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Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Draws Crowds of Customers in Wheaton

Chick-fil-A supporters line up for fast food in support of the company's owner after his controversial comments on family values.

Hundreds of people ate at Wheaton's  on Wednesday's national "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rallied efforts toward the day in support of the company's CEO Dan Cathy after his recent comments touting the biblical definition of a family unit.

Last month, Cathy told the Baptist Press that Chick-fil-A is "guilty as charged" in supporting a biblical definition of a family unit. 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee organized "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," in support of Cathy, and of "a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse," according to his website.

Cathy's comments sparked criticism from gay rights activists, prompting politicians to take a stance against the company, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Last week, when asked whether the chain should be allowed to expand in Chicago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said the company's values "are not Chicago's values," and are not respectful of its residents, neighbors or family members, according to the Sun Times.

At Wheaton's Chick-fil-A store Wednesday afternoon, Forest Park resident Natalie Monson said she was there to support families. She said she was surprised that people reacted angrily over Cathy's comment, which Monson interpreted as supportive of families.

"So, I'm here with my family," she said. 

Naperville resident Bill Hahn said he went to Chick-fil-A to support Cathy, "and his right to have personal and religious beliefs that are a part of our freedom as Americans and to show support for him and against the liberal zealots that want to overreact to personal choice," Hahn said. "To make a statement against overly liberal tendencies to overreact."

Chick-fil-A released a statement Wednesday that the privately held company did not create Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

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Rich Miritello August 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I agree with Bill Hahn.
New Wheatonite August 02, 2012 at 07:59 PM
That is so sad. I understand that we all love our families but not everyone was born the same way. Just because a bunch of priests/politicians got together 900 years after Jesus's death (at the Council of Nicea) and decided that they'd edit the bible the way they wanted in order to control the masses and be sure to have more followers so they'd get bigger tithes to the church, brainless people use the edited version as an excuse to be hurtful to others and to push their religion on others. Would Jesus do this to people? I'd sure like to think not.
Conner Larkin August 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
What, exactly, is being "done to people"? Cathy expressed his views and people disagree or agree with those views. I didn't hear him say that anyone's thoughts should be oppressed. That came as the reaction to Cathy's statement. The liberal "thought police" are the oppressors here.
Sevina Roseman August 05, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Ms Eriksen, couldn't you find even one local person who supported gay rights and had something to say about CFA appreciation day for your article? Sounds like you didn't try very hard.
Rich Roberts August 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Dan Cathy, of course, has the right to says what he wants; although if he wants to attract more customers, he might want to keep some of his beliefs private. And if he does "come out" against certain groups; those in disagreement can take their fast food money elsewhere. In America money talks. The issue is that his company has donated money to anti-gay organizations ($2 million in 2010), to keep a group of American citizens from having equal rights. That is un-American and just wrong. Separation of church and state, people.
JanS August 05, 2012 at 03:17 PM
You missed the point. It was about freedom of speech (1st amendment) and the fact that government officials are not allowed to use the power of their office to bully people into shutting up - just because they disagree with them.
bobrzik August 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM
That's the kind of stuff we run into all the time on other issues in the Huffington Post.
Rich Roberts August 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM
No, I didn't miss the point. In fact I agreed with he freedom of speech point. Then I made my own point. This whole issue is a slippery slope and I agree that politicians probably should not be bullying people into shutting up. Although, he probably should have not come out like he did. If Rahm and other politicians looked into the beliefs of all business owners I'm sure a lot of them would hold values opposite to what he may believe. Is he going to shut them down? Doubt it. My point, kudos to Cathy for speaking out on his beliefs and kudos to those who disagree with him (as I do) and choose to show that by not supporting his business. Free speech + free choice = the American way. Go USA!
JanS August 05, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Rich, my "missed the point" was the original article, not your comment. The gay vs traditional marriage is a sub-plot. Main point was free speech. Too many in the media are framing it as hatred of gays - and too many who did not participate assume the media is telling the whole truth. What the article did not mention is that many waited two hours (or more) to get served. In the evening the line of cars coming from the east on Butterfield road to the Chick-fil-A on Butterfield & East loop extended about a half mile. The crowd was friendly, polite, and had a party type atmosphere. We were standing up for the rights of the individual to express his opinion. Go USA.

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