Why I Won't Be Eating at Chick-Fil-A

I know I'm late to the party with this one. I have a terrible habit of hearing about stuff like this, going all incandescent with rage, then immediately getting so tired that I can barely lift my fingers to type, and thinking that nothing I say will make a difference anyway. It very well may not. But there was a story in this book about an older man who was protesting something, and somebody told him his protest wouldn't change anything, and he laughed and said something like "I'm not protesting to change the town, I'm protesting so the town won't change me".

So I won't be eating at Chick-Fil-A. Some people have said it's not accurate to call the owner a 'hater' just because he says he believes in the traditional definition of marriage. And if we're talking a matter of degree, well then I guess I'd have to say people that merely say "I believe in the traditional definition of marriage" are preferable to people who go out looking for homosexuals to beat up, or people who carry signs with hateful slogans outside gay weddings, or people who torture and murder other people because they're gay. But Chick-Fil-A also gave money - a sizable amount of money - to organizations that exist because they think being gay is wrong. Disordered. Less than. All these people think that the world would be a better place if gay people did not exist; if they have to exist, all possible measures must be taken so that they cannot live, love, marry and work towards a fulfilling life in the same way that heterosexual people do. I don't know about you, but if you dig down deep to the root of that, I sort of think you find hate.

Some people think it's ridiculous to decide not to patronize a fast-food establishment because of its owners political or religious views. They don't care if their dry cleaner supports breastfeeding, they say, or if their dentist doesn't love animals. It's true that I'm not rigorous in inspecting the moral foundation of the owners and operators of every establishment I give my money to. Life is short and busy, and I'm a little on the lazy side. But if the person who takes a profit from a business lays his beliefs out there on a plate for all to see? I'm not going to go out of my way to ignore it. I will take this opportunity to vote with my lousy seven-fifty and buy my cardboard french fries somewhere else.

I talked to a friend in New York about this issue and she said that, while she can agree to disagree on some things, some things are too fundamental and important to merely call a 'disagreement'. I get this. I can't say I'm fully able or willing or ready to disengage from everyone in my life who doesn't wholeheartedly support gay marriage. I do, however - and I wonder if religious people get this - feel profoundly saddened and uncomprehending of their position. Of all the things in this world to be offended by, to be disgusted by, to feel violated and horrified and moved to act by, I am truly stunned at the fact that large numbers of people would choose this - someone who loves someone else of the same gender. And I can love the 'sinner' and hate the 'sin' right back at them.

So I don't think Chick-Fil-A restaurants should be vandalized, or legislated out of business, or even that their owner should be silenced. We all know people like him exist. He can go ahead and freely speak his disordered, unfortunate, wrong and, ultimately, to me, hateful thought. But I won't be eating at Chick-Fil-A, because I strongly disagree with his definition of marriage and family.

Also, I think the name Chick-Fil-a is really, really stupid.

Also, I'm Canadian and we don't have them here. But, you know, in theory I wouldn't eat there anyway.


Nicole said…
I wouldn't eat there anyway because of the whole vegetarian thing. But also? The anti-gay sentiment sucks. And they're not in Canada. And - it's Chick-Fil-EH, and I always thought it was pronounced Chick-Fil-A, which seems really idiotic.

I had a "friend" years ago who surprised me immensely by saying that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. I should say that I'm kind of schadenfreud-ly pleased that this woman, who was super desperate to get married and have kids, has not been able to snag a husband yet. KARMA BABY.
They don't exist in the UK, and I'm vegetarian - but I'd totally join the boycott if I meaningfully could. Like you, the attitude totally mystifies me.
Hannah said…
I love this post so very much. I feel the same way. I wouldn't eat at Chick-Fil-A if I were starving on the sidewalk. I'm just too chicken (ha, poultry humour) to take a stand online, because there are people on Twitter that I talk to almost every day who proudly and on purpose went to CFA at Mike Huckabee's urging. And if I got into an argument with them the end result would probably be that we weren't online friends anymore, so I let sleeping dogs lie.

I shouldn't. It makes me part of the problem. And now I'm kind of ashamed.
StephLove said…
I can't really boycott effectively either since I'm a vegetarian and have never set foot in there, though we do have one in the next town over.

But thanks for the thought.
Ms. G said…
I find the possibility of people being legislatively penalized for their personal views disturbing for Both Sides. I find hate disturbing on both sides. That's what so many don't seem to get. Me today, you tomorrow, where does it end? ashes ashes we all fall down.
Alison said…
You rock. In general, I think Canadians rock. But you rock a lot because of this post.
Yes. And yes. And yes. The people who try to justify Chick-Fil-A's standpoint just baffle me, and I get you on the whole becoming exhausted by the whole thing. It's hard to argue with people who don't use reason or logic. While I'm not exactly going to go out and research the beliefs of all the brands I support, I certainly won't stand by someone who makes their hatred public. I can do without the waffle fries, thanks.
Natteringnic said…
Wanna go ballistic? Check out Josh Duggar (of 19 Kids and Counting fame) 's Instagram. There is a pic of he and his wife in Chick-Fil-A drinking a milkshake with two straws and some drivil about how *this* is what marriage should be. *head explode* Thoughtful post
alison said…
Yeah, I don't get all the hate over people being in love. It's almost Monty Pythonesque in its ridiculousness. I wouldn't eat there either, and I had the same misunderstanding of its pronunciation too. I wonder about the American right and whether it recognizes its own hypocrisy in insisting that the Government should just stay out of everyone's life and business except for same-sex marriage and reproductive rights, and then they want the Government to legislate everyone up the yingyang.
Patti said…
Yep. What you said. I support your superficial boycott by superficially boycotting this restaurant, which doesn't exist in our town.

Very stupid name too. If you pronounce it with the short-a it becomes Chick-filla, which also sounds slightly mysoginist. Don't you think? Oops. Made a spelling mistake there: misogynist. Don't want to be an ignoramus like that chickfilla fella.
harriet glynn said…
Based on the food alone, I'd probably avoid it. Let's face it, we aren't the target market. Hate can "good" marketing apparently. The US has gone crazy.

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