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01 August 2012 @ 02:23 pm
Torn Over Chik-Fil-A  
In Indiana, at least, the movement to support Chik-Fil-A by having an "eat there" day seems to have been very successful (check a local story here.

On the one hand, I am saddened by the number of people seeming to support denial of basic human rights to a large segment of the population. I find it hard to understand how anyone can believe that same-sex marriage harms society or heterosexual marriage in any way. Believers in the Bible should not pick and choose the laws they will force other people to follow, otherwise they should be boycotting McDonalds for selling cheeseburgers (Old Testament) or making laws to do everything possible to make marriage a poor second choice to celibacy (Paulists). And yes, I know, in neither case does the Bible say what people tend to think it does, but that level of scholarly discussion isn't going to stand a chance in the emotions surrounding this foofoorah.

On the other hand, if there is a right of people who stand AGAINST Chik-Fil-A's position to take their business elsewhere, how can there NOT be a right for people who support them to take their business to Chik-Fil-A, even for a day? I know some people who specifically are supporting Chik-Fil-A's right to donate to whomever they please - I think that's an act subject to misinterpretation by the religious right-wing, but that's their choice as well. I even find it hard to argue with because of the veiled threat from Boston's mayor Thomas Menino to deny Chik-Fil-A the right to conduct business - while individuals have the right to "reward" or "punish" businesses for their speech or beliefs, government entities have no right to do so, and a government official is assumed to be speaking for the government in these types of matters.

I had to give it hard thought myself, because initially I was under the impression we were talking about Cathy's personal funds and donations. I have a real problem with the idea of boycotting a business because someone who makes money off that business supports something you don't like. That way lies not buying anything from anyone with employees because surely one of them is going to support SOMETHING you don't like.

However, research shows that it is the foundation actually supported by Chik-Fil-A itself making donations to organizations that promote an anti-gay agenda. That's a different story, because it means we aren't talking an INDIRECT but a DIRECT path from my pocket to those organizations.

So, as for me, I will stay away from Chik-Fil-A (a shame, because I find their food choices to be among the healthiest out there), though to be honest we almost never eat fast food any more so it isn't a huge sacrifice except when traveling. I will try not to judge those who choose not to - and I also know people who WILL continue going to Chik-Fil-A but will make it a point to do so in a way that emphasizes their support for gay rights (though how doing things to point it out to individual franchisees is going to send any message to corporate other than continue to provide them funds I don't know). I will continue to support (and vote for those who support) marriage (and other) rights in Indiana (which will become increasingly nasty in the next few years) and do everything I can to thwart the funding that Chik-Fil-A provides.

That is all I can do, really.
Current Mood: sadsad
sffilksffilk on August 1st, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
As I understand it
Through CFA, Cathy has donated to causes that are fighting against the rights of gays to marry. Were it his own money, and if he hadn't opened his mouth, this would never have become a controversy. That's the problem: someone opened his mouth who should never have opened it. People have reacted on both sides. Who's going to suffer? Probably CFA.

As for me, I haven't eaten at CFA in years and will continue to cheerfully avoid them (not because of this, but because it's not good for me), but I will not picket them (and there's a LARGE CFA on the way home from work).

Edited at 2012-08-02 01:34 pm (UTC)
Robautographedcat on August 1st, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
I agree with you, btw, that the Boston Mayor's action is deeply troubling, and I think the wrong thing to do, just like it would be wrong to take the same action against a business that supported pro-gay charities.

And I do think that people who either oppose gay rights or don't really care about them (two entirely different groups) should continue to eat there to their hearts content. It's a personal choice. People can make their own choices.

(A friend on Twitter was fretting about how someone had brought in a huge bag of CFA breakfast sandwiches, and how he was feeling torn about wanting one vs. supporting them. I said "The sandwich costs about $5. Someone's already paid that, so eat the sandwich, and then give $10 to GLAAD or HRC or the like to offset it. There's multiple ways to deal with the notion.)

Edited at 2012-08-01 06:56 pm (UTC)
madfilkentist: CarlWindowmadfilkentist on August 1st, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Good summary. I made a point of going to eat at CFA while Menino was threatening (quite overtly) to obstruct their licenses, but with "Chick-Fil-A appreciation day" being about opposition to marriage freedom rather than support for free speech, I won't be going back for a while.

In the big picture, there are a lot of reasons for not patronizing a business that I consider more important than what causes they give money to: things like cheating customers, installing surreptitious rootkits on people's computers, using political influence to destroy competition, etc. Same-sex marriage is still a very new notion, one that's advanced with remarkable speed, and it takes time for some people to be convinced. Let them have their say, and provide a better say in return.
Smoooomsmoooom on August 1st, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you for putting it into words for me.