Last Saturday we ran a syndicated cartoon on the Editorial page of the LaGrange Daily News suggesting that the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain was selective about which passages of the Bible they followed. The cartoon came after Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy said in an interview with The Baptist Press he was supportive of the family-the Biblical definition of the family unit. His comments created a backlash in the gay and lesbian community by those who interpreted his views as being against same-sex marriage.
Many who agreed with Cathy’s views showed up for an unofficial Chick-fil-A appreciation day on Aug. 1 at stores across the country, including the two locations in LaGrange. Predictably, supporters of same-sex marriage organized their own nationwide event to draw attention to their cause.
The cartoon created a backlash of its own, inspiring a local minister to announce to his congregation that he was cancelling his subscription to the LaGrange Daily News. Several subscribers called to cancel their subscriptions this week, citing the publication of the cartoon as the reason.
Those who have come to the conclusion that the editorial staff of the newspaper is biased against the Chick-fil-A chain only need to read the newspaper to see how wrong that assumption is. We have carried many stories about the company’s charitable contributions and community outreach programs. A recent feature in our July 30 Progress edition noted that local fundraisers and contributions enabled 241 children to attend WinShape Camp, which was started by the fast-food chain. The local camp is made possible through local sponsorships, as well as a partnership between the two local stores, and four area Baptist churches including Western Heights Baptist Church, Baptist Tabernacle, New Community Church and First Baptist Church on the Square.
We regret that the publication of this cartoon created such a negative reaction among some of our readers. Most people understand that the editorial page of a good local newspaper is reserved for various points of view. We don’t have to agree with all of them and chances are we don’t. But editorials, letters, columns and even cartoons, representing various points of view, make for a good community discussion.
We believe there’s something for everybody in a local newspaper. The news and editorial pages are a reflection of the community itself – diverse, unpredictable, at times tumultuous, but always unique. We hope you agree that is what you will find in the pages of the LaGrange Daily News.