12/03/2019

There is no moral difference between eating Chick-fil-A and a McChicken

"So I object to the Cathy family (or any other, for that matter) using their business, no matter what the market or tax incentives, to support any charity. Once one decides to use one’s business to support one’s favored causes — whether conservative, progressive, or otherwise — it is not hard to slip, rather, into using one’s favored causes to support one’s business. Furthermore, there are several alternative models for businesses partnering with causes the owners’ support, but that is a topic for another post. Directly using a for-profit business as a vehicle for philanthropy perpetuates the mistaken idea — a dangerously popular idea in our current political climate — that just being a good business isn’t good enough. I object to the perception, a perception that they in part cultivated, that eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich is somehow more virtuous than eating a McChicken. As Fr. Ben rightly put it, “Instead of the virtue signaling that conspicuous consumption allows in a woke capitalist culture, individuals can multiply their influence by giving directly to any cause they choose.”

To vest one’s consumption habits with such moral value is the very definition of consumerism. Eating at Chick-fil-A was no substitute for contributing to your own church or donating or volunteering to an organization that helps the homeless just because Chick-fil-A used to give to the Salvation Army."