Incredibly, Bill de Blasio’s casual urging that fellow New Yorkers “not patronize” Chick-fil-A is not going over that well with the southern chicken chain’s biggest fans. The mayor’s remarks last week — no doubt the latest damning evidence of “New York values” — have drawn criticism from Christian leaders who feel his call for a boycott of the company, which seems dead set on infiltrating the Big Apple come hell or high water, amounts to “bullying, intolerance, and discrimination.”
Franklin Graham, son of the televangelist Billy Graham, called out the mayor on Facebook over the weekend:
Can you imagine a city where a popular, successful business is singled out and attacked by the mayor who calls for a boycott — all because the business owners let it be known that they operate by Christian principles and believe in God’s definition of marriage? You don’t have to imagine. That’s exactly what just happened to one of America’s most successful businesses. Chick-fil-A has almost 2000 restaurants and sales of more than $6 billion annually. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t like their chicken sandwiches — and their high quality service.
Meanwhile, Todd Starnes, a Fox News contributor whose most recent book is titled God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values, argues de Blasio is deluded: “New Yorkers don’t seem all that interested in obeying the mayor’s boycott,” he writes, offering his definitive proof: The Chick-fil-A near the Fox News office had a lunchtime line “that stretched around the block” on the very day de Blasio attacked it. Starnes argues that “militant LGBT activists and leftwing lawmakers have been squawking ever since” CEO Dan Cathy came out as very anti–same-sex marriage, and de Blasio, whom Starnes refers to as “a de-facto Communist sympathizer who eats his pizza with a fork,” is apparently just the latest equal-rights bellyacher. “Chick-fil-A is not in the business of spreading hate,” he adds. “They are in the business of selling chicken and waffle fries and deliciously refreshing lemonade.”
De Blasio’s remarks made the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo “gag,” the restaurant critic wrote yesterday, a thought he followed by wondering this out loud: “As long as de Blasio’s trashing eateries in order to stroke special interests — common sense be damned — why won’t he take on other restaurants which might offend certain ethnic and gender sensitivities?” It’s an even bigger irony, he says, that a restaurant “which posed a clear and present danger to public safety” didn’t draw de Blasio’s ire: When Carnegie Deli reopened following a controversial shutdown after illegally siphoning gas, the mayor “cheerily tweeted a celebratory photo of a pastrami sandwich.”