Is Sen Graham right to "go to war" for Chick-fil-A?


Fact Box

  • Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches that spans 47 states, was founded by Truett Cathy in 1946 and was initially called The Dwarf House.
  • The restaurant chain is known for its closed policy on Sundays that dates back to 1946. The founder “believes that all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so.”
  • On May 12, 2021, Notre Dame campus dining said they were considering adding Chick-fil-A to their dining hall, but on July 1, 2021, two students wrote a letter, “Keep Chick-fil-A away,” which criticized the idea. Over 170 students and faculty backed the letter that addressed “homophobic views” and Sunday principles. 
  • In response, Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, “I want everyone in South Carolina and across America to know I have Chick-fil-A’s back. I hope we don’t have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick-fil-A stands for.”

Ethan (Yes)

Living in a free country entails that everyone has the right to live life according to their chosen values. And the values that a company's owners have shouldn't dictate whether or not people have access to that particular business. 

In an attempt to appease those critical of Chick-fil-A's values, the company has already cut donations to two organizations that many took issue with. Trying to prevent the chain from building locations is going too far. Chick-fil-A should be able to build wherever their happy customers will purchase their food, and that's part of the point Rep. Graham is making by promising to 'go to war.' 

Additionally, many young people the same age as the Notre Dame students protesting the building of the campus restaurant have jobs in the service industry--such as at Chick-fil-A--and supporting Chick-fil-A means supporting other young people in need of employment. 

Further, the protesting students don't represent the entire student body of Notre Dame, as the university released a statement saying the overwhelming majority of students are pleased with the addition of the Chick-fil-A campus location. Rep. Graham is supporting those students. And those against the business can simply choose not to patronize the restaurant rather than bar access to it.

Rep. Graham is taking a stance against cancel culture--a toxic new trend that's harming both business and individual reputations, just so small groups of people can feel like they've done something heroic. This isn't healthy or productive for us as a society, and Rep. Graham being willing to take a stand against it is an honorable act.

Tyler (No)

North Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham's comments surrounding the Chick-fil-A/ Notre Dame controversy were completely uncalled for. He is inserting himself into an issue that does not involve his state or any of his own private business ventures. 

Graham is attempting to cater to a specifically targeted demographic with his remarks. If he further evaluated the matter, he would realize that Chick-fil-A is slowly distancing itself from the 'principles' it proudly stood by in the past. Chick-fil-A has reconsidered its anti-LGBTQ stances and has attempted to scale back donations to particular organizations. Graham understands that gay marriage is a divisive topic and is trying to stir up controversy. 

However, aside from the controversies surrounding the company's history toward the LGBTQ community, the Notre Dame students opposed to the campus restaurant are also calling out Chick-fil-A for its agricultural practices. Animal rights group Mercy For Animals uncovered cruel practices that occur in the company's chicken farms. The chickens exhibited in the videos contained several deformities that appear to be consistent with animals that receive growth stimulant hormones. If animal cruelty is a principle that Graham would 'go to war' for, his values need to be further evaluated.

Over 180 members of the Notre Dame student body and faculty signed the letter explaining that permitting a Chick-fil-A on campus is against the morals of the school and its students. Graham has no reason to 'go to war' because he doesn't even attend the university. It is simply a grab for attention and him attempting to restrict young students' voices and beliefs.

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