To boycott or not to boycott Chick fil-A, that is the question?
To borrow the only few words (besides “Et Tu Brute?”) that I actually remember from our readings of the great works of Shakespeare in high school, the question does come down to if folks, who claim they are for equal rights, are really down for a Chick fil-A boycott?
Before you answer, let’s consider the reasons why you might:
Last Thursday, Chick-fil-A President, Dan Cathy told The Baptist Press, that the privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit. Now I know what you are thinking? So what? Well that statement on its own wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the fact that the Atlanta-based fast-food chain, which has more than 1,600 restaurants in 39 states and Washington, D.C., has a nonprofit called the WinShape Foundation and the nonprofit has donated about $2 million to pro-traditional marriage Christian groups. Some of these pro-traditional marriage groups have taken an active stance against same sex marriage, this according to Equality Matters, a campaign which seeks full equality for the LGBTQ community.
Of course, Cathy’s proclamation along with the money the company is throwing around to back it up, has ignited calls for protest against the chicken chain. Even Actor Ed Helms, best known for his role in The Hangover, and the city of Boston, have thrown their support behind a Chick-fil-A boycott. Much of this has put the onus on fair-minded consumers to make up their own minds as to whether or not they will continue to support a company that has virtually co-signed marriage discrimination. Yet for some supporters of gay rights, boycotting Chick-fil-A isn’t as cut and dry.
As Josh Ozersky. Chick-fil-A eater and writer for Time Magazine says:
“Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation gives money to theocratic organizations that I consider malevolent. Objecting to gay marriage is, at least in my view, indefensible in a free society, but it’s only a small part of these groups’ agendas. But they have a right to exist, and American businesses have a right to donate to them. Customers, in turn, have a right to boycott them. But, just as with JC Penney and DeGeneres, it doesn’t seem fair to me. Should you boycott the Grammys because they put on the guy who beat up Rihanna? Then you would have missed Adele.”
And Jonathan Merritt of The Atlantic, and also a Chick Fil A eater, co-signs that sentiment and adds, “But my bigger question is this: In a nation that’s as divided as ours is, do we really want our commercial lives and our political lives to be so wholly intermeshed? And is this really the kind of culture we want to create? Culture war boycotts cut both ways and are much more likely to meet with success when prosecuted by large groups of people, such as Christian activists, who are more numerous than gays and lesbians and their more activist supporters.”