There’s always a caveat, an asterisk, at the end of my love for Chick-fil-A. It comes up every once in a while. I subtly bring up the dark side of the brand in my posts, though I never really explain what some of the “problems … downsides … flaws” are. It’s not necessarily taboo. It’s just difficult to talk about without entering territory I am not comfortable treading.
Yes. Chick-fil-A was founded on Christian values. And it’s been reported recently that the Cathy family (the founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A disapprove of gay marriage, and have gone so far as to donate money to anti-gay marriage groups. I am completely against this. Other than that, I don’t have much else to say on the matter.
And while I think it’s a terrible thing that the Cathy’s have done, especially in a public manner, I don’t enjoy being demonized in a kind of “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”-type dichotomy. Chick-fil-A, like life, is more complex than this. And just because I eat at the franchise doesn’t mean I support the Cathy’s vision. And just because someone works or own a Chick-fil-A franchise doesn’t make them automatic descendants or followers of the Cult of Cathy. First and foremost, these are people who found a business opportunity that was right for them, and in some cases, religion had almost nothing to do with it. I’m not fine with generalizing the entire corporation, because as I’ve explained before, not all Chick-fil-As are the same. Just as they don’t all have the same promotions, we can’t expect them to all share the same view.
I respect the right to boycott Chick-fil-A if you don’t agree with their practices. I don’t agree with their beliefs, and yet, I believe in the workers I see every time I go there. I don’t see malice or prejudice. I see friendly workers and generous managers. I see people that I respect too much to boycott a store where the managers, workers, and owners may not even share the Cathy’s beliefs. This may be naive of me. Maybe it’s too myopic of a view. But it’s difficult for me to see the bigger picture when the Chick-fil-As I frequent seem so much like home.
Maybe I didn’t do a good enough job justifying my views, but they’re my views nonetheless. Wherever you stand on this issue, I respect your views. I can only ask for reciprocity.