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Why I'm not boycotting McDonald's

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Wide White: Why I'm not boycotting McDonald's

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why I'm not boycotting McDonald's

I recently found out that the American Family Association has issued another boycott, this time against McDonald's. Their grounds can be found at

The sum of the issue is that McDonald's has expressed corporate partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). They've given money - $20,000 from what I can tell, hardly a blip on the radar of McDonald's profits, but not entirely insignificant. They have expressed vague, corporate-press-release support for the causes that would seem to include the NGLCC and for diversity as a whole, which can be interpreted to include the "gay and lesbian cause", if you will.

However, the AFA's argument is based primarily around the fact that McDonald's VP of Communication is on the board of directors for the NGLCC. Somehow, this would indicate McDonald's outright support of all things homosexual. Never mind that their VP of Communication is an individual who pursues his individual interests. The AFA has attributed statements made by this VP in his role on the board of directors for the NGLCC to "McDonald's", as if the statements are reflective of McDonald's as a whole.

In addition to AFA's principle argument being weak, I'm also not boycotting McDonald's because if I were to do that, I would have to also boycott the following list of NGLCC corporate partners:

ACME Markets
American Airlines
American Express
Bank of America
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California
Bristol Farms
Burger King
Capitol One
Century 21
Coldwell Banker
Continental Airlines
Coors Light
Corcoran Group Real Estate
Cub Foods
CVM Solutions
Deutsche Bank
ERA Real Estate
Ernst & Young
Fannie Mae
Farm Fresh Supermarkets
Freddie Mac
Goldman Sachs
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Lehman Brothers
Lucky Supermarkets
Morgan Stanley
Shop 'N Save
Shoppers Food & Pharmacy
Southwest Airlines
Starwood Hotels
Title Resource Group
Total Logistic Control
Wells Fargo
W. Newell & Co.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

To recap, this list includes:
1. the beneficiary of my employer's rent payment (Accenture)
2. my wife's principal account at work (AT&T)
3. my health insurance provider (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
4. the maker of the best fries in the fast food industry (Burger King)
5. one of my credit card companies (Citi)
6. my primary grocery provider (Cub Foods)
7. the manufacturer of my wife's cell phone (Motorola)
8. one of my accounts at work (OfficeMax)
9. the maker of some of the foods in our household (PepsiCo)
10. my wife's former employer (Sodexho)
11. the bank with my wife's student loan (Wells Fargo).

That's not to mention the airlines, real estate companies, and numerous other companies that many of us need to use at some point in our lives. And I have a feeling there are a few people out there who couldn't afford to quit using one of Pfizer's products. If I were to boycott McDonald's I'd have to start working through this list. I'm not going to do that.

Boycotts have their place and if your decision is to use that means of protest, I won't criticize it. I've made the decision not to buy gas at Citgo because I don't want my money going to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. But the reality is you can find dirty money in just about any company, and I'm sure Shell Oil and BP have their fair share of it too. Any company that has supported a lobbyist or politician who supports gay marriage could be at fault if you wanted to really take this boycotting seriously.

The problem here is that the AFA is trying to perpetuate a culture war. If there's no culture war, the AFA loses its relevance and therefore loses its funding. As long as we believe there is a culture war, we will give the AFA our money.

There is a culture war. There's no disputing that. But the AFA is lacking consistency in their fight. They are targeting select companies (remember Ford?) in hopes that if enough people rally against that company, it will change its mind and they will score a victory. Never mind that we're still blindly contributing to hundreds of other companies that are no less at fault for the same moral crimes.

I won't take part in the AFA's culture war, not because I don't agree with their opposition to the further advancement of a "homosexual agenda", but because I don't believe it's possible to honestly take part without becoming a hermit.


Anonymous Anonymous declared,

“I won't take part in the AFA's culture war, not because I don't agree with their opposition to the further advancement of a "homosexual agenda", but because I don't believe it's possible to honestly take part without becoming a hermit”

Very sensible approach. I too do not support the homosexual agenda, but think that these types of boycotts are not very productive.

7/07/2008 7:25 AM  
Blogger The Bororean declared,

It's good to see other Christians with a brian of their own!!!

7/07/2008 7:02 PM  
Blogger Cookster declared,

"It's good to see other Christians with a brian of their own!!!"

Bororean, is this some reference to Monty Python's Life of Brian?

Anyway, as an Australian observer, these are my thoughts:

7/07/2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Ezra declared,

And in light of the way the Catholic Curch handled the gay sex with underagde boy scandal I think It's best we all boycott the Catholic Church too.

7/08/2008 9:29 AM  
Blogger Jim B. declared,

Amen! I've never been a fan of boycotts for this very reason.

7/10/2008 11:06 AM  
Blogger Keithslady declared,

Good thoughts, Joey. I love how the list goes on and on and on. I'll tell Dana not to feel guilty for taking the kids to McDonalds yesterday!

Likewise, we never boycotted K-Mart for supporting a bookstore that sold racy magazines. Do you even remember that?

7/11/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

I do remember the Kmart boycott. I think there were a number of people in the church who participated. I seem to remember you explaining to us the logic and how you can tie money for just about anyone to just about anything. That must be where I got it...

7/11/2008 10:24 AM  

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