Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A

I’ve been incubating an opinion about Chick-Fil-A for a while now. As such, I’ve tried to avoid any editorials on the matter until I can form some rational opinion about them.

The last time I ate at a Chick-Fil-A was 15 years ago. I was 10 years old and I ate there with my grandfather at a location inside River Falls Mall in Clarksville, Indiana. I ate some chicken strips, got sick, and I haven’t eaten there since. Because that’s just how I roll when it comes to food. If it makes me sick once, I’ll never eat it again. I know how to hold a grudge. (I once got sick from a Chinese buffet three years ago and haven’t eaten at any Chinese buffet since).

Chick-Fil-A’s CEO, Dan Cathy, said in a statement in The Baptist Press:

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

This seems to have blown up quite a bit into some big thing. Supporters of that statement seem to fall into belief that had nothing to do with gay and lesbian people. Opponents called it an assault on the freedom of gays and lesbians to be able to marry one another, probably because they fund efforts to detract from it. I don’t think we need to be at all surprised here that Chick-Fil-A is wholeheartedly anti-gay everything. It’s a religious dude running a company based on his religious beliefs. 

But since this issue has grown, it’s becoming a symbol of American values to go eat there or not. How American than we can support policy issues by eating crappy food.

Chick-Fil-A reported that yesterday was their highest level of sales ever. To be a gay or lesbian employee there must be horrifyingly depressing.

My opinion about them doesn’t focus on their CEO’s statement, but their actions. Their lack of any kind of decorum around a very public matter and, more specifically, their donation of profits to the WinShape Foundation:

The WinShape Foundation is Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984. WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2010 alone, WinShape received $8,067,161 from Chick-fil-A Inc.

They’ve donated about $2 million specifically to anti-gay causes, one of which was to lobby for the US Congress not to vote on a matter to object to Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

Once you donate to any cause that goes to killing any group of innocent people anywhere in the world, you lose your right to “do what you want with your money”. No one would stand idly by if this were 1942 and Coca Cola were publicly supporting efforts for the US Congress not to declare an official objection to the slaughter of Jews (and gay and lesbian people) in Germany. Killing homosexuals in 1942 because they’re gay is not much different than killing gays in Uganda in 2012 also because they’re homosexual. We get it, people think it’s weird. I think religious wing nuts are weird, but I don’t go trotting around in an effort to kill them and I wouldn’t support any country or company that did.

It’s about more than marriage at this point, something that is clearly going to happen whether you like it or not. Death will fix this issue as older people leave. If Chick-Fil-A bothers you, just remember that in the last year New York joined most of the rest of New England in allowing same-sex marriage, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed (to nary a problem), and the first sitting US President in history has publicly announced support for a measure allowing gays and lesbians the same freedoms as everyone else.

Chick-Fil-A has crappy sandwiches and money to throw at crazy people. Gays and lesbians have actual substantive matters. #Winning.

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