Baumhower: Life lessons learned at Chick-fil-AWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday August 1st was the unofficial “ Appreciation Day” . This “Appreciation Day ” was created by Former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee and with no official support from the restaurant chain itself. Huckabee’s Facebook campaign came in response to Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy’s comments on running a Christian Business and believing in a “Traditional Marriage”. The media firestorm that followed put a chicken restaurant chain at the center of a political and religious debate. Over 500,000 people “liked” the Huckabee ‘Facebook movement and apparently all showed up to a local Chick-Fil-A in support.
When I was 15 years old, a man took a chance on me and gave me my first job…the man’s name is Michael Herrick and the job was at Chick-Fil-A. I worked at Franklin Park Mall’s Chick-Fil-A for two years, before the mall expanded, changed ownership and was renamed. Chick-Fil-A was located across from McDonald’s and next to Arthur Treachers. Mr. Herrick was the perfect boss for a 15 year old kid from the West End. I watched in amazement of Mike’s work ethic and dedication. He worked from 9 AM to 7 PM Monday thru Saturday, without any vacations the entire time of my employ. He had three young kids at the time and a dedicated wife who also worked there. My neighborhood was predominately white and Catholic. Working at Chick-Fil-A was my first real experience, not just working but interacting with those different from me. That diversity made me want to show up for work.
I have maintained my relationship with Mike for the last 22 years… though I admit , it is based on delicious chicken. He has always kept tabs on me and I have always appreciated our conversations. We have discussed everything from the ups and downs of business in Toledo to our families
“Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” made me happy for the Herricks, but also broke my heart.
My sister and I were both raised in a loving Catholic home, both raised to be “straight” sexually, but God designed her different from me, my sister is gay. Somehow we are not seen as equals under the law as I am allowed to marry, share benefits with my wife, but she cannot. My sister does not have the same civil rights as I do and we are from the same parents in the same house.
People waiting in line for three hours for Chick-Fil-A made sense to me, the chicken is worth every minute. People waiting three hours in a line to express their “freedom of speech” in support of “Traditional Marriage” reminded me of those I read about, who lined the streets to protest racial integration in Mississippi schools some 50 years ago. The phrase “Traditional Marriage” is so beautifully offensive and clever, no one could ever see the hate behind it.
Conservative Talk Show hosts used Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day as a rallying point, a demonstration of “Freedom of Speech”, to show the “Main Stream Media” that everybody was not OK with Gay Marriage. You could hear the Brainwashed talking points in every TV interview of those who “appreciated” Chick-Fil-A, they all sounded exactly the same. They were proud of standing up for their “moral beliefs” and their “right” to say it. Everyone has a right to believe what they want, they have a right to express those very same beliefs, but just because it is a “Right” doesn’t make what you say all right.
Those Mississippians in the 1950s who were morally against the integration of blacks into public schools, used phrases like “Pro-White” and “Separate But Equal”. How do we feel about those people 50 years later? If you held those very same beliefs today, and attended an organized event with those who carried the same morals, society calls those gatherings a demonstration of “Hate Speech”, that’s how we see it today.
Fifty years from now, the legalization of Gay Marriage will be a distant memory. The images and interviews of those who supported “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” will haunt our culture the same way the Mississippi integration has.
For those of you in Toledo who waited the three hours to show your support against Gay Marriage, I hold only the greatest of love in my heart for you… you just have to share the love with my gay sister.
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” —- 1 John 2:9-11