All I wanted was a crack at one of those yummy crispy chicken sandwiches I fell in love with during visits to the South, any time I wanted. When Chick-Fil-A announced that it was coming to Chicagoland, with their funny billboards showing cows saving their own hides by promoting chicken, I clicked my heels like Ron Santo. But I didn’t even make it in there to have one before their politics stopped me in my tracks.
The owner told the Baptist Press all about their opposition on biblical grounds to same sex marriage. The word leaked out to the non-Baptist press. They certainly have every right to believe what they believe, but must they dangle it in front of my salivating face? I do not need a side of politics with my fast food. I stand with the Muppets who just bailed out on them too.
This has happened to me before. I was doing fine at Curves for Women, a network of local exercise facilities, clawing my way up the list of members meeting their fitness goals. Then I learned that their founders were taking my fees and siphoning them off to anti-choice causes. Fine, make your money off of women and then donate it to anti-women efforts. I had to quit them, but it turns out I like Pilates better anyway.
Next came the Susan G. Komen for the Cure debacle, where CEO Nancy Brinker, who founded the organization in memory of her sister Susan, had raised an unbelievable $ 2 billion for research and services. I happily gave her money every year. Until I found out that she hired a right wing activist who eliminated Planned Parenthood from their list of eligible grant recipients.
Luckily, it’s hard to keep a secret like that these days, thank you Internet, and the whole thing blew up. As they watched their race registrations dip by 30%, and their standing in a survey of non-profits fall from 2nd to 56th, they realized that they had to act.
As a longtime donor, I received a lengthy questionnaire which I filled out, eager to lodge my protest. It was a public relations crisis management masterpiece. They provided texts of potential apologies, that ranged from something like, “Boy, we are really sorry; we screwed up” all the way to “Those damn liberals are acting like we did something wrong; can you believe their black-hearted malice?”
When I later realized what a goldmine of spin it was, I went back to capture a copy. Of course, it was gone. But these days nothing is ever gone. Enjoy it here if you like : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/23/susan-g-komen-planned-parenthood_n_1297483.html?.
Far too late, SGK etc. took remedial action, but by then the curtain had lifted and I had seen too much. So I took my wallet elsewhere. Again.
Back in Chick-Fil-A-land, it took a few days, but now the owner is back-pedaling to reassure that they just love all potential customers and we should all go ahead and come on in. He politely left out the part about sin and eternal damnation.
So, goodbye chicken sandwiches. Along with Curves and Susan G., you go on the trash heap of what I’ve given up for my principles. Now, if Waffle House has any expansion plans – hey, don’t turn up your nose. Have you ever tried the pecan (pronounced pee-caaaan) waffles? Heavenly – I just hope they’ll keep their politics in their pockets.