Chik-fil-A, a seller of delicious chicken sandwiches and milkshakes has come under a storm of controversy this week for admitting that they support “traditional marriage”, and donating to anti-LGBT groups.The president of the business has said, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”
This has caused many groups and politicians to condemn the business. Boston mayor Tom Menino has stated that “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.” Even the Muppets joined in, as the Henson company announced on their Facebook page that it would be severing its relationship with Chik-fil-A, and donating any further money it received from them to GLAAD.
Many ordinary people are now boycotting the Chik-fil-A, and urging other people to boycott them as well. Should we boycott companies based on their beliefs? It was already well known before the announcement that Chik-fil-A was a fundamentalist Christian company. The company stores were not even open on Sundays, so they paid more than lip service to the tenets of the Bible, despite the hit to their bottom line. This knowledge did not stop me from enjoying a nice milkshake there every once in a while.
But now I feel as if I can’t go there any more. What has changed? I guess the sure knowledge that my money is going to groups who are actively working to ensure discrimination against LGBTs. Yet I still go to Cracker Barrel and Panera Bread on occasion, despite their direct involvement in racial discrimination. I also still shop at Target, despite some questionable donations on their part. Am I big hypocrite? Do these personal little boycotts make any difference? Who do you boycott and why?