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by Sharon Rondeau

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee conceived of "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day"

(Aug. 2, 2012) — In a citizen-powered initiative begun by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, August 1 was designated “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” after the President and COO of the restaurant chain, Dan Cathy, said in an interview on July 16 that he supported traditional marriage between a man and a woman, drawing condemnation from many directions.

Cathy’s statement to a Christian magazine did not contain “hate” against any segment of the society.  Cathy has posted principles he recommends for operating a successful business on his family website.  Mr. Cathy is a Christian who believes in regular Bible study and tithing, which is giving a percentage of one’s income to the church to continue its ministries.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

A Chick-fil-A statement says that the restaurant’s mission is to “have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”  The company was founded in Georgia in the 1960s.

Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, MA, accused the company of discriminating against homosexuals, while a company statement says that all customers are treated “with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”  Mayors of other cities, including Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Joe Moreno, made similar public statements to Menino’s and said they would take steps to prevent the restaurant chain from expanding into their jurisdictions.

Emanuel was former White House chief of staff to Barack Hussein Obama, who called Emanuel “an incomparable leader” upon his departure.  Chicago church leaders have expressed disagreement with Emanuel’s excoriation of Chick-fil-A’s position on marriage.

The Rev. Billy Graham has voiced his support for Cathy’s stance on marriage.

Huckabee called the verbal attacks of Chick-fil-A “vitriolic” and organized the support day through his Facebook page, which Huckabee reported received “over 21,000,000” views on this morning’s “Fox & Friends” show on Fox News.  “It just went viral,” Huckabee said.  “There was no organized PR effort…it just happened spontaneously.”

It was reported yesterday that Huckabee’s Facebook page had disappeared for up to 12 hours.

At a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Paramus, NJ, a man and his friend traveled approximately two hours from New Haven, CT to “make a statement about freedom.”  There are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in Connecticut, which is not a business-friendly state.  Other patrons expressed support for Chick-fil-A and the First Amendment, specifically.

Yesterday’s turnout appears to have broken a record for one-day revenue.  Huckabee has declared that “America ate chicken yesterday; Rahm Emanuel ate crow.”


Editor’s Note:  Tragically, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of corporate public relations, Don Perry, passed away suddenly on July 27 following the outbreak of the controversy over Cathy’s public stance on marriage.  Perry was 60 and had worked for Chick-fil-A for 29 years.

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