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the Chick-fil-A boycot thing

FaceBook has been abuzz these last few days over a drive to boycott Chick-fil-A. There are several memes and links getting passed around, apparently inspired by the fact that Chick-fil-A's owners donated to an anti-gay marriage group.

To be completely honest I was a bit bored by the whole thing. The idea that the Cathies would donate to such a group was hardly news; I've heard of them doing things like that at least as far back as my high school years (so more than a decade). They also donate to other causes; back in 20080 they won some kind of award where it was announced they'd given away over $100 million, including to foster homes, camps that give inner-city kids a retreat, and scholarships for their employees. They also had a reputation, at least when I still lived in the South where Chick-Fil-A's were more common (this would have been as late as 2006) of working with smaller poultry-raisers with less ethical problems. I'm no fool; I know fast food always has its problems. But Chick-Fil-A always struck me as better than most, even taking the anti-LGBT thing into account.

To put it more generally: they always struck me as a business with a conscience. I didn't always agree with their values, but I liked the fact that they had them. McDonalds always seemed to be about making money, and I'll take a principled company (or in this case owner) whose principles I disagree with over one whose only principle is mammon, any day of the week. I'm also not a big fan of tempting people to hide their agendas. That's just how I am, and I don't expect everyone to agree. None of that excuses Chick-Fil-A's donations, btw. It always made me a bit uncomfortable; I just had always thought having a country that cared about morals and doing the right thing and genuinely felt like a place that respected its employees was worth supporting.

Not so much anymore. In the fall-out from all of that, Jim Henson pulled Muppets toys from Chick-Fil-A. That's every bit their right and privilege as Chick-fil-A's opposing gay marriage is their founders. He also donated the check from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD; again, their right. (Incidentally: This is how the marketplace of ideas (so much as there is such a thing) is supposed to work: different people advocating for their beliefs and using what resources they have at their disposal to support said beliefs and principles.) Here was Chick-Fil-A's response:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/24/1113286/-Chick-Fil-A-now-lying-for-Jesus-that-the-Muppets-are-unsafe

Having principles is good, but it only earns you sympathy in my book if you actually act on them. I don't know if there were problems with the timing of this pull stinks to high-heavens. And blaming your bad press on someone else is not cool (or particularly Christian, for that matter).

I may eat Chick-Fil-A the next time I'm in the South. Maybe. But it will be a mixed joy at best. As for now, here's the only poultry I'm enjoying thinking about just now:

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dreamflower02
Jul. 25th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC)
Huh. I didn't know any of that about Chick-Fil-A. I knew that it was closed on Sundays, like Hobby Lobby, and so assumed the owners were Christian, but I didn't know any of that other stuff.

It's always been a favorite of mine, too. Their chicken is really good. But now I'm not sure I'd enjoy it.
marta_bee
Jul. 25th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Well, I grew up in a town where the biggest employer is a Christian non-profit, and worked there myself for a time. Franklin Graham actually had a good working relationship with the local franchise, and they sometimes catered company events. I saw the good they did (they regularly donated sandwiches for our volunteers, for instance) and when I heard rumors about the "traditional" marriage stuff, I wanted to find out more.

Sorry to have ruined one of your favorite sandwiches! I'm glad I could educate you, though - IMO it's usually better to know than not to.

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