On boycotting Chick-Fil-A

AP Photo/Mike Stewart

A business is only in business as long as they have customers to keep them there.

That’s true for every free market economy, including the United States. Growing up in Atlanta, there were locally-founded companies I knew would always be bulletproof: Coca-Cola, The Home Depot and Chick-Fil-A.

But now our local, beloved Chick-Fil-A establishments have come under fire because of comments made by their COO, Dan Cathy, about the company’s view of the family structure. Let me first say this — if you were outraged or shocked by anything Cathy said, you’ve been living under a pretty hefty rock.

But he has the freedom to say what he said, and now you have the freedom to boycott a company. That’s the glory of America. If something bothers you, there’s nobody forcing you to ever eat there again.

I will continue to support Chick-Fil-A because they make a good sandwich and every employee I’ve ever come in contact with (thousands, probably, at this point) has been a courteous and friendly part of my day.

Find me one other restaurant you can say that about.

The word “bigot” is thrown around way too easily and carelessly these days, so before I draw ire and find that word in the comments of this post, let me just disclose this: I am a supporter of gay marriage, and any kind of marriage. I am a Christian, yet I don’t think I will go to hell for thinking all people on this planet deserve to be happy and afforded the same rights, regardless of their orientation.

I also believe Christianity will come to fully support all types of marriage, in time. Until then, they’ll be labeled “hypocrites” by hypocritical people.

But you’re not perfect, either. Nobody is.

There will be an instance where someone will throw a rock through a Chick-Fil-A window as a means of protest, or will try to take their boycott to the next level and customers of Chick-Fil-A will be harrassed. I guarantee it. And that will be sad, because the folks at your local chain really are the friendliest people in fast food, and they’re just out to sell you a great chicken sandwich.

They’re not bigots. But you already knew that.

As a matter of fact, if that employee is under the age of 18, there’s a good chance they will eventually go to college on Chick-Fil-A’s dime. A lot has been made about the donations of the company in past weeks, so here’s one more fact for you: according to their website, the company will shell out $1.65 million this year to send kids to college.

And I know the response from most has been, “It’s not their statement, it’s the way they donate my money that pisses me off.” To that I say this: as a conservative, I’ll still see George Clooney’s movies, even though I know he’s going to turn around and donate $1 million to Barack Obama’s campaign. I may not support what’s going on behind-the-scenes, but because I appreciate the product sold, I still support people who do their craft well.

Mayors of Boston and Chicago have tried to intimidate Chick-Fil-A, saying their company isn’t welcome in those cities. God forbid anything happen in those cities like the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, ?

A buddy of mine posted a very eloquent response to the shouts of “bigot!” and “hate-mongers!” on Facebook this morning: “Go picket one if you’d like. But don’t be surprised when the employees come out and offer you something cold to drink and thank you for standing up for what you believe in. It happened yesterday in California.” Cathy’s statement of the company’s belief on marriage didn’t shock me, and neither does the outpouring of love from inside the restaurants being protested.

So protest if you’d like; it’s absolutely within your rights. But know this before you start your boycott — they still aren’t open on Sundays, because their beliefs are that strong and unwavering. Every week, they turn down millions in profit to adhere to their strict Christian values.

Your $7.25 isn’t going to change their mind.

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Author:Sean Breslin

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30 Comments on “On boycotting Chick-Fil-A”

  1. Phil
    July 26, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Funny how when Komen foundation gives to planned parenthood it can be justified as being “for screenings” yet there can’t be any justifying what chick-fil-as money was earmarked for.

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      I will say this — a lot has been made about the companies they’ve donated to. The only one I have come in contact with, personally, is FCA. I’ve never seen them “fight gay marriage,” but if people have done investigative stories and found that to be true, I have to take them for their word. But that group is strong in every southern high school and college, and they’re centered on Christianity. Fighting gay marriage was never brought up in those meetings, and I have friends who went more frequently that can attest to the same.

      • Matt
        July 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

        Found this in an article that explains the FCA part “Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which has been known to celebrate those who have been “freed” from homosexuality and even has those applying to be ministry leaders agree to a sexual purity statement that doesn’t allow them to take part in “homosexual acts,” according to the application.”
        So essentially they are considered to fight gay marriage since they are a Christian group. As a person that went to FCA twice a week for the whole time I was in college I can guarantee gay marriage never came up in any of the discussions.

      • Sean Breslin
        July 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

        Yeah, that’s what I thought. FCA may deal with those issues in some regard, but on the surface (which is where they do the most work with the most people), that is never discussed.

  2. Cheryl Breslin
    July 26, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    very nice article, well written and though out.

    • Cheryl Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      *thought out!

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Thanks, mom!

  3. Mike Hangler
    July 26, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    great article…one thing I disagree with thought is this statement..

    “I also believe Christianity will come to fully support all types of marriage, in time. Until then, they’ll be labeled “hypocrites” by hypocritical people.”

    Christianity will never support gay marriage. It is unbiblical and against the Bible. It would be similar to saying “I believe Christianity will come to support alcoholism/greed/etc in time”
    There are many sins and worldy things that make people “happy” That doesnt mean they are right.

    Thanks for this article though. Great points and you are so right about the fact that Chick-fil-A employees will serve whoever with open arms and a friendly smile.

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks for weighing in.

    • July 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Mike, there are a lot of things written in the bible which have faded from Christianity over time. The bible advocates slavery and keeping kosher. I am guessing Cathy does not keep kosher and I am hoping he does not keep slaves. So don’t act like this is the bible forcing the hands of all Christians, because its only his personal choice that is compelling him.

      • July 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

        I believe what you are referring to is the old testament law. Christianity is based on new testament law which is what Jesus Christ established. Slavery and keeping kosher is not something that is a part of christianity. See Matthew 15 as an example. Jesus came to establish the new law and covenant between man and God and things of the old law (such as keeping kosher) were no longer valid and necessary.

  4. July 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Good points but in saying Christianity will accept all marriage is an oxymoron. By it’s definition Christianity can only accept the single def. of marriage between a man & a woman. That being said, I’ll revert to what I always say. I am a Christian & fact is that homosexuality is no more of a sin than me lying to keep from hurting someone’s feelings. God doesn’t have levels of sin they’re all equal. The real wrong here is a government trying to bully a business exercising religious freedom.

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Joan.

  5. Jessie
    July 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    The point I think a lot of Christians miss is that there is a difference between marriage as defined by God and marriage as defined by the government. As a Christian, I believe that a marriage under God consists of one man and one woman, for life. You can be legally married as far as secular law is concerned, that doesn’t mean it is a marriage in God’s eyes. Not everyone in America is a Christian; according to the basic principles of our founding fathers, all citizens should have equal rights, regardless of their religious beliefs. That being said, I love Chick-Fil-A, and I have never seen a gay person (or any person for that matter) treated with anything other than absolute respect by Chick-Fil-A employees.

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to read my blog.

  6. Steven
    July 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Totally agree with Joan and Mike. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Basically, if you practice these things you’re not a Christian, or Christ-follower, and therefore against God. Christians are only Christians after acknowledging their sin, seeking forgiveness from Christ, who died for our sins, turning from the practices of sin, and seeking the things of God through Jesus Christ alone. We do that mainly through reading the Bible, God’s Word.

    Just my thoughts. Great read though!

  7. Jim Wilhoite Je
    July 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Those who support Christian values have as much right to speak as those who don’t. We will all be judged one day by God and so we should leave that to Him. It’s not the job of those who are civil servants such as those elected to office or who are in government to promote their opinions or personal views. These mayors who have voiced their personal opinions need to worry about upholding laws and focusing on the business needs of these cities to promote economic stability and that’s all. Their views are clearly an attack on Christianity and that’s a scary place for a politician to be as far as I’m concerned. So, I say “butt out” mayors of Chicago and Boston your cities need jobs not your rants or opinions!

  8. Amy
    July 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Great piece Sean! Based on Boston and Chicago’s “values” I guess they’ll be denying all their Catholic churches future permits.

    • Sean Breslin
      July 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Yeah…definitely seems like the Irish Catholics in those towns might be upset by those comments.

      • July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

        I’m an Irish Catholic from Boston, and it’s funny to me that Menino took this stance against a restaurant when Sandusky times (atleast 100) happened in Boston (with all the abuses of the Catholic Church, not to make a religious debate). Way easier to call out a restaurant than an entire church, especially when you are doing it only for votes, but thanks again Sean for writing a well thought out article about an issue that really should have never been one to begin with.

  9. July 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Jesus Christ came to this earth and loved everyone. I hung out with the bottom of the social ladder while he was on this earth. Christianity means you should live like Christ…love everyone but you don’t have to love their choices. Hate and telling people they are horrible isn’t something Christ would have done.

    • July 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Well, he might not have told people they were horrible, but he wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. Check out Matthew 11:20-24, and Matthew 23. Jesus loved everyone they way they were, be he also loved them too much to leave them that way.

  10. July 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I meant He hung out..lol..its been a long day:)

  11. July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Great post, you’ve spoken the same words I’ve been saying. I work in Boston, and the mayor spoke out of turn and as usual does not speak for his constituents. I am a hetero/catholic/wife/mother/nurse. I believe people should have the same rights and opportunities. God knows why they’d want to, but I respect their right to marry (okay- just kidding- kind of). I also and respect support a persons’ right to adhere to their own beliefs. To judge, criticize or boycott someone based on their beliefs is legal. It’s also in extremely poor taste. It’s no better, frankly, that judging or discriminating against someone based on their sexuality. Anyone who has suffered for their choices, sexuality, skin color or appearance should be very careful to treat others the way they would wish to be treated.

  12. John
    July 27, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    “Your $7.25 isn’t going to change their mind.”

    “A rain drop never feels responsible for the flood.” Yes your 7.25 does matter, it is silly to state that. It’s likening to a singer saying stating his individual fans don’t matter.
    Presuming enough people stick to there guns, Chick-Fil-A will get the message and they will act accordingly.

    “But he has the freedom to say what he said, and now you have the freedom to boycott a company. That’s the glory of America. If something bothers you, there’s nobody forcing you to ever eat there again.”

    But here’s the funny thing, he has the freedom to say it but to support it is another thing. Gay marriage is a right that shouldn’t be denied, you shouldn’t vote on rights, that defeats the purpose of calling them rights.
    You have the freedom to carry a gun, you do not have the freedom to use that gun to deprive someone of their rights. You have the freedom of religion, you do not have the freedom to use your religion to deprive someone of their rights; just because it’s a “Christian value”.

    “I also believe Christianity will come to fully support all types of marriage, in time. Until then, they’ll be labeled “hypocrites” by hypocritical people.”

    The sooner you act on it the quicker it will happen.
    At least send them a letter expressing your displeasure towards their position if you really that adamant about your opinions on marriage. It’s easy to say you support universal marriage, but what does it matter if you won’t support it when a delicious sandwich and friendly disposition is all that it takes for you to forget this.

  13. July 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    I live in California where there aren’t as many Chick-Fil-A’s as there are in Georgia. Chick-Fil-A does have some great food and you’re right,they do have some of the kindest and courteous workers and the service they provide their customers is something of a lost pastime. As a matter of fact, once I leave after my meal, I always take time to tell them how wonderful they are to me every time I visit their establishment because they took the time to make me, the customer, feel like I matter to them.

    Having said that I do disagree with the restaurant’s stance on marriage and understand the immediate backlash from Jim Henson and cities who may have been thinking of allowing the chain into their cities. It’s only natural for that to happen when such a controversial announcement that affects the lives of so many who strive for equality is made and a stance like could make or break one’s decision to eat at their establishment.

    Personally I don’t think I would boycott Chick-Fil-A per se because the nearest one to me is over 20 minutes away and is something I will have if I am nearby or seriously crave it. Also, if I were to boycott an establishment because of how they felt about gay people, I would’ve stopped eating at Carl’s Jr. long ago because Carl Karcher, the chain’s founder, was a known homophobe who supported causes that discriminated against gay people.

  14. July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Good post.

  15. July 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    While I don’t agree with gay marriage I think your other points are great. This is America and even Christians should be able to express their opinons though it seems to come under fire everytime. The management of Chick fil A never said he disliked gays or that he would discrimnate against them he simply stated his christian beliefs about gay marriage.

  16. Heather Halliburton
    July 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I will not judge for that is stepping in front of GOD trying to do his job and those are one set of toes I will never want to step on ;) I will say my GOD the one I was raised to believe in which is the same one most of the world believes in IS A LOVING GOD, One who wrote my future before he placed me in this world he knows our path before we take it but he chose to still bring us into it…. Which means he excepted me for who I am….BUT aint that why he gave us his son to die for us to show us no matter what we do or how we are HE WILL LOVE US! and “SUPPORTS US” Threw it all because we were made EACH OUR OWN AND ONE OF A KIND……and he knows what we will do before we do it…. our sins the ones we have done will do and are doing at this very moment are forgiven NO ONE GREATER THEN THE OTHER….The fact he can love us no matter? what makes it so less important wat my peers/siblings<<<~~~I say siblings cause we are of the father…..It doesnt matter what they think cause He is all who matters and MY GOD MY FATHER LOVES EACH OF US JUST AS WE ARE….. WE ARE HIS CHILDREN AND I DONT KNOW IF MOST OF YOU HAVE CHILDREN BUT THERE IS NOT ONE THING MY CHILD COULD DO TO EVER MAKE ME STOP LOVING HER……NOTHING! SHE IS OF MY FLESH AND IF we are in likeness of our father then GAYS You have nothing to worry about because your doing it in love! and how can POSITIVE things and love be wrong…….GOD is LOVE!!!!


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