OPINION: Chick-fil-a is trash

Austin Belet, Opinions Writer

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Like, okay, the actual food is decent. It has a nice spice palate, it’s often very juicy, and no one does waffle fries quite the same way. It’s super convenient for us to swing through between classes assuming the line isn’t wrapped around the plaza, and it isn’t horribly expensive.

But also in a university that wants to build a universally inclusive environment, why are we allowing a company that has a history of investing in anti-LGBT+ advocacy groups to keep profiting off of our money? Now, I won’t claim to know much about what goes into deciding how we pay food vendors, how we decide who can be on campus, or what funds are used to pay them; I do know, however, that if any of my money in particular is going towards hosting Chick-fil-a, I am not happy about it.

I have maintained an avid boycott against them after finding articles linking Chick-fil-a’s charitable side project WinShape to donations to groups such as Focus on the Family, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Exodus International, and several others. These are organizations that are actively trying to repress and undermine the causes that men, women, and non-binary individuals have died trying to defend.

For a bit of background on these organizations:

  • Focus on the Family is a hardline Christian organization that advocates against homosexuality and encourages using God’s message to prevent homosexual behaviors
  • Exodus International is a group whose specific mission is to “cure” homosexuality through the “transforming power of Christ.”
  • The Family Research Council has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT+ hate group.
  • The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has made its members sign a pledge that they will not engage in homosexual acts

So, let me additionally clarify that WinShape is the organization that is making these donations, not necessarily Chick-fil-a. That being said, WinShape is directly affiliated with Chik-fil-a and has been since it was created by Truett Cathy. In its 2015 tax filing, WinShape took in more than 16 million dollars; $16,173,253 of that was from Chick-fil-a.

So what’s your point?

My point is that while I am not calling for an active crusade of protest against a company that I find morally repugnant, I am saying that maybe we shouldn’t be supporting organizations that show a clear disregard for the lives of people in our society. I am saying that I cannot look at those fries without thinking of some teenage boy in an evangelical household having to undergo hours of conversion therapy because they will not let him love who he loves. I am saying that the purchasing of a chicken sandwich and the lives lost from the AIDS epidemic are lost in vain, in favor of organizations that would actively demean their legacy.

Eat what you want, spend your money how you like.

Me, personally, it’s my pleasure to eat elsewhere.

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