To Chik-fil-A or To Not Chik-fil-A, That Is the Question


A friend e-mailed me today asking if The Passionate Moderate was going to wade in to the Chik-fil-A conversation. I had been mulling it over, but her e-mail really got me thinking about it more. To be honest, I had been pretty ambivalent about the whole controversy, mostly because I never eat at Chik-fil-A anyway so my reasons for not doing so are irrelevant.

As you may know from my previous posts, I am very much in favor of marriage equality. My poor daughter who is all about gay rights is also a Chik-fil-A lover and has decided that she can’t patronize the restaurant any more because it isn’t in line with her most strongly held beliefs. I’m really proud of her for taking a stand, especially because it’s been so hard for her. Giving up Chik-fil-A is really a sacrifice.

That said, I’m not jumping on the boycott bandwagon.

Here’s why…

First of all, I’m not entirely happy with the snarky tone this boycott has taken. It’s all gotten a bit sanctimonious if you ask me. The owners of Chik-fil-A have the right to their opinion, and each of us has a right, as consumers, to voice our opinions through our dollars. If we like a company‘s product, and/or philosophy we buy it; if we don’t we don’t. More on that in a minute.

Secondly, most free-standing Chik-fil-A restaurants have independent operators who may or may not share the founder’s views on gay rights and marriage equality. I kind of hate the idea that someone who is brave enough to start a business risks failing because of issues outside of their control. Yes, yes, I know what you’re about to say. They should research the company they are signing on with, and that’s life. True, but I still don’t like it. I know that one of the owners a Chik-fil-A in my super conservative part of the world is in fact quite liberal. A tough situation.

The biggest reason I have for not necessarily jumping of the anti-Chik-fil-A train can be summed up in this great Gene Wilder meme posted on Facebook  earlier this week:

There it is in a nutshell.

In the highly consumer driven culture of the United States we buy a wide variety of products from many countries. We invest in companies we may not know a thing about. We do support the oil-rich and women’s rights poor countries of the Middle East. We buy cheaper products from China which has an awful human rights record, and on and on it goes. Where does your food come from? Where do your clothes come from? What companies do you invest in and what is their record domestically and/or around the world? It’s funny how we can ignore some  human rights abuses and we get so fired up over others. Dare I even mention our own government and what may or may not go on behind closed doors… torture, covert missions, lobbying, and not to mention how our tax dollars are spent?. How many examples do I need to give to make the point? We can make moral decisions in just about every area in our lives; to actually think about it is daunting. It boils down to the proverb our moms always told us, “Pick your battles”.

So I guess what I’m saying is that a boycott like this always seems a bit hypocritical to me. We can get super self-righteous over one issue while ignoring a mountain of issues behind us,  and while we should take stands for what we believe it and seek to shed light on the issues that concern us, maybe we do it in a spirit of meekness that acknowledges we are only making a tiny difference but that we hope that all of us making our tiny differences together will turn into a world changing force for good.

So if you’re moved to give up Chik-fil-A and take a stand. Good for you. Let people know why you’re doing what you’re doing and then let it go. They will either make their own change or not based on what moves them. And, if you’re really feeling the stress of not eating there anymore there are fantastic fake Chik-fil-A chicken recipes on Pinterest.

(The secret is in the pickle juice!)

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you decided to take your business elsewhere or are you supporting Chik-fil-A? What other issues have you taken a stand on? We’d all love to know, and don’t forget to like or share this article!

The Real Defense of Marriage

Today is my 18th anniversary, and I’m pretty damn proud of the years my husband and I have had together. Certainly not the “happily ever after” promised in all of my favorite Disney fairy tales, “just” two people trying to navigate through the twists and turn life has to offer, together.

I am a big believer in marriage, although it seems to be ever so slowly falling out of favor which is understandable given the statistics on divorce, and the growing social acceptance of living together and/or having children without being married. It’s like, why bother with the fuss of a wedding and changing names, paperwork and all that crap when there’s only a 50/50 chance we’re going to stay together anyway?

Well, in what may be my most conservatively held view, I would like to say that I believe marriage is important, and I think it’s different from other long term relationships. When you stand up before your family and friends or even just a religious leader or judge and declare yourselves bound to each other there is a shift in your relationship that goes beyond giggling every time you can use the word husband or wife to describe your partner, and extends into every aspect of your life.

I love a good romantic comedy. I also love wedding shows and “Say Yes To the Dress“. I will admit that I love the fantasy world of gowns, champagne, unrelenting passion and yes, “happily ever after”. I do, however understand, that this is fantasy. The reality, which took years of frustrated expectations to understand, is that marriage is a discipline, like a religious life, a regular exercise schedule or an alternative diet. You can live differently, but you choose and commit to putting constraints on your actions in the belief that those constraints will make your life better in the long term.

Fidelity, teamwork, support, physical affection and appreciation…..none of these are consistently easy over a lifetime. It’s not too difficult to let one or more of these disciplines lapse, and even more difficult is that marriage can’t be marriage without both partners committed to it’s discipline and like many other disciplines, there is a slippery slope of forgetting what’s important until you have fallen out of the lifestyle you once committed to.

I went to a Catholic High School, which is, in fact, where my husband and I met, and while I can’t say there are a lot of lessons learned there that I still remember after all these years, I distinctly remember a religion class in which the teacher talked about love and how it is not a feeling, but a verb. He admonished us to endeavor to do something every day to demonstrate that we loved our partners once we found them….a romantic gesture, a supportive hug on a bad day, a word of appreciation or admiration….anything that let him/her know that they were more than just a roommate. My husband and I  haven’t always been very good at this I’ll admit, but when we do remember his advice our marriage is a much more contented one.

We are very conscious of the fact that our marriage, besides being beneficial to us will have a lasting impact on our kids. We are trying to be good examples of what a marriage is and provide a stable and secure family for them to grow up in. We can either model healthy and loving interaction (even if arguing) or we can model anger, resentment and vindictiveness….because let’s face it, marriage is hard and we all have those negative emotions to cope with from time to time. The question is do we give in to our worst impulses or do we remember that the person who we may want to smack right now is actually our life’s partner and the one person we need to be gentle with, especially during those times it is hardest to be gentle. (A real struggle for me I admit.)

So, yes, I would like to defend the institution of marriage. I think it is a discipline which is beneficial to children and society in general. I do not, however, believe it should be limited to opposite sex relationships. The definition of marriage is in the discipline, not in the gender of the people committing to it. Any two people who are willing and eager  to enter this type of commitment, who love each other with the depth needed to spend a lifetime together, should have the right to do so. Period. End of story.

Today I’d like to say, “Happy Anniversary” to my husband, who has made me laugh on an almost daily basis, and who is supporting and encouraging me to pursue the dream of a lifetime.

I’d also like to say to all same-sex couples who are still fighting for the right to be married, that I support you completely and I hope that very soon the discriminatory laws which keep you from legally committing to your partner are lifted. Those of us who believe in marriage equality will continue to stand with you until that day comes.

How To Damage Your Child in Two Easy Steps

I’m all about saving time and doing things as quickly and easily as possible so today’s parenting lesson is brought to you by Pastor Sean Harris. In his Sunday sermon he was speaking in support of North Carolina’s Amendment 1 which seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman. I have no idea what the title of his sermon was, but I’ll just call it “How To Damage Your Child in Two Easy Steps”.

Step 1: Vigilantly watch your sons to see if they’re acting “girlie”, and watch your daughters to see if they’re acting “butch”.

Step 2: When you notice those actions, give your kid a smack.


In case you think I am stretching his words or twisting them in some way, here is a recording of a portion of his actual sermon:

Jesus wept.

Hatred is an awful thing, but it’s even worse coming from the pulpit because like the wolf in sheep’s clothing, it cloaks hate with “God’s perfect plan for humanity”. It wasn’t all that long ago that preachers were using the bible to justify slavery and segregation and to decry inter-racial marriage. Thankfully those types of sermons are, for the most part, not taking place today and that gives me hope for the future for everyone in the LGBT community.

I’ve never understood why homosexuality is considered a worse sin than so many others; it makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Even people who interpret biblical teachings pretty literally have discarded many of the rules and regulations (seen anyone stoned lately? animal sacrifice?), yet they hang on to the prohibitions against homosexuality and use them to justify discrimination (Now, whether those passages actually refer to homosexuality practiced in a loving relationship is very much up for debate, but that’s a whole other post).

Even worse is this idea that you can discern from the actions of a young child whether or not they’re gay and then train it out of them. As if every little boy who tries on his mom’s high heels or every little girl who’d rather wear jeans then dresses is going to be gay in their adult life. It’s ridiculous…..or rather, you’d think it was ridiculous but apparently there are a good many folks out there who believe this stuff.

What are we so afraid of that we can’t let our children play and pretend and explore their world without judgement or labels? As a parent I can’t comprehend not loving my children no matter what their sexuality. In fact, to me, the best part of being a parent is discovering, year by year, who your child really is, what their personality is like, and how they move through the world.

One of my favorite blogs is called Raising My Rainbow. The mom who writes it has a son who loves Barbies, and Disney Princesses, and she loves her son…maybe he’s gay, maybe he’s not. Right now he’s just a little boy who thankfully has awesome parents who want him to be who he is. That is what I wish could be for all children.

If you are interested in reading Raising My Rainbow’s response to Pastor Harris’s sermon, it is re-blogged in the article below, and as always I thank you for reading my little blog. If you liked it, don’t forget to pass it along; the more people get involved, the sooner change will come!

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