Chick-Fil-A, Boycotts, & the Power of Brands

How a chicken sandwich came to symbolize so much more, and why it's a problem.

It's been about two weeks since Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, made his now infamous comments about marriage during a radio interview. "I pray," he said, "God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about." Whatever one thinks of Cathy's original comments, it's clear that his words set off a storm of hot air and lightening-fast judgments. My own mayor – rather ridiculously in my opinion – jumped quickly into the fray suggesting that no more Chick-fil-A franchises be allowed in Chicago until the restaurant "reflect Chicago values."

The Chick-fil-A craziness has reminded me of a summer during college when I interned at a Southern Baptist church in the suburbs of Washington DC. This remains my closest association with the Southern Baptists and it's one I remember happily despite being regularly reminded that I was a visitor to the SBC culture. This crystallized when I learned of the congregation's ...

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