Anyone who has not been living under a rock these past 10 days has heard about
the controversy surrounding a Southern Baptist-founded fast food chicken franchise
called Chick-fil-A. But let's recap:
- President, CEO and son of the founder Truett Cathy, Dan T. Cathy gave his views on same-sex marriage:
"As it relates to society in general, 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.'
- Investigation by Equality Matters had earlier uncovered (via tax returns) millions of dollars in donations to various hate groups and "reparative therapy" clinics*
- Carly McGee, a New York gay activist, scheduled a "kiss-in" at all 1600 Chick-fil-A locations for Aug. 3.
- In response, Mike Huckabee declared Aug. 1 to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
- Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston effectively banned Chik-fil-A from the city:"There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it," Menino said in a letter to the company.
Alderman Proco Moreno of Chicago chimed in with a statement that he would not
further the proper permits for the chain toe build a second franchise in the
- The Jim Henson Company (maker of The Muppets) has withdrawn its sale of toys from
the chain and has offered to donate any residual profits to the Gay and Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation.
- Ditto the Berenstain Bears
Former Republican primary Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has voiced
support in tweeting his enoyment while eating at Chick-fil-A and stating he
would be at the same place on Aug. 1st.
Former vice-presidential Republican nominee Sarah Palin has also voiced support
of the fast food chain's stance.
But Wait! There's More!
Perkins of the Family Research Council criticized Menino and The Jim Henson
Company for failing to "practice the tolerance they preach."
- Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has called LGBT activists "vicious bullies" with no limit to anti-Christian sentiment.
- Brain Brown of National Organization for Marriage opined with Mike Huckabee that the situation was akin to "economic bullying".
No Tolerance For Intolerance
The matter has now escalated into a game of "tolerance": the intolerant screaming lack of tolerance and the tolerant screaming back that intolerance for intolerance is justified. But perhaps the more pertinent aspect of the latest culture war battle is one of blatant contempt for a certain segment of society: by vocalizing its Christian Right views, Chick-fil-A has gone on the offensive against LGBT rights - it has done what organizations like the National Organization for Marriage boycotted Starbucks and JC Penny to do: oppose same-sex marriage, and not just stay "neutral."
usual, Jon Stewart of The Daily show brought about the ridiculousness of
Cathy's comments and it's discriminatory policies ("You're such an assh*le
that not even Boston wants to have anything to do with you!"). Look for
more stupid statements to come from people like Huckabee and Santorum. Michele
Bachmann: is your Islamophobic witch hunt keeping you from saying something
about this grave matter?
other hand, the reaction of local government politicians like Menino and
Moreno, while well-intended, may have fueled the controversy to boiling point:
having a cool reception to the franchise in your city is certainly different
than trying to ban it altogether. Such actions certainly gave fodder to Bryan
Fischer (see below) in his war on "Big Gay."
next days will see people shaking their chicken sandwiches at same-sex couples
kissing. Chick-fil-A has given us amusement in the form of contempt.