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Why We Lined Up at Chick-fil-A
Yesterday’s protesters were standing up for American values of free expression.

Supporting Chick-fil-A in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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Lee Habeeb

We lined up all over America yesterday. We Americans, who normally don’t like lines, went out of our way to stand in one — some of us for over an hour — yesterday on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Why? 

For one, we stood in line for the chicken sandwiches. Is there a better sandwich in the country than their classic fried-chicken sandwich with those perfectly placed pickles? Or a better milkshake? I know I’d weigh ten pounds less if the local Chick-fil-A went away.

We stood in line to show support of one of America’s great businesses, and to support that pesky little document called the Constitution — and the pesky little part of that document called the First Amendment. And the free-exercise clause. And the free-association clause, too. 

We stood in line because we think it is wrong — no, unconstitutional — for government officials to use their coercive power to regulate free speech, and in support of the right for all of us to practice our faith — or have no faith — openly. Or even to think a thought the government doesn’t like.

We stood in line because we hate bullies, and we hate them whoever the victim is.

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We stood in line because we didn’t think Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s comments represent American values. They don’t even represent Chicago’s values. 

Mayor Emanuel and those other Chicago-machine hacks represent Al Capone’s values. 

And I wondered, as all of this transpired: Does Emanuel not know that Chicago is a big Catholic town? That the Chicago archdiocese represents 2.3 million citizens and that the Catholic Church has a pretty clear position on this issue?

Would Rahm Emanuel and his cast of goons in Chicago ban the Pope from a visit because he doesn’t have Emmanuel’s so-called “Chicago values?”

And where was President Obama on all of this, himself a Christian and a guy who only months ago believed that marriage was between a man and a woman? (That’s what he told Pastor Rick Warren in 2008 at Saddleback.) Did our President not have “Chicago values” only six months ago, but now suddenly does?

Where was President Obama on the patently unconstitutional nature of punishing a citizen for a privately held religious belief? He is a Harvard Law graduate, and a constitutional-law professor, and yet he has had nothing to say about Chick-fil-A?

Sure, there is legal precedent for banning certain kinds of businesses from certain neighborhoods. In towns across America, zoning has been used to clean out strip bars and porn palaces for quality-of-life purposes. Religious leaders have often led the charge, hand in hand with families in the affected neighborhoods.

Will the Left use those same arguments to ban Chick-fil-A? Will they equate an owner’s being against gay marriage with porn and strip bars? Only time will tell.

Here is another big reason many of us stood in line for over an hour. We stood in line for the values of the company. Have you ever gone into a Chick-fil-A and been treated rudely by a cashier of server? Not me. Never. Indeed, I am always — always — astounded at the level of service at Chick-fil-A, and it is a model for all companies. It is the real reason they’ve been so successful. It’s not just the food. It’s the employees and the managers and the owners and the remarkable culture of service they’ve built.

So much for corporations not being people, huh?

And why are their people so good at serving? Why do they care about serving? Because they are driven by the values of their owners, who love to serve. Who live to serve. 

Serve their customers. And serve their God. 

What an outrage! Americans serving their God, and having the values of their faith inform and drive their daily lives. 



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