Monday, February 20, 2012

Chick-Fil-A; Christianity on a bun

Chick-Fil-A is a company founded by  S. Truett Cathy, who is still the company's chairman, in the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Hapeville in 1946.  It is a privately owned company and has come under considerable scrutiny for its Christian based business philosophy.

Chick-fil-A's connection to Christianity has been brought before the courts when Aziz Latif, a Houston-based Muslim employee for six years, sued the company in 2002 for firing him, alleging that he was fired for his religious beliefs when he had refused to take part in an employee prayer.[29] The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.[30]
In January 2011, various news outlets[31][32] reported that Chick-fil-A was co-sponsoring a marriage conference[31] along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute,[33] a 501(c)3 organization that seeks to "strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society".[34] PFI had filed an amicus brief against the trial ruling striking down Proposition 8 in California,[35] and had also lobbied against a state effort to ban discrimination in Pennsylvania on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.[36] At the time the WinShape Foundation was also quoted as stating it would not allow same-sex couples to participate in its marriage retreats.[37][38] In response to the reported connections between PFI and WinShape and to Chick-fil-A's statements, students at several colleges and universities formed grassroots efforts to ban or remove the company from their campuses.[39]
Responding to the situation via their official company Facebook page, Chick-fil-A said:
First and foremost, thanks for your patience as we made sure we gathered the facts in regards to recent postings. We have determined that one of our independent Restaurant Operators in Pennsylvania was asked to provide sandwiches to two Art of Marriage video seminars. As our fans, you know we do our best to serve our local communities, and one of the ways we do that is by providing food to schools, colleges, civic groups, businesses, places of worship, not-for-profit groups, etc. At his discretion, the local Operator agreed to simply provide a limited amount of food. Our Chick-fil-A Operators and their employees try very hard every day to go the extra mile in serving ALL of our customers with honor, dignity and respect.[40]
Through WinShape, Chick-fil-A has given $3 million to anti-gay social conservative groups since 2003, with a total of $2 million in 2009 alone.[41][42][43]

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