The Chicken Sandwich War of 2012

I did not plan to comment on the Chick-Fil-A situation, but I greatly underestimated its longevity in the national consciousness.  For whatever reason, this story continues to resonate.  So here’s the Chicken Sandwich War from where I stand.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing a full audit of the Federal Reserve.  (The Senate version, S202, is tabled indefinitely.  Direct your inquiries to Harry Reid.)  That night I flipped through the television news channels to see how this legislation would be covered in the mainstream media.  While I expected a negative reaction from the pundits, I did not expect what I actually found — almost complete silence on the matter.  What national emergency had pre-empted this crucial discussion about the role of central banking in the United States economy?  In short, chicken.

Let me say that I respect those who act on their principles.  If adjusting your Chick-Fil-A consumption to either boycott or support the restaurant is a meaningful stand for you, then that’s fine with me.  But this is not a news story.  It’s not even a real discussion about same-sex marriage. It almost became a news story about the powers of local government when mayors started to ban Chick-Fil-A from their cities, as the question could’ve been asked, “Under what circumstances can mayors ban private businesses?  Is religious belief an appropriate basis for such action? What are the logical consequences of such a policy?”  But not enough people actually asked those questions, so once again we are left to argue over chicken.

I made this plea on Twitter in 140 characters, but let me write it properly here.  I know that the Chicken Sandwich War seems important now, whichever side you support, but in a month nobody will remember that it even happened.  No real policy is shaped by this exercise.  Meanwhile, significant events continue to occur.  If you aren’t as interested in the fate of the Federal Reserve audit as I am, then there are still plenty of wars, fiscal issues, monetary issues, and personal liberty issues that are worth discussing.  In fact, have a real discussion about same-sex marriage if that’s on your mind.  But please, let’s stop using fast food chicken as a proxy for marriage.  It doesn’t make us think seriously about marriage.  It only makes us hungry.

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