Chick-fil-A was swamped with mass crowds throughout the day at its more than 1,600 locations across the country as part of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” The event was organized by television talk show host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who states that he came up with the idea after being disturbed by all of the hateful and intolerant remarks that he had been hearing against the company’s Christian values.
“I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the [president and COO], Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld,” Huckabee wrote on his Support Chick-fil-A Facebook page. “The Cathy family, led by Chick Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, are a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story.”
“Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” he continued. “Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers and intolerant.”
Huckabee encouraged Christians to not be “chicken” about their beliefs, but to stand up for Biblical marriage and to show their support of Chick-fil-A’s right to do so.
As a result, thousands of citizens in cities nationwide flocked to the popular restaurant chain throughout the day, ordering everything from breakfast burritos to waffle fries to ice cream, and of course, chicken sandwiches. Dining areas were packed to capacity and lines spilled out into the parking lot, oftentimes circling the building. Drive-thru’s were backed up at least a block.
“Chick-fil-A is a Christian-based company that stands on Biblical principles,” Amy McNamara of Punta Gorda, Florida told Yahoo News. “In one article I read, it suggested they are preaching hate. I disagree. They are standing for what they believe and I stand with them.”
“We were in line for 2 1/2 hours and they close just before we got there. There were 150 behind us. It was great to see that many people stand up for Biblical marriage,” commented Alanna Soderna of West Allis, Wisconsin.
While the wait was long due to the massive turnout, patrons say that all were very patient and joyful about being able to support the company. Some even stated that the day was one of their best experiences ever at a fast food restaurant.
“Not only was it super busy, but three older ladies came in with King James Bible verses on their shirts and sang a song they wrote [called] ‘God Bless You Chick-fil-A,'” said Heather Schultz of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “They had the attention of everyone in the place and when they were done singing, the whole place broke out in cheers, applause, and amens! It was amazing!”
Some locations were so packed that they reportedly ran out of food before day’s end.
As previously reported, Chick-fil-A first came under fire following comments that president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy made to Baptist Press outlining that he is “very much supporting of the family — the Biblical definition of the family unit.”
“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” he said.
According to the Washington Post, Cathy had also stated on a radio broadcast in June that he believed that the promotion of homosexual “marriage” was evoking the wrath of God upon America.
“As it relates to society in general, I think we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” he opined. “And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”
Cathy’s comments have stirred much discussion on both sides of the issue. Hollywood celebrities have announced that they would be boycotting the restaurant, and mayors from Boston to San Francisco have warned Chick-Fil-A to keep out of their cities. Chicago mayor Rahm Immanuel is one of the latest to state that the popular fast food chain is not welcome in his city.
“Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values,” he stated. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. … This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”
Huckabee says that he has received both good and bad reactions in response to his Appreciation Day efforts.
“There have been people wishing me dead on my Facebook page, but after 20 years in politics, I’ve said it’s gonna take a heck of a lot more than that to make me upset,” he stated.
In all, over 600,000 supporters indicated that they would be patronizing Chick-fil-A in observation of the Appreciation Day, but many more simply showed up at the door — sometimes several times throughout the day.
On Friday, homosexuals plan to hold a “kiss-in” at Chick-fil-A locations nationwide as a means of demonstrating against the restaurant’s belief in Biblical marriage. The “kiss-in” will be held simultaneously across America beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Currently, 2,000 people have stated that they will be participating in the event.
While some protesters showed up yesterday to stand against the restaurant, reports outline that in response, managers brought them out free food.
“The owner came out and is now giving them a free meal,” one eyewitness stated, who said that he also spoke with the two protesters about his faith. “They left with a free meal and having heard the true Gospel.”