It was a main course of chicken strips with a side dish of homophobia.
A week ago I was going to the Florence and the Machine concert. I was meeting someone for dinner before going to the show. The plan was to meet downtown and then we would decide where to eat. As I approached the area, I sent her this text:
"Do you want to eat at Chick-Fil-A?"
I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A often. The number is maybe ten times in my life. There are two things on their menu that I like. One is their chicken strips. When you get them and they're fresh and hot, they're delicious...seriously! The other item is their peach milk shake. I could drink one every day...seriously. So maybe once a year, I feel an urge to go to one of their restaurants and have these two food items.
But there is one thing about Chick-Fil-A that you have to get over before you can eat there....they like to give charitable donations to groups that have anti-LGTBQ/same sex marriage views. And, they spread their cash around. I found five organizations that have anti-LGTBQ/same-sex marriage views to which Chick-Fil-A has donated millions of dollars. Distasteful!
In the last decade, there have been many protests, demonstrations and boycotts of Chick-Fil-A over these policies. Yes, they bring unwanted attention to the company, but millions of people continue to eat there. Apparently I'm not the only one who likes peach milkshakes.
My head hasn't been buried in the sand about this. I'm able to rationalize this because Chick-Fil-A has done a couple of things that I like. I'm down with their closing on Sundays. It was first said it was done so families could spend one day of the week together. Nothing wrong with that.
Next, on Sunday, December 17, 2017, there was a power outage at Atlanta's Heartsfield-Jackson airport. Chick-Fil-A broke one of their core beliefs by opening their airport stores on a Sunday to feed thousands of passengers who were stranded for hours.
To me, those two things trumped the other distasteful things. I told you I could rationalize....or maybe it really was the peach shakes.
The rationalizing recently continued. A couple of months ago, I was having a discussion with a couple of friends. Both of them have children who are gay. Guess what topic came up? Yep! I mentioned that I was still eating at Chick-Fil-A and gave them the reason above. Then, I doubled down by saying that I volunteer to raise money and awareness for three different charitable organizations, so if I want to have a once a year meal at some place that goes against my beliefs, I'm going to do it. Yep, I sure stood my ground! I told you I could rationalize.
But then, Chick-Fil-A did a little doubling down of their own. Their most recent donations have gone to The Salvation Army and The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both groups are anti-LGBTQ and oppose same-sex marriage. The latter restricts LGBTQ youths from becoming members. Disgusting!
All these things were running through my brain when I walked into the store. It only took a few seconds for me to realize I shouldn't be eating there anymore. I felt a little dirty. So as of now, I've had my last meal at Chick-Fil-A. I know management is going to be brokenhearted to learn this and they'll definitely miss the maybe two hundred bucks I've spent there over the years, but they'll get over it...and fast.
I just have one question...does anyone know where I can get a peach milkshake?
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