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Boycotting Chick-fil-A solves nothing

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

I ate at Chick-fil-A six times last week to do my part to show support for a company currently under attack for upholding wholesome values. Eating at Chick-fil-A last week was my version of offering a one-finger salute to the activists who allowed their feathers to ruffle after discovering the privately owned restaurant chain supports the Biblical definition of marriage.

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With all the clucking coming from these activists, one would think Chick-fil-A contributed humanitarian meals to Hezbollah or money to a militant anti-gay group like the group of Muslim men on trial in the UK for allegedly handing out leaflets calling for the murder of gay people and purportedly describing methods to eliminate them. According to the UK Guardian, one of the men claimed the brochure simply "expressed what Islam says about homosexuality, adding that it was his duty as a Muslim to condemn it."

Then there is Chick-fil-A. A family owned and led organization committed to strengthening individuals, the family, and the community at large. The company reiterated their values in a recent statement articulating in part: "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1600 restaurants run by independent owner/operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena...."

The end. Curtains. Done. Forgetaboutit.

Oh, if only life were that simple. People are dying in other parts of the world because of their sexual preference, and people are worried about a chicken-serving fast food restaurant? That's ridiculous on so many levels. Why can't we celebrate the diversity we enjoy here in America over a chargrilled chicken sandwich and waffle fries?

The blogosphere is teeming with same-sex marriage activists labeling Chick-fil-A as a "hate group" and encouraging people to join them in a boycott against a company which is the antithesis of hate. Their public statement reflects their position, and the superior customer service I've personally witnessed over the years -- to every customer, regardless of their size, shape, color, religion, sexual preference, or scent (I've eaten breakfast there after a few of my long runs, and I've never been turned away) -- speaks volumes as to the character of this company.

Chick-fil-A donates millions of dollars annually to various organizations besides pro-traditional marriage groups. It provides food during times of crisis, similar to what they did last week for the Aurora, Colorado police after the horrendous movie theatre massacre. It provides college scholarships, sponsors the Chick-fil-A Bowl, donating much of the proceeds to a range of charities and universities, and founded the WinShape Foundation which helps, among many other worthy causes, to support 11 foster homes.

We live in a free country, so we have the right to do just about whatever we want -- within the boundaries of the laws of the land and our personal convictions. Despite what we've been led to believe, politics is not everything, so why do so many of us (including the conservative anti-Oreo cookie crowd) feel compelled to politicize everything, including businesses?

Somehow I don't think we'll ever get an answer to that question. Oh well, I need to put my money where my mouth is, so I'm off to the grocery store and drive-through to pick up Oreos and a chicken sandwich. Chop-chop.

Susan Stamper Brown writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email her at @susanstamperbrown.com.

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Pioneer staff reports
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