Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chick-Fil-A is not horrible. Well, not horrible enough to legislate against.

Disclaimer before you assume I'm Christian:  I am (by the popular view of the definition) Agnostic.  Basically, everything Neil DeGrasse Tyson says in this 3 minute video is pretty much how I feel:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSMC5rWvos

Anyway.

Obviously, people are, or should be aware of the firestorm that was caused when the President of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, said that his company had donated $$ towards causes that rallyed against same-sex marriage.  He did so based on his (kinda silly) religious beliefs, but fine.

In an earlier post,  I laid out why (1) I support same sex marriage, but (2) would rather all governments just recognize civil unions, regardless of sex, to avoid equal protection problems.

So.  Let me get this "straight" (ha!):  Because I favor same-sex marriage, I should boycott Chick-Fil-A until THEY favor those marriages too, or at least until they shut up about not supporting them, right?

That's so wrong.

I patronize many companies.  If I were to scrutinze each company's social policies to match my particular viewpoint, I'd likely go hungry, not have as many cool gadgets as I like, and would almost certainly be pants-less.  And really, who wants to see THAT?  (Calm down, Marcus Bachmann)

Seriously, though -- Nike?  Almost ANY clothing manufacturer?  Apple?  How about the recognition that MOST corporate CEOs are super conservative themselves, and no doubt direct the money they earn from their jobs to conservative causes?  How about toys for your kids?  Are any NOT made in China, a repressive regime that routinely works to undermine this country while owning us at the same time?  Do we have to boycott companies that use products made in China?  Do we have to boycott them all?  That's wholly unrealistic, although it would delight me if a company promoted that their products were Made in the USA. 

By the way, at the place you buy GASOLINE(!?) do they also sell cigarettes?  How do you sleep at night, knowing you killing the environment/animals/air or whatever.  Is it fair for anyone to assume you HATE the environment because you buy gasoline (hell, or even tobacco?).  Or, just maybe, could it be a little much?

Anyway, this outrage over CFA is a little contrived:

First of all, who was genuinely surprised by CFA's stance?  They're closed on Sundays!  They make a point of saying why they are closed on Sundays (family, worship, apple pie, all that crapola).  Of COURSE the founders/leaders aren't down with same-sex marriage!  You just figured that out because of the interview?

Next, the reaction by some political leaders to fall all over themselves telling CFA that they WON'T let them do business in their cities is outrageous.  Hey Rahm Emanuel, you have a drug/murder problem in your city, but you want to take a stance against a LAWFUL business?  A business that makes a point to serve anyone, without regard to their stance? 

I have friends who own guns.  Should I assume they support the NRA completely?  Should I assume they oppose ALL gun control?  What if they DID oppose all gun control?  I might think them mistaken, but the logical leaps I might choose to take over that single piece of info would be unwarranted, and decidedly unskeptical.  Gun ownership is LEGAL.  Someone choosing to buy a gun doesn't make them supportive of all bad things OTHER gun owners say/do.  Why is it different with a chicken sandwich?

The forthcoming boycott/"let's-all-go-eat-at-CFA" events (both happening on the same day, 1 August 2012) is just silliness a little much.  Eat there if you like the food, don't if you don't.  Or don't if you don't like how they spend their profits.  Eat there if you hate "teh gayz" and want to support them.  This is the United States, you have that right to act within the law.

The founder had the right to voice his opinion.  People have the right to boycott . . . but this business of trying to PREVENT business is nonsense.  THAT is what upsets me the most.

I don't even eat at CFA that often, but if I were going to eat fast food, it's the place I'd choose.  The chicken is tasty, the lower-calorie options are good, their restaurants are often SPOTLESS (can you say that about some of the shadier McD's?), and their employees are straight out of a 50s comic book, although they are often of diverse backgrounds.

Which reminds me -- are liberal groups going to target employees of CFA?  Why wouldn't they?  Why wouldn't we find store managers, folks who want to put food on their family's table (pun, sorry), and accuse them of being "hate merchants?"  Why are they going to even let line workers off the hook? 

Because -- that would be bad politics.  And that is what gets me -- this boycott/exhortation to eat there is all about politics.  No one was surprised by the stance, but now that the company president spoke up, people want to fall all over themselves to show that they're good liberals/conservatives.  To target some store manager, or line workers would create bad press, and undermine your position, despite it being consistent with the logic behind the reasons for the boycott.

So, no thank you.  I'll eat there when/if I feel like it (which admittedly hasn't been often at all, but my daughter does enjoy going as a treat, so that's not going to change).  I'll smile at the workers, they'll smile back, they'll say "my pleasure" EVERY time I say "thank you" (that's gotta be a corporate directive), and my daughter and I will enjoy some chicken. 

Just not that often.  Back to training again, so the fast food has to be limited.  Just not because I don't like where a company puts its money.

So if you catch me eating at a CFA, and want to ascribe a certain political/social bent to me because of that, you can be SURE I'll pick apart everything you're wearing or weilding, and we'll see whose hands are clean (hint:  nobody's).  Liberty means you get to eat at any lawful place of business you want.  If you can do so while wearing/using nothing from a company that does some sort of evil, enjoy.


Postscript:

Most of my friends online are left-leaning, so I will await unfriending/unfollowing/whatever over this.  I assure you -- I will be sorry to see you go, but if you go to the trouble to "alert" me that you're disassociating with me, I'll just roll my eyes at your outrage and block you.  I have zero problem with your disagreement, but if you want to end the association because of it, just do it, and save the drama for your other friends.