Chick fil-A Controversy: When a Chicken Nugget Goes Rogue!

Crystal Willcuts

Oh Chick-fil-A, when will you love again? Why drag waffle fries into this? They are innocent I tell you!

In July, Dan Cathy, president of the popular Georgia-based fast food chain, Chick-fil-A, made anti-gay comments on a radio show saying 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. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Mr. Cathy, I think it’s time to look in the mirror before you talk about pride and arrogance. Marriage predates recorded history and there are various definitions of marriage according to the society or culture one belongs to. The audacity lies in the belief that one very narrow definition of marriage should apply across the full spectrum of humanity and those non-conformists should be treated as outcasts.

Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page says “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

So this is a political drive-by by way of the drive-thru?!? Too late Chick-fil-A, you opened this can of worms. You’re in this, don’t turn and run now. Don’t be a…chikin!

In most instances, I do appreciate anyone who has the courage to stand for their convictions, though I may agree with them or not, it takes guts to stand up in the tech-media whirlpool and say something controversial. Just be ready to stand and defend your position, otherwise don’t fire that first shot. In this instance, I don’t think Mr. Cathy is courageous at all. It’s easy to yell out an insult, then go and run behind the whole loud, angry gang of rich conservatives standing behind you.

In 2011, Mr. Cathy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “We’re not anti-anybody…our mission is to create raving fans.” Really, Chick-fil-A? Really?! You sucker me in with promises of waffle-shaped potatoes, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, then shake your churchy chicken fingers at me for being a fan of the fabulous?! I’ll take my money elsewhere to places that don’t surreptitiously use self-interested cows to support hate and fear.

Regardless of what their Facebook page says, this chicken establishment has donated millions of dollars towards anti-gay organizations; groups that promote gay marriage opposition, bullying and harmful therapy techniques. Northeastern University recently dropped them as a campus vendor because they did not align with the school’s inclusive values.

Despite all of this, I am thankful for Mr. Cathy’s moment of candidness. The Boy Scouts of America and the One Million Moms anti-everything group (they even hate cookies!) have also taken up this fear driven war. I wish more companies and politicians were as forthright. Then I’d know which to support and which to stay far away from. Knowledge is power.

Yet the picture is not completely bleak. Jon Stewart, JCPenney, and even the Muppets are part of an ever- growing group that is tired of all the judging and hypocrisy. They are standing up for what is right and speaking out against the conservative war machine. If Fozzy Bear can stand in front of the tank, so can I, and so can you, dear Reader.

In this age where gay children and teens are bullied to the point of suicide, it is irresponsible and reprehensible to align yourself with the bullies. You’ve drawn your line in the sand, Mr. Cathy, you’ve cast that first stone. I hope you are confident in your own righteous superiority because, I tell you, it takes far more courage to step back over that line and dare to love and accept when your world tells you not to.

Stay strong LGBT’s! Though I am not a member of your beautiful community I stand with you in your fight for equality. You are not alone. No judgment, just love. And If anyone knows where I can get a good waffle fry, please let me know.

Crystal Willcuts Cole, Mnicoujou Lakota and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member, was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and is an artist, writer, and poet currently residing in Big Stone Gap, Virginia with her husband and two children.

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thechief's picture
I sometimes wonder how our ancestors would look at something like this. I never heard of two of the same sex "marrying" from my tribe but I never heard anything against it. That would probably throw off matrilineal cultures. I could picture a daughters family expecting their daughter to come back with a strong brave to provide hunting meat and instead coming back with another daughter. lol
rockytop's picture
In most nations, a "two-spirit" person was expected to live completely as the sex they felt they were, thus a gay man would be expected to dress and behave as a woman while a lesbian would be expected to dress and behave as a man. I don't know how much this was actually done, but how much simpler is this? Anyway, to the article and to Mr. Cathy's comment about "God's judgment", it is curious that it so happens the head of PR for Chick-fil-A passed away on August 1, just as all the supporters were lining up for their soggy chicken and dry, tasteless fries. Not knowing the mind of God, I cannot say for any certainty that this was a judgment--but it sure is a heck of a coincidence. And condolences to the family of the man who was so unfortunately thrust into the middle of the controversy.
darkfoxv's picture
I think we forget how many kids are bullied for so many reasons. one doesn't have to be for the redefinition of a term to be against bullying, that should be obvious. & people who are against aren't bullies by definition. Marriage in the english definition obviously has it's centuries old meaning, while there are many customs of similar merrit, perhaps the nomenclature IS the problem in this debate. While the PRESIDENT of Chic-fil-a stands against gay marriage, would he really stop laws which forwarded the same rights as marriage? if I'm not mistaken, France instituted a law that could be taken up by anybody which gave these rights. But, something I don't get- with all the talk of redefining marriage, it's unheard of to support polygymy (polygyny & polyandry) which one wouldn't even confuse as marriage, the english term, and a rite for support, financial support, unity, & children. but at the end of the day, America has high-obesity.. I've gone places & never seen anything like it. Should americans be eating fast food in the first place? (albeit, this could hurt jobs in the poor economy) that's just two cents I picked up~ without needless slurs..
darkfoxv's picture
IMO as well, "two-spirits" is a lot simpler.. (I really don't correlate 'gay' & "two-spirits" as 100% the same tho, honestly~ but it's a very good point! the romantic love & marriage is a lot freeer than expectations of having a family~ -I don't think it was judgement.. he probably just got pulled out of the frying pan! but one should be respectful of the dead, it's more than bad taste to speak ill of them. a lot of people are looked down upon by the school-systems for having beliefs in America without any attempt at understanding~ of course children pick up the attitudes, by-in-large, of the adults they're around and carry on the consent~ (realising the implications from this is sometimes funny & sometimes sad~) and this goes for just about everything in the end, I think a focus should be put on listening to other people, & respecting their opinions & being able to talk reasonably whether you agree or not, at the end of the day it is not victory but progress we must make. forcing an opinion is always a good way to stir up resent.
nightrain's picture
I ate at an Albuquerque Chick a fil yesterday. For the first and last time. I was served by an illegal immigrant. How deliciously ironic, yes?
oldrunner222's picture
Nice article. She expresses her opinion with humor, without being mean-spirited. Although I agree with the importance of freedom of speech, I always find it unsettling when people (of any religion) presume to speak for God. The more so when the person who supposedly knows God's mind is basing his opinion on a very narrow interpretation of the bible. When a business owner takes a public stand on a controversial issue, he has to know he will be alienating potential customers. With so many choices in the food industry, why buy from a company whose owner looks down on you? It's a shame that white culture is so quick to judge and condemn people who stand outside their definition of normal.
greypuma's picture
I may not agree with what you said or what you believe, but I will defend your right to say it and believe it to the death. I swore to protect those rights many years ago and I have not changed my mind.
tmsyr11's picture
For as much as Homosexuality life-style supporters espouse 'equality' and 'freedoms', if some-body TODAY disagrees or proclaims they don't support this life-style choice PUBLICLY, then the person or group are ATTACKED AND INITIMIDATED short of creating a MOB_SCENE. What is even more of a concern is when PUBLIC GOVERNMENTS, i.e. City Councils, make it PUBLIC POLICY to attack and intimidate individuals or groups who simply DIS_AGREE! It is unfortunate the Demo-gagueKratic Party has CHALLENGE regular Americans to homosexuality lifesyle choices by making it a 'platform' to divide the United States. I applaud Chic-a-Filet and any other institution looking to 'fight' back!
tmsyr11's picture
Homosexuals, i.e. 'two-spirits', had a PLACE in traditional societies, YES. They weren't cast to the forefront nor did these two-spirits BULLY their way in against traditional values and norms. It is unfortunate to American society for two women to 'necking in front of a Target Store (inside) only in their hopes to be "challenged" by people or lest the Target Store! Bullying and initimidates tactics by homosexuals will run their course - against the traditional values of any civilized society.
thechief's picture
I agree. Its disturbing how the media put a spin on it. Even this author claims that the Chic a Fil CEO is hiding behind the gang of rich angry republicans. I don't know where that came from. I think as Natives we really have to look at our past and not just the things we read in books. Polygamy was popular as pointed in a prior post. If all of the so called "traditionals" wanted to prove that they weren't assimilated they could begin practicing polygamy. Instead native leadership choose to side with what ever the democratic party tells them to.