If you can’t make them see the light, make the feel the heat
Before I hit the sack this afternoon the story of some Chili’s Restaurants decision to hold fundraisers for Planned Parenthood, on the eve of the March for Life no less, broke
(see that past tense there? No more for me or my family.)
Don’t mix politics & food.
— Chris Estep 🗽 (@Estep) January 25, 2017
and the response from pro-life folks, particularly those who unlike Nancy Pelosi actually take that whole: Intrinsic Evil, Mortal Sin business in their religion seriously was not pleasant from their perspective:
— BrightLightsSmllCity (@TNMamato4) January 26, 2017
This response at their facebook page was typical:
Mark A Byers I regularly patronize Chilis in and around Pasco County, New Port Richey, Trinity, and Palm Harbor. NO MORE! I will not support anyone that contributes to abortions in any state, or country. ADIOS!
So I decided that it was time to get a statement from Chili’s and wrote them the following email:
I am working on a piece to be published this week on the reports that Chili’s restaurants in two states were holding promotions to support planned parenthood and have several questions.
1. Does the Chili’s chain support these fundraisers for Planned Parenthood at their restaurant, if so why, if not why not?
2. Given that Abortion is a very divisive issue why did Chili’s decide to jump in the middle of it and are any sanctions planned for the restaurants In question for putting Chili’s in a position where they are likely going to be forced to choose one part of their customer base over another?
3. Are there any plans to make a general statement on any such fundraisers in the future? Will there be guidance to locally owned franchises to avoid cultural war issues in the future?
4. The annual March for life is tomorrow, given the likely reaction of the participants to this news what message do you have to those marchers concerning this promotion?
5. Given that the Catholic Church (and other Christian denominations) consider abortion an intrinsic evil and cooperation[misspelled in original] with abortion a mortal sin what message do you have to believing Catholic / Christian customers who may be ethically required to avoid Chili’s over this promotion?
6. As funding Planned Parenthood is an issue on which the left has attacked President Trump what assurances can you give voters who supported the President that this promotion was not a slap in the face to him and his supporters?
7. Finally if Chili’s argues that it has no position on this issue and values customers who hold pro-life and pro-abortion opinions equally can you give an example of a fundraiser for a pro-life group held at a Chili’s in the past or will you do such a fundraiser to counter balance this one?
I will happily include any statement by Chili’s in my piece if it arrives before it is published, and/or will update or produce a follow up with said statement if it arrives after publication. Be aware that the piece will include the content of this email.
Thank you for your time
Peter “DaTechGuy” Ingemi
Featuring DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven
Have Fedora Will Travel
Chili’s responded at 1:28 PM, with the following:
Please find below a statement that can be attributed to Chili’s® Grill & Bar.
“At Chili’s, we have a longstanding history and take pride in giving back to unite our local communities together. We recognize every community is unique, and encourage our restaurant managers and franchise partners to support causes that help bring communities together and leave a positive impact on our valued Guests, neighbors, friends and families we serve.
Yesterday, we learned that an independent franchise partner of Chili’s in Indiana and Kentucky made the decision to host a Chili’s Give Back Event on behalf of Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky. While our franchise partner had the best intentions; we have received growing feedback and concern from community members regarding the Give Back Event. This feedback does not reflect Chili’s focus on bringing communities together and the event was never intended to be viewed as a partisan event or political statement, therefore we, along with our franchise partner, have decided to cancel the event.
We will more clearly communicate the focus of Chili’s charitable giving efforts, so that our restaurant managers and franchise partners can feel empowered to support local organizations that bring communities together.”
No answers to my questions and a statement which reeks of moral equivalency. Not a big surprise by a company that doesn’t want to get involved. Their statement that “every community is unique” and the “best of intentions” suggests that they don’t have a problem with abortion itself, only that we who oppose it might object. It’s the type of statement I’d expect in 1817 if a Kentucky franchise owner held a fundraiser to help a local plantation owner whose slaves had escaped and they wanted to placate outraged abolitionists.
Clearly the only reason consider this a big deal is because of the backlash from Pro-Life potential customers, and I strongly suspect that the local franchises, fooled by the MSM coverage of the so called “March for Woman” thought that of COURSE this would not make any trouble nationwide given how everybody in the MSM was so behind it. So we get a statement attempting to placate pro-life diners without risking offending pro-abortion diners. It’s a statement that is neither hot nor cold, and as I recall there was a good commentary already written concerning those who are lukewarm which I’ll repeat here
I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. ” ‘”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me…
Did Chili’s have a 1st century franchise in Laodicea?
Alas for Chili’s, as much as they would put the genie back in the bottle it’s doesn’t work that way anymore the time has come to choose sides and their attempt to choose neither will likely satisfy nobody.
They have a franchise in Leominster just a few miles from my house which, given the proximity and quality of Happy Jacks I’ve not visited in a couple of years. Given their lukewarm statement I think I’ll follow the example of Mother Angelica who when a supplier tried to extort a kickback from her peanut company that her monastery used to support themselves in the 60’s closed it instead saying
“If I’m going to hell, it’s not going to be over peanuts”
There are plenty of other places where I can eat and I’ve only got one soul.