First, here’s the thing: my immediate goal in life is to finish my dissertation. This means everything that isn’t my dissertation is on the back burner. Everything. “Doing what I have to do so that I can do what I want to do” – I’m all about that life right now.
Over the next year, I suspect this is how things will go. I’ll interrupt your regularly scheduled program with bits of social and/or political commentary, and I’ll slip back into seclusion. My friend, who finished his Doctorate a couple of months ago, calls it “the bubble.” The bubble is my reality from now until graduation day.
But before I go, here’s a nugget I’ll just leave here for your consumption.
My Beef with Chik-fil-A
Today is my early day. Ideally, I’d go home to drop off my things, and head to the Chik-fil-A on Exit 13 – it’s my favorite location. The nuggets there are always fresh, waffle fries are always crisp, and when I order a ‘half and half, more tea than lemonade,’ they make it perfectly every time. The customer service is also great there – they respond to all of your ‘thank yous’ with ‘my pleasure,’ and they call you by name before bringing your tray over to your table. And they’re always so well-stocked in those after dinner mints I love.
I don’t eat fast food often, but when I do, I eat Chik-fil-A. It’s been my favorite fast food joint since I was in high school. But I can’t go there anymore. I can’t spend my money there. And I’m not being petty about it; I don’t care that Truett Cathy doesn’t support marriage equality. As long as the recipe for the nuggets and fries didn’t change, he and I could coexist at opposite ends of the spectrum just fine. What eats me up is that Chik-fil-A has taken personal opinion into the political realm. In politics, money contributed to campaigns translates into politicians who push policies that have real consequences for people’s’ quality of life. As a general principle, lawmakers are supposed to create policies that expand opportunities for individuals, and ensure their liberty and dignity. This idea is the most fundamental element of American citizenship and spirit. We are free to disagree, but we don’t use religion disguised as tradition to impose our will.
Chik-fil-A and those who are misguided in their support of these supposed “traditional Christian values’ are doing exactly the opposite of what our Founders intended – blending church, state, and commerce to elevate their position. I said in a Facebook status last week that it’s important to remember when it comes to arbitrary moral designations, the pendulum swings both ways. In other words, one day someone’s arbitrary moral compass will devalue something or someone you care about and you’ll understand why claiming allegiance to ‘values’ which strip folks of their dignity just doesn’t square.
As it stands today, despite having the same qualifications and levels of experience, women in certain types of jobs are still paid less than their male counterparts. For every $1 earned by their male colleagues, they make approximately $0.70. If you support the logic of Truett Cathy, then support it all the way. Technically, traditional Christian values affirms this inequality. Eve is of Adam’s rib, right? Thus, in all things, and for all time, She is His subordinate. You’d be hard pressed to find a woman as qualified as her colleagues, who works as hard as her colleagues, who’d be willing to accept being compensated less than her colleagues, gender differences notwithstanding.
I’m sorry folks, the logic just doesn’t bear out for me. Chik-fil-A’s political contributions equal outright discrimination that’s permissible only because it’s couched in the terms “traditional,” “Christian,” and “values”. I don’t have the patience for this. I’m sick of fighting these culture wars because progress wins, or society loses. In that regard, I’ve lost the taste for the kind of chikin
-shit Chik-fil-A serves.