Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chick-Fil-A, Gays, and Moral Responsibility

I want to comment on that Chick-Fil-A thing before we all forget that it ever happened.

The President of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, said some stupid shit about marriage.  This pissed off the gays and encouraged some bigots.  In support of Cathy's statements, a bunch of ignorant bigots ate at Chick-Fil-A last week.  In protest of Cathy's statements, a bunch of non-bigots refused to eat at Chick-Fil-A.

What I want to say about that whole situation is best articulated by this handy dandy chart:

Since Dan Cathy gives money to anti-gay groups, and Dan Cathy is the president of Chick-Fil-A, part of the profits of Chick-Fil-A go to anti-gay groups.  Since we seem to have posited a link between consuming Chick-Fil-A and supporting anti-gay groups, my question is how that whole system works.  Let's go through each of the four scenarios in the chart.

1)  You give money directly to an anti-gay group.  Clearly, this is an act of supporting anti-gay groups.

2)  You give money to Chick-Fil-A.  Part of that money is given to an anti-gay group.  Given the ruckus that was raised, persons seem to think this act comparable to supporting anti-gay groups.

3)  Suppose you give money to someone else, and they give that money to Chick-Fil-, which in turn gives money to anti-gay groups.  In this scenario you know they intend to purchase something from Chick-Fil-A.  Would this scenario count as supporting anti-gay groups?

4)  You give money to someone in ignorance of how they shall spend it.  They give that money to someone else, who in turn buys something at Chick-Fil-A, which gives part of that money to an anti-gay group.  Have you supported anti-gay groups in this scenario?

This all feeds into a larger conversation about voting with money, about what constitutes economic support.  If you buy a shitty chicken sammich does that mean you hate fags?  If you buy gas at a BP station does that mean you hate shrimp?

While I do not know the answers to these questions, I do know what questions persons ought to ask before they hazard an answer.  The knee jerk reactionary nonsense that surrounded Dan Cathy's quote completely bypassed these ethical considerations and jumped right to "SHITTY CHICKEN SAMMICHES HATE FAGS ZOMG!!!"

My stance is that both sides were asshats in this situation.

The intolerant Christians were asshats because they jumped at the chance to support anti-gay groups via spending $5 on a shitty sammich, because they're lazy fucks.

The persons who boycotted Chick-Fil-A were asshates for a different reason.  Yes, they took a stand...kinda.  But if you refuse to eat at Chick-Fil-A because "love the gays", but then each a bar of chocolate produced via child slave labor, or use a phone assembled at a Foxconn plant, or wear tube socks purchased at Wal-mart, or employ petroleum products, or ever purchase anything from any corporation that donates to the GOP, then you're just a fucking hypocrite.

And that's fine.

Just be aware of it.


_J_ said...

If you're tempted to go with:

- But the structure of our society sometimes forces me to do immoral things, so those things must not be immoral, since they are necessary to live my life!


- I can choose when to employ the "don't support bigots" rule, instead of universalizing my maxims.

then you've missed the whole fucking point of morality.

Mike Lewis said...

We should not eat at Chick Fil A because it is gross and unhealthy. Not eating or not not eating their shitty food will not change anything.

We ought to criticize dan cathy for his well document support of groups that do real harm. Cathy supports Exodus International and Focus on the Family.

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