Truett Cathy, the founder Chick-fil-a, closed on Monday. I wish I made that up, but a friend of mine came up with it. He was an American success story. Good for him. And good for him that he maintained his religious beliefs while running a business. His stores were closed on the Christian Sabbath. However, the famous “closed on Sundays” thing annoys me. My grandfather ran a grocery store in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was open on his Sabbath, Saturday, because his clients were predominately Christian and they did most of their business that day. He would have gone out of business if he had closed on his Sabbath. It’s much easier to stand by your religious beliefs when you live in a country where your religion is the majority. It wasn’t that much of a sacrifice for Chick-fil-a to be closed on Sunday, especially in the South, home of the Bible Belt. So I say it's no big deal that Cathy closed his stores on his Sabbath.
I know it doesn’t seem right to pick on the man when he just died. That sort of rudeness is usually left to Fox News. Just tune in when someone with an opposing political position dies and you will hear such disrespectful drivel that you will think their mommas didn’t teach them how to behave properly. But I have a personal reason for not liking Mr. Cathy.
I worked for a printing company in the early 80s. The owner was a born again Christian. He tried repeatedly to convert me and I reminded him repeatedly that he was out of line. I didn’t know the owner was this way before he hired me or I wouldn’t have taken the job. But once I was there, finding another job took time and I couldn’t afford not to work. I wasn’t in a position to close myself all week to maintain of my Jewish beliefs.
My owner would print any Christian job for free and then charge secular clients double to make up the difference. One of those free Christian jobs was the church newsletter for Truett Cathy’s church. It was my job to put the newsletter together for printing.
For over a year, the newsletter was obsessed with the movie “Chariots of Fire.” According to Cathy’s church, the central message of the movie was that Christians were morally superior to Jews. The devout Christian runner in the movie didn’t run on Sunday. The Jewish runner didn’t care what day he ran. When the two men faced each other in the same race earlier in the movie, the Christian won because God favored him over the Jew because the Jew refused to accept Jesus. The church had an article every week repeating this idea in different ways. It didn’t matter that “Chariots of Gods” hadn’t been in the theaters for over three years. There were other similar anti-semitic articles in the newsletter. At times it felt like that the only time the church wasn’t insulting the Jewish faith was when they were praising Truett Cathy.
One could claim that Cathy didn’t write the articles so he might not have agreed with their anti-semitism, but he wouldn’t have been a member if the church didn’t reflect his way of thinking. Which brings me to the other reason why I don’t care for Mr. Closed-On-Sundays-Because-I’m-Such-A-Big-Christian, which was his anti-gay comments that brought out all the smug Christian haters to his stores to buy his chicken sandwiches. Or was it his son who said the hateful shit? It doesn't matter. The son learned from this father. The point is Cathy acted as if his beliefs gave him the right to disrespect other’s beliefs. And I have no respect for someone like that.