The Chick Fil' A Controversy seems to have taken a life of its own and now the chickens have come to roost way too close to home. This week alone I have been asked to eat at the chain, join the boycott, denounce the fast food chain’s anti –equality stance and questioned on my orthodoxy and politics simply because of where I may choose or not to eat! I officially announce I am completely over it!
Dan Cathy, the company’s owner has long been a supporter of traditional definitions of the family. In a recent interview he makes that longstanding position clear by stating on an interview with Baptist press;
“…We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that...”.
It is also true that his company has donated funds to pro opposite gender marriage causes and to organizations which promote traditional understandings of marriage. That said, the company has made it clear on more than one occasion that they are committed to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
In the last few days it seems like everyone is joining the bandwagon!!! Some ask us to "Eat Less Chickin" because of the insulting remarks of Mr. Cathy against gay marriage, others join the cows and insist we "Eat More"! In reading the above quote, amidst all this controversy, I have wondered how long before the restaurant chain incurs the ire of the divorced which are sure to react to the “still married to our first wives” pun! And no biblically literate person would miss that their support for Biblical marriage standards means; one man one woman for life! Forget the remarried, the cohabitating or the single parent homes! Wow, talk about foot in mouth; these are surely a much bigger demographic than those intending to marry their same gender partners, even if laws in every state allowed it!I dare say that if we look carefully there could be more than enough "insult" in his statements to go around! Or just maybe, people in our free society are mature enough to realize there is room in our democracy for differing views! Not everyone wants a little offense or politics with their food, or at the movies or with the places they choose to shop at! I do not choose restaurants or shops based on the political sentiments of their owners! If that were the case, it would be exhausting, with an ever growing list on the left and right. Please do not invite me, nor pretend to use my like or dislike of a fast food chain or business establishment as a litmus test of orthodoxy for the left or right. It is not my cup of tea!
Alexandra Petri in her ComPost blog put it this way:
“…Starbucks supports marriage equality. That’s not why I drink its coffee. I drink its coffee because I have a serious caffeine problem, and they are located on every corner. It is possible, it turns out, to go through the political preferences and leanings of every company that makes anything you want to buy, every athlete whose prowess amazes you, every fashion designer with an eye for color. … It is not a question of being an informed consumer, of trying to buy things that aren’t made in conditions you find appalling. That’s germane. … But this isn’t about the sandwich. It’s about what happens afterward. And that’s a slippery slope...If you’re upset that the Chick-fil-A founder donates to causes you don’t believe in, then donate to causes you do believe in. Fight apples with apples and oranges with oranges…”
For the record, I do not frequent Chick Fil A because I do not like their sandwiches…they are… too fried…! I could care less if they are open or not on Sundays, nor who their CEO’s are married to! It’s Pollo Tropical for me with a little habanero sauce of the side! This, though I know for a fact its original owners were not Latinos and wonder how got our tasty recipes!
On a practical note, If I were going to boycott food based on the political sentiments or donations of those who cook, I could hardly eat at all at any church lunches or social affairs. The Episcopal Church I have the good fortune of attending is politically and ethnically very diverse. Frankly, I know for a fact , the very best desserts are made by people whom I completely disagree with! Never mind the times I would have to skip my wife's very delicious "arroz con pollo".
Call me shallow, but when it comes to food, that is all it should be about! It’s just chicken dude!