Chick-fil-A made headline news way back in 2012 when company president Dan Cathy admitted that he and his company opposed same-sex marriage and the homosexual lifestyle. Chick-fil-A and Cathy took a lot of criticism for his candor and in a bold business move decided to change the company’s approach.
Although Cathy’s religious beliefs did not embrace the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) lifestyle at all, he did bring about new changes to his Chick-fil-A company based on these criticisms, which included the scaling back of monetary support to anti-LGBT for groups and organizations that actively pursue an anti-gay agenda.
In addition, the company said that they would “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” The changes were recognized by the LGBT community, and activists and it seemed like the perfect solution for harmony for all.
But, this was not good enough for some LGBT supporters. They stood firm on their stance that defending “biblical principles” was considered by them to be proactively engaging against the interests of LGBT people, and that opposing marriage equality was an unacceptable anti-gay stance. Cathy insisted that he is simply defending traditional marriage as defined by the Bible, and the press made it their new national headline and organized activists began with the protest of Chick-fil-A on a national level.
Flash forward to today, and Chick-fil-A is still under fire for their religious beliefs. The latest saga involves LGBT protests around the country, including those at a proposed new Chick-fil-A restaurant located on the Duquesne University campus. The Catholic Pittsburgh college has become a stage for aggression and unruly protests by LGBT activists, which is not the typical Christian environment students, faculty, and community residents are accustomed to.
Typically, Chick-fil-A would be a great match for Duquesne University, as corporate management shares the same biblical understanding of marriage as the Catholic church. The company has made efforts to emphasize that they do not discriminate against anyone in any way, and will gladly serve anyone who comes to their restaurants.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said in a statement. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Of course, this did not sit well with activists at all, and the protests grew in size and proportion.
Still, the LGBT student organization on the Duquesne University campus believes Chick-fil-A’s stance and support of traditional marriage is offensive to gay students, and thinks their belief should prohibit the restaurant from being on campus instead of allowing students to simply make a personal choice of whether to eat there. With that said, the executive board member of the LGBT organization asked the Student Government Association to pass a resolution to request that the University reconsider adding Chick-fil-A to the Pittsburgh campus.
The conflict still continues now on a national level with the organization questioning Chick-fil-A’s history on civil and human rights, the concern of safety of LGBT students on campus, religious liberty, gay rights, a proper academic environment, and their risk of losing a “safe place” for these individuals.
Retired U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell, a respected alumnus of Duquesne University, had a few harsh words for the protesting students at his alma mater during his recent Fox News interview.
“They’re a bunch of babies,” he said. “College is supposed to prepare you for the real world, not shield you from opposing opinions, and safe spaces do exactly that. Who doesn’t want as an undergrad Chick-fil-A on their campus? I would have killed for a Chick-fil-A on my campus when I was at Duquesne.”
“My message is: toughen up. there are no safe spaces in the real world. If you’re going to be successful in this life after you leave college you’ve got to learn to embrace adversity and open yourself up to a litany of different opinions. You will never be a CEO of a major company or an entrepreneur or a manager if you are not willing to work with people different than you.”
Many would question why students with such different beliefs would even want to go to a college that was founded based on its own specific religious principles when there are so many other educational options.
~ 1776 Christian