I’ve been stewing for a couple of weeks now over this whole Chick-fil-A tornado-in-a-toilet-bowl scenario. I figured it would be over and done with and I could just let it go after several deep breaths and many, many chants of “om” to soothe my frazzled psyche. But no, Dan Cathy made those remarks in an article published July 16th – July 16th people! – and the fractious one-upmanship between the Left and the Right, the Conservatives and the Liberals, the Christians and the Lions, the Gay and the Sad, uh…wait, lost my train of thought there for a minute. Anyway, this back and forth crap over one man’s (who frankly I’d never heard of before all this) opinion is still going on, in every possible American media outlet almost a month later. Give me a freakin’ break already! Enough – shut up; you’ve either made your point by now or you didn’t have one in the first place.

I’d originally planned to get into my own take on the whole thing, and then I realized nobody needed to hear that. I’d just be perpetuating the very thing I just railed about in my opening paragraph. So I’ll refrain.

Mostly.

Well, it wouldn’t be much of a post if that was all I wrote now would it?

I want to share two things with you today. First, a personal experience. Through all this drama on TV, radio, online – I’ve had my opinions about Chick-fil-A the same as everyone else. But do you know I’d never been inside a Chick-fil-A? Sure, I’d grabbed a sandwich once or twice in a food court at the mall, but I figured that wasn’t quite the Chick-fil-A experience.  Today that all changed. I bravely entered the parking lot, rebelliously leaving my “We Do Big Things” bumper sticker in honor of President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address and my hippy-dippy personalized license plate (the design showing support for the Arts), further marking myself as a proud ivory-tower, rose-colored-glasses (as my Dad would describe it) Liberal. Having no idea what to expect, I slowly approached the door, where one of the young employees returning from outside smiled and held the door for me to enter. Inside was, shock! a perfectly normal  – actually better than normal, it was really nice – fast food restaurant. The people – staff and customers alike – all seemed like regular people, kind of like me even. No fiery eyes, no one waving bibles and threatening fire and brimstone, no quizzes about my views on gay marriage (for equality), presidential candidates (for Obama), or even favorite ice cream flavors (too tough to call). It’s pretty boring to report, but there was absolutely nothing exciting about this visit to the infamous Chick-fil-A at all. Well, the strawberry milkshake was awesome; that was exciting!

Second, one my biggest pet peeves is that a corporation is considered a person under the law (that’s way too big to be called a pet peeve, but I’m struggling to find the right phrase for it, so for now we’re going with pet peeve).  That makes me absolutely looney-tunes! One of the many issues for me, as for many, in the Chick-fil-A blow-up has been distinguishing between the individual’s opinions and rights, Dan Cathy, and how that should affect and reflect on the corporation. I found this amazing article by J. Bryan Lowder on the XX Factor blogs at Slate.com, Chick-fil-A and The Gays: The Problem with Consumer Activismthat speaks to this point better than anything I’ve read. I love this quote from the article:

“The stench of corporate personhood is all over this thing”

The focus of the article is on consumer activism as a tool and whether or not it is effective when trying to make a political statement. The author covers a lot of ground and, I felt, presented a well-balanced point of view on what has become something a little hysterical – in both senses of the word – at this point.

Now all I have to do is to explain to my gay niece why I won’t “Like” the posts on Facebook trashing Chick-fil-A that she and the rest of the family (even the Conservatives!) keep sending me. Think I might need another one of those milkshakes; they’re featuring peach right now!