Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Much Ado About Nuggets

with one comment

So I have resisted saying anything about the Chick-fil-A scandal until now, but not because I don’t have an opinion… I guess I’ve just been waiting to see how long this non-story could hang on buried in the flabby, sweaty armpit that is the August news cycle.

It looks a little like a dog to me…

If you’ve been living under a rock, Dan Cathy, the COO of Chick-fil-A and the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, told The Ken Coleman Show and Biblical Recorder where he stands on the issue of marriage and, by extension, the issue of gay rights.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than You as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

“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. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” … “(w)e intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

This led to strong reactions on both sides of the issue, including from Boston mayor Tom Menino, who stated very clearly that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in his city because of its executive board’s cultural views. Most notably on the supporting side, former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee suggested that people should record and photograph themselves going to Chick-fil-A in support of their owners’ views during what he called Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which took place last Wednesday, August 1.

The controversy here, in my opinion, lies not in the Cathys’ positions on an extremely polarizing political wedge issue but in the fact that their views determine which special interest groups they give money to. In this country, anyone is free to espouse any political position, no matter how bigoted, but when money is involved, the only recourse of those who do not agree is to avoid providing the financial support any political group needs to spread its message.

The saddest part of all this is since Chick-fil-A is HUGE in the capital-S South, most stores were overrun with supporters on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, far more supporters than counter-protesters. Most of the patrons appeared to be white Southern Baptists 35 to 65 years of age, the demographic most likely to support banning same-sex marriage by statute or amendment and least likely to embrace this country’s long history of inclusion, diversity, and church-state separation.  Supporters posted photos and videos of themselves going to Chick-fil-A on sites like Twitter and Facebook leading those of us Americans for whom homophobia is and always has been grossly unpalatable to wonder why we even know these people, why we have to share the same country.

They choose bigotry over love, big business over common sense, and – perhaps most outrageously – organized religion over their own flesh and blood.

Notice I didn’t say they chose God over their own flesh and blood; no god ever worth his letters would let his adherents behave the way these people have.  The position chosen by the supporters of Chick-fil-A is not about God at all, no matter what they may say; it’s about fear, ignorance, insecurity, and self-hatred. It’s based on a criminally widespread belief among these slack-jaws that they are inherently superior to others who are different in any way. That right there is the very definition of bigotry.

After a few days, I’m sure this stink will die down like every other demoralizing bit of news about the state of LGBT rights (or lack of) in the United States, but one question in my mind won’t: why were there so many thousands of these so-called Christians seen at Chick-fil-A on a day’s notice instead of at, say, a homeless shelter or soup kitchen?  Because, you know, Jesus actually did go out of his way to make mention of that.

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One Response

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  1. Beautifully said. I am a 34 year old woman from the south and this story is making headlines here.

    For me, it boils down to this ..”And above all these things is LOVE…”. I believe in love. I believe that everyone deserves love. I was also not put on this earth to judge.

    I have experienced love for (and from) many people in my life and count myself blessed. It is love that has made my life worthwhile.

    Everyone should be as lucky. Don’t worry about what makes us different, remember what makes us the same.

    Thank you Dave for this post.

    Kerri

    August 4, 2012 at 22:04


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