Chick-fil-A president's comments ignite Facebook firestorm

July 18, 2012 | by Alicia Kelso

The latest reports showing Chick-fil-A's financial commitment to organizations that are considered anti-gay have ignited plenty of controversy and calls for a boycott.

President and COO Dan Cathy may as well have thrown fuel on the existing fire earlier this week when he admitted the company was "guilty as charged" in supporting such organizations. Cathy told the Baptist Press that Chick-fil-A is "very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit."

Cathy added that the company intends to stay the course, even though it "might not be popular with everyone."

Prior to this interview, Cathy approached the issue more delicately, releasing a statement earlier this year that said: "We are not 'anti anybody' and have no agenda, policy or position against anyone as some continue to confuse with misleading reports ... Again, we have no political agenda, policy or position against anyone, especially the LGBT community."

Chick-fil-A's fans (and former fans) have taken to Facebook to express their own opinions regarding this issue. Whether or not the company will lose any of its 5.1 million fans is yet to be seen, but by a ratio of nearly six to one, comments strongly disagree with Cathy's -- and the company's -- stance.

So dominating has this conversation been that comments for or against have doubled general business/unrelated posts since Tuesday.

Some comments in favor of Cathy's perspective include:

"God made Adam and Eve NOT Adam and Steve! I support Chickfila 100% and ain't ashamed of it...... God hates the sin but LOVES the sinner."

"Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for making a good product and for keeping the Lord's Day holy! Hurray for LGBT boycotts. That's more good chicken for me."

"Big thumbs up to Dan Cathy for speak the truth about the principles of the their business!"

"I am so glad that this is a Christian based company and you stand Guilty As Charged! I am just as guilty."

"I respect you guys so much for standing up for what you believe in and not giving in to general consensus. I look forward to a chicken sandwich soon :)"

Some comments against Cathy's stance include:

"I'll miss the food, but not the bigotry behind it."

"I'm unliking this page & will never give this horrendously hateful company my business in the future..please continue to have no presence in Upstate NY, we value equality here & respect all families in the recognition of gay marriage."

"I love your food but I hate your values. Here's hoping for a change or you're going to lose a lot of your customer base. Welcome to the 21st century where people have accepted the fact all humans deserve equal rights!!!"

"I used to eat here more, but the food started tasting different. Are you guys using more hate in your secret recipe? Maybe it's the bigotry and ignorance I'm tasting. Either way, you're bullies. Shame."

"Dear University of Maryland - it's time to take Chick-fil-A off your campus."

"Why don't you stop selling religion and stick to chicken?"

"Mr. Cathy, i wish you didn't mix your belief with business. Your openness against another human being is un Christ like.. and I cannot believe you call yourself a Christ Centered organization. You opened pandoras box."

"You've lost me as a customer and I am telling everyone I know not to purchase your products. Make food not politics!"

Despite the sometimes heated conversation, a small number of Chick-fil-A's million fans remained neutral:

"Don't agree with your stance on this issue, but I do agree with your right to voice the opinion. It is America. Perhaps not the greatest overall business decision, but sacrificing principle for profit isn't any better. Y'all have great food and a great environment. The store in Alabaster, AL is always busy for that reason. Prayers are with y'all."

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Topics: Chicken , Customer Service / Experience , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
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