Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A protests fizzle after Christian restaurant chain's record turn-out

Customers stand in line for a Chick-fil-A meal at
the chain's restaurant in Wichita, Kan., on 
Wednesday. Aug. 1, 2012. 

By Verne Strickland, Aug. 2, 2012 

Chick-fil-A's huge nationwide victory celebration on Wednesday, August 1, was answered by but a whimper of protests against the popular Christian restaurant chain.

With former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee leading the charge, "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" warmed the hearts and filled the tummies of Christians who flocked to CEO Dan Cathy's popular fast-food eateries everywhere.

With my wife Durrene as my audio assistant and soul-mate, I took to the streets Wednesday to see what the fuss was all about. Having lunch at the attractive, spit-and-polish clean Chick-Fil-A franchise on Wilmington's Oleander Drive was satisfying (from the good food) and uplifting (joining the friendly Christian throng which had gathered.)

We took our USA DOT COM microphones into the happy fray to gather interviews for this report:

Bill Sue, chairman, Brunswick County Board of Commissioners

"I’m here to support the conservative Christian movement to support the president of ChikFilA in taking a stand for what the Bible teaches. I think this whole thing has really backfired against the protestors. I hope it has. Anything we can do to support Christianity will have an effect, and God's still in control.

Vince Miselli, Leland, conservative community activist

"Man, I came here to raise hell today and support a man who speaks his mind and believes in his rights to freedom of speech and religion. I’m delighted to see this place packed and a long line of cars around the business. It’s great. I’m so happy about it. I hope all this activity and excitement goes right to Mr. Cathy’s bottom line."

Lynn Bowen, Delco 

The Christian values that this represents is going to have a great impact on young people. Look at the young people working behind this counter. They’ll know that this company and this country support Christian values. My friends and I turned out to support this business, and the philosophy of the company's leaders. I resent the other side stepping on my rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of our country.
I am here to support this band the philosophy of the founder of this business. And my right to free speech and Christian values. I resent the other side stepping on my rights that are guaranteed by the constitution of this country. 

Charles Tomlinson, Oak Island 

"My wife and I came here today In support of Mr. Cathy and his organization. We support their Christian beliefs that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. It was just stupid for the mayor of Boston and Chicago and San Francisco came out and tried to defame Chick-fil-A just for their Christian faith.Mr. Cathy is so courageous for standing up for his Christian faith and his rights. We have this little handful of people that try to rule everything, and it’s time for the Christian community to speak out for what the majority believes in. What makes this country great is for these individual entrepreneurs to get out here and work to make things go. Obama says the government helped them but that’s not so" 


Everyone wasn't happy, of course. There were scattered protests in the Cape Fear Region and elsewhere. In Alabama, a reporter issued a newsbrief that might sum up the sentiments of the same-sex marriage contingent on Chick-fil-A National Appreciation Day.

"Andrew, a gay 24-year-old who has been working at the northern Alabama Chick-fil-A since January, sat in his car smoking a cigarette and watching the crowd during a break earlier Wednesday.

"'I call it hater appreciation day,' said Andrew, who asked that his last name be withheld out of fear he'd be fired. 'It's very, very depressing.'"

USA DOT COM friends: Please drop a short note of appreciation and support to Mike Voorheis of StarNews, who has done two great local stories on the Chik-fil-A phenomenon. Here's how to reach him: