uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum -- Q. Aurelius Symmachus, 384 C.E.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fowl Exegesis: Some Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A

By and large, I think the boycotting culture that we live in has become rather absurd. On a grand scale, consumer politicking -- picking and choosing the companies one supports with dollars based on their political  leanings -- is a fruitless and ineffectual business. The basic rules of economics suggest that self-interest is too strong an impulse to expect companies not to protect their bottom lines at all costs and consumers not to protect theirs by buying the cheapest products or dining at the most convenient locations.

So when I heard Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A, muse nonsensically about "biblical marriage" and how his company supports such shams that pretend marriage under state law must somehow conform with their own personal religious convictions, I was mostly just amused. But I was also moved not to eat there any more.

Why? Not because I think the $5.99 I spend there might somehow make a difference. Clearly, it won't. And not because I'm under some delusion that spent elsewhere, it surely won't end up buoying the coffers of some other political cause with which I disagree (like the millions of dollars spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, of which almost all companies in the U.S. are in some way members).

Rather, it simply ruins my appetite hearing cliche religious regurgitation of the Bible's supposedly "clear" message on marriage, when I know from both the Bible and the history of Christianity that its relationship with nuptial unions is anything but.

I would find it hard to enjoy a chicken sandwich, even waffle fries, while thinking about the vast absurdities apparent in Cathy's remarks. And it's an unfortunate side-effect of my personality that I would, in fact, be thinking about it, no matter how I tried otherwise.

Not to mention, in addition to the outcries over Chick-Fil-A's stance, there have been campaigns like Mike Huckabee's to get like-minded individuals to flock to their local franchise locations to show their support, so it's very likely I might end up dining within earshot of folks extolling the "Christian" values of Chick-Fil-A -- because they equate "Christian" with a modern, nuclear family ideology that would have been unrecognizable to the earliest Christians (and rejected in those parts that were recognizable). That tends to ruin my dining experience, so I would prefer to just head elsewhere for my indulgences and spare myself the heartburn. 

Yes, Chick-Fil-A has every right to express its views and spend its dollars as it sees fit, just as Rush Limbaugh has the right to get on the air everyday and spew nonsense that any third-grader could dissect. Similarly, I do not "boycott" Rush Limbaugh -- I just choose not to listen to him to guard my sanity. In the same way, then, I choose not to dine at Chick-Fil-A. Because for me, its food will always come with a side-order of God-awful exegesis.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't think there were many Chick-Fil-As around us in Minneapolis, so I did a google search. There's apparently one in Coffman Union - who knew? Anyways, you should be getting your fast food chicken at Raising Cane's anyways - that stuff is great.