Moderator: William Thornton
Tim Bonney wrote:You know, a much wider discussion than the Chic Fil A story might be, "When should businesses get involved in political issues outside of business practices and law?"
Businesses are in business to make money. As far as product goes, I think Chi Fil A has a good product. I've thought it was several steps above what you get from similar vendors. But in taking sides in the culture wars the owner was bound to make someone mad on either side of the argument and negatively effect his business.
To me the way to get a handle on this kind of thing is to go back to some sensible laws on financial contributions to politics, political agendas, and candidates. Right now the sky is the limit and if you are rich enough you can flood the airwaves with your viewpoint. Is that fair? Basically money has been ruled to be speech in our society. How is this fair in a democracy?
Big Daddy Weaver wrote:In addition to cleanliness, the service is generally exceptional. And when it isn't, when I have to wait just a few extra minutes than normal, our local Chick-fil-A personally delivers a free sandwich coupon with the meal. Sometimes I delight in their tardiness just for the sake of that coupon.
Truthfully Timothy, with Chick-fil-A it's a Devil you Know versus a Devil you don't know situation.
We know what we know about Chick-fil-A. But we really don't know much at all about the chains we frequent and - more specifically - the local "owners" of those particular restaurants.
For example, the family that owns several Fazoili's restaurants in our area is a right-winger who supports many causes and organizations that I strongly oppose. When I buy a meal at Fazoli's much more money goes into his pocket than goes into the Cathys pockets when I buy a sandwich.
My father-in-law ran to be County Judge a couple years ago as a Democrat. Our county has about 250K. As he was meeting and greeting folks and trying to raise money, I learned more than I wanted about local business owners and their politics.
Even at the national level, Target and Wal-Mart have dealt with similar issues as CFA is dealing with now.
I'm sure folks in bigger cities than Waco have more options. But if you take Target and Wal-Mart off the table, I'm not left with many shopping choices. I've calculated that in less than a year, I've saved well over $100 buying generic Wal-Mart diapers and baby wipes.
The deeper you look into the donations of major corporations and the politics of local business owners, the more complicated the picture gets. I actually think we should be socially responsible and take these practices into consideration. I'm leery of quick calls for boycotts though. I think Christians ought to have debates and discussions and think through these issues together in some form or fashion.
Tim Bonney wrote:I agree with both BDW and Sandy that there is a lot of questionable spending I don't know about. But this one falls for me into the "eating meet sacrificed to idols" category. I know now that a lot of people do know what the money is being spent on. And I'd feel like a poor witness eating their food now. I'm not out promoting the boycott per se. But I'm not willing to eat there a be a stumbling block either.
What if several of your church members worked at Chic-Fil-A? Or one of them was the local store manager? This can become complicated. So if the boycott is successful, what happens if 1,000 employees get laid off who are Democrats and used their pay to make campaign contributions the other way?
I called the BGEA headquarters in Charlotte this morning; and I left a facebook message on the NY Times story as it appeared in the Spartanburg Herald, goupstate.com
And I have commented at the www.abpnews.com story on CFA where I testified about my religion class with Dan Cathy at Furman the fall of 1971.
I challenge the Cathy's, the Graham Family, Franklin and Anne Lotz in particular to have a careful reading of Giberson and Stephens The Anointed.
Further reading may include Joe Crespino's book In Search of Another Country; about how the likes of SBC Peace Committee's Charles Pickering and folks in the wider, Cathy/Graham network sought to maintain the prominence of their values in the South post the upheaval of the 60's.
Sexual politics aside, there is a lot of genuine Baptist and evangelical dissent about some aspects in the fog of this discussion; especially the wider influence of Focus on the Family which CFA is reportedly entangled in.
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Truett Cathy was named for George W. Truett who was born in Hayesville, N.C. and has a divinity school named for him now at Baylor.
Mercer President Underwood among others as I understand him has serious misgivings about the implications of the Cahty's support of Family Research Council and James Dobson's Focus on the Family.
There was a struggle for the Soul of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 80's and it remains unclear what lessons the Cathy's learned from that struggle. As I have said many times, an exploration of Giberson and Stephens The Anointed may help the Cathy's refine some of their thinking on the Christian Life, an open mind and support of authentic liberal arts education.
As for their Baptist pilgrimage, Jeff Rogers lecture in the Smyth and Helwys collection What Really Matters may help as well.
Read more: RN-T.com - Rome locations of Chick fil A filled with supporters of appreciation day
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