The fallout from Chick-Fil-A’s support over the traditional family unit continues. Former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee has launched a campaign for a “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day“. He has launched the idea via Facebook with an event page for the August 1 event where all are encouraged (my favorite over used word in a Christian’s vocabulary) to visit Chick-Fil-A and purchase a delicious spicy chicken sandwich. Gov. Huckabee’s original post to Facebook disappeared and he attributed it to a “12 hour bug” that “hits when large numbers of Christians support something and post about it on Facebook!”
Huckabee is not the only big name to raise headlines over Chick-Fil-A’s contributions to orgainizations which adamantly support what Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy called “the biblical definition of the family unit”. The Jim Henson Company (aka The Muppets and Fraggle Rock) informed Chick-Fil-A last week that they would no longer partner with the chicken sandwich giant in future marketing endeavors. In response to the Henson Compnay withdrawing from future endevours with Chick-Fil-A, the chicken giant removed the promotional toys citing safety concerns.
Politicians are getting in on the act as well. The mayor of Boston sent a letter to Mr. Cathy informing him that the city of Boston saying, “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for you company alongside it.”
The question for me is how many people are ignorant to the fact that their favorite corporations support causes that do not align with their individual faith and religious views? Should we boycott these (privately owned) companies if our personal beliefs disagree? Is there a difference between privately held companies and publicly owned companies that consumers are finally noticing? That is for the consumer to decide.
What I can say that is if we were to take a deeper look at many of the corporations we believe act in a responsible manner or align themselves with our personal beliefs we might be shocked at what we find. How many of us would be surprised to find out that the hip and eclectic Urban Outfitters’s founder and president supported Rick Santorum, who was outspoken in his opposition to same-sex unions, with over $13,000 in campaign contributions? Also, how many of us will continue to purchase Apple iMacs, iPads, or iPhones even though it has been documented that the company outsources its labor to over worked and under paid employees in China (for full disclosure, this post was written on an iMac)?
Chick-Fil-A is just the most recent pawn in a never ending game between consumer activism and the capitalistic society we have developed in America. For any real change to come about the American consumer must first take their blinders off, and determine if the products and comforts they enjoy are worth the price paid by others (or by the corporations).