This letter was originally published in The Daily Targum's opinion section. It's a written response to a earlier column which romanticized Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A isn’t a person — it’s a large fast-food chain with about 1,000 restaurants all serving the same food in a generic-styled building to an ever-consuming populace. The sole purpose of its existence is to sell you artery-clogging food and make money. That’s it. Romanticizing Chick-fil-A or any other fast-food restaurant beyond that is a delusion. You certainly can appreciate the taste of the mass-produced food and appreciate the competitive pricing, but giving reverence to an abstract corporate entity such as Chick-fil-A is abominable. Terms of endearment, love and the sort should preferably be reserved for people, ideas and things that have meaningful purpose.
Fast-food chains used to be a lot simpler. But due to the ever-changing political climate in the United States, fast-food restaurants, anonymous billionaires and many other faceless entities have thrown their millions into the political ring. Chick-fil-A’s 501(c3) nonprofit organization, WinShape, has funneled millions into various anti-gay organizations from 2009 to 2010. As a student who doesn’t identify as heterosexual, I take umbrage towards WinShape and Chick-fil-A for the millions thrown into organizations that look to confer a second-class citizenship upon myself, my friends and countless other American citizens.
The issue is not just with Chick-fil-A. It’s with any organization that looks to change the American political landscape with its money. Chick-fil-A and other corporations with political agendas are dangerous because current laws and Supreme Court rulings allow them to move millions upon millions of dollars anonymously into organizations that don’t have the public’s interest at heart. A fast-food chain might be fighting against marriage equality this week, but next week, it might look to unhinge food regulations. These faceless entities are driven either by the moral convictions of their CEOs or by the unquenchable thirst for money. Whatever the drive may be, the public ultimately loses.
Next time, as you sit down and chomp away at that $3 Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, take a minute to ponder this. Not only will your arteries fill with conveniently priced grease, but some of that money you just spent will trickle down to the likes of Exodus International — an organization that looks to convert gay people to a heterosexual lifestyle — or to Family Research Council — an organization which has occasionally likened gay people to pedophiles. As the chucks of chicken cascade down your throat, go on to imagine which organization your dollar will fuel next week. Finally, while the crispy bits of poultry lie in your stomach and the political implications weigh on your conscious, the idea that the University needs a Chick-fil-A suddenly becomes unsettling.