August 7, 2012
In a way, I’m sad that the culture war over gay rights has come to a head over a crappy chicken sandwich. On the other hand, I’m glad it finally opened the floodgates and we can tell who is for gay rights, who is pretending to be trendy, and who really has no idea what’s going on. For the latter group, let me explain a few things.
“This is a First Amendment issue!”
The most common gripe right now is that people who are boycotting Chick-Fil-A are somehow trampling on the company’s (and Cathy’s) freedom of speech.
He wants to believe gays shouldn’t marry, he has that right. He also has the right to donate money as he sees fit to whatever charity he chooses. My grievance, and that of many others, is WHO he gave the money to… the Family Research Council, among others. Just click the link and find out what kinds of people this good Christian man thinks deserve millions of his money.
Free speech means saying what you want. Paying to have others denied their rights is oppression. It’s that simple.
“Gay marriage isn’t that huge a deal! He’s just standing up for what he believes in!”
And what he believes in is hatred and intolerance even if he doesn’t sound like it.
Whenever people say they champion “traditional marriage,” it’s very likely they’re actually saying “the Biblical definition of marriage.” The problem, however, is that the Biblical definition of marriage is nowhere near what conservatives think. In fact, the Bible condones pretty much every other type of marriage except straight marriage. It advocates types of marriage we now consider highly unorthodox, so it’s ridiculous to claim opposition to gay marriage is based on the Bible.
Even worse, historically, “traditional marriage” has been a term used to deny rights to people who today can get married without fear of getting lynched. Interracial, different denominations, divorced couples… think about it. At one point, these groups were denied marriage for the same reason gay couples can’t get married. And every time, conservatives have been wrong. Their stance has been based on bigotry and hatred.
Why is this time any different?
Also, claiming that he’s innocent because he’s basing his actions on his beliefs pretty much frees any of us from any responsibility for our actions. The next time I get a traffic ticket, I can just say that my beliefs in chaos ruling the world make me except from the laws of man. So there.
“You’re just as intolerant as Cathy! You’re being intolerant of intolerance!”
…I’ve actually had people tell me this one. Somehow, calling someone out for being a bigot is the same as being a bigot.
Let me tell you something. Cathy and everyone like him can say whatever they want. I, too, can say whatever I want, and that includes disagreeing with him and his beliefs. However, I take special offense the actions he takes to limit gay rights and donate to a group that thinks homosexuality should be a criminal offense and thinks gays being killed for being gay is a good thing.
On the other hand, the Right doesn’t bat an eyelid when people on their side protest and boycott in the name of morals. Disney and General Mills, for example, have been hit with protests for their own stance on gay rights, and yet those actions were called brave, moral, etc.
But god forbid the Left protests something! We’re a bunch of communazi baby-killers, right?
“But it IS a First Amendment issue! Those mayors tried to ban Chick-Fil-A from their cities!”
Yeah, but they were wrong. A lot of people on the Left agree they were out of line to suggest they could deny a business a license based on their donations.
On the other hand, the Right was perfectly fine with denying mosques the right to build where they wished. That was also a First Amendment issue, but the Right screamed and whined that, well, they just didn’t want mosques in their cities. There was a wave of violence and a series of protests against Muslims who wanted to build houses of worship, and none on the Right stood up and said, “Hey, maybe this is a First Amendment issue.”
So remember, folks: chicken sandwich > religious liberty.
“Well, I don’t want to be part of this stupid debate. I’m going to keep going to Chick-Fil-A, but I still support gay rights.”
This is the same as saying, “I’m all for civil rights, but I’m going to keep eating at Swastikas and Subs, the Neo-Nazi shop down the street. I know they donate to the Klan, but they make a great meatball sub.”
If you know where the money goes and say you’re still for gay rights, you’re a hypocrite, pure and simple.
“But are you saying I have to check where companies donate their money and buy based on my stance on important social issues?! What about gas? Are you going to stop buying gas because it helps fund Middle Eastern dictatorships?”
Uhm, yes. You do have to check.
I know it’s impossible to check every major store, and it gets more confusing since many companies are owned by larger companies that are owned by larger companied, etcetera, etcetera, but if you KNOW you’re hurting the gay community and you keep doing this despite having the choice of going somewhere else, you’re complacent.
I’d love to stop buying gas form the Middle East, but have very little say on the matter. But this? I can NOT buy a chicken sandwich.
“What about all the jobs that will be lost if the boycott succeeds? You’re hurting everyone else!”
No, that would be Cathy. He made a terrible business decision by giving money to an organization that’s labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Center. Management made a terrible decision that hurt the company’s image. If Disney decided to donate a million dollars to groups that wanted to keep minorities from voting, a good chunk of the population would be outraged and stop buying Disney products.
Any lost business would be the fault of management angering their customers. We’re responding to something the company did, and if employees lose out on it, it’s a simple fix: Cathy has to stop donating to hate groups.
The point is that companies aren’t entitled to our business. They have to please their customers and put out a quality product. Chick-Fil-A did something that has a physical impact on the gay community. Their customers don’t like that. We’re boycotting.
If anyone suffers, it’s Cathy’s fault.
Don’t believe me? When was the last time Christians lined up at strip clubs to give money to the poor girls dancing their way through college? Because, after all, who will think of the employees?
The Bottom Line
Cathy’s donations hurt the gay community. People who willingly buy Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are feeding those donations. To ignore that fact is to be complacent and culturally lazy if you actually think gays should have the same rights as the rest of us.
The Right took more offense to a business losing money and being called out for its homophobia than to houses of worship being desecrated and attacked in the name of hate. They mobilized like Jesus himself was making sandwiches.
It’s enough to make me gag. And now, let’s see one brave, and stupid, protestor make a stance against gay rights.