- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Miss Piggy, the lovable Muppet who is always trying to lose weight, will have an easier time of it now that her puppeteers have banned her from Chick-fil-A. The Jim Henson Co., creator of the Muppets, pulled its toys from the popular fast-food chain in protest of the company owner’s statement of support for traditional marriage.

Liberals are outraged that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, son of founder S. Truett Cathy, dared to discuss Christian values as a business principle. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” Mr. Cathy told the Baptist Press in a story posted on July 16. “Our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families.”

The company also donates money to its WinShape Foundation, which, among other ministries, holds marriage-enrichment retreats. Chick-fil-A famously refuses to open for business on Sundays so employees can attend church services.

After the interview came out, Boston’s Democratic Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he would try to block the chain from opening a new restaurant in the city. “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Mr. Menino told the Boston Herald. “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.”

The Jim Henson Co. followed with a Facebook announcement that it would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A. The private entertainment firm is run by the children of the deceased founder and produces many children’s shows, such as “Fraggle Rock” and “Pajanimals.” The statement said CEO Lisa Henson is “personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.” A spokesman for the company would not clarify whether that meant all past profits would be donated.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, jumped on the bandwagon Wednesday, telling the Chicago Tribune that an attempt to build a second Windy City restaurant would be “a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

In response to all this, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is organizing a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day next Wednesday. The Fox News host posted the event on his Facebook page and, as of Wednesday, 130,000 had signed up to go to one of the chain’s 1,600 restaurants and buy food. Concerned Women for America, which is helping with turnout, said through a spokesman that the conservative group is “proud to show our appreciation to Chick-fil-A for the company’s willingness to speak up and stand firm on their traditional values in the face of criticism.”

So far, family values have served Chick-fil-A well. Sales last year increased 13 percent, to $4.1 billion, despite the lousy economy. Mr. Cathy said his family business will “stay the course,” because “we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Liberals should stop trying to impose their closed-minded worldview on others and enjoy some of the delicious waffle fries.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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