I’ve been working on a post on the varyingly creative misinterpretations of the First Amendment that have abounded over the past few weeks, but it’s not quite done yet. Sooner or later, someone opposed to Chick-fil-A’s antics, and the antics of its supporters, was bound to spout off at the wrong target. Via Hemant Mehta:
In the wake of the Chick-fil-A controversy, one of the ways the pro-gay-marriage side is fighting back is through the “National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-Fil-A” taking place today.
Another way to fight back is to follow the (half-joking) advice of YouTuber Jackson Pearce: Go to Chick-fil-A and ask for a glass of water, which they will give you for free (it’s the Biblical thing to do!), so you’re essentially taking money from them…
(It would be even better if people bought food at KFC and handed it out to homeless people or something… You know, whatever Christians say Jesus would do while they go stuff themselves with some chikin.)
Anyway, Arizona native Adam M. Smith went to a Chick-fil-A drive-thru this week to get the free water. But that wasn’t all. He also lashed out at the employee who served him for the faults of the company and its COO… as if she had anything to do with the matter.
[Here he embedded a video that Smith took of the whole encounter and uploaded to YouTube]
As I watched that, I just felt bad for the employee. She handled the situation perfectly — she did her job, remained as neutral as possible, and tried to explain how the company didn’t discriminate against gay customers (which is true)… meanwhile, Smith came off as a heartless bully (“I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here”). If Chick-fil-A has a problem, this employee had nothing to do with it and he’s wrongly taking his anger out on her. She showed far more class than he did.
For the record, I think it would be great if every Chick-fil-A employee who opposes the company’s stance were to quit en masse, but the world is not such a straightforward place. Jobs are scarce enough that this is not always, or even often, a reasonable demand. I cannot tell anyone else how to react to Chick-fil-A, but I cannot shake the feeling that this form of protest (if you want to call it that) could backfire terribly.
With that in mind, here’s my take on who/what are the proper recipients of Chick-fil-A protests:
- The Chick-fil-A corporate entity headquartered in College Park, Georgia
- Senior executives of said corporation
- Chairman and CEO S. Truett Cathy
- COO Dan Cathy
- People who lined up to buy fried chicken sandwiches to protest LGBT individuals and their allies standing up for their own dignity
- People who honestly think this is a First Amendment issue in anything that doesn’t directly involve certain mayors
Improper recipients of said protests:
- Individual Chick-fil-A employees who haven’t said a word, because trying to take on the drive-thru worker will not solve anything and will make you look like an asshole.