‘Chick-fil-A response’ logic is flawed
The logic in Ryan Shirley’s Oct. 5 “Chick-fil-A response” is deeply flawed. Starbucks supports gay causes, but these causes do not seek to deter anyone from being straight. Starbucks also supports causes that benefit people who are gay or straight; clearly, the corporation is not anti-anyone. I worked for a literacy organization that received thousands annually from Starbucks, so I’m well aware of their non-profit funding. Starbucks’ CEO also does not make public statements against anyone’s sexual orientation.
I understand the implications behind Shirley’s viewpoint that homosexuality is an “issue of morality” for those who practice Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, but the logic, once again, is deeply flawed, because this argument is imposing religious beliefs on gay people who are not in any way obligated to adhere to those religious beliefs. One of the basic tenets of America is individual religious freedom (Atheists included). In other words, you can’t force people to believe what you do, whether you invoke God or call it an issue of morality. This especially applies to sexual preferences, or people’s private lives. Shirley’s morality is also not mandatory because being gay is not against the law. I am a straight, married Methodist father of two daughters, and my life is extremely conservative, but I would never force anyone to meet the standards of my life. Likewise, as a professor who represents Georgia College, I welcome anyone in my classrooms.
Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy, however, has stated that redefining traditional marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” Chick-Fil-A’s giving arm, the Winshape Foundation, has funded numerous anti-gay organizations, including the Family Research Council which has been classified as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. So unlike Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, through its corporate giving, has expressed hate and a lack of tolerance for anyone who isn’t straight. And when a CEO publicly denounces a group of people for their sexual orientation, condemning their desire to marry, who believes that this group now feels welcome in a Chick-fil-A for employment or for dining? Who can honestly believe that Dan Cathy’s statement encourages or promotes tolerance and equality in his restaurants? Chick-fil-A’s recent “Who We Are” policy statement, intended to maintain sales figures and promote potential new franchises, does little to alleviate its CEO’s opinions. I have no labels for Ryan Shirley, but the flawed “logic” in his response is all too transparent; his instructive morality, plain and simple, is really a mask for intolerance, applying the construct and implied punishments of sin to people who are in no way bound to believe him.
- Alan Gee,
associate professor of English