Business and belief: The Chick-fil-A controversy

If you’ve ever eaten at Chick-fil-A, you’ve experienced their delicious chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and numerous sauces. You have also probably been disappointed when you craved that same food on a Sunday.

Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays because the founder, Truett Cathy, chose to do so when he opened his first restaurant in 1946. This decision gave Chick-fil-A chicken the label “Jesus Chicken.” Recently, according to some, the restaurant took this label to a new level.

At the end of January, a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A received criticism for providing food to the Pennsylvania Family Institute for their marriage seminar. The uproar ensued once people found out the institute held events against gay initiatives. Now, Chick-fil-A is labeled the “anti-gay chicken” leading gay rights activists and others to boycott the restaurant’s infamous chicken.

But since when did we start criticizing a restaurant for what organization, business or event it sponsors?

Just because Chick-fil-A sponsored an event for a well-known “anti-gay” institution, it’s now labeled an anti-gay restaurant. Unfortunately, the people who refuse to buy from Chick-fil-A ever again, should have started that trend years ago because this is not the first “religious” event Chick-fil-A has sponsored.

Even if it was, since when are we allowed to dictate who Chick-fil-A provides food for? It’s the owner’s decision, and right, to sponsor food for an anti-gay event, pro-gay event or neither. It’s something we cannot have a say in.

Yes, people are allowed to disagree with their choice and boycott all Chick-fil-A restaurants, but that doesn’t mean Chick-fil-A didn’t have the right to sponsor food for the marriage seminar.

How can we judge what cause is worth supporting and which one isn’t? It’s not our food  and it’s not our place.

Sponsoring the event doesn’t mean all Chick-fil-A franchises agree with the purpose or motives of the institution. The franchise simply provided food for it, just like every other restaurant provides food for events. If people want to get angry and boycott Chick-fil-A, they should also find out what anti-gay events other restaurants have sponsored, start boycotting those too and see how many restaurants they are left with.

Americans like to be in an uproar about something. Someone always offends us by poking fun at our beliefs, life choices or decisions. We need to realize not everyone is going to agree with one’s religion, sexual preference or decision to sponsor an event.

If that same Chick-fil-A sponsored a pro-gay event, it would probably be in the news as well. Someone would be in uproar about how the restaurant is going against what the company was founded on. The news would eat it up that a “Christian” restaurant is supporting gay rights.

Although the latter didn’t happen, the Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A also didn’t tape up a banner that said, “We are anti-gay.” They didn’t announce gays are not welcome in their restaurant. They didn’t sponsor only anti-gay events. They sponsored a marriage seminar for an institution that has been dubbed anti-gay. That’s all. Boycott it if you want, but that chicken sandwich didn’t do anything wrong.

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