A pro-traditional family advocacy group has launched an email campaign opposing a Burger King local promotion in San Francisco that featured a specially packaged, limited-edition gay pride Whopper with a rainbow wrapper in anticipation that the fast food chain may go national with the burger.
"Even though this promotion was at just one location, as a chain, Burger King is promoting homosexual behavior as healthy and something to have pride in," said American Family Association president Tim Wildmon in a statement released Wednesday. "We believe that promoting and encouraging unhealthy behavior will drive families away."
Fernando Machado, Burger King's Senior Vice President of Global Brand Management defended the company's promotion, telling USA Today that the sandwich "showcases who we are as a brand," adding, "It shows how we, as a brand, believe in self-expression."
On Tuesday, AFA sent an Action Alert to its friends and supporters and has prepared an email that consumers can send directly to Burger King executives and to the Burger King Franchise Association. AFA says that unless concerned consumers contact the fast food chain, the promotion could go nationwide next time. The email, which can be edited by the sender, states:
I am offended by Burger King's stunt in offering a so-called "Proud Whopper" in San Francisco. What were you thinking?
Your celebrated promotion of cross-dressers and homosexuality is an insult to families and I find your celebration of abhorrent behavior as a reason to dine elsewhere.
I hope you will learn from this publicity blunder and realize that while most stores did not participate in the corporate-approved program, the damage has been done and affects the image of all Burger King outlets.
"The Proud Whopper" promotion was held the week of 4th of July and at a restaurant situated along the parade route of San Francisco's annual gay pride event. Theologian and author John Piper tweeted, "Good-bye, Burger King. http://dsr.gd/1kmsDPv (If you wonder why, watch the last five seconds of the video, and weep.)"
Burger King video promoting Proud Whopper campaign can be viewed below.
Not every Christian is sold-out on opposing Burger King for its promotion. Alan Noble, co-founder and editor of Christ & Pop Culture wrote recently about the controversy, asking whether Christians should really be saying "goodbye" to Burger King.
"By boycotting Burger King for this lame promotion, evangelicals are validating it as a legitimate political and social statement instead of a cheap and tactless co-opting of the LGBT movement for profit," Noble states. "Most of all, focusing on silly faux-political/moral 'stands' like Burger King's only distracts us from richer and more edifying work."
He argues that current culture sees "economic coercion" as an important tool in social change and cites Mozilla, Duck Dynasty, and Chick-fil-A, as well as Burger King as examples.
"There are times and places when boycotts and buycotts are appropriate, certainly, but the way in which they have become the default method of public discourse and social advocacy is troubling," Noble wrote. "The Church has richer and more effective means of prophetically speaking, through preaching, service, and modeling an alternative to the world's order; I hope we begin to use them more."