, that there were the “sinners” (people who gave themselves to immorality), on the one hand, and the self-righteous Pharisees, on the other. Now, the same people who are “sinful” (Biblically speaking) are also self-righteous.

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

    The bullier shows that what Paul wrote in Romans 1 is true: homosexuality is an expression of a depraved compulsion to suppress the truth. The response of the young lady is remarkable.

  • Greg


  • David

    I think that our society would be a better in general if we all adopted that kind of poise and calm when interacting with other people.

  • Christopher

    Her response is commendable; I am happy to see this kind of grace in the face of this type of aggression.

    I have to disagree with the statement “Smith’s actions are neither remarkable nor surprising. Such behavior has become all too common among those who support homosexual rights and will likely occur with increasing frequency in the future.” This is the same kind of smear and vilification based on the actions of a loud minority which we see too often coming from the other side of the issue.

    • Joe Carter

      I don’t think it it is either a smear or a vilification, but rather an almost undeniable observation of the present state of society. Smith’s bullying may be extreme, but the idea that those who oppose homosexual behavior are bigots is a sentiment that homosexual rights advocates make quite often.

      • Phil


        It certainly is a smear to say that this person’s actions are “neither remarkable nor surprising.” You are smearing all people who believe that Dan Cathy/Chick Fil A’s actions (including statements) should be protested.

        If this person’s behavior were neither remarkable nor surprising, he would not have been fired by his company. Nor would there have been any sort of outcry by his posting the video.

        Finally, this sort of broad, simplistic “villification” of people on the other side is exactly the problem Christians are complaining about with regard to Dan Cathy and Chick Fil A!!!

        • John

          Does anyone ever just stop in the middle of a conversation with you and say, “Nevermind”?

          • Phil

            It’s true that it is hard to convince someone he should change his mind once he has decided he is right. I’ve noticed that even facts don’t seem to help.

            (But hope springs eternal.)

            • John

              Facts? About Dan Cathy? I suppose you have facts that he secretly funds death squads or supports “gay hate groups”.

              What if people were simply allowed to have different opinions and be able to speak them without fear of being shut out of legitimate business, have their stores defaced, or be told they should die from salmonella?

              Could be both people are wrong – neither side has ‘facts’, but a constitutional right to express their opinions.

            • Phil


              It’s late on a Friday afternoon. I haven’t got the time to run this stuff down/lay out my case against Cathy and Chick Fil A in a reasonable way (although I feel confident I could).

              So I’ll leave you with one word: Nevermind. ;)

            • John

              Now you have me on the edge of my seat – please take as much time as you need to present your case. Maybe I haven’t been read into the right sources and your well articulated arguments will suspend my belief that people in America should be able to have an offensive opinion about a range of topics and not be subject to persecution by elected officials.

            • Phil


              I am confused. I thought, in keeping with the blog post, your beef was that Cathy and chick fil a have been unfairly maligned by protesters ()? My point is that the protesters have a reasonable basis to be upset. (I suppose it is possible that you agree with this.)

              But now your beef seems to be that government officials have acted improperly?

            • John

              Right on all counts.

              I believe that Mr. Cathy has been castigated for stating his beliefs when companies like Starbucks (pro same-sex marriage), Amazon (pro same-sex marriage), Hobby Lobby (pro traditional marriage), In-N-Out Burger (pro traditional marriage), et al haven’t. Why Dan Cathy? How does Dan Cathy get treated like a criminal when Roseanne Barr, Bill Maher, and Dan Savage get treated like beacons of hope?

              I do believe citizens have the right to protest (in a peaceful manner) anything they desire to protest.

              I think elected officials (charged with upholding law, not discriminating law based on their own opinions) like Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, should be impeached. When our public officials start robbing us of our civil rights, we need to be very concerned regardless of our stance on any given issue.

            • Phil


              Dan Cathy has been castigated for stating his beliefs because 1) a large number of people took offense to them and this was combined with 2) a demonstration that he (personally) and his company have given millions of dollars to organizations that oppose gays.

              So between what he said–which wasn’t just the garden variety “I support traditional marriage,” but went (far) beyond that to state that he fears God will destroy this country because of gay marriage (a frankly offensive thing to say, at least to anyone but hard-line of christians) combined with his donations (which were to groups that frankly spread lies about gays, among other things), that makes the whole brouhaha understandable.

              I don’t know of these same (or even similar) circumstances happening with any of the companies you mention. I certainly couldn’t find anything about the president of the company making remarks that large portions of the country find offensive. (indeed, I found one Christian blog saying “we haven’t Heard anything from in-and-out…..

            • John

              So, I can have an opinion that you disagree with as long as:

              – It isn’t too controversial – stick to the garden variety sound bites and we’ll pretend to agree to disagree (However, as a champion of diversity, you get to decide when my opinion is so controversial that I crossed a line of civility). Dan Savage can ridicule schoolchildren during a presentation that was supposed to be on bullying and Bill Maher can say that Christians should all die during his routines; but Tracy Morgan has to deliver a personal apology during a press conference to an attendee of one of his shows wherein he ridiculed the gay lifestyle: representatives of GLAAD were on hand I presume to ensure Mr. Morgan’s apology meet their criteria for sincerity.

              -I don’t actively promote my opinion by providing the use of my resources to organizations that are in keeping with my opinion. When the founder of Amazon donated millions in support of Referendum 74 (Washington state), I didn’t see any stories of Christians painting angry graffiti on his properties or calling for his early death by horrible means; when the Executive VP for Partner Resources at Starbucks released a letter stating that support of same-sex marriage was “core to who we are and what we value as a company” I didn’t see stories of Christians defacing Starbucks stores or calling for Ms. Holmes’ death. I didn’t see elected officials vowing to ban the sale of Amazon products or Starbucks products in their districts. Some folks decided to stop doing business with those corporations, but agreed that the executives had every right to their opinion.

              – I absolutely cannot invoke a divine injunction in support of my opinion, especially if you believe my source of doctrine to be outdated and backward. Mr. Cathy happens to draw his conclusions from a source that many people claim to be the blueprint for humanity’s salvation. In this country I get to use the Bible, the Qur’an, “The Necronomicon”, or “The Cat in the Hat” as a source of inspiration and publicly pronounce the information therein, without fear of censure.

              Please read “Fahrenheit 451”, “1984”, and “What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we, as Americans, need to scrutinize how our public officials (taking their cues from their patrons) are reacting. When we start compromising on when some people can be vilified for having an opposing opinion to our own, we run the risk of losing relevance ourselves.

              First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
              Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
              Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
              Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
              -Martin Niemöller

            • Phil


              Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don’t believe there is anything I can say that would matter.

            • John

              I was simply hoping you would say that there does appear to be somewhat of a double-standard. I even appealed to your affinity of factual information.
              Enjoy Oceania.

        • Joe Carter


          Saying a behavior is “all too common” is not “smearing all people who believe that Dan Cathy/Chick Fil A’s actions (including statements) should be protested.” I suspect you already know that, though.

        • mel

          He was fired because he was dumb enough to tape himself doing it. It happens all the time out of the sight of cameras. But if a person told you about it. You would doubt it.

          • Phil

            Mel and Joe,

            You both appear to believe that this behavior is “all too common” and “happens all the time.” I don’t believe that is the case. Indeed, I believe that such behavior is rare, remarkable, and surprising.

            Joe, given that I believe such behavior is rare and remarkable, I find
            your comment that this behavior is “neither rare nor remarkable” and “all too common among those who support homosexual rights” to be a smear against them (as a group). I find this to be obvious, and I don’t particularly understand your statement at 2:34. Saying that despicable behavior is “all too common” among a certain group of people, when it is rare and remarkable, is indeed a smear.

            But I know of no way to resolve this disagreement (with you know, facts), so I guess I have to let it go.

            • mel

              Basically you just called me a liar and that sir is a smear. Since it is in writing then it is a fact. Unlike what you ‘believe’.

              I have mean liberals on my facebook friend list. Everyday I wrestle with just deleting them. It seems like it would be the Christ-like thing to continue being friends with them and hope at some point they will see that they are the ones being the bully. Sometimes I confront it. How I do it depends on if they claim to be a believer or not. Since most of the time it is in a passive-aggressive way, I just ignore it. But it is there.

            • Phil

              Mel, I did not call you a liar. I do not understand. Are you being serious?

    • http://aloveaffairwithwords.blogspot.com Jenn

      I have to agree with Christopher and Phil in this conversation – major kudos to Rachel for keeping her cool in this situation, but to characterize Smith’s behavior as “common” is unfair and unproductive. Even if the case can be made that it is true, what purpose does it serve to point it out, except to cause further division? It only solidifies the belief that the homosexual community and the church are necessarily at war with each other. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to have a civilized, thoughtful, kind, loving relationship with somebody who disagrees with you – but polarizing statements like this make it that much harder to make that happen.

      There are vociferous, hateful, ugly people on both sides of the argument (Westboro Baptist, anyone?). There are also kind, thoughtful, considerate people. Let’s not judge a movement by the actions of its ugliest members.

      • Christopher

        Right on, Jenn. And I should point out that every liberal I know is condemning this guy’s actions.

  • http://www.ironstrikes.com drwayman

    I hope that Rachel gets a hefty promotion.

    • Christopher

      Me too!

  • http://cghearn.com cghearn
  • Jay

    Someone is raising money for her to have a vacation: http://www.indiegogo.com/Chick-fil-A-Rachel?c=home

  • http://theologicalmeditations.blogspot.com/ Tony Byrne

    The guy in the video was recording the whole thing in order to make an example of the employee(s) in the Chick-fil-A window. She did become an example, but not what he expected. The reverse took place. He wanted to shame the employee, but instead he himself was shamed, and ultimately fired because of it. What he wished upon others came upon himself. He ate the fruit of his own way.

    She became the example of virtue, but he became the example of folly, embarrassment and intolerant hate.

  • dave

    Rachel, well done!

  • Phil

    Someone needs to find out if this woman is a Christian as fast as possible. If she is, think how far this video could go!

    It could bring in millions. It could be bigger than “Larissa and Ian.” Gold, I tell you, gold.

  • mrsdkmiller

    CFA employees were encouraged prior to Wednesday and today’s (Friday) Kiss-in counterprotest to be professional and respectful, remain calm and gracious, and go beyond the call of duty in service to all customers. The counsel wasn’t necessary: they are always like that. If you go to any CFA regularly, you know this is how all the employees are ALL THE TIME. When hired, they are absorbed into a gentle, helpful, cheerful, hardworking, respectful, gracious environment, and the outcome is more gentle, helpful, hardworking, etc., young people, some who stay at CFA, some who go on to other businesses and professions and take the lessons learned with them. As Gabby Douglas says, “To God be the glory!”
    [Disclosure: My 23 yr old daughter is one of those who have gone on to a profession after two stints at CFA; my 15 yr old son is a new hire.]

  • Michael

    I don’t see the big deal behind Cathy’s supporting “hateful” organizations. He runs a private business, and he can use his money however way that he wants. And let’s face it, a few people boycotting the restaurants is not going to put him out of business. So if you don’t like it, just don’t buy their food, and stop making the whole country feel guilty for buying lunch there. Plain and simple.

    I find it very hypocritical that Mr. Smith wants all the hate to stop, but he thinks disrespecting and hassling a Chick-fil-A employee is the way to get there. If Mr. Smith wants respect and tolerance, he has to show it first.

  • Eddie R

    I wonder if it has yet to occur to this guy that he’s the hate he despises.

    • Laura

      That was my thought exactly. Exactly.

      In his apology video he said this: “We have to start seeing other people as people.” “We” have to START? Some of “us” have always done that.

  • Heather

    Rachel is a Christian!

    This is a website started by her fiance:


    • Cheryl

      Rachel is my niece, & she is a Christian. To God be the glory! The website that her fiance’ started for her was in response to the unexpected attention this is receiving. Her finace said: “This unflattering video of the customer opened my eyes to realize that I am not only marrying who I already thought was the most amazing girl ever, but now I know with certainty that she is the classiest young lady that I have ever met. Please keep her in your heart and/or prayers.”

      • Christopher

        Your niece seems to be a wonderful person. My wife and I are going to contribute to her vacation. I’m sure you’re very proud!

  • Ethan

    Smith said: “… I just can’t stand the hate.”

    The irony is very thick.

  • Katie

    This blog post is filled with hypocrisy. No doubt that Rachel’s reaction was admirable, and that the man in the video was out of line. However, you quote proverbs by saying that, “a soft word turn away wrath.” Dan Cathy and the rest of Chick-fila can believe whatever they want… I’m not even going to say that I disagree with them. But by swarming chick-fila and posting pictures of yourself happily eating a chicken sandwich on Facebook… what is being accomplished? No one is going to steer others away from sin and bring them to Christ with that sort of action. All we are doing is drawing a line in the sand and attempting to affirm our own self-righteousness. It’s shameful.

  • Stephen

    I was very encouraged to see Rachel’s response. However, I must join some of the other commenters in expressing my disappointment with your statement this behavior is not surprising or that it’s all too common. I believe the silent majority of those who advocate homosexual rights do so respectfully and are appalled at this display. Even if I am mistaken in that belief, your statement is still unsubstantiated and unfair. We Christians do not like to be associated with the likes of Westboro Baptist, or even those who are less extreme but still express their beliefs with anger and bitterness. There certainly are those on the left who try to characterize Christians as being generically hateful towards gays, and it’s not helpful (or Christlike) to make generalizations about them in return.

  • Dean P

    Well said Stephen. I think you are absolutely right and you should have the last word on this.

  • Kathy Morse

    God is sooo good at overruling; again I see what man meant for harm God used for good. Gen. 50:20

  • purisomniapura

    She definitely displayed a’what would Jesus do’ attitude …

  • Ann

    What do you bet the next thing we hear from Adam is that he is suing his company for wrongful termination?

    Good job Rachael! You are a Christian, and you acted like one.

  • Lauren C.

    Rachel is AMAZING!

  • Lowell

    Mr. Smith’s apology rings hollow for me. Here’s why: he displays the same warped personality
    I have seen in so many liberals, including those in my own family. He is the one who displayed
    all the hate, the impoliteness, the cowardice; but, yet, before he was finished with his apology, he
    was claiming to be the victim. Ya, the whole world was against him. And he is the one who wants
    love and charity for everyone. Ya, right. Oh, yes, and he and his family are victims of disconcerting emails and “threats”. Well, what if the authors of all those emails were acting with the same noble passion he claims to have had when he went on his rant. He displays the same self serving moral superiority in his apology as he did in his rant. I’m don’t buy it and neither should Rachel.

    • Andy

      Rachel should accept it. 70 times 7

  • Joel K

    I, too am surprised at the tone of this post about Mr. Smith. The statement that Joe Carter makes here is troubling. “Unfortunately, Smith’s actions are neither remarkable nor surprising. Such behavior has become all too common among those who support homosexual rights and will likely occur with increasing frequency in the future.” What is troubling about it? Not that Mr. Smith is the exception, as other commenters have asserted, but that the locus of the problem is placed with the opposition–“those who support homosexual rights.” I have heard at least as many shrill voices (perhaps more cowardly cloaked in the cocoon of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media) from the right. Placing the “evil” on the opponent misses the mark. The tendency toward polarization, talking past others, and failing to build relationships with those whose views you might find disagreeable is increasing among all of us. In this, Joe Carter is right: Rachel’s response is a breath of fresh air.

  • Pingback: Man Apologizes to Rachel, the Chick-fil-a Worker | Denny Burk()

  • Lamar Carnes

    Lessons in love are certainly taught in examples in the word of God. Certainly we are to act kindly to people in our responses to their attacks and verbalization of issues. We are to respond not in the same fashion, but however, we too must remember the examples of our fellow saints in the word of God who did not fail to share with the persons they had to deal with truth and facts from the word of God and from God. Paul arrested wrongly demanded the one’s who arrested him falsely should come and remove him from jail and not just let him go. Then we are reminded when the Chief High Priest struck Paul in the face (he did not know the man was in that position) rebuked him for doing wrong. We also see multitudes of cases where prophets and men of God had to speak firmly to those who were sinning and acting wrong. So there is a tension here I know, but real LOVE tells people the truth about their situation which is sending them to hell. I would recommed that in love and kind and in a serious way, share with them that their words and actions are sinful and they need to see that God and His Son Jesus died to pay the penalty for that sin and He can save them if they would only believe in Him. Perhaps that will make the person even angrier and perhaps even harm may come to us, but I have literally seen men begin to cry and repent of their sin before my very eyes when such is done. I have seen men walk away angry but later come back and apologize and repent and get saved also. I am not saying in EVERY case this may be done because I realize there are other circumstances which could arise. But we must never forget true LOVE isn’t just acting “nice” as if we love them but never tell them about Jesus and their sins they are currently engaging in! Sorry, but I find more leaning this way in the Holy Scriptures than just acting nice and letting things continue on as if they are o.k. to do these kind of things anytime they wish without a rebuke.

  • PK Labby

    I am very impressed by Mr. Smith’s willingness to publicly apologize, commend Rachel, and seek her forgiveness. His words in defense of civility are heartening. I am encouraged by them, and hope that the quality of public discourse about issues like these increases through experiences like this. Bravo, Rachel. And now bravo, Mr. Smith.

  • http://www.chris-sanchez.com Chris Sanchez

    Mr. Smith has rightly apologized to the young lady he treated so poorly. His behavior was so egregious that his employer saw fit to terminate his employment to distance themselves from his remarks. The irony is the hate that Smith claims to stand against for one group is perfectly acceptable when directed towards another. His words sound hollow and self serving and his apology is more for getting caught than it is an expression of sincere remorse.

    Rachael demonstrated poise, grace, and the light of Christ in the face of Smith’s reprehensible remarks towards her. Adam Smith was introduced to Jesus Christ a few days ago. I pray he will be convicted and enter into a life-changing relationship with the savior.

  • J

    Yes, the way Mr. Smith treated Rachel was wrong, and she responded well. Let’s not forget to show him grace. We have all said harsh words to someone who didn’t deserve them, or reacted inappropriately to a situation. Let’s not become the bullies ourselves.

  • trica

    Enough already,Yes he was wrong and he did say sorry, yes she responded well and kept her cool, but does this warrant the hype it has generated!As Christians is not this the way we should be responding on a daily bases to the world, I am sure there were lots of :Rachels: that day, our we going to single everyone out set up a fund for a free vocation or whatever else is going on.

  • Pingback: Mangling the Gospel and Appeasing the Militants » Bill Muehlenberg’s CultureWatch()

  • Bob Cook

    A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart[a] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    You can disagree with someone without believing the person to be evil (as the left so often does).

    • Phil

      Why the partisan shot?

      • Matthew

        Because if the shoe fits…

        • Phil


  • Gerald

    Ravi Zacharias said it best: “There is nothing as bigoted as liberalism” One wonders who the true hatemongers really are?

  • Pingback: Anglican Mainstream South Africa » Blog Archive » Mangling the Gospel and Appeasing the Militants()

  • Pingback: The Naked Truth | Writing and Living()

  • James

    Rachel exemplified Matthew 5:46 in her response and who knows what how I would’ve responded. Adam’s action also seems to be revealing an attitude some people have towards our beliefs. I’ve personally been labeled as hateful and bigoted throughout university because of my views, and so the support for Rachel’s kindness is quite refreshing for myself personally.

    I just pray that Rachel is alright and that Chick-Fil-A will recognize her hard work and kind service.

    At this point, I also agree that we should show Adam and his wife and children some grace and pray for their well being.

  • http://www.thinkpoint.wordpress.com Steve Cornell

    Most of those I know who participated in the “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” did not do it to oppose gay marriage but to support a business being threatened by a hateful boycott. It was a way of saying that a business owner should be free to say what he believes about marriage without being threatened. For the record, if a business owner said he opposed traditional marriage, I do not believe anyone should boycott his business for saying what he believes. This is about freedom of speech without threat of boycott from hateful people — no matter the issue. If the owner of Chick-fil-A said he would not serve gay people at his public business, it would be a completely different matter.

    Tolerance does not mean agreement. It means treating others with respect when you disagree. When we’re told we’re not permitted to disagree, we have coercion, not tolerance.

    The huge turn-out at Chick-Fil-A is a great reminder that many people in this nation know the difference between coercion and tolerance. I realize that freedom of speech can be a tricky matter, but we must work hard to protect it. Those who disagree with the owner’s position on marriage also should be free to choose not to eat at Chick-Fil-A. But a threat to boycott a business because the owner simply stated his personal beliefs about marriage is unacceptable.

    I am also well aware that this matter deserves to be discussed and nuanced from different perspectives but I will leave that for the comment section.

    Steve Cornell

    • Phil


      Calling for a boycott is a perfectly legal, perfectly legitimate response to a business that you believe does not reflect your values. In this country, every person has the freedom to spend his or her money as he sees fit. People on the left boycott, and so do people on the right. Indeed, you seem to explicitly realize this with your statement that “those who disagree with the owner’s position on marriage also should be free to choose not to eat at Chick-Fil-A.”

      Assuming you really believe that sentence, the only thing I can think your comment (blog post) is saying is that you believe it is then wrong to try to convince your friends (or any other people) not to eat there as well. Doesn’t that become a freedom of speech issue as well? Certainly I can use my speech to try to convince other people not to eat there? Or should that sort of speech be outlawed, because the business (the owner) is being “threatened?”

      This link might be helpful in understanding why the boycott happened (it wasn’t simply that the owner said he is for traditional marriage, or because there was simply a “disagreement” over the definition of marriage):


      • John


        I agree that boycotts are legitimate avenues to express one’s displeasure with a corporation.

        I give the article and A+ for passion, but lacking in empirical data.

        Which organizations does Dan Cathy donate to that are certified hate groups? How does an organization get certified as a hate group?

        I also had a question on the dozens of employment discrimination cases: how many of those were found in favor of the plaintiff? A woman was fired to be a ‘stay at home mom’? I think it would be safe to say that even if a supervisor did tell this woman that at her termination, it likely violated company policy.

        Dan Cathy thinks that America may be invoking the wrath of God – can he say that he supports the traditional view of marriage, but cannot say he thinks we might be invoking the wrath of God?

        What if he were your garden variety racist and applied for a business license to open a white-supremacist book store? Why such a microscope on Mr. Cathy? I am beginning to surmise it has much more to do with his faith than with his freedom of speech.

        • Phil


          With regard to “empirical data,” did you see that there were embedded links in the article that led to other articles which provided the support (the data) for his statements?

          • John

            There were several links in the article that expounded on the opinions of the author. Forbes calls Chic-Fil-A a “cult”? Don’t confuse and OpEd with news. The link to the article wherein the young lady was fired to be a stay-at-home mom didn’t include any more information regarding the disposition of the case than the original comment did.

            I didn’t wade through the 5,400+ posts to the article, but two hyperlinks were on the first page to the Southern Poverty Law Center articles regarding the Family Research Council and Exodus International. I did read those articles yesterday, but didn’t realize they were actually hate groups. From the articles on the SPLC website, it seems that Exodus International believe homosexuals are suffering from some sort of gay disease and they can be cured through love and specialized treatment; and, FRC is an anti-gay organization that publishes studies skewed to their dogma.

            I thought, “Maybe I’m using an outdated definition of hate group” so I pulled the FBI’s website where they define hate crime as:

            A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

            I don’t see how either Exodus International or the FRC fit that criteria (as misguided as they may be to your dogma). I also couldn’t find any information regarding criminal prosecution of Exodus International or FRC for hate crimes. Does having an article about your group on the SPLC website certify your organization as a hate group?

            There weren’t any links that I could find that detailed the work discrimination convictions against Chic-Fil-A or any of their associates…I guess I didn’t scroll down far enough.

            • Phil

              SPLC designates organziations as hate groups. See,


              The link includes the group’s definition for hate group.

              Obviously you are free to disagree with the SPLC. Others have. See, http://www.humanevents.com/2011/07/28/isnt-the-southern-poverty-law-center-the-real-hate-group-2/

              But none of that changes what these groups have said about homosexuals, what they believe about homosexuals, and what they think should happen to homosexuals. Given that, I think there is sufficient evidence to show that Chick-Fil-A’s support of these groups reasonably warrants a boycott.

              (Now, obviously, you are a supporter of Chick-Fil-A’s positions. But supporting Chick-Fil-A’s positions is different from realizing that the other side may have a reasonable basis for wanting to boycott.)

            • Phil

              SPLC designates organziations as hate groups. See,


              The link includes the group’s definition for hate group.

              Obviously you are free to disagree with the SPLC. Others have. See, http://www.humanevents.com/2011/07/28/isnt-the-southern-poverty-law-center-the-real-hate-group-2/

              But none of that changes what these groups have said about homosexuals, what they believe about homosexuals, and what they think should happen to homosexuals. Given that, I think there is sufficient evidence to show that Chick-Fil-A’s support of these groups reasonably warrants a boycott.

              Now, obviously, you are a supporter of Chick-Fil-A’s positions. But supporting Chick-Fil-A’s positions is different from realizing that the other side has a reasonable basis for wanting to boycott.

            • John

              Much like our earlier exchange of ideas, this is an example of you getting to pick which definition of hate group we have to use. I want to use the definition from the FBI (our nation’s highest law enforcement agency) and you want to use the definition from the Southern Poverty Law Center c/o Wikipedia. And, you even sent me a link that lays out a good argument that the SPLC may actually be a source that cannot be trusted to serve the truth.

              I feel you’ve been reading my contributions out of context.

              I don’t recall specifically of implicitly supporting Chic-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, et al. I support the rule of law and specifically our Constitution. You think I would defend Dan Cathy to the death: that is incorrect – I would defend his right to have his opinion to the death.

              You also keep insisting that I’m against a boycott of Chic-Fil-A. I’ve said in several posts that I absolutely agree with the right to protest within the confines of the law (you can’t destroy property, you can’t harass private citizens that disagree with you, you can’t ban a company from doing a legitimate business because you disagree with their values, etc.). I disagree with the demonization of Dan Cathy. Especially when liberal progressives vilify anyone who has a pro-traditional marriage stance, while at the same time they march under the banner of some of the most angry rhetoric I’ve ever heard.

              So, to help you put my contributions in context: I served over two decades in the USMC. I’ve been in two revolutions, three wars, and at least one insurrection. Over a decade of my time was spent overseas in countries that have conditions most Americans wouldn’t believe actually exist. I served because I thought the ideals of our nation were worth preserving. I took an oath as both an enlisted man and a commissioned officer to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. And, that is what I hope to continue doing. I will defend your right to your opinion, but I won’t allow you to usurp the laws of the United States to enforce your opinion upon others. I won’t allow you to propagate half-truths and lies in order to reinforce your position either. You can dislike Mr. Cathy and even hate him under the laws of this nation, but you can’t make up your own definition of hate and insist that your definition should be the law in order to silence Mr. Cathy’s opinions.

            • Phil


              I think we are in agreement. Your real gripe seems to be the mayors and government; I am not defending their actions, nor do i think any type of government action (what “should be the law”) should be taken against chick-fil-a.

              My real gripe is chick-fil-a (and the organizations it chooses to support). Although, again, I think the only appropriate action is for people to voluntarily choose to not eat there. I think you recognize that people have a legitimate reason for advocating that.

              Thus, we are in agreement.

              One sentence stuck out though, “I won’t allow you to propagate half-truths and lies in order to reinforce your position either.” I don’t believe inhale done this , or done anything even remotely close to this. However,
              This is one of the main reasons you should be concerned about chick-fil-a’s support of EI and FRC. This is exactly what they do regarding information about homosexuals.

            • John


              You’ve hit on what might be the most difficult point wherein the two positions can live in peace: each side insists that their view is whole and without bias. Both sides provide “research” that supports their arguments and claim that all other research is flawed in some way.

              The course of public debate has degenerated in America for quite some time now, such that the person with the shrillest dialog or well-funded supporters tends to morph fact and opinion with impunity.

              Instead of simply disagreeing anymore, we resort to denigrating each other as either ill-informed or bigoted.

              As far as this particular subject is concerned, Chic-Fil-A is just another casualty in a war that has been fought for millennia and will continue to be fought for many, many years. If I may, I don’t have many friends on either side of the gay-marriage debate that desire to redefine marriage as much as they would like to see couples in committed relationships (regardless of orientation) be provided the same protections as have been supplied to traditionally married couples. I haven’t heard of any instances where a loved one passed and wasn’t able to transfer their property via a will to their partner, nor have I seen any examples of partners being shunned from visiting each other in the hospital. Many companies already extend health care and retirement benefits to couples that aren’t officially ‘married’ (common-law). I think the only hold-out is the IRS: if they’d just change the line from saying “married: filing jointly” to “filing jointly” I think much of the debate would be quieted. My Aunts have been living as a couple peacefully in our small southern town since the late 60s without having felt discriminated against in any other tangible way.

  • Pingback: Around the Horn :: 8.9.12 | Treading Grain()

  • Pingback: Links To Other Sites 08.10.12()