I Should Be Allowed to Shoot My Mouth Off


In response to the Chick-fil-A issue, SamuraiFrog pointed out that they were hardly the only corporation giving money to anti-gay or otherwise hateful causes. I think what really gets people about Chick-fil-A, or at least what really got ME about it (often not the same thing), is the incredible smugness of the president. He basically said, “Sure, we support hate groups, and there’s nothing you can do about it!” Sadly, he’s probably right. And anti-gay politicians loved this deep-fried stupidity. The thing I don’t get is, even if coming out as anti-gay isn’t going to hurt their bottom line, aren’t they at least going to PRETEND to cater to customers? They’re essentially saying, “If you’re gay or support gay marriage, we don’t want your money.” And they’re hardly the only corporation to do something of the sort. Remember when the CEO of Whole Foods came out against health care reform?

The weird thing about it was that, while Chick-fil-A always struck me as pretty conservative, I usually associate Whole Foods with hippies. Mind you, it’s typically the sanctimonious kind of hippie, but still not someone who’d be opposed to universal health care. The CEO came out as a hardcore Republican, however, and I have to wonder if anyone cared. And now it appears that Papa John’s is saying much the same thing, even threatening to raise pizza prices when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.

The funny thing is that I’m also not a particular fan of employers providing benefits, because some can’t afford it and the ones that can often skimp. That’s why I’m in favor of a single-payer system, which seems to be even further from what these corporations want. But anyway, these corporate leaders can say anything they want, but it just seems odd that they’re so adamant about making sure everyone knows they support Goliath over David. We all know most of them do, but do they have to be so satisfied and vocal about it? The corporate world is apparently more dedicated to getting in good with the politicians than doing anything so base as attracting customers, and that to me is a sad reflection on our times. Consumers appear to have less power than ever.

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5 Responses to I Should Be Allowed to Shoot My Mouth Off

  1. There’s a lot of spin involved in it. It’s catered to the people who agree–or think they agree– with them. The excuses I see from the pro-Chick-fil-a people seem to indicate they’re not looking at, say, the money is going to hate groups, they’re seeing it as “This CEO has the courage to say what he believes no matter what pressure he gets from outside groups who want him to Stop Being Christian” (… by which I mean, um, “Christian,” which in this case has a completely different meaning from the way I use the term). In all these cases, each side paints their side as heroic. Most of the people I know who are all gung-ho Chick-fil-a supporters (I know you mentioned lots of other examples, but that’s the one I’ve seen the most actual examples of supporters in action), if you asked them “Would you support an organization that gives money to hate groups?” they’d say “No, of course not!” but once this specific example comes up, they deny that that’s exactly what this kerfuffle is about, because to them it’s about their beliefs being squelched.

    Relatedly, today in church one of the, dang I forget the term, Intentions– the “We Pray for this” list– was very interestingly phrased. It was something like “For our politicians, that they are brave and stand up for what is right and don’t bow to pressure from the culture of Death.” And I thought, gee, everyone here could probably confidently pray for that, but I bet everyone’s idea of what that actually MEANS is totally different. Certainly there’d be some people there who see the people clamoring for gay rights as belonging to the Culture of Death– I mean they’re ALWAYS complaining about how, you know, all the pressure comes from liberals; whereas I would pray it thinking of the pressure of Big Business being anti-environmental and greedy, or pressure from those who want VENGEANCE for everything to go to war or enforce the death penalty and stuff. It’s spin. People see everything how they want to see it.

    • Nathan says:

      There’s definitely a lot of spin in the language Cathy used, which is probably part of why supporters are so willing to take his side. He claims he’s supporting Christianity and traditional marriage, when: 1) you can be Christian and not support bigotry in the name of Jesus, and 2) supporting traditional marriage doesn’t have to mean opposing NON-traditional marriage. Trying to make it a free speech issue is ridiculous because nobody said Cathy couldn’t say whatever he wanted; they’re just saying there should be consequences for his offensive remarks. Just because you have the RIGHT to say something doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD, especially when it’s not just about you.

  2. marbpl2 says:

    If he gave to the same causes and then lied about it would it be better? He may be “smug”, but he is at least letting the public know where he stands. So boycott away — for quite some time progressive activists have had large lists of businesses they are boycotting for various reasons. This is the just one taht has gotten more publicity.

    • Nathan says:

      If he gave to the same causes and then lied about it would it be better?

      That’s part of what I’m wondering. I’d heard of Chick-fil-A giving to anti-gay causes before, but it seems like it didn’t really come to a head until the president came out and announced it.

  3. Pingback: Another Corporate Nightmare | VoVatia

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