muppet madness.

mjkimpan  —  July 23, 2012 — 40 Comments

it would appear that just about everyone has an opinion on Chick-fil-A.  while an understandable question would be, ‘do you like their chicken?‘ it seems that now the question is whether or not you’ll be completely boycotting them.  from the maker of The Muppets to the mayor of beantown, the list of folks cutting ties with the chicken chain is growing.

last week, Chick-fil-A president dan cathy made comments in an interview with the baptist press that have brought some attention from groups advocating equal rights for same sex couples. ‘guilty as charged,’ he said in the interview when asked about Chick-fil-A’s backing of families led by a man and a woman. newsy politics picked up on the interview and made this video.

this, on the heels of a report from LGBT equality group Equality Matters, which stated that Chick-fil-A had donated over ‘$2 million to anti-gay groups in 2010.’  over at God’s Politics, a more left-leaning blog by jim wallis and friends, christian piatt wrote a post entitled, ‘Farewell, Chick-fil-A.‘  on the more conservative side of the aisle, denny burke responded to the chicken company controversy , declaring that cathy’s comments were not anti-gay, only pro-family, and have been distorted by the media in a post entitled, ‘Chick-fil-A and the Irony of the Tolerance Police.

though Chick-fil-A said in a statement that it would ‘leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena‘ and refrain from ‘proactively being engaged in the dialogue‘ on the subject, others don’t see it that way.

the Jim Henson Company wrote the following on their facebook page ::

‘The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.’

not surprisingly, this generated a few thousand comments on its own – some applauding the removal of mini-muppet toys from kids’ meals at the atlanta based restaurant, others declaring that this is yet more evidence of an intolerant demand for tolerance.

meanwhile back in beantown, city of boston mayor thomas menino, in an interview with the Boston Herald, said, ‘Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.’

another nearly 4,000 people have signed a pledge to boycott Chick-fil-A (that, of course, reminds me of this)

but Chick-fil-A still has its supporters, and a few have come out in recent days to the defense of the family-run company.  mike huckabee, former governor of arkansas and one-time presidential candidate, wrote on his facebook page that he was ‘incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company.

after declaring august 1st ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day‘ huckabee stated, ‘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.’

 so here’s the question :: is it possible to hold a traditional perspective on sexuality and marriage without being offensive to those who desire equality?  do we need to boycott Oreos or Chick-fil-A, or can we eat both?  can the conversation be elevated to a discussion about justice, or are we forever destined to engage in culture wars as we debate the ethical/moral question on homosexuality?

what do you think?

[UPDATE]

• chicago mayor rahm emmanuel said he supports efforts to prevent a Chick-fil-a from opening in chicago’s 1st district. ‘Chick-fil-A values are not chicago values. they disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. this would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.’ 

here are denny burke’s thoughts on the topic