Chick-fail-A: Company Digs Deeper Hole with Fake Facebook Defenders
Have you been following this Chick-fil-A debacle? It's long been known that Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast food chicken chain, donates money to anti-gay groups. In 2010, the company donated a total of nearly $2 million to groups including Exodus International, the National Christian Foundation, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Family Research Council, the Marriage and Family Foundation, and the Georgia Family Council.
But earlier this month, the simmering dissatisfaction about Chick-fil-A's politics became a much bigger story when President and COO Dan Cathy addressed the issue in an interview with the Baptist Press saying that, when it comes to the company's support of the "biblical definition of the family unit" (and corresponding efforts to prevent responsible, loving same-sex couples from getting married), he was "guilty as charged." Shortly thereafter Cathy was on The Ken Coleman Show implying that to tolerate same-sex marriage was to "invite God's judgment."
In the middle of the controversy, the company released an official statement saying that it aims to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender" and that it would "leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." (How that squares with Cathy's moral problem with homosexuality is unclear; will the company stop donating money?)
The latest development in this saga? It appears that someone working for Chick-fil-A created a fake Facebook account to defend the company. An account for an "Abby Farle" appeared on Facebook just yesterday. Abby loves defending Chick-fil-A in comment threads and represents herself with stock photos.
If this is indeed a Chick-fil-A PR agent pretending to be some average teenage girl, I'm pretty sure that counts as "bearing false witness." So that would be a violation of the ninth commandment. (Though in fairness we should note that it is within the realm of possibility that a real Chick-fil-A apologist named Abby Farle just signed up for Facebook and works as a stock photo model.)
I don't know Dan Cathy, but I don't think he's an evil guy. I'm pretty sure his opposition to same-sex marriage is the product of some mix of fear, upbringing, and a belief that homosexuality is the beginning of a slippery slope to perdition. But he's still wrong to oppose same-sex marriage, and it's good to see the internet rally around this cause. It's putting real pressure on the company. We'll be following this story.