Across this great land there has been an outcry because the owner of a business has personal beliefs based on his religion.  In Louisiana many want a business to remain in business even though they are losing money because of a lack of consumer support.

The venerable New Orleans Times-Picayune has decided to publish only three papers per week and focus on their digital product, NOLA.com.  I personally feel a sense of loss from this decision but I know that Steve Newhouse, owner of the Picayune is in business to make a profit so I understand his decision.  Many people have jumped on the bandwagon asking Newhouse to reconsider and Tom Benson of the New Orleans Saints has offered to buy the paper.  That’s all we would need is Tom Benson looking to the State of Louisiana to bail him out when the paper fails to turn a profit.  Tom, start your own paper why don’t you?

Getting back to the owner of Chick-fil-A we see a different story. President and Chief Operating Officer Dan T. Cathy has a strong belief in biblical teaching and recently set off a fire-storm with these words,

“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. We give God thanks for that."

On the one hand we have a newspaper publisher who has seen the writing on the wall and will try to save his company by stepping into the 21st century and shifting his business to more digital publishing and he is getting hate mail.  On the other hand we have a family owned business that employs thousands of people, does an unbelievable amount of charity work and still managed to make $4 billion last year and he is getting flack because of his personal beliefs.  I don’t subscribe to the Times-Picayune and rarely find time to add it to my daily reading list but I applaud Steve Newhouse’s decision.  I also applaud Dan Cathy for the successful leadership of his restaurant chain and plan to drop by one of his four Lafayette establishments on a more regular basis.

Both of these men are doing what they feel is right for themselves and their companies.  I wonder what the feelings around the South and nation would be like if Steve Newhouse shut down his New Orleans tradition and took his money and ran.  What would the reaction be if a restaurant chain owned by an atheist came out and denounced God?  Would the reactions be the same?  There might be complaining about the Picayune closing but business would probably not miss a beat at the restaurant chain that denounced God.  Makes you wonder about this road America is headed down.