It’s a classic motif, first made popular by W.W. Jacobs’ incredibly terrifying short tale, “The Monkey’s Paw”: Be careful with your wishes, for they could backfire. And that’s precisely what’s happened to a band of rabidly anti-Chick-Fil-A – or anti-chicken, or anti-Christian? – protesters at University of Kansas.
In a similar fashion to what MRCTV’s Ferlon Webster recently reported was happening at Trinity University, in Texas, for quite a while, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer (LGBTQ) advocates at University of Kansas have been trying to get Chick-Fil-A removed from that tax-subsidized campus. But not only has the U of K (KU) administration not removed the taste sensation, they’ve given Chick-Fil-A a better locale.
Following years of demands that the taxpayer-funded institution discriminate against a vendor because of its founders’ religious beliefs, the KU administration actually gave its Chick-fil-A restaurant a better place on campus.
Indeed. For fifteen years, the restaurant had been located in a basement of what is called Wescoe Hall. But it will, henceforth, have a prominent place in the busier Student Union.
And as Piper points out, the school decision appears not to be any form of political or cultural statement to annoy the protesters. In fact, it came down to dollars and cents.
KU’s 10-year contract with Chick-fil-A requires upgrades to its location in the basement of Wescoe Hall, where it’s been for 15 years, that would cost about $2.6 million more than simply moving it to the student union building, a higher-traffic area…
And since the school would be paying for the upgrade, and the Chick-Fil-A franchise pays $60,000 annually to the school, that would be a sizeable loss of cash for the university.
Imagine the LGBTQ activists’ anger upon discovering that the school was putting financial considerations over their political agenda… And adding to the frustration of the protesters is the news that the school is going to allow Chick-Fil-A to sponsor (for an undisclosed amount) the coin-toss at the university’s Jayhawks football home games for the next few years.
The rainbow movement at University of Kansas might turn red with fury.
This is not to mock people who believe they should be able to protest the activity of a taxpayer-subsidized “educational” institution. In fact, the very existence of a taxpayer-funded or taxpayer-subsidized institution – of any kind – invites perfectly proper protests against anything that institution might do, for the simple reason that people are being forced to pay for it, be it a university, a high school, or even a public library or park. Everything the government touches implicates every taxpayer, and every taxpayer has a right to protest having his or her money taken, regardless of how popular or “laudable” the application of the tax cash might be.
But in this case, there are two other issues involved, and Piper brings up those, as well:
Anti-Christian bigots on the KU payroll have been trying to get it booted since the chain’s founders became known for supporting measures to keep the definition of marriage as one man, one woman.
Clearly, we can recognize Piper’s feelings about the “anti-Christian bigots” as subjective. But that’s not pertinent to the issue. Some, or all, of the protesters certainly could be “bigoted”, or, perhaps, their dislike of Christian virtues is based on something more complex. The keys are that, first, many of the protesters are government-funded employees of the school.
‘KU granted Chick-fil-A, a bastion of bigotry, a prime retail location in the heart of our campus,’ KU’s Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council said in a letter sent this week to Chancellor Doug Girod, the provost’s office and the athletic department.
This complicates the problem, for how are taxpayers to be respected when their cash is taken from them against their wills and handed to employees of a university system who, in turn, protest against a restaurant and ethics the taxpayers might embrace? The employees don’t have to work there, yet they protest nonetheless.
And about what do they protest? The definition of marriage. Specifically, the “Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council” doesn’t like Chick-Fil-A’s support of marriage being defined by law as a union between a man and a woman. According to Piper:
That political position was publicly embraced by President Barack Obama until the same year Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy publicly condemned the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
The takeaway – pun intended – being that tax-subsidized university employees/LGBTQ activists are upset that a tax-subsidized school is allowing onto campus a company that embraces certain positions on marriage that many taxpayers support. Both sides have conflicting positions over what the government will do to “allow” or “not allow” legal marriages between same-sex couples, and the university administrators have decided to overlook all of it and make financial decisions to bring more cash into the government-subsidized institution.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s the insinuation of the government into all these areas -- including the legal definition of marriage -- that has created the dissention and larger problem? Why can’t the Christians have their morals recognized on campus? How about representation for every religion embraced by any taxpayer?
Certainly, if the angry protesters are employees, the validity of any claim to justified upset is diminished. People choose to work at the taxpayer-subsidized school and are payed through the force of the state. But for everyone else – all those living on the tax plantation who have to pay for these institutions – perhaps the presence of government compulsion is one of the major problems.
In the market, people can frequent or boycott anything they like.
Not in government institutions. In those, everyone argues and protests and spends valuable time and resources on trying to have it their way.
Wasn’t it Burger King that used to advertise, “Have it your way”?
Seems like that’s a better approach than taxation and strife.