I typically avoid writing posts political in nature. While I do my best to stay informed and vote every election, I find myself a little disillusioned by the whole political process as of late, and I don’t like any one candidate enough to fill others’ Facebook streams with my opinions. That, and I really don’t like appearing condescending and mean.
Nonetheless, I find that I can’t look away when, yet, another Chick-Fil-A article rolls down my newsfeed. Let’s be honest–Chick-Fil-A serves food, so they have my attention. And given the fact that their chicken actually looks like the chicken that I buy at the grocery store, they’ve had my business for many years. Since serving those squeezy applesauce pouches in the kids meal, the decision to indulge at this fast-food restaurant became a no-brainer.
So I’m frightened.
If anti-Chick-Fil-A advocates are successful with their boycotts, what other restaurants will be ruined for me? Last night, I prayed that Taco Bell didn’t give their money to any organizations–I can’t risk not having the Cheesy Gordita Crunch to run to on cheat days.
I admire people who are willing to take a stand, forego the most tasty chicken fillet with two pickles between buns, because they don’t want to send their money to organizations who then in turn use that money to support causes with which they don’t agree. However, I’m just not that disciplined. The fact that I have allowed my children any fast food is proof.
Out of curiosity, I looked up a list of companies who support causes with which I don’t agree. The conclusion: I’d have to buy a farm because I couldn’t eat at some of my favorite restaurants or shop at the grocery store. Thank goodness I didn’t see any pizza chains on the list….
Frankly, there are too many views in this world to choose the ‘anti’ stance any time anyone disagrees with me, not to mention that sometimes I find myself disagreeing with myself. I’m a flip-flopper. Over the course of my life, I have found myself vacillating between stances on different issues. I’d like to attribute this truth not to a lack of conviction, but, instead, a desire to thoroughly investigate and learn more.
As a result, my worldview has some black and white on the shores filled with a sea of gray. The more I try to investigate, think for myself, and empathize, the more my ‘convictions’ become ‘best options at the time.’ When I look at the issues dividing our country and seek the example of Christ to guide me, I am more uncertain. Christian denominations full of devout individuals who love Jesus can’t even agree on ‘what would Jesus do,’ so why would I loudly proclaim my opinion?
Jesus didn’t seem to be as concerned with politics as with saving our souls, so I quietly choose His model. I don’t recall reading about boycotts in the New Testament; instead, I see Jesus shocking the religious establishment by spending His time with tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus didn’t yell His message of equality for women in the face of others; instead, He quietly asked the woman at the well for water. He knelt down on the ground of the accused adulteress and forgave her sins.
I find eating dinner with those whose actions disturb me harder than refusing the meal they made. It’s much easier to boycott companies who support Planned Parenthood than to forgive, much easier to picket outside an abortion clinic than to adopt an unwanted child.
It’s much easier to shout what I’m against than to actually live what I’m for.
Perhaps, that’s one reason that I don’t boycott much of anything. The few convictions that I do have require much more than my money. Sure, withholding my money from those organizations whose beliefs go against my core convictions can be seen as action, but I find it a trap to complacency.
Especially as a Christian, I can use my money as a powerful tool to bully the world into feeling as I do, to feel like I am standing up for God and my convictions. But truly standing up, truly making a difference is so much harder.
That kind of a difference sent Jesus to the cross. Jesus seemed more repulsed by those who kept the rules than those who broke them. Perhaps, Jesus saw those who broke the rules as broken people and felt His time was better served by investing in them.
I want to follow His example. I want to be more like Him. I want to invest in people, not by whether or not I buy a chicken sandwich, but by actually learning people’s names and their stories.
And, well, I really like food. I think Jesus’ model of having dinner with sinners (since I am one, after all) works better for me.
I don’t want to know your opinion on gay marriage or Chick-Fil-A. Instead, I want to hear stories of people and convictions and how they made a difference. Do you know anyone who has adopted an unwanted child? Do you know anyone who sold all they had to care for the poor? Share your stories and inspire us!
12 thoughts on “Boycotts Leave Me Hungry”
Nice post. I feel the same way you do. At least I think I do. I had a bit of trouble concentrating on your words because I was trying to read while my kids were shrieking! But anyway, I’ve never heard of Chil Fil A…and I have never seen a taco bell…so I do not eat there. But I shop at Walmart. A lot of people hate Walmart for many different reasons. I’m not too fond of it either. However, even though I know the reason, I have to buy cheap stuff to feed my family, you know? I think we’ve even had this discussion before. I think a blog post of my own might be in store! Anyway, great writing, as usual!
Wow, Leah; I didn't realize that Canada didn't have a Taco Bell! Most people like Chick-Fil-A, but people either love or hate Taco Bell. It's fast food tacos and burritos and other weird combinations. If you can get past the fact that Taco Bell's food is pretty gross as far as quality, then you might like it. I love it but try to avoid giving it to my kids. It's really cheap, too (I can't imagine why!). 🙂 I understand the Walmart dilemma, too. I actually do avoid shopping there for the most part, but there are just some items that I can only find at Walmart, especially at back-to-school time. We do the best that we can and each choose our battles, right?
There is a lady in my church family, MASA GUEH, who was a judge in Liberia. She has founded an orphanage there and gives most of her time and finances to support "her" children. I think this is more newsworthy than the whole CFA controversy. Don't you think Jesus justs shakes his head at all the junk that appears front page daily?
That is an inspiring story! We need more people in this world like this lady.
I am over here in Lawrenceville, still in PJ's and bed-head CHEERING for this post!! Well done, well said!!!!
That visual made me smile. 🙂
Great post, Jennifer!!
Great post! Echoes a lot of my own sentiments on the subject.
My view on this–if you don't like what a company stands for and passionately anti-something, don't shop/eat at that establishment. Me? To each their own and who am I to judge any other person's beliefs? I might have an opinion that differs, but you can't expect everyone to agree. You can respect another person's beliefs without having to go along with them.
I'm with you…do as you please, just give me my chicken.
I guess we share that 'love of food' gene! I do think that we need to be informed and responsible with our money, but I also believe we have to think about what we're actually doing and how effective our method will be in bringing about the desired outcome.
My husband and I did, in fact, adopt an unwanted child. And I can tell you, it's been HARD! All the classes required by the state in no way prepare you for what is to come. The one disorder, that I have to come believe nearly all foster care children have to a degree, is never mentioned. Not once. I never even heard the term until a year after we adopted him and could not figure out what on earth was wrong with him. What has this experience taught me? It has taught me that there is much more truth to the saying "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes." than most people will ever understand. I am constantly under attack from people who will never be able to comprehend the situation I live in on a daily basis. Through this, I have learned to do my best to NOT be judgemental of others. While I agree with CFA's right to take a stand, and even agree with the stand they are taking, I do not feel the need to blast it all over cyber creation. I have gay friends as well as straight friends. While I do not necessarily agree with their choice of lifestyle, I choose to love them anyway, rather than condemn and judge them. And quite often, as you alluded to, our methods lead to the exact opposite result as what we are trying to achieve in the beginning. One group makes all sorts of noise about how 'hateful' a chicken restaurant is, and another group floods them with business. Did all that squawking really accomplish anything? Probably not. The majority of people who want to boycott them probably never ate there to begin with. Those who may eat there occasionally may in fact start eating there more often. He who screams the loudest is not always the winner!
Thank you for sharing, Anne. I'll think of you and your child tonight in my prayers. You are right–we don't and can't know each person's unique situation, and our response should always be love.