Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chickening Out

I’m not a boycotter. I don’t take up arms against a company if they’re doing something I don’t like, nor do I exhort other people to boycott them. Boycotts rarely work, and a lot of times it gives the company free publicity. It might even backfire. For example, if some odious group like the American Family Association or the Family Research Council is telling the world to boycott Home Depot or Starbucks, I’d probably be inclined to shop there. After all, if they’re getting the bigots and Speedo-sniffers upset, they must be doing something right.

Chick-Fil-A is a fast food restaurant chain founded by a fundamentalist Christian, and the company aligns itself with those beliefs, including contributing to anti-gay and anti-marriage equality causes.

In a new interview with the Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy — the son of company founder S. Truett Cathy — addresses what the publication describes as his franchise’s “support of the traditional family.”

Cathy’s somewhat glib response: “Well, guilty as charged.”

He went on to note, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Cathy then reiterated his stance during an appearance on “The Ken Coleman Show,” Good as You blogger Jeremy Hooper reported.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,” Cathy said in that interview.

It’s their money, their company, and they can do what they like. Far be it from me to impose my beliefs on them. And far be it from me to insult them or embarrass them by giving them any of my money or coming into one of their stores. It would be very un-Quakerly and presumptuous to force them to put up with me and my business. I am sure they are glad to know that, and I am sure they will be even happier when I tell friends and people I know that it would be very bad for Chick-Fil-A and their reputation if a lot of people who think like me or are gay like me were to patronize their stores.

So rejoice, Mr. Cathy; we’re not boycotting you. We’re doing the Lord’s work by staying away and not shaking our fist at God with our money in your stores. Peace.