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The Chick-fil-A Culture War

28 Jul

So, by now, y’all have doubtless heard about the head of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, saying that his restaurant stands for the traditional definition of marriage, and the ensuing uproar that occurred, with the mayors of Chicago and Boston saying that Chick-fil-A is not welcome to expand into their cities – and the Muppets ending their business dealings with them (oh noes!), the sodomites planning a ‘Kiss-in’ for August 3, and Billy Graham praising Dan Cathy for his courageous stand, and Mike Huckabee encouraging fellow Christians to have a day of solidarity with Chick-fil-A, by a mass visit to their locations on August 1.  (This is what some call a ‘buycott’, the opposite of a boycott – deliberately patronizing a business one wishes to support.)

I’ve never eaten at a Chick-fil-A, because there are no locations here in Canada, nor in any of the states I’ve visited, but not only have I long wanted to try them, and I would certainly do my part, if I was near one.

I find it interesting, though, that we have reached this state of affairs, where businesses feel the need to affirm that their business stands on either one side or the other of the culture war (latest example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos), rather than make no public pronouncements one way or the other on such matters, so as to not offend potential customers of various different mindsets, and potentially appeal to all.

What gives?  Is there really more money to be made by completely alienating one side on a particular issue, by vocally supporting the other side?  Why bother?  Isn’t the business of business still making money, primarily?

P.S. As mentioned, we don’t have any locations up here in Canada; just like this guy, my first time learning about them was in the late ’90s, through the second verse of the great Ben Folds Five song ‘Army’.  He has posted the uncensored version, which is great, but I still also like the amusing, well-choreographed video:

Update: found a couple funny videos praising Chick-fil-A (predating recent events, I’m sure; HT: bluebird of bitterness), by Christian comedian Tim Hawkins:

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21 responses to “The Chick-fil-A Culture War

  1. Will S.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    One thing I’ve always liked about Ben Folds is his political incorrectness; his poking fun at gangsta rap, in his piano-based cover of Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit” (Multiple F-bomb warning, and other potentially disturbing language, for sensitive types):

    Or his tackling of the guilt he felt over his girlfriend’s abortion (he of course had gotten her pregnant):

     
  2. Jehu

    July 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I wish there were a Chick Fil A in Oregon. Were it so, I’d take my family there for lunch today and perhaps give Chick Fil A gift cards as presents.

     
  3. Will S.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    @ Jehu: I, too, wish there was one nearby, where I could show my support. I think the nearest one to me is in Erie, PA, which is half a days’ drive away.

     
  4. sunshinemary

    July 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Although the business of business is to make money, I think Dan Cathy has always maintained the intersection of faith and commerce. For example, it’s my understanding that most Chick-fil-As are closed on Sundays. Closing on Sundays was common when I was a child but is unheard-of now. Even the local Christian bookstore, which used to be closed on Sundays, is now open. Being willing to lose money in order to allow your employees to observe the Sabbath impresses me, as does the refusal to kowtow to sodomites. Although it’s a 90-minute drive to the nearest location, perhaps we’ll have lunch for the first time at Chick-fil-A on August 1.

     
  5. Will S.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    @ Sunshine: Yes, and I’ve always admired his principled stand in that regard, closing on the Sabbath; I think that doing so is right and proper. Indeed, one’s faith should influence all aspects of one’s life, including how one conducts one’s business.

    That said, Dan Cathy was hardly being political, per se, in taking such a stand; he was just following the dictates of his faith-impacted worldview. And Dan Cathy didn’t raise the issue; his interviewer did; presumably he wouldn’t ever have raised it, but when it was raised, he answered honestly. Alas, everything is political, now, and liberals don’t want fried chicken sandwiches from anyone who doesn’t genuflect before the idol of gay rights, today.

    But as regards Amazon, why did Bezos need to take a pro-gay stand? If he’d said nothing, no-one would have known. Why did Office Space need to back Lady Gaga? Was it worth it, economically, to risk alienating conservative customers?

     
  6. Samson J.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Closing on Sundays was common when I was a child but is unheard-of now.

    Believe it or not, the province where I used to live (in Canada!) had a law barring businesses from opening on Sunday until about five years ago. Truly the end of an era.

    Alas, everything is political, now,

    A company that doesn’t actively treat homosexuals differently, but whose owner holds a traditional Christian viewpoint, is to be targeted for destruction. Yeah, that’s where we’re at.

    In the spirit of trying to find a silver lining in everything: I realized fairly recently that those businesses that advertise themselves as “gay-friendly”, even putting those rainbow emblems in their windows, are usually not trying to make a political statement as much as they are trying to attract the gay dollar, which apparently is felt to be considerably plentiful.

    Was it worth it, economically, to risk alienating conservative customers?

    Time will tell which side has more economic clout, I guess.

     
  7. Will S.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    @ Samson: Here in Ontario, we of course haven’t had Sunday closings since 1990. But I well remember the quiet, peaceful streets of small towns on Sundays back then; ’twas glorious… {Sigh}

    “A company that doesn’t actively treat homosexuals differently, but whose owner holds a traditional Christian viewpoint, is to be targeted for destruction. Yeah, that’s where we’re at.”

    And then they blame the likes of us for starting the culture war; it was they who started it, long ago; it’s merely heating up now, once again, thanks to them.

    “Time will tell which side has more economic clout, I guess.”

    It just doesn’t make good business sense to me, to risk alienating any of your potential customer base, unnecessarily; I can only conclude, that it’s more important to those on the cultural left to toot their progressive horns, than to make money, even if they hope to gain more gay business…

     
  8. Will S.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Re: Jeff Bezos: Half Sigma makes an excellent point here:

    http://www.halfsigma.com/2012/07/jeff-bezos-another-super-rich-liberal.html

     
  9. Samson J.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Oh, don’t point me at that thread, I already read it earlier and actually it turned into one of those moments (rare these days) that I got so IRRITATED at another commenter that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Basically what the guy said was that he doesn’t especially fervently support gay “marriage”, but he does support it because he’d be mortified if he were mistaken for the type of (allegedly) low-class person who *opposes*. That type of cowardly, status-seeking mindset nearly makes me crazy.

     
  10. Will S.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Ah. I hadn’t read the thread, just the initial post.

    What a loser that commenter is.

     
  11. Will S.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Update: I have added a couple videos I came across, to this post; see above.

     

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