This is a letter by someone I don’t know. But he represents such a vast number of people I do know and care about —
This presents a dilemma. I know why Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. Anybody raised in a fundamentalist protestant church knows why. Because somebody wanted to “keep the Sabbath holy,” but didn’t know enough to realize that the Sabbath meant Saturday. And besides, what fundamentalist wants to share a day off with a bunch of Jews? And what lunatic would close a business on Saturday?
So we all knew that Chick-Fil-A was run by those kinds of arbitrary rules. And I understand that. There is and will always be a segment of the population who believe they have the one and only true truth in the world, and everybody else is either choosing to disregard the truth, is too stupid to know the truth, or have been persuaded of a lie. They are a very absolute people. Everything in their world is solid black and solid white — like the little cows in their ads.
And that’s fine. They’re entitled. It is, as they say, a free country.
And as long as I didn’t know all the things discussed in this open letter and the supporting documents linked in it — it didn’t matter. They make good food for a fair price. No MSG. No trans fats. Lots of fruit and veggies. They’re reliable. They have a gluten-free menu. They try and treat their employees fairly.
But now, having read and searched out to be sure of all the things in this letter — I know of other things in their black and white world which are counter to my own beliefs and practices. And I can’t ever un-know what I know about Chick-Fil-A. And I don’t think I can ever drive through one of their outlets again without being reminded where my dollars may get applied through their charitable giving.
And I have no idea how to resolve this. No amount of boycotting is going to change their black and white beliefs. They would rather lose profits and even go out of business than waver one iota from their absolutes.
And I know that I (and we — my family) inadvertently support other businesses who channel money into things we wouldn’t approve of — if we knew about them. But we don’t — and so life goes on.
And we DO know about Chick-Fil-A. And it makes me a little sick to think such a well manged and honestly good little eatery will be off the list of choices — but it has to be. Because I can never not know these things about them again.
If I cared so much about the crimes being committed by banks that I would move my money to a small, locally owned bank or credit union — if I care so much about the business practices of other institutions that I would take my business elsewhere , then it’s not really a choice. This is like leaving a country club that wouldn’t allow people of certain races to be members. Or choosing a different university based on prejudicial admittance policies.
It’s such a little thing — but little things are important.