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Surprise: In spite of all the campus hysteria, students still like Chick-fil-A

Politics apparently have relatively little effect on peoples’ culinary choices

Chick-fil-A, the popular chicken-based fast food restaurant, is under fire at another campus: the faculty government at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recently voted to boot the chain’s location from that school’s grounds, citing the usual litany about “values” and “anti-LGBT” and other complaints. To its credit, the school administration will apparently not be giving in: a school spokesman noted the university’s commitment to “upholding the rights of others to have different perspectives,” a welcome change if ever there were one.

A few things worth observing about this silly little periodic hysteria. First: the “anti-LGBT” politics of which Chick-fil-A is purportedly guilty consist almost entirely of some donations to organizations that advocate traditional Christian views on sexuality, as well as some comments in support of those views by a company head some years back. That’s pretty much it. One is obliged to note that campus liberals tend to take a dim view of sexual morality and prudence; nevertheless, the idea that support for biblical marriage is somehow a disqualifying position is silly and arrogant. Virtually everyone believed in that definition of marriage up until about five minutes ago; millions upon millions more still do.

Secondly: while one can debate this controversy endlessly, the ultimate indicator of how people feel about it is how they spend their money. And people like spending their money at Chick-fil-A—a lot. The company is immensely successful, and part of that success comes from its strong presence on campuses across the country. You are welcome to feel that the restaurant is sub-par and not at all worth the hype surrounding it; that’s perfectly debatable. What that shows is this: Most people, even a demographic such as college students that is normally given to histrionic demonstrations of political outrage, are more interested in chicken sandwiches than they are the endless litigation of a company’s corporate donations.

Effectively this gives lie to the sort of political mania the faculty senate is trying to bring about: Whatever the politics of Chick-fil-A’s corporate structure, it’s not at all bad enough to dissuade most people from eating there. That’s a good thing: Barring truly outrageous and morally repugnant positions, we should be able to exist in a culture alongside those with whom we disagree, even strongly disagree. Fast-food customers understand this, even if highly educated faculty members do not.

MORE: Chick-fil-a and the university: One administrator’s brave stand for religious tolerance

IMAGE: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com

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