Chick-fil-A: What You Missed in Dan Cathy’s Biblical Definition of the Family

Dan Cathy -- Chick-fil-A President & COOThe Chick-fil-A PR crisis has commanded a ton of our attention this week.

It’s interesting that a brand, so well-known for its effectiveness in marketing and operations execution can bring its reputation under attack as a result of a values statement made by the leader at the helm.

The statement below from Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s President and COO is taken directly from a July 16th interview with K. Allan Bloom of the Baptist Press.

We are very much supportive 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.

While Dan Cathy’s statement does not directly oppose same-sex marriage, his reference to the biblical definition of the family unit has sparked a heated opposition to the company’s assumed position on Gay and Lesbian couples.

Who the Family Dining Segment Targets

Right or wrong, neither Dan Cathy nor Chick-fil-A have much to lose in offending Gay and Lesbian couples.

Why do I make this claim?

Because these couples are simply not the target audience that Chick-fil-A depends on to keep their sales up. As a brand, Chick-fil-A has positioned itself in what the restaurant industry refers to as the Family Dining segment.

While it’s arguable that the brand would also classify as a QSR (more commonly known as a fast food restaurant), Chick-fil-A’s focus on premium-priced, health-conscious menu options and stellar service seem to place them more in a competitive set with restaurants like Bob Evans, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, and Steak n’ Shake, as opposed to dominant QSR brands like McDonald’s and KFC.

So who do Family Dining Restaurants target as customers?

These chains typically invest millions of marketing dollars to target middle-class or affluent moms between the ages of 24-45, who live in households that have 1-4 kids under the age of 12. 

The segment’s biggest challenge lies in maintaining a competitive advantage against the Fast Casual restaurants who have the advantage of boosting sales and margins through alcohol sales.  (For example, Applebee’s reports that so far in 2012, alcohol is responsible for 14% of gross sales).

The addition of alcohol in the menu set tends to attract couples with no kids (gay and straight alike) or families who have kids above the age of 12. (Parents sometimes need a beer with dinner, right?)

As a business strategy, targeting moms in families with multiple kids helps to increase the size of the average guest check. In turn, when the size of the average guest check goes up, so do year-over-year same store sales and overall restaurant performance.

Thus, Cathy finishes the Baptist Press interview holding true to his company’s values:

“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” 

Amen.

Does Dan Cathy Include Remarriage in his Biblical Principles?

If you take time to read what Dan Cathy said, you’ll notice what could potentially be a very dangerous statement for the health of the Chick-fil-A brand and overall sales for the chain.

We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.

While still somewhat indirect, this statement by Dan Cathy in the context of this sentence implies that Chick-fil-A’s biblical definition of the family unit also marginalizes families joined by re-marriage. It could even be taken as a condemnation of marital separation, divorce and disillusionment, step-parenting and the formation of blended families that is gaining popularity in the U.S., and all over the world.

So in reality, what type of impact could this official and un-budging position have on Chick-fil-A’s business?

The New Definition of Family

It’s hard to find charts and graphs with  the current U.S. divorce rate, but data from the U.S. Census Bureau as of 2004 showed that half of all marriages in the U.S end in divorce. What’s more is that- that number seems to have held steady since 1976.

Divorce Rate U.S.1950-2004

With divorce impacting 1 in 2 marriages in the U.S. population, it’s safe to say that a trend towards remarriage is also on the rise. Again, these numbers are dated to 2004, but the most recent set of statistics I could find on the topic are shown in the slide below.

 

Remarriage Statistics U.S. Census Bureau

The chart you see shows that as of 2004, 29.2% of all marriages were the result of remarriage.

In relation to Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy’s bold statement in the Baptist Press, we can assume that Chick-fil-A’s biblical definition of the family unit directly isolates at least 30% of their target market, as not aligning with the core values of the brand he cites so adamantly in the interview.

When Your Brand Values Conflict with Your Target Customers

We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.

The point I am making is that the we’ve picked the wrong PR crisis to focus on in terms of Chick-fil-A. The real crisis that Cathy’s statement causes can be summed up in a few bullet points:

  1. He’s publicly marginalized a significant portion of the customers who pay his salary.
  2. He’s aligned his company brand values with his own personal belief system – whether or not his position reflects what the company actually believes.
  3. He’s placed himself and members of his company (the we part) as being somehow better than those of us who have worked through divorce and remarriage in our lives.

(Side note: I wonder if Chick-fil-A truly has a human resources policy against hiring associates who have been in previous marriages? I’m no attorney, but pretty sure that would be considered some form of discrimination)

If I was leading PR at Chick-fil-A, my focus would be less on the backlash related to same-sex marriage and more on crafting apologies to the millions of  step-parents and blended families who keep dollars coming in the door.

Why Do You Think We Missed This?

 

I’d like to know your take on the Chick-fil-A PR Crisis.

Were you more focused on Dan Cathy’s presumed position on same-sex marriage or did you notice the statement against remarried couples as well.

Leave your take in the comments, okay?

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500096127 Bronson Page

  • http://twitter.com/bigshafe Matt Shaffer

    I don’t think you have a biblical understand of marriage and divorce and could be taking that statement out of context. I read it as people who value marriage and don’t divorce on a whim and ascribe to the biblical characteristics of marriage, which is sacred.

  • Niceshotjohn

    The same sex marriage issue is the issue most people know about becuase the media focusedin on  and interpreted that. Most people never even read the original interview. However, if the issue continues to resonate in the media, and if CFA decideds to continue to defend itself, the whole statement will become subect to further interpretation. The entire statement should never have been made nor should the interview ever have had any reference to the business model of the company. Seperation of church and business. P.S. The head of public relations for Chick died this morning of a heart attack.

  • Nothanks

    if you were the person leading PR at chick-fil-a, you’d be dead 
    http://www.businessinsider.com/chick-fil-as-head-of-pr-has-died-of-a-heart-attack-2012-7

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    Regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, that’s tragic and sad.  By the timing of things, it would seem that the death could be related to stress.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    To each his own, but what I read (and posted here) was his exact words. It seems that your definition ads comes with your interpretation, from your own perspective. 

    Look I don’t disagree with you. Ideal marriage is for life. The reality is that 50% of mariages are not. Most fo those people do not divorce on a whim. Coming from someone who has been through one, divorce is something that you consider for years before you take action. It’s not fun and games for anyone involved… but sometimes necessary.

  • http://twitter.com/KeithSpeers Keith Speers

    A few things to consider:

    1) The PR crisis originated from more than that comment. It began because Chick-fil-A’s President made that comment while the company contributed more than $2M to organizations in an attempt to fight gay marriage and equality. This isn’t just a statement about “you don’t like me.”

    2) More and more LGBT couples are having kids. Moreover, many of those couples have been married previously and may have children. Some of them even fit into the target demographic you described. I think it would be short-sighted to dismiss LGBT people as a whole. The demographic has largely been defined for years as a target market because of their access to disposable income. As a business strategy, targeting people who can afford your product is critical.

    3) It’s not just about offending LGBT people. Every LGBT person you offend has a family and friends. You don’t just offend me. You risk offending the people who care about me – many of whom are people, that again, fit into the target demographic you defined.

    4) Many Chick-fil-A restaurants are located in mall food courts. If the demoagraphic is as you describe, they need to consider their strategies overall. They are certainly getting residual impact from their location choice.

    5) People don’t often think about the values of a company when making buying decisions. Research shows that when people know that a company’s values do not align with their own, the consideration of values has an overwhelmingly negative impact on sales.

    I’m sure that will spark some conversation (good and bad).

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    You’re late Keith!  I thought you’d be faster to comment. ;-).

    All VERY good points for discussion.  Yes, I am aware of Chick-fil-A’s long stance and financial contributions to organizations who oppose gay marriage.

    You know my personal beliefs well enough to know that I oppose that.

    My point was that, obviously Chick-fil-A has boldly made a statement of their values in these donations that they are not interested in the LGBT audience. First, that sucks and is what I personally consider as “Christian extremist” but secondly, it’s a terrible business move for all the reasons you pointed out.

    Your comment on 4) is intriguing.  How do locations in mall food courts impact CFL’s sales and how does this crisis (against divorced/remarried families or LGBT marriages) have an affect on that?  Can you elaborate?

  • Niceshotjohn

    P.S.S Howard Schultz knows how to create a positive image of Starbucks while at the same time expounding his values through the company (and a public company at that!). CFA should take notes.

  • http://truedaughterofmary.blogspot.com/ Megan@TrueDaughter

    I think you are sort of grasping at straws to find something else here to argue about. #1. The media grabbed hold of the “traditional family” comment because it wants to convince the world that everyone believes what the liberal media wants us to believe, so they took this opportunity to create hatred and disrespect. #2. He was clear in expressing his thanks for the blessing of intact families. I truly don’t think he meant to be disrespectful of those who have been through the heartbreak of divorce. #3. He was on a conservative playing field and this “preaching to the choir” on this. His remarks were not going to offend anyone, and really, why should they? Have you ever been to a CFA where the staff has been anything but courteous and kind? I never have, and we may a point to patronize them. He has a great business model, and teaches a fantastic work ethic to those employed by CFA.
    #4. I am a stepmom. I am in my 2nd marriage. I, as I am sure you, wish like anything that divorce was not part of my history. I truly believe that kids do better when they don’t have to be part of a blended family. It is HARD. It is not something I would wish on anyone. I would give thanks too if I were in his position, married to his 1st spouse. That he got it right. He was not bragging.., nor was he claiming any sort of superiority. He was giving thanks. And by the looks of CFA’s sales since this whole thing came to light, he’s not hurtin’ any. If anything, it has given him a big boost. Ya know, 80+% of the country still claims to be Christian, even if they don’t go to church every week. MOST of the country believes as Cathy does…in traditional marriage. Even if they haven’t been able to swing it, even if they are in a second marriage. So, while this has caused a stupid firestorm, and so many on the web and in the media are doing their best to keep it going, the country really doesn’t care. They like to food, the kind and couteous folks CFA hires, the clean restaurants. They, like our family, may even patronize because they like the background of the company and respect the living daylights out of the fact that CFA COULD be raking in money on Sundays, but they are closed because it is the Lord’s day.  Just my 2, okay, probably more like 10, cents.

  • http://twitter.com/KeithSpeers Keith Speers

    In number four, I was simply trying to say that I don’t think of the demographic you described as being the mall crowd you see in line at Chick-fil-A. That being said, I don’t hang out in the food court. I think there are a lot of other people in the food court, and CFA risks offending more people that are actually buying their product.

    I understand what you are saying about their target, and you certainly have the experience at Bob E. to back up your statements, but I am surprised to hear that is who they think their competition is. My mom never said, “Should be have Cracker Barrel (another company with discriminatory policies against LGBT people) or CFA?” You know?

    I love the dialogue though.

  • http://twitter.com/KeithSpeers Keith Speers

    Megan,

    I truly believe you have the right to your opinion, and as such, I mean no disrespect.

    A recent Gallup (non-partian) poll show that 54% of people support Gay Marriage, which is by most people’s definition NOT traditional.

    I just wanted to clear up that one inaccuracy.
    Thanks.

  • Niceshotjohn

    The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its propagation of known falsehoods about the LGBT community.

  • http://truedaughterofmary.blogspot.com/ Megan@TrueDaughter

    “The pollsters are asking if same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal,
    and that phrasing is problematic because it implies some government sanction
    against same-sex couples,” Schubert said. “People want to be sympathetic to
    same-sex couples, so polls that use that language aren’t particularly
    useful.”

    The more useful question, Schubert said, is whether marriage should be
    defined as the union of a man and a woman – the gist of the constitutional
    amendments approved in 30 states.

    “If you ask that question, you get strong majorities,” Schubert said.
    Polling is subjective to the question asked…voters do not reflect what you have stated:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57442311/polls-on-gay-marriage-not-yet-reflected-in-votes/

  • http://truedaughterofmary.blogspot.com/ Megan@TrueDaughter

    I don’t believe I ever mentioned the Family Research Council…

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I don’t disagree that CFA is a great business model and promotes excellent service. In fact, I state that above.

    Grasping at straws?  Not really.  My argument is rooted in the fact of his statement — a somewhat condescending remark alienating people who have divorced and remarried.

    But here’s where we’re different @6f746209430e71c11525860427a5d885:disqus - I don’t mind that divorce is part of my history at all. In fact, it’s helped to shape my family, and we now have 4 parents involved in raising our kids, all of whom love them dearly.

    Everyone is entitled to their .10 and I agree with you in that this will probably not have a negative impact on CFA’s long term business.  Still, the data shows that half the marriages in the country end in divorce and large portion of those people get remarried.

    As a President and COO, Cathy should have considered that before he marginalized a large portion of his audience from his religious lens.  It was a dumb PR move and a dumb business decision…

  • http://twitter.com/bigshafe Matt Shaffer

    Well you are making a large assumption that everyone goes through serious debate before getting divorced. That’s a gross statement that should be researched. If you research the legal channels of divorce history, you will see when “no fault” divorce was allowed, right around the jump in divorces. Before then you had to have a real substantial reason to divorce.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677741004 Noah Tepperman

    I think that your summary illustrates the point beautifully, Nate.

    “He’s publicly marginalized  a significant portion of the customers who pay his salary; He’s aligned his company brand values with his own personal belief
    system – whether or not his position on reflects what the company
    actually believes; He’s placed himself and members of his company (the we part) as being somehow better than those of us who have worked through divorce and remarriage in our lives.”

    It is his company, and therefore his prerogative to do all 3 of those things. That may cause him to lose some customers and gain others, and I suspect he’ll be OK with that.

    It’s kind of sad that an otherwise phenomenal demonstration of corporate leadership happens to be heavily slathered with this particularly tasteless set of values, and come served with a side of “In your face, heathens” fries.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    That’s a fair argument, and perhaps I am over generalizing.  I guess the debate then lies in what defines a real substantial reason.

  • BK

    Megan,

    Couldn’t disagree with you more. Of course changing the question changes the results. How do you think pollsters and spinners continue to get work? If I asked the question: “Do you believe it’s ok to discriminate against someone based upon who they love?”, my data would change dramatically. Not because of sympathy, but because people don’t want to think of themselves of discriminating or being bigots.

    LGBT people don’t need sympathy from others. They need their rights, which by definition are not granted by a majority population. I’m pretty sure an LGBT person’s right to marry is more fundamental than an individual’s right to own a gun. We’re talking antiquated thinking.

    Just because it’s the way we’ve done it in this country doesn’t mean a) it’s the way it’s always been done, or b) that it is right. It just means we’re slow to adapt, change and keep up with the rest of the world.

  • Mike

    Your statement “He’s publicly marginalized a significant portion of the customers who pay his salary.” strikes a nerve with me. As Christians we are to do what is right and moral regardless of whether it is accepted by society. He is holding steadfast in his beliefs and should continue to do so regardless of the amount of public backlash. If he were to change his position only to pacify a group of individuals, he would be going against everything he believes in. As a Christian, I am proud that someone with such a large audience is standing up in support of Christian beliefs.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I’m not questioning his motivations or beliefs, Mike.  He’s holding true to his personal Christian values. There’s nothing wring than that.

    “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”Still, the fact is, he made a statement that inferred that couples who have divorced and remarried were somehow not considered to the same standard as those who have only married once. I’m a Catholic who goes to mass every sunday. I chose to join the church as an adult. My wife teaches CCD and my kids attend. We too share Christian beliefs.For me and my family, Cathy’s statement strikes a chord.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514667293 Anthony Anselmo

    I think the point of this is somewhat moot, and above all nothing more than something to fill the news for the week. Any self respecting gay male wouldn’t eat at Chik-fil-a to begin with considering their contributions to anti-gay politics and the fact that their foot is fatty, greasy and unhealthy for you (also most of us are vegetarians). Second most of us are in advertising and marketing and every time I see one of their signs I want to fail them for bad spelling. #SeeMeAfterClass

    This PR failure only educates the masses to their bigotry and arrogance eve more, thus providing them with a) they customers they only want and b) they customers they don’t want. While this may work for a while this will become a sharp decline as gay rights continue to evolve through education and society. I doubt Chik-fil-a will be around in twenty years, maybe not even ten. They might be able to survive in the south, but like Jack-In-Box this it will be a rarity to see them around.

    Personally I wish other corporations would tell me what their stance is, so I could vote with my dollars who I would support. That is the great thing of America is you can use your money to actually voice your opinion. Thankfully corporations who believe in the magical Santa Claus in the sky are becoming less and less as time goes on. Hopefully one day this won’t even be a question that needs to be asked. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Shrigley/1131710442 Mark Shrigley

    Here’s my thinking.  Most people don’t care what a CEO says about his personal values.  They are busy taking their kids to soccer practice or ballet, People in America today are busy with their careers and if they are hungry and if a Chic-fil-A is nearby – they’ll go through the drive through to pick up a meal.  I really don’t see it effecting them.  It’s a fact that most boycotts are not effective.

    However, I’m going to wager that it may even help their sales.  Why?  They are known to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum.  There are many Christians out there that will go there more often .  The last few days – Rick Santarium (I may have spelled last name wrong) and Mike Huckabee, are trying to get ppl on the conservative side to eat there.  Yeah – CFA will lose some liberal customers that are in the north – but that will probably be balanced out by more conservative customers in the South.  So, I’m thinking (and could be wrong), that they may see a jump in sales overall.

    Just a sidenote.  It’s funny you brought this up – because yesterday, I had the day off.  I took my nine year old out to go putt putting.  I asked her where she wanted to eat – and she did say Chic-Fil-A.  We went over to the one on Rome-Hilliard, and it was packed.  I was sort of expecting protesters there, but didn’t see any.  From what I saw from just this one place – I just don’t see how it could effect their sales.  Again though, this was just one place and I’m only assuming things here.

    One more thing.  I personally never stop by there – I try my best to stay away from fast food.  Even though I’m a Christian – I’m not going out of my way to go there – the food is to greasy and a little pricey for my taste.  However, if my kid wants to get a sandwhich and fries from there every now and then – I really don’t see a problem taking her to CFA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Shrigley/1131710442 Mark Shrigley

    Hey Nice –

    The SPLC has been known for years to be a left-wing organization, so anything coming from them – I’m sorry, I turn a deaf ear to.

    With that said – I don’t know anything about the Family Research Council, so if a “middle of the road” type of organization would label the Family Research Council a hate group – then I would be more apt to believe that.

    Just my opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001811744031 Pam Fontenot

    I’m on a couple support sites to collect news and data and I’ve seen a couple of people posting who were directly offended by the “first wives” statement, and joined our group to state as much.  It was intentional or he’d not have clarified “first”.  I in no way buy that it was simply a casual way to reference his/their wife/wives.  Those joined on the FB sites I’m on are angry about the WinShape donations, and in no way are trying to tell anyone not to do or say anything on either side of this.  BUT, attention needs to be brought to it so people know where part of the money is going.. WinShape, who then donates to groups such as Focus on the Family and Exodus Int. 
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/311596_10150982757047568_2138543030_n.jpg  
    http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201111010001 .   I'm sure this will come to the fore front again as news of this lawsuit spreads (Complaint filed May 2012, before this all really boiled up).  http://www.glaad.org/blog/chick-fil-sued-gender-discrimination Provide them with your money if your conscience allows it.  I find it hard to stomach as a woman, and as a lesbian, the way women are treated.  
    Bad business?  You bet,  Sadly, most women probably will miss that message that Chick-fil-A has regarding them.  Professional women  would think at the least, might be terribly insulted if they knew.  Read Trudy Cathy White’s bio on the corp. Chick-fil-A facebook site, and you’ll see a woman proud her father, Truett Cathy, told her at age 13 to consider what she needed to look for in a husband.  It’s all just very…. antiquated in my view.  I just don’t know how anyone who takes time to read the actual issues, and about the company, can still say this company deserves their money to perpetuate that company’s structure.
    I also would love to know where companies donate.  (Not personal donations by officers or heads, but company names attached).
    If you took the time to read this, thank you.  And I’m sorry I got so … soapbox.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    All really good thoughts, Mark.  In the end, I think you are right in that this will have little negative impact on their business.  Strong brands can survive chinks in the armor.

  • http://www.rachaelseda.com/ Rachael Seda

    I did notice that he mentioned “first wives” and I thought it was equally offensive. Sure, he has the right to have an opinion but I think he should have kept it to himself, instead of passive aggressively judging others. 

  • http://www.davidlauri.com David Lauri

    It takes a lot more to get divorced, even with no fault, than it does to get married. Do you really think people get divorced on a whim? No serious debate involved?

  • Steve Houldsworth

    If there is any negative fall out, it will not be because of Cathy’s statement.  It will be because people begin to investigate the organizations that Chick-Fil-A have supported with millions of dollars. The average American would find the actions of the Family Research Council as repugnant as the Westboro Baptist Church.  Once the dots are connected, people of goodwill will avoid Chick-Fil-A.

  • Nicole

    The first half of your article assumes only gay couples care about Cathy’s stance on gay marriage. I’m a Gen-X, heterosexual, married mom of two toddlers. I am also very pro-gay marriage and see this issue as one defining American civil rights battles of my lifetime. I also joined the boycott of CFA last month not because of Cathy’s opinion (he’s welcome to it), but because of Winshape’s funding of individuals and organizations that not only promoting anti-gay-marriage public policy, but also aggressively fighting to keep anti-gay-bullying rules out of schools. Some of the leaders of those organizations have gone so far as to recommend in no uncertain terms and on public record that homosexuals should be exiled or even jailed… and one (from Exodus International) helped co-author the bill in Uganda that is still up for debate and would allow the government there to execute or jail any LGBT person on their soil. As a mom, those are **NOT** values I support, and I don’t want my money to contribute to those causes. 

    The “One Million Moms” movement doesn’t speak for all – or, I would argue, even the majority – of moms. Compassionate moms don’t want their kids to grow up in a world filled with hate and division.

    So yes — I will continue the CFA boycott until Winshape reconsiders its funding strategy. 

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    What I question is whether that is his opinion (and perhaps the execs that surround him) or if that opinion speaks for the company as a whole.  I know the folks who manage a local CFA and they are not really of the same mindset towards marriage in any form.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    This is an excellent point Steve, and thanks for adding it. I think you are dead on with you assessment. This is merely an activating event for what could be an army of upset individuals who pull out their microscopes and go to work on the brand.  As you can see in these comments, it’s a highly emotional conversation. Right or wrong, emotions drive human behavior and action…

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    You soapbox makes some really relevant points, Pam and I thank you for adding in your thoughts and resources.  It’s not an angle that I had previously considered, but you’re dead on with you analysis in that Cathy’s statements on his value set, as well as potentially the values of CFA do position an antiquated view towards women in general as part of their beliefs. I wonder if that same sentiment is echoed in their organizational chart?

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    As a parent, I side with your thinking. It’s deplorable to support any activity that promotes marginalization and hatred.

  • http://www.rachaelseda.com/ Rachael Seda

    Yes exactly and that’s the thing Chic-fil-a is also a franchise…and what he says doesn’t necessarily reflect the business owners of a certain store either.

  • Bethbuble

    Many people may have overlooked his “married to our first wives” comment and chose to focus on the “biblical definition of the family unit” because homosexuality is a more sensitive topic and homosexuals more often face discrimination than those who have remarried. Those who have been discriminated against are more more sensitive and more likely to lash out at those with apposing values.That being said, I personally don’t think any of this will end up hurting Chick-fil-A in the long run.

  • Nickrogo

    You state that you are only quoting Cathy directly, yet you assume his motive as being superior to others who are divorced. Looking at his quote on being married to his first wife is a breath of fresh air. What he said was, he was thankful to God that he has been able to stay married to the same woman. Here are some statistics on divorce in America. First Marriage 45 to 50 percent end in divorce. Second Marriage 60 to 67 percent end in divorce. Third Marriage 70 to 73 percent end in divorce.

    As a child of a divorced family and an adult who is still working every day at my relationship with my spouse (yes, it takes work), I know first hand how nasty divorce can be. If you’ve ever been through it, I think you’d agree that IF THERE WAS ANY WAY POSSIBLE, you would’t get divorced. Cathy was simply being thankful that he is still married to the woman he first chose. If you have feelings of somehow being less than as a result of his comment, I’d examine deeply your own pain from being divorced. A lifelong commitment is what we all long for. Otherwise, why would people keep trying? In our society, no one has to be married. So why try a second, third or fourth time if not hoping for the one that will last?

    And really, talking to your daughter about what they ought to look for in a husband should be required by all dads. Let’s really think about this. Do you think it is a good idea to leave it up to strangers to help a young girl/woman decide what is important in a life decision like marriage? We talk to them about what college to attend, don’t we? Or is that too antiquated for your thinking? Since when is guiding a child in life an antiquated way to behave? And yes, 13 is an appropriate time to start these discussions. Before their hormones go completely wild is when these discussions need to take place.

    Honestly folks, if all of us who are married spent half the time spent on debating this topic, with our spouse instead, there would be less divorces.

  • http://twitter.com/charlesgaudet Charles E Gaudet II

    Interesting article.  In fact, whether you agree or disagree with his religious views, it’s highly possible that Chick-fil-A’s, Dan Cathy’s announcement could go down in history as one of the smartest marketing moves of the year.

    10′s of millions in free publicity, a rallying troop of supportive customers, free celebrity endorsements … and, now, record sales.

    With gratitude,
    Charlie
    http://www.predictableprofits.com/is-chick-fil-as-ceo-smarter-than-you-think/

  • Leo Pohlman

    Thanks for an actual unbiased marketing look at this issue… I think we have already seen people voting with their wallets and their clicks as Chick-Fil-A also was one of the fastest growing businesses out there in the last month when it comes to Facebook fan growth.  Chick-Fil-A should see this as an opportunity to grow in the states where people overwhelmingly agree with the founders’ beliefs.  There are a lot of people including myself who just got very hungry for some chiken because I don’t like seeing businesses getting bullied over personal beliefs or where their foundations are giving money to.  If you had proof of them using their marketing to advocate then you would have an argument but that hasn’t been done in this case.  I think JC Penney and Home Depot had far more to lose in actively supporting gay marriage in their marketing then Chick-Fil-A had to lose because of the argument of what the customer base is made up as this article did a good job of stating.

  • Leo Pohlman

    Why have over 30 states overwhelmingly voted against it when they go to the voting booth?

  • Leo Pohlman

    Keith, do you think this all negative… who was the marketer who said there is no such thing as negative publicity…. the Appreciation Day and obvious support with a huge increase of Facebook fans would say to me that maybe this opened even more doors than it closed.  I have quite a few gay friends that said this coverage was hypocritical as even the President of the USA held a similar personal view of marriage and we didn’t see mayors threatening him and or homosexuals holding kiss-ins at the White House.  The response to this was drummed up by a media that obviously leans one direction when it comes to marriage and it sure seems to have backfired on them.  If Chick-Fil-A was afraid of taking a stand for their beliefs they would have opened their doors on Sundays a long time ago.

  • Leo Pohlman

    FRC President Tony Perkins said that criminalizing homosexuality is not a goal of the Family Research Council.  Connecting them with Westboro is a reach at best.  Just because a group disagrees with your beliefs doesn’t make them a hate group. 

  • Leo Pohlman

    Would you say the same of Bezos from Amazon who just gave 2.5 million dollars to the same sex marriage group in his state?  CEO’s are allowed to have personal opinions in their private time.  What is next, bringing up CEO’s votes or financial support for political candidates and then deciding to do business with them because of it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1010221984 Jennifer Riedy

    It is not true that Exodus International has “co-authored” the Ugandan bill or even endorses it.  They have made a statement AGAINST the bill:  http://www.bpnews.net/printerfriendly.asp?ID=32594

    “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 — as any legislation that criminalizes
    homosexuality — does more to hurt than help homosexuals,” Alan Chambers,
    president of Exodus International, said.

    “Exodus continues to urge
    Uganda’s parliament to reject this hurtful legislation; we also ask the
    country’s evangelical churches to take the lead in offering hope and healing to
    all people, regardless of their particular struggles.”

    In addition to
    prosecuting homosexual behavior, the proposed legislation would require pastors,
    missionaries, health care providers and counselors to report people suspected of
    such behavior. Last fall, Exodus wrote a letter to Uganda’s president expressing
    disapproval of the legislation.

    In the statement issued March 22,
    Chambers wrote, “Exodus International believes that every human life, regardless
    of an individual’s sexual behavior, is of inestimable worth to God and that
    defending this principle is foundational in offering a Christian response to any
    issue.

    “As such, Exodus International has not and will not support any
    legislation that deprives others of life and dignity including, but not limited
    to, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009,” Chambers wrote. “We stand with
    all who are defending this basic, biblical tenet and remain committed to sharing
    the compassion, hope and life-giving truth and grace of Jesus Christ.”

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I think in the long term, you are right Beth.

  • Eli Jackson

    i dont think you understand the bible
    or the word PRINCIPLE, chik-fil-a closes on sundy, the cathy’s are good christians, God bless em and God bless y’all, that they hold true to the bible is inspirational

  • Ar7wen .

    I don’t see how anyone can use the Bible as a way to justify ‘one man one woman’ marriage, since during Old Testament times it was one man and MANY wives. Polygamy.

    And in those times women were property. They had no choice in who they married.

    A rape victim was forced to marry her rapist….

    And I think, though I am not sure, that the reason the idea of a man married to one woman was mentioned, was because it was so common to be a man with many wives…..

    Cultural differences, but certainly most people would not use the Bible to justify polygamy…ah…er….well, maybe SOME would….

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