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Reblogged:The Good and Bad of Chik-Fil-A

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This is not a story I have followed closely, but for years, Chik-fil-A has had a bad reputation in some quarters, because (for example) its corporate values have been shaped by its Southern Baptist founder and it has donated to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.

I am nonreligious and oppose the government intruding on life-long committed relationships beyond its proper role in enforcing any contract arising from the same. I think that, until the day comes that the government is out of the business of saying who can and cannot get married, it should at least permit same-sex marriages -- for the same reason that other laws it shouldn't be making should be based on objective principles as far as that is possible.

That said, while I disagreed with the ownership of Chik-fil-A on the question of marriage, I had some measure of respect for them for sticking to their guns in the face of often venomous and unfair attacks from the left.

But I did hope they would change their minds -- and apparently, they have:

chicken.jpg
Will they make money -- or come home to roost? (Image by William Moreland, via Unsplash, license).
Chick-fil-A surpassed $1B in sales in 2001 and eclipsed the $5B mark in 2013, the year following Cathy's statement on gay marriage. The chicken chain became the third-largest U.S. fast-food chain this year with $10.5B in sales, according to Nation's Restaurant News data. Only McDonald's and Starbucks bring in more revenue among fast-food chains.

But after years of "taking it on the chin," as a Chick-fil-A executive told Bisnow, the latest round of headlines was impossible to ignore. This time, it was impeding the company's growth. [link omitted]
This reminds me a little bit of how Houston desegregated peacefully in the 1960's, after its leading businessmen realized how bad for business segregation was. Perhaps we are once again seeing a triumph of capitalism over bigotry. That would be a very good thing, both for Chik-fil-A and for capitalism.

But hold on for a minute...

Religious conservatives, like Rod Dreher, are unhappy. They see the change as a "surrender" to the left, who he says unfairly characterized the chain:
y abandoning the Salvation Army and other charities, Chick-fil-A's corporate leadership signaled that it accepts the Left's critique. The company is trying to dodge this charge, saying that it is merely refocusing its charitable giving priorities, to focus on education, fighting hunger, and fighting homelessness. The Salvation Army doesn't have anything to do with education, but you will find no more effective and valiant fighters of hunger and homelessness than the faithful of the Salvation Army.
Dreher does indirectly bring up a good point here: Chik-fil-A should have made a more direct, positive statement about the change -- and for precisely the reason that so many on the left are merely obnoxious nihilists, despite posing as supporters of the right to marry. Failing to do this certainly looks like a capitulation -- to its allies and admirers, to these barbarians, and to everyone else. (And if it is just a capitulation (as time will surely tell), it will only embolden the worst elements of the left.

So, hooray for the power of boycotts and the profit motive to usher in cultural change. But beware: That power can cause change for the worse in many ways unless corporate leaders develop a spine. If the owners of Chik-fil-A have really changed their minds, they should say so. If not, they should have either admitted that their past practices were bad for business or simply stuck to their guns. There are no points with anywone for phoniness, and there is absolutely no such thing as appeasing a mob, which is what the left has increasingly become.

-- CAV

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