When you have enough money and a good spot on the economic/political/social/religious/what-have-you food-chain, you get to say a few things, good or bad, about what you think or stand for, good or bad. Though, of course, an asterisk leading to a small disclaimer at the bottom of your mission statement does exist.
Please be aware that all speeches, appearances, Twitter posts, footsteps, “Liked” Facebook pages, and tattoos will be followed by keen eyes and taken account of. There are people watching your every move.
So, let’s take this scenario: You have the sudden craving for a perfectly put together chicken sandwich with a side of waffle fries, but the only place that you can think of to bother getting in the car for is completely out of the question for girls who like girls and boys who like boys because, well, they happen to put money in certian pockets that don’t like people of the rainbow-kind.
The Chick-Fil-A Restaurant chain, according to Equality Matters ( “a campaign for full LGBT equality” ), has donated more than $1.1 million to a number of organizations that are anti-LGBT under their charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation. Through 2003-2008, WinShape made donations to organizations like the National Christian Foundation, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Serving Marriages, Inc., and the Family Research Council- all of which express LGBT discrimination, whether it be towards their belief in what a marriage should look like or listing homosexuality as an “impure lifestyle” and a sin.
Another big contender in a race to support inequality: the Salvation Army. According to their United States website, they believe “that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.” Not to knock on the monks and nuns who practice celibacy, but really. If in some alternate world where homosexuality was the accepted orientation, and some internationally recognized charity told you that heterosexuality was a sin and stated as such in the Bible- how would you take it? According to the Washington Post, in 2001 the Salvation Army tried to strike a deal with the Bush Administration on overruling state and local laws on discriminating against homosexual orientation in the work place, and threatened to close up stores and drop-boxes if they were forced to follow said laws. Albeit, this was quite a few years ago, and they may have changed their stand-point- but you can’t change the past, or the hundreds of donors who now give their money to gay-friendly charities like Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS).
And now for the last (but not least)- Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes- being hit with infuriated gay fans and the like over his announcement at his guest appearance at a Focus on the Family (FOTF) event in Orange County. FOTF is widely known for their belief in that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by bad parenting and family problems, as well as gays wanting to destroy marriage (last thing on my mind). Mycoskie tried to play it off as not fully knowing that background of the ministry, living on a sailboat in Los Angeles, but with Google just one click away- how trustworthy can that be? For his next “speaking engagement” at Willow Creek Church, Mycoskie posted on his “Start Something That Matters” website that just because he’s showing up there doesn’t mean that his “ acceptance of that invitation should not be read as an endorsement of the sponsoring organization or of its views”. Well, I forgive you for now, Mycoskie. But I’m pretty sure that the gay hipsters of the world will still be keeping a sharp nose out for anything smelling fishy.
Now- I’m not saying you should boycott any of these places (though I for one do miss the sweet taste of those sunflower oil cooked waffle fries), but it doesn’t hurt to think twice about who you donate those two cents in your pocket to, or where you get your favorite afternoon snack, or the comfiest shoes or the funniest comics.