Chick-fil-A took a bold stand against gay marriage in 2012—and the company is still paying the price.
Here's the backstory: The gay agenda sought to besmirch Chick-fil-A's business after president and chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, made his beliefs about traditional marriage known to the radio listening world. The company was maligned, protested against and otherwise attacked.
The Christian world applauded when former Gov. Mike Huckabee declared "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." The chicken chain set a world record for sales and the enemy backed down—at least for a season.
Since then we've seen at least one school ban "offensive" Chick-fil-A sandwiches and First Lady Michelle Obama declaring war on the company. One town even canceled a leadership event Chick-fil-A sponsored because of its so-called "homophobia." This all despite the fact that Cathy publicly stated he regretted making the chain a symbol in the same-sex marriage debate.
In the latest turn, Chick-fil-A may be denied the right to open up a store in the Denver International Airport. The Denver City Council is deciding on the chicken chain's fate even now, noting the city "has been at the forefront of honoring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and their families with non-discrimination clauses and partner benefits." So apparently that means the First Amendment goes out the window.
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The City Council told CNN Money: "When Denver International Airport proposed a concession with a company that had a history of funding opposition to this recognition, it was important that we as a City Council take a pause to ensure that all the policies are in place with all of the entities involved to ensure there will be no discrimination, and that benefits will be provided equally to all employees and their spouses, regardless of their sexual orientation."
Mark Cowart, Senior Pastor of Church For All Nations, Colorado Springs told Charisma News expressing our First Amendment rights in any situation is one of the cornerstone freedoms that America was founded upon. As he sees it, "This situation is not about politics, it is about something much greater—the disregard and disrespect of God's moral law in America and of those who uphold biblical values and principles."
I agree. It's ridiculous that Denver is compelled to waste time discussing what should be a non-issue. Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, told me, Chick-fil-A is the highest ranking fast food restaurant for customer satisfaction, according to the 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report. Why deny travelers a tasty sandwich because of moral values? Selah.
"Based on this fact alone, we can see that customers around the country are pleased with Chick-fil-A's service and way of doing business as a whole," Wildmon says. "Therefore, members of the Denver City Council are acting on their own activist beliefs to keep the chain from serving customers at the Denver International Airport, making it obvious that the problem is with their bias against and intolerance of Christianity and those who choose to uphold it in all areas of their lives."
Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network, agrees—and asks a pointed question: Where does it end when activists are now blocking businesses from operating in the marketplace because of the Christian views of their leaders? I can answer that. It won't end unless we enact laws that end it—or, even better, preach the gospel with signs following and open the eyes and hearts of those who don't yet know Christ. Laws can only do so much. The real power is in the gospel.
"This is yet another example of the faithful being pushed aside—from doing business, from making decisions based on their faith, and even from being welcomed to certain cities to serve customers," Rohrer told me. "We should applaud those who base business decisions on biblical and constitutional principles rather than punish them."
Dr. Alex McFarland, author, speaker and religion and culture expert, argues that what appears obvious to most: stalling of a business location based on its religious beliefs goes against First Amendment rights. That's really the bottom line here, but it shouldn't be surprising—and we should expect more of this in the days ahead unless God breaks in with power and wakes up the church and the world to His love.
"All Americans have the right to provide a service to our nation's people, no matter what skill set they offer, in addition to their political and religious views," McFarland told me. "Our nation should respect the religious liberties of all American businesses, and not be deterred by a changing cultural environment."
I agree, but what should be is not what's happening. I am believing for a Third Great Awakening in America that will see mass repentance. Everyone won't respond to this outpouring—the religious-minded and lost souls alike will reject it—but many will. Will you believe with me?
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Jennifer's Periscope handle is @propheticbooks.