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


VS.

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!

Time Magazine Overload


Are we all sick of this story yet? Are we done ranting about one side or the other? I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.

I’ve spent more time thinking about everything I’ve seen and read over the last week, than I will admit publicly, (I would diagnose myself as OCD, but looking around my less than sparkling clean house I know that’s not the case.) and there are two things that I keep coming back to.

  1. The comments of people who disagree with me.
  2. Why we’re collectively spending so much time arguing about whether or not a particular person is too affectionate/nurturing/attached to her kids when there are so many horrific cases of actual child abuse in the news, not to mention every other thing that’s wrong with the world we’re living in.

I’m not averse to people disagreeing with me, generally speaking. (My kids would scoff at that statement I’m sure….and perhaps my husband too) I didn’t have a problem with any thoughtful comment from people who had obviously taken the time to get the facts but had a differing opinion from my own. What I didn’t understand, and am not sure I will ever understand, is disagreeing without hearing the other side of the argument. Basically just putting your foot down and saying, “I think that’s wrong, so its wrong.” Or sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.”  I guess there’s no arguing with that sentiment, but I still want to.

What I spent most of my time thinking about however, was deeper. I found myself wondering about the topics I blog about and whether I feel like I’m part of the problem or part of the solution. I started blogging to add a voice I wasn’t hearing in my day to day life and with the best of intentions…….but you know what they say about good intentions….

The road to Hell

So I had to take an honest look at myself and say, am I just like everyone else out there with a keyboard and an opinion? Am I jumping on the pop news bandwagon? Why do we get fired up about a person we’ll never meet, or a celebrity, or a sports figure? Why do these seemingly trivial things end up on the front page and then taking the internet by storm? Surely there are more important things to discuss and pour our energies into.

As luck would have it, in the midst of pondering all of this, a new post from a fellow blogger appeared in my in box giving me the answer I was looking for, at least to the question of why we pay attention to seemingly small stories while essentially ignoring the bigger picture.

It was called “Everything’s a Circle” by True Stories: http://jessicavealitzek.com/

In it the author talks about the phenomenon of “psychic numbing” and how in today’s climate of 24 hour news coverage our minds get so overloaded with information, we can’t process all of the difficult subjects we’re faced with, and the greater the problem, the more likely we are to tune out. Seems about right to me; not right in the sense of okay, but right in the sense that that kind of behavior is just plain human nature. Unless we’re confronted with an “in your face” crisis, there are just too many worthy causes clamoring for our attention and we don’t know where to focus, which means, I guess, that we will focus on the easiest target.

Alternative parenting techniques, gay marriage, politicians’ thoughts on gay marriage, Kardashians, flesh eating bacteria, Jessica Simpson‘s pregnancy weight gain,  the war on women, Fifty Shades of Grey….and on and on it goes.

And, yes, I guess I have to admit that I do get caught up in the emotion of the sensational news stories of the day, but what I’ve noticed, is that my best writing and my best reader responses come when the story du jour aligns with the things I’m most passionate about, like the breastfeeding cover, the debates on birth choice and women’s healthcare. So I will keep looking for things to talk about and pick carefully those topics which mean something to me. It may mean that my blog starts going in a different direction than I originally foresaw, but I will endeavor to never have to wonder again if what I’m blogging about is worthy of putting out there.