The right side of history.
It’s a phrase that has taken on greater meaning in the last few months, for what feels like the first time in my generation.
In the wake of the endorsement of gay marriage by the president and the Supreme Court’s backing of health care reform, it is one that makes a few of us feel good. Smug almost.
(I also just saw “The Help” for the first time; so being on the right side of history took on another meaning.)
Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, I am among the generation that was taught to be inclusive and recognize the rights of others in the wake of the civil rights movement. Don’t prejudge anyone, was my father’s advice – you can hate them once you get to know them. And not being weighed down with a lot of religious dogma, I never felt the need to prejudge on behalf of God or any other higher power.
So it is with great interest to see how Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, has handled the .
Hey, the guy’s entitled to his opinions. Agree or disagree, good on him for having the brass ones to speak his mind. But what I want to know is: what does it have to do with chicken? And how is what he said, as the president of a national company, good for the bottom line?
Sure, it’s part of the whole company’s profile. Carrying on the traditions of the family-run, Christian-values business. Closed Sundays and living by the rules they preach. It's something I've never had a problem with. More power to them. Plenty of businesses do that. In-N-Out, with its Bible verses on the packaging, does. And no one’s breathing down their neck telling them that they’re religious zealots and having people vow never to eat there again.
The difference is that the other businesses don’t go on the radio and say we that a percentage of our population are “shaking their fist” at God, and that the way they live their life is wrong and should be corrected.
So by speaking out -- seemingly on behalf of his company -- against gay marriage, and gays in general, not only did Dan Cathy upset a large portion of his customers – and promotional partners – but is opening his company up to the threat of a lawsuit. Can you imagine the next time a gay person is turned down for, or fired from, a job at Chick-fil-A? That’s a discrimination suit waiting to happen.
And as far as Cathy’s other words, hoping that God will have mercy on this generation, well, I think He just did.
He just gave us a reason not to eat Chick-fil-A’s bland, overpriced chicken sandwiches any more.