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A Fowl Issue

Pardon the pun, but those that know me, know I can’t resist. Pray for me.

Seriously, do pray for me. Today’s post will probably get people on both sides of this one mad at me.

You may notice that on the right, part way down the page is a list of several news stories that Google selects as being relevant to this blog. Today, one is a NY Times article about a homosexual group upset with the restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A because one restaurant donated food to a pro-marriage Christian conference. To give full disclosure, the article does extensively cover the private corporation’s strong pro-Christian corporate philosophy and support of pro-family and Christian groups, which has raised previous controversies. But the flashpoint this time is a food donation by a single restaurant.

My point today has nothing to do with the morality of homosexuality or heterosexuality. I’m looking at the bigger picture here of freedom. As a business, just like a citizen, Chick-Fil-A has the right to support the causes they want or care about. Whether it is privately or publicly run is irrelevant. Non-governmental entities {should} have the freedom to support who and what they want with their treasure.

Likewise, consumers have the complete freedom to support or reject corporate choices with where they spend their dollars. They have the freedom to attempt to civilly persuade others regarding such issues, as do the companies. That is what makes the marketplace of ideas so dynamic—it is a marketplace of good and ideas, and it is absolutely fascinating to watch the complex interplay among them.

Therefore, if you don’t like Chick-Fil-A’s policies and where they donate their money, then don’t buy their goods. If you like their goods, you have two choices—decide which motivation is stronger (ideas or goods) and live with it, or start/support a competing business that champions your values. It’s pretty simple, and not worth a lawsuit.

For those Christians reading this (most of the audience probably) who are upset with the attacks on Chick-Fil-A, take it easy. Christians have been mobilized for well over two decades to boycott, petition and otherwise complain when other businesses have supported events and groups with whom we disagree. We can’t rally against a business we don’t like and then complain when someone rallies against one we do like. That’s hypocrisy. We vote with our dollars just as anyone can. That is again the beauty of the marketplace.

Whatever your cause, persuade and convince, in grace and humility, and with conviction, and do your best to live at peace with all. That is the true spirit of tolerance.


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