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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finding Inspiration from Chick-fil-A Boycotters

Finding Inspiration from
Chick-fil-A Boycotters

                By now, everyone’s quite familiar with the Chick-fil-A “scandal,” in which Dan Cathy, president and son of the fast food restaurant chain’s founder, professed support for the traditional definition of marriage.  The reaction on both sides was extremely strong.
          Pro-gay “marriage” groups denounced the chain; people from all spheres said many hateful things; and the mayors of at least three cities (as well as some college campuses) took the ridiculous step of saying Chick-fil-A was not welcome there.  (They have had to walk that back a bit.  That troublesome Constitution.)
          On the other side, many supporters of the chain have made a point of eating there more often.  There have even been local and national days set aside for people to show support for Chick-fil-A by dining there, and the chain has set sales records.
          The comments of Mr. Cathy should have come as no surprise to anyone.  Though it is not a “Christian business” per se, Chick-fil-A has long operated on Christian principles, and maintained a family image.  To own a franchise, people generally are expected to be married to their first spouse as well as promise to maintain the chain’s famous policy of being closed on Sundays.
          Of course it does not discriminate against people based on religion or lifestyle.  Anyone is free to eat there.  But now Mr. Cathy is being demonized for holding a personal opinion (shared by at least half of the country) that has run afoul of the preferred social monologue.
          Now I have some major problems with many of the nasty statements that have been made recently, but I don’t really mind that some people are deciding to boycott Chick-fil-A.  Of course I am happy to support it, and my kids have loved that restaurant for years, but if people hold a strong opinion in support of same-sex marriage, don't like some of the pro-family projects Chick-fil-A supports, and feel the need to make a statement, a personal boycott is quite an appropriate way to do that.  I’ll take that over violence any time.
          This whole event should actually serve as an inspiration for us as Catholics.  Boycotts have long been a productive way to affect change.  There are countless businesses large and small that consistently give “charitable” contributions to Planned Parenthood or population control (i.e. abortion, contraception, etc.) efforts, embryonic stem cell research, and the same-sex “marriage” movement.
          How many of us are constantly giving our money to these businesses, which in turn give a portion of that to one of these causes which we oppose.
          It’s been said that the culture of death will not be defeated until pro-lifers are willing to be inconvenienced.  My family boycotts numerous restaurants, department stores, gas stations, online retailers, etc., because they continue to give money to Planned Parenthood.  For the most part, it’s not too difficult, but there have been times that it has been.  A couple of times companies have ceased their contributions due to the boycotts and we have been able to resume shopping there.
          I would suggest that it is time that the pro-life community adopt some of the zeal of the Chick-fil-A boycotters.  As soon as we, as Catholics, commit to living out our Faith in our personal, political, economic and business lives, we will transform the world as Jesus instructs us to.
          There are a number of places to find boycott lists, and you can get on the email lists of groups that can keep you updated on specific efforts, such as the American Family Association.  The best place I have found to receive an up-to-date list of companies that support Planned Parenthood is Life Decisions International.  You do have to purchase the list, however, and promise not to reproduce it.