What to do now….

31 03 2011

As I write this last (required) blog, I am pretty sad because working on this for the past couple of months have been amazing. Thinking about my change that I wish would happen, I would also like you take away another message which is to:

Encourage people but especially young adults to use their voices and their experiences of growing up in a more open-minded world to help influence a greater equality of all people.

Thinking about Chik-fil-a specifically I do not hate them or think that the people who work for them are evil. What I do not agree with is the Inequality that their company believes in. Personally being gay I do not go around and talk to people about how being gay is right or hold conferences on gay relations or even define what I believe marriage to be, so I do not feel that anyone else should.

What Chik-fil-a needs to do is learn that supporting organizations that do these things are wrong and the fact that they support them after stating how they “value all people” is hypocritical. Because I feel as a regular human being, I support all people and I don’t go around supporting people or groups that blatantly hate any group of people.

So what do I want you take a way from this blog?

I want you to realize that we are all people and there is no difference between a gay person and straight person but whom they love, so we shall all should support and respect that. If you think about the people in your life who maybe identify as gay or bisexual or lesbian or in some realm in the community, are they different then you? Do you feel that they should have the same rights? Do you feel that religious beliefs should be so integrated in the everyday operations of a company?

If you believe that we all are equal and all deserve the same rights, then do not support companies and organizations that believe that or support other organizations that believe. Or if you see a situation like Chik-fil-a arise, use your voice to speak up against companies that do support anti groups and don’t back down until there is a change

I am so thankful for all of the support and especially to my intcom class because you have all empowered me to fight for what I believe in.


Students use their influence

30 03 2011

Since the beginning of January 2011 the controversy erupted when some college campus and gay rights groups blasted the restaurant chain for donating free food to a Pennsylvania organization opposed to gay marriage..  Mentioned also in my Key Players, I had mentioned some college universities: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University South Bend, and Florida Gulf Coast University that have been trying to bring light to the issue.

Students and faculty from Indiana University South Bend petitioned the school to no longer allow Chik-fil-A to be served in the campus cafeteria. The university sent out a press release stating that it is not entirely refusing the vendor’s ability to do business with the campus, Chik-fil-A has been suspended from their weekly delivery while the campus takes “time to properly review the issue.”

From going off of comments about my blog from classmates, I have never felt so much support. While this blog started off as just an assignment for my Internet Communication class, now has changed me into someone who shares his opinions and actually works toward a change. While some of  my classmates and I love Chik-fil-a, they understand and do not agree with the decisions that the company has made in regards of supporting anti-gay groups. Their comments on my blog has given me the needed passion to use my voice in a creative way such as a blog to reach people and introduce them to this subject.

Since starting to research this topic over a month and half ago, I have not eaten Chik-fil-a. From reading other students tweets and messages they share that same sentiment. Myself along with other people who do like Chik-fil-a, want to make sure that when we decide to eat at Chik-fil-a again that the company will hold on to their commitment to value all people.

Where to draw the line: Facts you didn’t know

29 03 2011

In response to the video, I do commend Mr. Cathy on addressing the issue at all because that shows effort on his part. There are two phrases in the video that I want to bring attention to, first being ” Some have used this small donation of food to suggest otherwise.”  He said this when addressing the incident with the Pennsylvania Family Institute where a local store sponsored the event by supplying food for the conference, The Art of Marriage. The second comment was “Chik-fil-a serves all people, and values all people.”

Is this true? Does Chick-fil-a serve and respect all people? and were there only two small donations that customers are mad about. I found this interesting article that states differently as it breaks down Chick-fil-a’s contribution to anti-gay organizations. Surprising facts about chick-fil-a that you didn\’t know.

This article does an amazing job of outlining why many people have/choose not to eat Chik-fil-a until there is a change in respect for all people. Just below I included an email that was sent to the WinShape foundation asking about a retreat that they offer and it are things like these that I do not feel that Chik-fil-a’s  action which are outlined in the article “values all people.”

We love everyone: Chik-fil-a’s response

27 03 2011

While researching information for my blog, the one thing I wanted to make sure I did was to do my homework. While I have been very clear of my position on the subject, I feel that there is another point of view that should be heard.This is from the President and CEO Dan Cathy.

No Reel love for the Ruth Institute

25 03 2011

The video was submitted to the Ruth Institute, another organization that is affiliated with Chik-fil-a. The challenge was for young adults (18-30) to answer the question (s) in a 30 second (or up to a) 3 minute video, “What makes lifelong love possible? Why is it worth the effort?”

From watching the clip, how do you feel about it? I first encountered an article and blog that contained this video through twitter and instantly I was interested. From watching the video on YouTube I thought it was great that an organization was sponsoring something like this. Sadly, I looked into the competition further and learned that even though the prompt was about talking about real love, the only love that the institute wanted to show was a heterosexual type of love.

In fact in the judging criteria for the video submission, states that it should convey how lifelong love between one man and one woman is possible. That doesn’t sound too good for homosexual people.

Being associated with an organization like the Ruth Institute,  comes back to Chik-fil-a in a negative way. I feel that this in an instant where you a company’s support for an organization yet because of the institute’s negative connotation, whatever bad press the institute receives is automatically grouped with Chik-fil-a. Of course this could be avoided all together had the company decided not to support anti-gay groups. Any affiliations that the company has play a huge role in how people view them.

WinShape Foundation

24 03 2011

After blogging about the Pennsylvania Family Institute, I thought I would include a couple other organizations that Chik-fil-a has gotten heat over supporting. One of the bigger organizations, WinShape Foundation is the main charitable arm of the company.

According to their website, The WinShape Foundation was created in 1984 to help “shape winners.” The foundation supports a variety of programs, including a long-term foster care program, a summer camp, a scholarship in conjunction with Berry College and marriage enrichment retreats.

Looking through the foundation’s website and reading through the different aspects of the foundation, I feel that the organization tries to paint this perfect picture of helping while it leaves out who they do not help.

Since the foundation was created by the founder of Chik-fil-a and still remains a close to the company, I’d like to point out that while the foundation, tries to “create winners,” those winners that they are referring to are individuals and groups who are “wholesome christian people.”

WHAT does a wholesome christian person or group look like? How do they act? Is there a guide about being wholesome? This is where I want to break it down and show how truly exclusive this foundation is to people who do not fit this “image”

From college programs to foster homes to an international sectors, the WinShape covers all ground. From looking at how an individual benefits from the programs offered, the main aspects are  lessons on being a good christian. An example would be in the college scholarship description page states, the original basis of the funds relied on academic achievement, leadership potential, community service, MORAL LIFESTYLE and SPIRITUAL GROWTH. The description then goes on to say, The commitment remains to equip college students to impact the world for Jesus Christ by following him and living out his unique calling for their lives. Now last time I checked from applying for different scholarships did I ever encounter such obvious religious guidelines.

Another example would be through their foster care program where they state, WinShape Homes are Christ-centered, family oriented, and dedicated to the development of the whole child.

I want to focus on the *Christ-Centered portion of the program and how they define it as: ” WinShape Homes exists as an extension of the ministry of Jesus Christ. WinShape Homes strives to minister to children in a manner that will bring glory to God in meeting the needs of the children under our care.” Having been in a couple of different foster care homes for half of my adolescent life, it truly saddens me of the number of foster kids needing a loving home and them being turned away or forced to change in order to live pure lives.

A huge portion of that number are kids who have been kicked out for being a part of the GLBT community. I do believe the mission of the foundation is improving children lives, but I don’t feel that the message they put out there is very inclusive of different types of children from different backgrounds. Which I understand that it is at the discretion of the foundation, but  a program that is purely rooted in Christian teachings I feel would exclude certain children not only in the GLBT but those who may not agree with Christian teachings or whom have never practiced a religion before. How that ties into my topic is that by creating and/or supporting organizations like these, it is hard to claim to be open to all people when you seem to be consumed in your religion and use it as a moral compass.

Holy chikin

22 03 2011

I pose this question, Do you think of chicken as being holy food? I know that sounds strange, but do you think that a chicken would discriminate against anyone? Then why do you think a company that specializes in chicken dishes would use their brand and influence and support groups to discriminate against a certain group of people, mainly being the GLBTQ community.

A good quote from the video posted earlier in my blog that one of my classmates Sean reminded me of is very fitting about the situation. “keep their(Chik-fil-a)  religious issues out of my chicken nuggets.”

By not taking that advice, Chik-fil-a got into the public eye in a negative light after a local store in Pennsylvania decided to support the Seminar on the art of marriage by providing food for the conference. The interesting part of this is that the only marriage that the organization recognizes is that of heterosexual marriages. The Institute’s stance on gay marriage is that there should be none and that is because according to the bible it states that marriage should be between a man and woman. I found an interesting clip that gives more information about the institute, but I wanted to focus on the sponsorship for this organization.

I understand that it was not the whole company supporting this seminar but being a local chain of a large corporation such as Chik-fil-a also reflects on the company as a whole. But the company did not find that wrong for one of their stores to support such an obvious religious based organization. What is funny is that only when they receive negative press about an incident , which was that local store providing food did they actually act on it. What was done you may ask? The company asked the Pennsylvania Family Institute not to include the company’s name as a sponsor. unfortunately it was a little too late. What that one small sponsorship did was bring attention to an even larger issue.