Where Logic Meets Love

This is What Privilege Looks Like

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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To help understand the point I'm going to make today, we need to do a little imagining.

For the purposes of this illustration, we're going to say that you are white and Christian, so if you aren't, just pretend for a moment.

First you're going to get in a time machine and go back to the 1950s. You are still you, with all the same things you know about the world and about history, with the same friends, and the same neighbors, and the same coworkers.

The time machine drops you off in a little town somewhere in the middle of the United States.

You're hungry, so you go looking for a place to eat, and you come upon a little cafe selling sandwiches. You're about to go inside when a sign in the window catches your eye.

It says, "No Dogs, No Blacks, No Jews Allowed."

So my question to you is: Do you go in and eat there?

Just stop and think about that for a minute. What if you knew there were other places in town that did not have such signs, where anyone could eat? Would you save yourself the trouble of walking around to find another place, and just eat here? No one's going to stop you.

I'm going to guess that most of you would say no, you wouldn't eat here. You wouldn't give your money to a place so that so overtly discriminates against people different from you.

Now let's say you see your friend Steve sitting at a table in this cafe. (Steve also has a time machine.) And you go in and you say, "Steve, man, what gives? Didn't you see the sign on the door? These guys are total racists."

And Steve says, "Hey, listen, these sandwiches are delicious. That's all that matters to me!"

Now how do you feel about the restaurant? Any different?

How do you feel about your friend Steve now?

[No offense intended to any actual Steves out there.]

OK, come on back to 2012 now.

So, you're wondering, what's the point?

This is the point:

(Apparently she's not alone in these thoughts, as this was promptly retweeted several dozen times.)

In case you're not aware, Chick-fil-A has a long history of discrimination against the LGBTQ population, from refusing to hire gay workers to donating millions of dollars to blatantly anti-gay organizations. Most recently, the family that owns the company has made public statements against same-sex marriage, and as a result, Chicago's mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman are attempting to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening a store in Chicago.

To be clear, I am NOT saying:
  • that boycotting is always the most effective strategy for making change.
  • that I will hate you if you eat at Chick-fil-A.

What I take issue with is the notion (as voiced by Ms. Renaud and others) that people should always spend their money on the items they want, regardless of whether that money is supporting bad business practices or blatant discrimination.

As I've said again and again, each of us can only do so much. If I wanted to boycott every single company that had some practice or other that I disagreed with, it would be really difficult to spend my time doing anything other than researching companies and occasionally succeeding in buying guilt-free food or clothing. Avoiding meat from CAFOs is enough of a daily victory for me. (And we don't buy bananas because of this film Mike saw in college.)

But I also don't want to ignore the reality that customers' money funds the way companies run. And I'm not about to tell anyone that the only thing that should inform whether they buy that shirt or that sandwich or that banana is whether they like that shirt or that sandwich or that banana. That's not only an incredibly self-centered and short-sighted way of viewing our entire economy, but it's also an idea spoken from a position of privilege.

When you don't have to worry about making a livable wage... when you don't have to hide things about yourself for fear of getting fired or deported... when you don't have to worry about other people voting on the legitimacy of your family... when you don't live in fear of dying in unsafe working conditions or getting raped by your boss... then yeah, you can shop pretty much wherever you want, and it won't ever affect you.

Unless, you know, you care about other people.

Look, whether or not you boycott Chick-fil-A or any other place is between you and God, but don't try to tell me that the deliciousness of a chicken sandwich ought to outweigh any concerns I have about supporting a company with discriminatory policies.

Are there companies, organizations, or products you boycott? In what situations, if any, does it make sense to "vote with your money"?


  1. I understand your point of view and I don't mind being the 'bad guy' chosen among many who feel similarly as I do. And you don't follow me on Twitter so to take one of my tweets and make an example of it, is a bit odd. But that's neither here nor there. I will respond to this like I did to a friend on Facebook last night.

    Her comment was, "From what I gather - you have a real issue with porn [I run an organization dedicated to helping women overcome porn addiction]. You're saying if they came out and said that porn is a beautiful, healthy expression of sexuality you wouldn't take issue? Not trying to be a jerk. I'm just curious."

    My response: "That's a valid point you're making and I know you're not being a jerk. I think that if a company were to come out and endorse porn, I would probably not be a consumer because porn hurts & degrades women. Groupon, for example, is something I have stopped using because they started to advertise tours of a porn studio that is famous for bondage scenes.

    Chick-fil-a doesn't hate gay people (and neither do I) by having a stance on gay marriage. We have a belief that marriage as it is defined is to be between a man and woman. Chick-fil-a's stance is no different than a company coming out and saying they endorse gay marriage and who gives just as much money toward LGBTQ causes. Which happens a lot more than the contrary and we still patronage those companies.

    I love gay people (I have cousins on both sides of my family who are gay and many gay friends). I love marriage. I don't have to love gay marriage.

    I understand everyone draws their own lines in the sand and will make their decisions according to their own convictions. But what I am noticing more and more is that if my line in the sand looks different then I am automatically wrong and I don't think that is fair.

    1. Thanks for your response, and for being so gracious about it! It's a refreshing change :)

      I gathered that you are not a supporter of same-sex marriage, and I respect your ability to have a different opinion on that issue than I do. What would have been more honest, in my opinion, is if your tweet had said, "I'm eating Chick-fil-A tonight because I don't care about same-sex marriage." Because I think that's really your point. But that's exactly what I mean about privilege: When it's not an issue directly affecting you (like, for example, porn would be), then you can afford to be all, "Hey guys, it's just a sandwich, chill out." And that sentiment is what I take issue with. There's a big difference between "I'm going to continue eating here because this issue is not important to me" and "Everyone should continue eating here as long as you like their food." I will defend your right to hold a different opinion from me, but not to make sweeping statements about how I should spend my money.

      Just to make sure you and everyone else understands, Chick-fil-A has done more than simply issuing a statement against same-sex marriage. If that was all they did, I would be annoyed but not this angry. Rather, the owners have made it clear for years now, through their policies and their donations, that they think simply being gay is wrong. They put money toward organizations that use anti-gay messaging and seek to "cure" people of being gay. These are the kinds of things that have caused many, many gay Christians years of self-hatred and have driven LGBTQ people to substance abuse and suicide at a higher rate than non-LGBTQ individuals. So yes, I have a huge problem with giving my money to Chick-fil-A.

      Thanks again for taking the time to respond, and I hope what I said here makes sense.

  2. Holy crap, Jen is back and commenting! :P

    There was a HUUUUGE discussion about this on the NFP group on Facebook (and it later got deleted because it was off-topic). It was very charitable and had lots of thoughtful comments.

    I believe that corporations should not speak out on issues that don't affect their bottom line. If CFA wanted to speak out on the condition of chicken farms, great! I don't understand where a fast food chain needs to insert themselves in what people do in their private lives.

    As you know, Jessica, I work in publishing. I would be shocked if the owners of my company started a pro-life (or pro-choice) campaign in the workplace. It doesn't fit the company's mission nor is it appropriate. However, if the owners of the company wanted to come out in support of literacy or education, then I would think that's more appropriate (and also less flammable!).

    A friend of mine works for a Christian publishing company--I could see HER employers taking up a very Christian-centered, pro-life campaign, because of the type of books/software they create. However, it's a gray area--what if there are pro-choice Christian employees? What if Jews/Muslims/atheists work there? What if...someone who had an abortion worked there? People in those three "groups" I just mentioned might be made to feel uncomfortable for who they are, and might feel like the company is pushing their beliefs on to the employees.

  3. Part 2--did you know there was a limit to how long comments could be? haha

    When companies become politicized, it can create an environment of vulnerability, paranoia, and fear for those who might not agree 100%. I try to keep work and my private life separate--and it's fairly easy to do. My company has started to publish some "racy" books--and a policy was established so that anyone who felt uncomfortable reading/proofing/etc those books could pass on them and take up another project. I personally have no problem reading anything (except zombies, vampires, changelings--can they just go away already?) and when one works in marketing like me, you don't do much with the inside material.

    I'm digressing here, but the point I'm trying to make is this--when you employ people besides yourself, at some point, you're going to have to decide how much your personal beliefs are going to influence your business decisions. I don't mean that as "ignore your faith, forget everything you know," but you have to be mindful of the law, too. You have no idea who your employees are. (It's illegal to ask a lot of "probing" questions and also to discriminate based on those things one might ask anyway.) Where your employees come from and what their families are like. Yes, it can be hard to be sensitive to everyone, and sometimes impossible, but I believe it's better to err on the side of caution and to keep politics (and hot button issues) out of the workplace. I don't think my beliefs influence how I do my job, but I don't have a lot of power to hold over others. I know that when one has a position of power, one's beliefs can help or harm them. If I found out that my boss hates blacks (I hope not true) and I'm married to a black man (I'm not), I am probably going to keep that a secret. What a mess that could be!

    I'm rambling (and I also must get ready for work), and I'm not really sure how to tie this all up neatly...but...as much as I think politics and beliefs should be kept out of the workplace (especially when it's from the top down), it's also really hard to do so, when our beliefs shape us. It's hard to be a ruthless businessman AND a devout Christian ;-) Does this mean that things can get messy? Yes. But such is life.

    (I also work for a small company [~75 people] so it is probably easier for the owners to impose their culture/beliefs on us, than say, the company my aunt works for [uh, huge cable/communications provider that is a name for more than one rooster] where there are so many checks and balances and diversity departments and all of that. Which is why I'm so surprised by CFA, since I thought it was a big company, but maybe not? There aren't any in CT. Maybe it's because they are tightly controlled from the top?)

    1. Hooray! So glad you are back and commenting :)

      Lots of thoughts here! Obviously I agree that being a Christian in business is a balancing act, as I just did a whole post on making choices as a Christian at work. I think that because Chick-fil-A has always been promoted as a "Christian" company (e.g., not being open on Sundays), the owners feel that any policies that are in line with what they consider to be Christian are fair game. I would dare say that they don't care if they're driving away customers and potential employees, because those people are not in line with their beliefs. They've already made it clear they don't want to hire gay people. They've been supporting organizations like Focus on the Family for years now and they obviously still have enough customers to stay in business.

      It's interesting to think about it from the other perspective too; for example, The Jim Henson Company ended their business partnership with Chick-fil-A after the most recent comments were made and gave the money to GLAAD instead. (This led Chick-fil-A to put a sign in stores saying the Muppet toys had been pulled from their kids' meals because of a "possible safety issue" -- because lying is totally the Christian thing to do.) Does this mean they are going to turn off people from applying to work there because of their pro-gay marriage stance? Probably. But again, they may not care, because they may not want people who are strongly anti-gay marriage to work there in the first place, even though ostensibly the Muppets have nothing to do with gay marriage.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! It's a messy topic for sure.

    2. Muppets totally have everything to do with gay marriage! Bert and Ernie!!!! KIDDING, haha :)

      But back to CFA...I think being closed on Sundays is one thing. It allows for the company to respect its Christian roots without being in your face about it (and hey, my company is closed Saturday AND Sunday). It's another to be so open about your feelings on marriage. And I'm sure you agree with what I just said; I think that when marriage is such a hotly debated topic in this country right now, WHY add fuel to the fire?

      I guess you could look at it as they are being witnesses to their faith. Is it wrong to speak out on what you believe? No, you and I and everyone with a blog (or an opinion) do it every day. It's the way that it was done and the behind-the-scenes practices that you mentioned above, including the lying to parents about the toys. (Re: the toys, talk about NOT sticking to your beliefs!) That's where I (probably you, and others too) have a problem. But on the other hand, why should people have to censor themselves? Such a fine line.

      I have this problem myself a lot and I'm constantly working on it: it's not WHAT you say sometimes, it's also HOW you say it. Businesses need to be mindful of this as well, with the messages they present to the public.

    3. Right, I do think they believe they're being witnesses to their faith. It kind of goes back to this idea of obedience vs. service. When I worked for Group Workcamps for a summer, one of the guys on my team felt the need to tell everyone he met about how he had once turned down a job because they wanted him to work on Sundays. It's like he had this need to be like, "Look at me, look at how awesome and Christian I am!" And I feel like Chick-fil-A is acting much the same way -- not just that they're not censoring their beliefs, but that they're proudly being like, "Look how Christian we are! We're so anti-gay, we must be super Christian!"

  4. I often feel like this about the clothing industry. I know a lot of people who buy lots of cheap clothes from shops that have a poor track record regarding their factory workers, and they just don't care about that. Instead, they're thrilled that they've got multiple bargain buys. I'm not perfect - I would love to buy all Fairtrade clothes, but I don't have a massive income. I remedy this by buying fewers clothes than I used to so that I can buy Fairtrade stuff, and also by staying aware of where what I'm buying comes from, so am making informed choices when I shop. I do actively boycott Primark, and also the Arcadia group who own Topshop. But I am also part of a little group called 'Don't Shop Quietly', which encourages us to shop at places we like but to challenge the policies of those stores and to push for fair wages and working conditions for their workers. It's true that a lot of clothing chains in the UK have improved over the past few years, but they've still got a long way to go! There is a lot of power in the customers campaigning, and they do listen.
    I also boycott Nestle because they infuriate me beyond belief. KitKats are now Fairtrade, so why isn't the rest of their chocolate? The same goes for Cadbury's - only their Dairy Milk is Fairtrade.Sure it's progress, but it's too little for such massive companies when they could be doing so much more. KitKat and Dairy Milk going Fairtrade were the successful results of consumer campaigns, and it shows that campaigning does work, but even so it can be difficult to support an organisation who goes against what you believe, so sometimes it's easier to boycott. However, I acknowledge it is probably better to keep on campaigning, and something I am seeking to do more of.

    1. That's awesome that you are so involved in customer campaigning. I agree that it's important to tell a company when you disagree with their business practices, whether or not you buy from them. I think sometimes boycotts are not as effective as they could be when people don't make it clear why they're not buying. Unless there's a loud campaign about some disagreeable practice or another, the company executives might have no idea why they're losing customers and just assume that this or that new product wasn't what consumers were looking for. So I like the idea of "Don't Shop Quietly" a lot. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’m somewhat confused. The last time I visited a Chic-fil-A I did not see a sign on the door that said “NO LGBTQ people allowed”, and I’ve yet to have anyone report that this is happening. The reason is that an action like that would not only be ridiculous but unChirstian and illegal. It is interesting to me that advocates for this position criticize Dan Cathy for his comments but laud people like Boston Mayor Thomas Menino or Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno who are actually discriminating with their actions because of perceived discrimination. Being against Same-sex marriage is not being anti-gay it is an opinion. I thought this was America, the place where we have freedom of speech or have I move somewhere else?
    The real issue is that a man chose to express his opinion which is contrary to popular stances. To combine this man’s opinions to racist signs of the Jim Crow era is a straw man argument and disingenuous at best. Furthermore, anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of the company should know that it does not hide its commitment to biblical values. Its corporate statement of purpose since 1982 has begun, “To glorify God…” Given this, that anyone was surprised by Cathy’s statements is, well, surprising. Like many conservative Christians, he does not support gay marriage.
    Finally, I agree with Crystal, they are not refusing to serve the LGBTQ community, or anyone who agree with them, they are serving fast food. I am a Chic-fil-A fan. Not the food, in particular, but the service. I have worked in restaurants most of my life and they have a culture that I think many others should look to and follow when it comes to service.
    When I go there I want to eat a [spicy] Chicken Sandwich and enjoy outstanding service. Are there racist somewhere in the company? Yes, I am sure but that does not deter me because it is an opinion and they have the right to have such an opinion here in the United States. I pray for the day that we can move from trying to squelch others opinions to make us indistinguishable (this goes for both sides of the aisle). These fundamental rights are what America so beautiful and one of the many reasons I yearn for the days of civil discourse.
    Jon C. Nelson

    1. Hi Jon,

      Did you read my reply to Crystal above? The issue is not just that Dan Cathy made a statement against same-sex marriage. It is that Chick-fil-A has a history of discriminatory policies against the LGBTQ population. No, they legally can't prohibit gay people from eating in their establishment, but they can refuse to hire them, fire them if they find out they're gay, and pay millions of dollars to organizations that drive young people to suicide because they're told that something that is an inherent part of them is sinful and can be eliminated (when zero established studies have backed this up).

      You are more than welcome to continue eating there, and as I said above, that it not my point. My point is that I don't appreciate being told I'm making too big of a deal out of this and that I should eat there as long as I like the food. I think it's perfectly legitimate to refuse to eat at a place whose policies you believe to be wrong.

    2. Also, just to be clear, my intention with the initial example was not to compare "this man’s opinions to racist signs of the Jim Crow era." It was to provide an example of how Crystal's statement that a sandwich's deliciousness "is the only reason why anyone should or shouldn't eat at a restaurant" is clearly false, that there are other, perfectly legitimate reasons someone might feel they shouldn't eat at a restaurant.

  6. I completely agree with your central point that individuals should use consumption decisions as a tool to move the world closer to what they believe is a better state. Simply not eating at a particular restaurant, spreading the word about discriminatory practices, boycotts and protests are all underused tools in our society. However, I think it is wrong for the government to prevent individuals and private businesses from operating due to their stated opinions (which has happened in Boston and Chicago in response to Chic-Fil-A comments). A business should have the legal right to discriminate, and individuals should have the right to complain and boycott to the fullest extent short of the threat of force or violence. What makes the ideals of the United States beautiful is that we the people are empowered to effect change in society, not the government.

    1. I was thinking about this same thing in reading Jen's comment above, and while I'm tempted to agree, I have to ask myself if that thought is also coming from a position of privilege. For example, let's take a rare condition like... albinism. Let's say that a company discriminated against people with albinism -- wouldn't hire them and donated part of their profits to stop any research being done on the eye conditions associated with albinism. Saying that it should be up to the people to complain and boycott, rather than allowing the government to do anything about it, assumes that (1) enough people know about the company's behavior in the first place to even decide to do anything and (2) enough people care about this specific discrimination (which, statistically, probably doesn't affect them or anyone they know) to make the effort to complain and/or boycott, even if it means losing access to a product or food they enjoy. And I don't think that's realistic. The reason that we have EEO laws and the idea of a protected class is because it's too much to hope that enough people will just "do the right thing" when it comes to a minority group such that businesses that discriminate won't be able to survive.

    2. You may be right that in many cases people won't care enough to do the right thing and discrimination will persist if the government does not step in (certainly this has historical precedent). But I think there is a cost to encouraging the government to act on our behalf on these matters - (1) it may give government more power to act against our beliefs in the future, and (2) it doesn't give individuals as much of a chance to do the right thing if the government preempts decision-making. Perhaps in our society, most people would not stand up for a minority group, and these costs of government action are not large enough to outweigh the pain inflicted upon minority groups due to discrimination.

      But maybe people would stand up out of love for their fellow human beings. And at least in this matter, I think it would be better to give Bostonians and Chicagoans that chance. This would risk hurting a minority group, but I think the possibility of showing collective love to this group outweighs that risk.

    3. There are Chick-fil-As all over the country, and until I see that kind of "collective love" making a real difference at those other restaurants, forgive me for being skeptical that it would be any different in Boston or Chicago.

      I don't think the government should step in for all situations, but when there is documented evidence that (1) a particular group is targeted for discrimination, (2) that discrimination has had a profound and negative impact on people in that group, and (3) a company is unabashedly perpetuating that discrimination, then I don't personally have a problem with the government acting on the behalf of that targeted group.

    4. Also, there is already one Chick-fil-A in Chicago. It's just the plan for a restaurant in Logan Square that's currently being blocked.

  7. Thoughts on this?


    1. I think this writer makes the same incomplete argument that I keep seeing; that is, "Dan Cathy said some things about traditional marriage; his beliefs don't affect me and my chicken sandwich." This kind of argument ignores what I think are the more important parts of the puzzle; that is, when you buy a sandwich, you give Chick-fil-A money, and part of that money will be donated through the company's charitable arm to organizations that are unabashedly anti-gay, in ways I have described above. Whether you are comfortable with that or not is your own decision, but that part of the equation can't be ignored if you want to have a dialogue about this issue.

      So boycotting Chick-fil-A is not just about "making a statement" to other people, as this writer suggests; it is literally keeping your money from being used in ways that you do not support.

    2. I agree with you but I think it's more complicated than that. All I can say is this is an unintended consequence of Citizen's United...Plus, I find it gross when I see people buy stuff from Chick-fil-A specifically because it's a "Christian" business, not rather if the product and service is quality and humane as well the relationship between employees, customers and the management is healthy and dynamic. That goes for the other side, when I see people endorsing a business specifically because it's a _______(fill the blank with liberal, conservative, pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-life, etc). However, while not all beliefs are equally valid, all beliefs have some form of effect how relate to humanity and the world around us.

    3. Plus, I find boycotts in general very moralistic, self-righteous and puritanical, frankly.

    4. You might be interested in an earlier post I did about the fallacy that Christian always equals good; a commenter noted seeing a similar fallacy within the gay community that gay is always good.

      Regarding boycotts, as I said above, I don't necessarily think they're always the best way to create change, but I also wouldn't consider someone self-righteous simply for not wanting their personal money to go toward causes or practices they are opposed to.

  8. If it's something you don't believe in then you have every right not to go there. For example, I know many people who do not want to buy at Target now or who do not want to buy General Mills or Nabisco products because of their support for SSM. So I don't see a problem with letting them know you're not happy with stances and keeping your money from them. I find it interesting from a business perspective that ANY of these businesses would want to take a stance on it (you'd think they would want the chance for EVERYONE'S business, gay or straight), but hey, they are privately run business and all of them can do that. One guy on Facebook who was gay and pro-SSM thought it was ridiculous that I wouldn't buy something from Target, but he was doing the same thing by not going to Chick-Fil-A. When I tried explaining that he proceeded to say that I was "stupid".

    As far as the hiring piece goes (I'm not trying to stir anything up, I just want an answer):

    1. How are the hiring managers finding out people are gay/lesbian? If they are asking flat out then it's stupid and illegal, and
    2. Why would a gay person want to work at CFA?

    1. 1. It's actually, surprisingly/sadly, not illegal in most states. You can see an up-to-date map here. In states that don't include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination law, it is perfectly legal to make a hiring decision based on someone's sexual orientation. What I remember from when I first heard about Chick-fil-A in relation to gay rights was that they would actually say upfront that gay people shouldn't apply. A quick Google search turned up this report of that; I don't know whether any Chick-fil-A managers are still advertising this way. And the Forbes article someone linked to quotes the founder as saying he would probably fire an employee who "has been sinful." A manager in a state where sexual orientation is not part of the non-discrimination law might fire an employee if they suspected or heard something indicating they were gay, and even where it's not legal to that, it's not hard to come up with some other legitimate reason to fire someone.

      2. This is something I've heard come up in many contexts (e.g., if this manager is racist/sexist/etc, why would you want to work there anyway?), and once again I think it's important to think about the kind of privilege inherent in such a question; in other words, I've never heard this question come from someone who had experienced having their own job options limited by some aspect of themselves that had nothing to do with their ability to do the job. To me, the implied statement of "just get another job" is no better than saying "just get a job" to someone who is struggling to find work. Off the top of my head, I can think of several reasons a gay person might want to work at Chick-fil-A:
      -They don't have transportation, and there is a Chick-fil-A close to their residence or close to the place of work of someone who can drive them to work.
      -Their experience and/or interest is working in food service, and there are only a few food places close to their residence, so eliminating one would greatly decrease their chances of getting hired.
      -They are Christian and want to work at a place that will not require them to work on Sundays.
      -They like the culture and service of Chick-fil-A, as Jon described above.

      To give an example of my own -- when we were first thinking of moving out this way, I looked seriously at applying to work at World Vision. I've sponsored a World Vision child since high school and I think they've made a really positive impact in many areas of the world. Their U.S. headquarters are in Federal Way, WA, and I met someone who worked for them who said that the U.S. location was just starting an evaluation branch and that I would have exactly the right skills to join their team. So it would have been great to work at a Christian organization doing work I support that matches my skills. But the problem is that World Vision requires you to adhere to a statement of faith, and they already made news for firing people who they said they didn't believe were really Christians. If I worked there, I would have a great fear that someone would find out one of my beliefs that they didn't agree with and use that as an excuse to say I wasn't a true Christian and fire me. So I totally understand the experience of wanting to work somewhere even though they might discriminate against me.

  9. I'm here almost certainly to my detriment. CFA's "alleged" hiring practices are symptoms. Yes, symptoms of another, more base issue. That one is not alleged but blatant. Their support of "Christian Values" type organizations is the disease. In an age of tolerance there seems to be this backlash, not seen since the late '60s and '70s of some type. I think, too, that the issue is couched as a moral one by CFA, but is intrinsically financial. Their "image" is safe by spending their money the way they feel they should, based on marketing trends, charts, and the whims of the public. I daresay few companies would say they prefer to hire persons of LGBT persuasion, as that's discrimination as well. I say, "age of tolerance", only in so far as the "taboo" of LGBT is less much, and is accepted more readily than it used to be, rightly so. This is where I shoot myself in the foot; I am an avowed atheist. That doesn't mean I'm enlightened but I am LEAVENED (please forgive the pun, I couldn't help it) and so I'm not burdened with that weight. If CFA wants to continue those types of discriminatory, and openly defamatory activities, then we can all hope they exceed their displacement weight and sink. They haven't gotten a dime of my $ anyway. K----

    1. Mike and I were discussing this yesterday, whether the decision for a company or a company's leader to make a public statement about some issue is financially motivated or actually a result of some moral compulsion. I think it's difficult to say. Specifically talking about Chick-fil-A, clearly they have evidence that their previous stances and donations haven't hurt them enough to put them out of business, and these latest statements may even drive more business to them... but I wouldn't presume to say that that's the only reason for the company's actions or Dan Cathy's statements. I think it's important to remember that even when people do things we disagree with, it doesn't meant that they have the worst possible motives for doing so. I know many Christians who genuinely believe they are doing the right and loving thing to tell LGBTQ folks they are going to hell if they don't "change." So as much as I don't support where money from Chick-fil-A is going, I also wouldn't go as far as saying that this whole situation is really about finances and market calculations.

    2. The reason I cite $ as the motivating factor follows this line of reasoning:
      A)CFA has a responsibility to its share holders to show a profit and not necessarily take a moral stand. That translates to market share. That market share is DEFINED by appealing to the widest audience or Lowest Common Denominator (LCD). Contrary or ambiguous sexual preference clearly falls outside that parameter. So they attempt to identify or bond with the majority by taking that stand.

      B)These guys are in no danger of putting KFC out of business. KFC, to date that I know of, has no similar stance. So while appealing to the LCD they (CFA) also carve out a niche market with the various and sundry religious crowd whose sexual preference are of the "vanilla" type; again bonding: "we are just like you" and "you're hard earned cash will be spent to further our mutual ideals."
      C)By the way Mr Customer we will also stand on the front lines so you don't have to.
      That is not to say that they don't have a legitimate, and genuine belief that what they are doing is "right" (in both senses, political and moral), but they are a business first.
      I think, upon reflection (and your rebuttal), there is something to be said for a profit engine to actually take a stand (right or wrong and/or Left or Right)because you don't see that today.Bravery does not equate to business acumen, however. If the wallets close because of their high ground stance, I think (rather, I KNOW) they would re-examine their survival strategy to focus on selling chicken to as many people possible. I wonder, and this is a tangent, would they go so far as to say "We won't even SELL our goods to LGBTQs
      " (its even dehumanizing to type the abbreviation). Now there's a step they won't take (not that they'd be given the opportunity); but I think a penny here is as good as a pound. If they think they are right, and want to take on a crusade they would say "We'll fleece you, we just won't pay you." K----


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