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#600021 - 08/07/12 04:58 AM fast food and religious freedom
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
what's up with the Chick Fil A business?
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#600022 - 08/07/12 10:04 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Gerald]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
It's the battle over gay marriage.

I've never set foot in a Chick-Fil-A anyway. Nothing to do with the CEO's politics or religion. I've simply no interest in eating greasy factory-produced chicken giblets dipped in rat feces with a 64-ounce cup of high-fructose corn syrup to wash it down.

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#600025 - 08/07/12 10:35 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
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The last time I ate in a CFA was about ten years ago. One of the worst chicken sandwiches I've ever had. 60 Minutes did a story on them a few years back, and the biggest thrust of it seemed to be that they were closed on Sundays. Oh, so no observance of the Jewish sabbath?

I haven't followed this latest flap at all, but apparently there was a report came out last month that the CEO gave a bunch of money to the anti-gay side of the Proposition 8 legislation in California. In response, the mayors of Boston, San Francisco and Chicago (Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel) personally blocked permits for new CFA restaurants in their cities. So CFA staged that whatever-it-was day a week or so back.
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#600026 - 08/07/12 10:51 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
None of this is exactly a complete picture.

1) Money to Prop 8 was one of the practical effects of Chick-fil-A's policies. But what they actually did was give an average of $2 million a year (at least $5 million now total) to groups like Exodus International, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council, all of which are devoted to terrorizing homosexuals in many more ways than Prop 8.

2) This was publicly-available knowledge for years, but folks tended to willfully ignore it. Then the CEO, Dan Cathy, did an interview about it where he came off like kind of a dick, and it became a lot harder to ignore. This prompted some boycotts.

3) No Mayors blocked any permits. In the publicity of the boycotts, they did some public pandering, which they later backpedaled like crazy. So far, only one Chicago alderman has actually withdrawn a permit from Chick-fil-A.

4) This didn't stop idiots from screaming about how Christians and corporations are the real victims of discrimination in America. So to protest, they gathered together for a Fat Bigot Pride Parade on August 1st. Appropriately enough, the celebration took the form of cramming your face full of fried meat until breathing gets difficult.

5) The Fat Bigot Pride Parade was organized by Mike Huckabee, whose stated goal was to "affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

No word yet on whether Huckabee will be asking America to affirm and support a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or if they will respond in same the vast, teeming numbers. But don't hold your fuckin' breath.

6) This last bit is just rumor, but general word is that Chick-fil-A (as a company, no idea about the CEO) wasn't thrilled with the Fat Bigot Pride Parade. It was good for one day's sales, but it makes a nasty long-term image for a company that's already taken a bad knock in public opinion.
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#600027 - 08/07/12 11:20 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Something about organized boycotts always bothers me a little.

If you don't like how a company does things -- whether it's serving unhealthy food to poor people or donating millions of dollars to political causes you oppose -- by all means, don't give it your money. Go elsewhere.

When large groups of people try to organize mass boycotts, however, it often smacks of "group-think," which is to say, no thinking at all. So you don't like Chick-Fil-A because of the gay marriage thing? OK. But what if your local franchise is owned by someone with no strong opinion on gay marriage? Also, do you shop at Wal-Mart, which busts unions and imports an endless river of cheap plastic crap from China? Are you buying gas at BP again already? Do you buy your electricity from coal-fired power plants, which pollute the air and depend on coal retrieved through mountaintop-removal which blah blah blah blah.

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#600028 - 08/07/12 11:29 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Something about organized boycotts always bothers me a little.

If you don't like how a company does things -- whether it's serving unhealthy food to poor people or donating millions of dollars to political causes you oppose -- by all means, don't give it your money. Go elsewhere.


That's kinda what a boycott is, isn't it?

Quote:
So you don't like Chick-Fil-A because of the gay marriage thing? OK. But what if your local franchise is owned by someone with no strong opinion on gay marriage?


Who cares? You don't owe Chick-fil-A your business, so you're not doing anything immoral by withholding your money from a guy with no opinion. And as a happy side-benefit, you're preventing your money from finding its way to hate groups when it reaches the guy who does have a strong opinion.

Quote:
Also, do you shop at Wal-Mart, which busts unions and imports an endless river of cheap plastic crap from China? Are you buying gas at BP again already? Do you buy your electricity from coal-fired power plants, which pollute the air and depend on coal retrieved through mountaintop-removal which blah blah blah blah.


This is a false choice. Not being able to address every problem doesn't mean you shouldn't address one that's right in front of you. And it's also a bad comparison... people frequently have no immediate choice about where their electricity comes from; they have every last ounce of control over whether they stick a chicken sandwich down their gullet.
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#600029 - 08/07/12 11:38 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
That's kinda what a boycott is, isn't it?


It is.

I've no problem with people individually spending their money where they choose.

I'm less comfortable when -- to quote from a Chicago newspaper -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggested that he was prepared to join Alderman Joe Moreno in blocking Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing Chicago store in Logan Square. Both men cited Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s public opposition to gay marriage.

Whether you agree with the CEO of this chicken chain or you think he's a self-righteous jerk, neither he nor his company has done anything illegal. For government officials to talk of blocking permits because of the CEO's political views -- well, I thought we had a First Amendment to prevent that sort of thing. This sort of reaction is one reason why group-think -- or dog-piling, as we say on the Interwub -- worries me.

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#600031 - 08/07/12 11:48 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
I'm pretty loathe to defend Rahm Emanuel. I honestly consider him a walking force of cancer on the Democratic party.

However.

Within one day of Emanuel's statement, his press secretary released this follow-up:

The Mayor simply said that Chick-fil-a's CEO does not share Chicago's values. He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here. If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but he does not believe the CEO's values are reflective of our city.

Again: the Mayors didn't block permits. They pandered, then backpedaled. And this would hardly be the first time in Emanuel's career where he pandered to an ideal, then kowtowed to money. Hell, it would hardly be the thousandth.
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"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
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#600032 - 08/07/12 11:58 AM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Again: the Mayors didn't block permits. They pandered, then backpedaled.


They were correct to back-pedal.

But see -- that's the sort of heated rhetoric that often emerges from the sudden passion of a group-think. And the idea of any government officials going after a business because they don't like the political views of the CEO -- even if they say "Just kidding!" later -- that's abhorrent. Would the Left be so quick to dismiss the threat if a Republican president had threatened the FCC license of a television station that politically displeased him?

I think you know my political sympathies, Ceci, and I think you know they're fairly closely aligned with yours.

But being a longtime holder of minority opinions, I feel obliged to respect the rights of other people when they're getting deluged with abuse and threats.

The chicken king chose to alienate customers who support gay marriage. OK. That's on him. (Though I have to wonder how many progressive Americans were shoving that crap down their throats in the first place, to say nothing of their kids' throats.) But I prefer to see people stop somewhere short of mob action. Some of the Chick-Fil-A rhetoric was making me a little uncomfortable.

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#600033 - 08/07/12 12:14 PM Re: fast food and religious freedom [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Would the Left be so quick to dismiss the threat if a Republican president had threatened the FCC license of a television station that politically displeased him?


There's a television station that would politically displease a Republican president?

Kidding, kidding.

I get your principle here, but I think it's overblown. I think what we have here is a real assault on individual rights (Chick-fil-A corporate donations to hate groups) vs. imaginary assaults on corporate rights (Mayors pandering then not doing anything).

And what got people really riled into a day of mass action? The latter.

That makes me uncomfortable.

(Also, while I agree with the principle, "defend the persecuted minority even when you disagree with them," I take some issue with the idea that Christian CEOs are a persecuted group. I think Dan Cathy might just enjoy some small measure of power in our culture... the number of former candidates for President who came to his defense is one big red flag that he's not exactly helpless.)
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