The Chick-fil-A Conundrum: How to Reconcile Tasty Chicken with Distasteful Politics



Every time I go to Chick-fil-A, in addition to overcoming the guilt of the poor nutritional value of the food, I have to play a little mind game with myself about how I can justify supporting the company with my hard-earned chicken money. I get my chicken strip meal, with the big waffle fries (have you used the amazing new ketchup yet?) and diet lemonade, and try as hard as I can to avoid asking myself, “Is there Jesus in this chicken?”

It’s no secret that it is a Christian business, as anyone who has tried to bang down the doors on a Sunday will admit. I don’t have an issue with supporting Christian businesses, especially ones that donate to lots of charities and scholarships. But I do have an issue with the widely reported impact of Chick-fil-A's charitable foundation, WinShape, which has provided long-time support for pray-the-gay-away programs like Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in addition to the $1.1 million to similarly minded organizations. See more info here.

Chick-fil-A has fought to maintain that they "have no agenda against anyone." But I can't help but feel that programs such as Focus on the Family, which oppose gay marriage, are against anyone who supports gay marriage, whether they're gay or straight. Check out their list of recommended reading on the subject of homosexuality, if you are interested in learning more about what's wrong with gay people and how to fix them.

And yet, as much as I personally take issue with these organizations and Chick-fil-A’s stance — as well as the extended drive I have to take to the 'burbs just to get my hands on it — I still cannot stay away from that damn chicken! Amirite?

My excuse is usually that I’m on a road trip, and it’s the only decent thing in the middle of nowhere to eat. I fully believe in the impact of voting with my money, and it has been easy to give up on other businesses whose politics I disagree with (no thanks on that HUGE McCain banner in 2008, Sam’s).

But the whole Chick-fil-A thing has really made me realize how if you have a good product, you can kind of get away with whatever you want. Celebrities (who I assume are liberal-leaning) even endorse the chicken. All.. The. Time.

Are there any restaurants or businesses you (can’t) avoid for their political leanings? How do other people who believe that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice — and that any suggestion otherwise is insulting and damaging — deal with your Chick-fil-A cravings?

Clearly, I'm nipping at some ankles here. Let the angry comments commence!

P.S. I mentioned that a drive to the suburbs is the only way to find a Chick-fil-A, but there are outposts at TSU and Lipscomb and in the Batman Building downtown. Also, I thought the Yelp reviews on this somewhat secret CFA at NYU was entertaining, as there are no other Chick-fil-As in Manhattan.

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