National Review: Why We Lined Up at Chick-fil-A
Lee Habeeb, VP of content at Salem Radio Network, has an excellent article which says all the things I've been trying to turn into ones and zeroes.
I went to Chick-fil-a on appreciation day even though I support gay marriage, because my gut said it was the right thing to do. Afterwards, I read many articles on the topic to see why people went or stayed home, trying to find hints to how and why I felt the need to go, because I wasn't completely sure of my motivations.
I was very happy to find this article which Lee apparently wrote for me :). It says all the things I wanted to say perfectly, and thinking about it helped me solidify other thoughts.
I don't like it when people tell me to boycott something, and I like it even less when I'm attacked for refusing to participate. I don't like tearing down, I like building up. Show me a buy-cott I can support, and I'll show you my wallet. But when self-righteous groups and politicians try to stop me from doing something, I feel a sudden drive to do the opposite. I'm just an onery libertarian like that.
It is a shame that the LGBT community's boycott was overshadowed by politicians trying to score points through constitutionally repugnant threats, but that's the way it turned out. If it's any consolation, they felt the burn, and will think twice in the future.
I am a big believer in voting with your dollars. I think it's every citizen's right to support or not support companies with their hard-earned cash. But there are many corporations, non-profits, comedians, actors, production companies, video game publishers, religions, orangutangs, and breakfast cereals that I patronize who don't match my beliefs.
It would be impossible to only give money to people who match your beliefs 100%, so we all have our personal thresholds.
Chick-fil-a, and countless other Christian groups, do great work for the poor. They donate their time and money to great causes that I agree with. To me, their positive impact on America and the world is not negated by the fact that they don't agree with me on gay marriage.
Churchill said, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." I know there are homosexuals out there to whom gay marriage isn't the sole deciding issue in their politics. If Osama Bin Laden wanted to destroy America, subjugate women, and rule in an oppressive theocracy, but was totally on board with the whole gay marriage thing, I wouldn't expect the LGBT organizations to support him. (Though I can't help but wonder in the world of politics.) There are degrees of value that must be measured to maintain some level of intellectual honesty.
The day may come when Chick-fil-a's values do more harm than good in my estimation, but that day was not August 1st.
Evaluate the breadth of contributions and damages before you decide your personal threshold of support. We're not simpletons who can only formulate blanket yea or nay positions based on one minor subject.
Yes, "minor subject."
Whether or not a bureaucrat in your state capital stamps a form with a certain word on it that confirms your deep love and personal commitment to your soul mate IS a minor subject in the grand scheme of things. Deep love and personal commitment don't come from a form.