Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Economization of Ethics

So, Chick-Fil-A is in the midst of a political scandal.  You can read a brief article about it here.  I find it both fascinating and frustrating that we live in a country/culture that has economized ethics.  We live in a country where we literally tell ourselves we are saving the planet because we purchase bottled water with smaller, more ecologically friendly caps.  Or to put it a different way, if as a Christian I sanction the ideals of humility, simplicity, self-denial, and the letting go of materialism, should I purchase a vehicle with cloth or leather seats?  Now I say this half joking, but on some levels this is a serious conversation.  Especially with the globalization of economics and trade, I should probably think about where the things I purchase come from.  If all of my cloths are made in a sweat shop, then I am financially supporting the oppression of the poor.  That is an ethical issue that should be taken seriously.  (For another, better worded discussion on the topic, here's a post by Dr. Beck.)  However, sometimes I think we can get a little rediculous.

For example, take Chick-Fil-A's present situation.  It is a widely known fact that the founder of Chick-Fil-A is a Christian.  Therefore it shouldn't surprise anyone that a restaurant in Pennsylvania donated sandwiches to The Pennsylvania Family Group.  It just so happens that the TPFG also works to outlaw gay marriage.  Gay rights groups quickly went on the offensive, which is within their right to do.  The present president of Chick-Fil-A even made a statement stating that Chick-Fil-A serves all people of all values.  But here's the thing...would gay rights groups be as angry if Pizza Hut or Subway provided food for the event?  And either way, we can't forget that a restaurant provided food for TPFG, not Chick-Fil-A headquarters.

But here's the bigger issue.  When ethics gets distilled down to economics, we're all missing the point.  Ethics is all about relationship.  So, if members of the LBGT feel they have been wronged by sandwiches, then I guess they should say something.  However, could it be that sometimes a sandwich is just a sandwich?

At this point I find myself happy I have such a small reader-ship.  I can only imagine the flaming I would receive from this post.  But, basking in my lack of fame, I think I'll go eat a chicken sandwich and try to love my neighbor, no matter what their sexual orientation.

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