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NYC Mayor Supports Chick Fil a Boycott

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio testifies during a state Senate Education Committee hearing on extending mayoral control of city schools on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)"I'm certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn't urge any other New Yorker to patronize them." So said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio concerning Chick-fil-A. At a press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio supported Councilman Danny Dromm's call for a boycott of the fast food chicken restaurant as it expands into Queens this fall. Dromm has also asked the management at the Queens mall to reconsider leasing the space.
"This group imparts a strong anti-LGBT message by forcing their employees and volunteers to adhere to a policy that prohibits same-sex love," Dromm said. "It is outrageous that Chick-fil-A is quietly spreading its message of hate by funding these types of organizations."

Dromm takes issue with both Chick-fil-A's policies and philanthropic activity. In response, Chick-fil-A issued a statement that sought to clarify the accusations of sending messages of hate:

"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender . . . we are all focused on offering great food, service, and hospitality."

Regarding their philanthropic activity, Chick-fil-A, the Cathy family, and their foundation have supported the likes of Focus on the Family and a marriage seminar in Pennsylvania entitled, "The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God's Design."

In their statement, they went on to add regarding their charitable giving: "Our intent is not to support groups with political agendas. The Chick-fil-A Foundation gives 100 percent of its dollars to programs supporting youth, education, and the local communities in which our restaurants operate."

Specifically in New York, Chick-fil-A supports Harlem RBI, an organization that "provides inner-city youth with opportunities to Play, Learn and Grow." Coupled with that is their support of New York Cares, which is a mobilizing organization that meets the pressing needs of the community with caring volunteers.

But nevertheless, Mayor de Blasio and Councilman Dromm hope to squeeze Chick-fil-A out of the New York area. Though Chick-fil-A is doing a public good by creating jobs, providing for needs, and being a positive force in the community, these services are unwelcomed because they come from a company that spews hate.

But is it really hate? Or does Chick-fil-A simply hold a different opinion?

For example, Mayor de Blasio is a Boston Red Sox fan. The mayor of New York City, home to both the Mets and the Yankees, is a Red Sox fan. The rivalry that exists between the Yankees and the Red Sox is one of the most storied in sports. Yet, Councilman Dromm, a life-long New Yorker, seems to be able to work with the Mayor. As a matter of fact, I doubt he interprets their disagreement regarding sports teams as a sign that he hates him.

Rather, they seem to be able to get past their baseball disagreement in order to work together for the common good of the city.

Chick-fil-A is not spewing hate; they are simply not repeating the councilman's talking points. It is not a hate message; it is just not their message.

According to Graham Greene, at the very core of hate is a lack of imagination. Instead of carefully considering a proposition or person, you are quick to judgment without fully considering the context and wholeness of it. You are deaf to the details.

Chick-fil-A is not a Christian—seeing that it is a business and only humans can be Christians—but it is a company that has Christian values. One of the chief values of a Christian is love. It is the greatest of these (1 Corinthians 13:7). While hate is lack of imagination, love is a full consideration. It looks for the best and tries to redeem the worst. Love is not blind; it is fully aware of flaws and loves anyway.

We will continue to disagree with Mayor de Blasio and others regarding sexual ethics. Though they may hate us, may we not fail to imagine ways in which we can work with them for the good of the community. Hate is too great a burden to bear, almost as great as forsaking a delicious Chick-fil-A sandwich.

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