Chick-Fil-A "Reverse Boycott" Will Have Long Lasting Ripples

chick-fil-aConservative shoppers opened their mouths, and their wallets, at yesterday’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

The event was kind of like a boycott in reverse, and it far exceeded expectations, according to Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee is being credited as the original source for the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day idea. “It’s gone beyond anything I could have imagined,”  the Fox News host told the network.

Fox News also reported that Pastor Rick Warren tweeted that Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told him the company had set a world record on Wednesday.

We reported last month that some folks were calling for a boycott after Cathy made statements in support of traditional marriage. At one point, Cathy went as far as saying that “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

Left at that, a standard, run of the mill, boycott may have had some success.

But then a small number of politicians jumped into the fray, saying that they would not allow Chick-fil-A stores to operate in their cities because of Cathy’s statements. The politicians that made the biggest splashes were Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (former White House Chief of Staff), and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Emanuel’s and Menino’s stances quickly raised a question – would these politicians argue that a political litmus test be applied to all businesses that wished to exist in their cities. Would the political litmus test apply to churches, perhaps even citizens?

But sanity, and support for the Bill of Rights, prevailed.

The most heartening aspect of this event was seeing members on both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum come together to support freedom of speech.

David King, over on The Akron Beacon Journal, wrote yesterday that:

“Even though I support gay marriage (or at least gay civil unions), I am appalled at this reaction to Mr. Cathy’s words. We have Democrat mayors actually threatening the Chick-Fil-A franchise and vowing to block it from engaging in free enterprise, and over what ? Because Chick-Fil-A is led by Christians who beieve (sic) in the teachings of the Bible. These fascist Demo-thugs are ten times worse than anything Chick-Fil-A’s CEO said.”

Daily Show host Jon Stewart took a shot at Emanuel:

“We are Chicago. A city built on gambling, corruption, murder and ballot stuffing. Not intolerance!”

And Cathy:

“So the country has made it through an Indian genocide, slavery, segregation and nine Police Academy movies, somehow escaping God’s judgment, I don’t think letting gays register at Bed Bath & Beyond is going to tip the scales.”

The Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day may be a watershed event – a confluence of shopping and politics.

Shoppers have made statements to companies through boycotts before. This was different. Not only was it the opposite of a boycott, but the message was aimed at politicians, not the company itself.

What are your thoughts about Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day? Leave your (appropriate) comments below.

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