Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Beef with Chick-Fil-a

I have never been to Chick-Fil-a. I’ve heard it’s tasty - I may never know. As things are now I cannot solicit them in good conscience. 

It’s not about free speech

If Dan Cathy wants to say he thinks gay people shouldn’t marry, he is free to do so. I think he was careful to avoid libel, slander, and hate speech, thus avoiding a free speech issue. I am free to say that I think he is wrong on this issue. 

It’s not about so called “liberal intolerance”

Some like to point out that liberals are hypocritically intolerant - asking others to be tolerant, but being intolerant on things they don’t like. (Richard Larsen wrote a blog about this, it was silly.) That’s not the case either.  Lack of support for something is quite different from intolerance. As I said, I can tolerate that Cathy has those opinions, I just think they are discriminatory.

It’s about money

I will not be eating at Chick-Fil-a because Cathy gave nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009. I would assume he is still giving. You may say, “So what, he can do what he wants with his money.” Indeed he can, and so can I. If I give money to Chick-Fil-a, then it becomes his money. I wouldn’t want to give my money to anti-gay groups even in a second hand way. I have similar feelings about Wal-Mart: I find their business practices abhorrent, I think they treat their employees like garbage, and I don’t like the political candidates they donate to. I don't want to reward them by giving them my money. (Confession: on rare occasions I still shop there, but afterwards curse myself for my lack of moral fortitude.)

This is nothing new. Just last month, a great number of people said they were boycotting oreo because of the rainbow oreo they posted on facebook on Gay Pride Day. We support things we like, we don’t support things we dislike. Why is it such a big deal? Why do we have to get in fights with each other on facebook?

If you want to eat at Chick-Fil-a, then do it. I don’t think I’ll be joining you.

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