It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’ve had a lot that has happened. I hope to be back rather than start a new blog.
I don’t know about you, but lately my Facebook wall has been filled with photos that look like this:
The letter from the Mayor of Boston prohibiting Chick-fil-a corporation to open a restaurant in their city.
These are not the only photos, I have also received an equal number of posts regarding the other side of the issue. However, Gay Marriage, while important, is not the topic of this post.
Internet memes, laughs at one’s self and others, seem to dominate my Facebook feed. It’s what those I care about share in their lives. It may be their attempt at humor or “taking a stance” on an issue, but effectively, I know what’s on their minds.
Last night my husband and I were watching Food Network, enjoying a quiet evening and we were introduced to Yiayia. Yiayia is Greek for “grandmother” and the star of the Athenos commercials.
Please watch it and enjoy the laugh. What got me wasn’t what the actors were wearing, and it wasn’t that Yiayia reminded me of someone from Mamma Mia. It was that Yiayia came out and said that these 4 young and attractive people are sitting near a pool, and she calls it pornography. The young adults then try and cover themselves up a bit, but it still looks like they are ashamed, even though they are eating the right product.
There are four Yiayia adds that I have found: Yiayia calls a woman with a low-cut, but otherwise modest, dress a prostitute, Yiayia tells a non married couple who is living together that they are going to hell, and Yiayia tells a house-husband that he is the wife because he does not bring in the family income. Well worth the chuckle if you have the time.
The reason I bring these ads up is because they touch on the Conservative Social Values that Chick-fil-a’s President-COO Dan Cathy shares. These grandmothers are chastising these young people because they live in a way that is a part of society, but against their personal views. We, as an audience, just laugh.
Many people would argue that these aren’t the views of the parent company, or we are laughing because these views are so archaic and backwards. I laughed at the first commercial because it touched on those values and told me, an advertiser is realizing we don’t need to show all that skin! For that, I may be unique, but I, as a young adult female who chooses to dress modestly, have a traditional view of family, and was a virgin who was separated by distance from my husband when we married, saw a glimmer of hope in advertising.
There are also many calling for a national boycott of Chick-fil-a based on the comments made by their founder. This is the quote that sparked a national outrage:
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”
Chick-fil-a has also made this statement on its Facebook Page from July 19, 2012
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
The emphasis is mine, because it closely resembles the Catholic Church’s stance as well.
“They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358
The emphasis is again mine. Catholics, who are completely aligned with the Magisterium believe that those who are homosexual are called to lives of chastity. All people should be able to agree on the dignity of everyone, regardless of gender, race or creed.
Back to Yiayia. Based on these adds alone, one could argue that the parent company is in support of Conservative family values. These ads chastise how most people in the United States live their every day lives and mocks it in a public venue. Am I ashamed or offended by these commercials? No, I find them humorous, and as evidenced by this post, thought-provoking.
I try to be a thoughtful consumer. Does this mean that I will go out of my way to support Chick-fil-a because they support my views? No, I have never eaten there and do not live in an area where there is a Chick-fil-a. Will I go out and buy Athenos products because of their commercials? No, I purchase their hummus because it is the brand I prefer and I don’t know how to make my own. I still eat Oreos, Wheat Thins, Hummus, Feta Cheese, and Ritz crackers. Why? I enjoy them and unless I could get a couple million friends to not purchase those things with me, I know my $5 here and there won’t do much to their bottom line. What will make a difference, is knowledge and standing up for our beliefs regardless of how controversial they are.
And for the record: Oreos are manufactured by Nabisco, which is a sister company to Athenos. Both are owned by Kraft Foods.