In a Pickle About Chick-Fil-A

This is old news, but I feel the need to write something about this. Chick-Fil-A is “anti gay marriage”. They’ve given millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations. As a “Christian” organization or at least a business that operates on biblical principles (we can and probably should talk about what that means), that shouldn’t be terribly surprising.

My quandary is should I as a person hand my ducats over to a company that actively pursues an “agenda” (a word I’m coming to hate) that I disagree with, setting aside the question of whether or not I should disagree with it. Plenty of people are boycotting them. I don’t go there often and when I do it’s usually to take advantage of a free night, but they do get my money on occasion.

Personally, I don’t care as much about what a company does with its profits, as I do about what they do to their employees. If I spent time looking into what companies did with their gains, I’d likely find something reprehensible in almost every case. That’s probably cynical, isn’t it? Still, it’s what I believe. In this case though, I don’t have to go looking. It’s right there in black and white and I do care, so what to do?

Okay, okay, let’s set all of that aside for a minute. The thing that disturbs me most is the digging they do into their operators’ lives. It’s absolutely their right to do so, apparently. But this bothers the Hell out of me:

Chick-fil-A, the corporate parent, has been sued at least 12 times since 1988 on charges of employment discrimination, according to records in U.S. District Courts. Aziz Latif, a former Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston, sued the company in 2002 after Latif, a Muslim, says he was fired a day after he didn’t participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program in 2000. The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.

They make chicken sandwiches… They do it for the glory of the Lord, I guess, but come on. Seriously? I can understand if your primary focus is religious training/indoctrination. But the idea that if someone is single, or Muslim, or moonlights at a strip club should have zero bearing on their ability to do a good job for you. Who know, hiring them and treating them like human beings could have that “positive influence on all that come in contact with Chick-fil-A” that they expressly want.

And what does it mean to operate on Biblical principles? In this case it seems to mean making sure that your own personal business “diaconate” passes the scrutiny that Paul demands. Does it mean forgetting that all have sinned or that we’re supposed to love our neighbor to the point where we won’t hire them so that we don’t risk endorsing their sin? I would think that a Biblical principal that we’d need to include would be not to mistreat or oppress a foreigner (non-Jew) and moving beyond that we should make sure that they are fed and have the things they need. What better way to do that than to give them a job? We should bless those who persecute us. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. When did God say “Blessed are those that persecute, for they shall make great fricking chicken.”?

It’s this that would make me take a step towards boycotting this business. But would that make me a chicken plucking hypocrite? Should I “persecute” Chick-fil-a for being what they almost can’t help being? We live in a church culture that wants to alienate those who disagree with us. We have set ourselves up as judge and jury. “It’s in the word of God! They are vile sinners and we must show them the depth of their corruption. We must not let that corruption taint our Godly pursuits. They must not join our non-religious groups. We must not let them lead the lives they want, controlling them to prevent them from sinning further.”

CFA will get rewarded by believers for these actions. My dollars, drop in the bucket that they are, will only serve to further allow them to push their (in my opinion) non-Christian agenda. For now I suppose I’ll continue eating the occasional spicy chicken sandwich and pray for the sinners at the top to see their way clear to loving the rest of us poor sinners down here.

2 Comments »

  • Note: top of brain comment below.

    There are no CFAs around here so deciding whether or not to boycott isn’t a issue for me.  Besides, boycotting doesn’t work.  So at hand is the issue of whether or not a company is operating in a “Christian” manner.
    Regarding the discrimination matter: the CEO of CFA didn’t fire this guy a local franchise owner or manager did.  Judging the company on the actions of one manager is a little short-sighted.  Many large companies have knuckleheads that discriminate.  I’m sure MickeyD’s and Bk have had similar complaints filed against them too.

    As you said, if you looked into what companies did with their money you probably wouldn’t want to continue purchasing from them.  So what you’re saying is just knowing that CFA opposes something makes you want to boycott them?  Fine, do a search on Google for morally responsible investing and you’ll find tons of companies to boycott.

    A big stick has been made about this and all it’s going to do is send people in the Bible-belt to CFA.  More people will buy from them because they want to support what CFA “stands for”.  Better to let sleeping dogs lie, IMHO.

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