The American fast-food that wants to control how you pray // Morning Read-up: August 3rd, 2012

3 Aug

It wouldn’t be same-sex marriage, but would a chicken marrying a Gonzo be acceptable in Chick-Fil-A’s biblically designed world?

Heard of U.S. fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A? Even if you haven’t, yet, it seemed inevitable you would. They been in the news for a while now. Why? Well…did you know they’ve fired a Muslim for refusing to pray to Jesus? Or fired a manager because the company believed she should stay at home with her kids? Or refused to back workers who were complaining about sexual harassment by superiors? (from

It’s now common knowledge that Chick-fil-A wears its brand of Christian conservatism on its sleeve. In a 2007 article, Forbes’ Emily Schmall described how that ethos infused the company’s employment policies. It meant extensive vetting of franchise operators, including interviewing their children and asking about their involvement in “community, civic, social, church and/or professional organizations.”  “If a man can’t manage his own life, he can’t manage a business,” Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy told Schmall.

But operators weren’t the only ones being judged on their private lives: Schmall wrote that Cathy “says he would probably fire an employee or terminate an operator who ‘has been sinful or done something harmful to their family members.’”

Sounds delightful. (Oh, and you can count the Muppets out for a Chick-Fil-A dinner, btw.)

**The numbers remain pretty abysmal [pdf] for Christy Clark’s BC Liberals. Her party’s lost plenty of support to the Conservatives, while the NDP remains strong. Her personal rating stinks too, while Adrian Dix – who hasn’t really said much of anything – rolls long with a 48% approval rating.

Some say it’s because her plan stinks.

***The National Post’s Chris Selley wonders aloud, ‘what does it even mean to be an ideologue anymore?’

The most useful distinction between the Liberals of yore and the modern Conservatives is one of tone, not ideology. Take Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s cuts to refugee health care, for example.

That’s something the Liberals probably wouldn’t have done, even if they thought it was a good idea. They were notoriously skittish on the refugee and immigration files. But when things got dire enough to necessitate action — closing the U.S. border to inbound refugee claimants; slapping a tourist visa on a friendly nation — they massaged facts and soft-pedalled their language in hopes of not offending immigrants or left-leaning voters. Mr. Kenney also massages facts, then shoots from the hip in hopes of appealing to all potential Conservative voters.

****Noam Chomsky wrote yesterday about his hopes that we remember how close the world came to an end fifty years ago, this October. On the eve of the Hiroshima anniversary (this coming Monday), we should also pause and recall just how daunting things were in the fall of 1962.

August 6, the anniversary of Hiroshima, should be a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit.

This year‚ Aug. 6 memorials have special significance. They take place shortly before the 50th anniversary of, “the most dangerous moment in human history,” in the words of the historian and John F. Kennedy adviser Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., referring to the Cuban missile crisis.



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