Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bigotty Chicken: The Sorry Spectacle at Chick-fil-A

On Wednesday, a random visit to any Chick-fil-A would have seemed like "Gay Days" at Disneyland, but in reverse. Instead of gay people giddily being open and happy in the Happiest Place on Earth, evangelical Christians were celebrating being anti-gay at a chicken fast food joint. I don't know whether you'd call it a protest, a vigil, an anti-protest. For sure, it was weird. And most probably, it was mean spirited.

Image from Bullett
Mike Huckabee, the seemingly genial, grandfatherly politician, was the person who spearheaded "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." Huckabee wraps his bigotry up in sunny good cheer, and I'm sure many of the people standing in hour-long lines for a fattening chicken sandwich didn't think it was anything but. I'll tell you this much, I'm quite sure that the probability of those people each having a gay relative is way over 50%.

The central argument is over marriage equality, or more colloquially, gay marriage. The backlash is driven by the. . .I want to say devoutly religious. . .but it's really more like loudly, conspicuously religious. Particularly with those groups with "family" in the name, and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The hard to type (and ridiculously named) Chick-fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, publicly proclaimed that he--and thus, the company--was for "biblical marriage," whatever that means. Concubines, I suppose.

But the anti-gay sentiments, and company dollars to anti-gay hate groups have flowed from Chick-fil-A longer than this week.  It is clear--if you follow this much at all--that this is about intense hatred of gay people, not gay marriage. I don't know how much of that the people making some grand political statement by waiting in line knew. Many of them, as you can read on many internet message boards and on Facebook, are rather indignant. It's actually descended to the trite, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" argument. These people are Bible skimmers at best, from my vantage point, thinking that somewhere in there, God spelled out Protestant weddings, with bridesmaids and veils, the works. They ignore the polygamy, the "marrying your rapist" bit, the "marry your brother-in-law if your husband dies" bit. The fact that Jesus never married, and hung out with dudes all the time. And the afore-mentioned concubines.

Haters gotta hate. Image from HuffPo.
As a gay atheist, I find the entire spectacle an enormous, unnecessary, embarrassment. I'm already "gay married." This argument is no longer hypothetical, and no longer in the realm of speculation. This ridiculous protest, such as it was, proved no other point than the fact that you can draw a crowd if the aim is to poke your thumb in the eyes of other--emphasis on other--people. But these folks don't seem to ever turn inward. To wonder what life is like for gay people. To consider us people at all. But as I said before, you can be sure these people have gay people in their midst. And they've just embarrassed them. Shamed them. Hurt them. All for a fucking chicken sandwich.


Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay Controversy: Gay Employees Speak Out 

Elected officials have urged Chick-fil-A to stay out of their cities, the Jim Henson Company has severed ties, and gay rights groups are organizing national protests against the fried chicken chain. But at the Chick-fil-A where Andrew works in northern Alabama, business has been booming over the past few weeks. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

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