Chick Fil-A, Chinese Workers and Hypocrisy

There’s been renewed buzz about Chick-Fil-A’s stance on Gay marriage. I’ve found the original article fromt he Baptist Press. Here’s an unedited excerpt. 

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. “We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized. “We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

I don’t eat a Chick-Fil-A because, I believe, that Chick-Fil-A is run by a bunch of bigots.  You can disagree. I’m fine with that, but that’s not what this post is about.

A moral conundrum comes up when I make vocal my dislike of Chick-Fil-A.  There is an aspect of hypocrisy.

My good friend Johner brought it up best on the Twitters.

I love Johner for multiple reasons, but his ability to make me face hypocrisy and then completely skirt hypocrisy by not caring is just, well, it’s just amazing.  And he’s right.  How can I say that eating Chick Fil-A is wrong when I have an Apple computer?  I have an Apple computer that, according to many reports, was made in the worst possible working conditions imaginable.  How can I buy an Apple computer and then, with a stern and serious face, say that it is immoral to eat at Chick Fil-A.  Come here.  Hold my hand.  Let’s try and figure this out together. According to Johner’s logic, it works out like this.

Eating at Chick Fil-A is wrong.

I own an Apple computer made under horrible human rights conditions. That is wrong.

Since I am doing something wrong, I should eat at Chick Fil-A because that is also wrong and it doesn’t matter. 

This is the part where I am supposed to, somehow, justify my ownership of an Apple computer.  But I can’t.  I really can’t.  Johner’s right. I’m a hypocrite.  Except, in a weird way, we are having different arguments.  Capitalism is amoral.  It doesn’t care about the trees, Chineses children, Gay people, none of that. Capitalism cares about growth. More more more more. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the long or short run. All that matters is making stuff, selling it to different markets and making a profit.  I don’t like how Capitalism destroys with no regard. I’ve written plenty about it.

The Chinese government allows their people to be abused. This is horrible and it is wrong.  It’s also a Macro problem. It’s huge.  No, Apple shouldn’t allow their/our computers to be built under these conditions, but Apple is following the rules of Capitalism.  They are using a cheap workforce to achieve maximum profit.

Chick Fil-A isn’t using Gay slaves to make their chickens.  And they allow everyone to buy their chicken. But, they pretty much look at a segment of the population, a small minority of people, and they say, you guys are gross.

Apple computers being made in China is an issue connecting to the evils of Capitalism.

Chick Fil-a donating money to anti-gay rights causes is an issue connecting to raw prejudice and bigotry.

They are both bad. But they are different issues.  You can compare the two, but you’re being disingenuous.  Solving the problems that allow Chinese workers to be abused won’t solve Chick Fil-A being a bigot. Still, rhetorically, Johner did an excellent job putting me in a box.  That doesn’t happen often.

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2 thoughts on “Chick Fil-A, Chinese Workers and Hypocrisy

  1. I think it’s called ‘hitting the nail on the head.’ Nice piece. (And also ‘fuck you’ because after reading your blog, I’ve decided it’s much better than mine. How’s that for honesty?) 😉

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