|bing.com / AFP|
A rainbow flag flaps in the breeze outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: August 3, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – Did I eat at Chick-fil-A this week out of some sort of solidarity with a bunch of reactionary people looking to make a point against “the gays” and to nosh on some fast-food chicken?
However, I did see people lining up in some locations here in Oklahoma City but it didn’t seem busier than any other day. The local media, though, ate it up, as it were, showing how the “silent majority” wanted to send a message to gay Oklahomans that their Chick-fil-A chick-n-strips are more important than sending a positive message that they love all of their neighbors as Christ would have wanted. (Paging Sally Kern … Sally Kern please pick up the white phone).
I’ve eaten at Chick-fil-A a number of times in my life but this whole “controversy” has made me lose my appetite. As a former Louisianan, I think I'll go for some Popeye's instead.
So why is your Red Dirt Reporter disappointed with Chick-fil-A and its supporters? Because you had a lot of people supporting a restaurant chain run by a guy who keeps his bigotry at the forefront. Sure, CEO Dan Cathy's employees are forced to be friendly and polite and that’s nice. But that polite mask hides something more sinister – a seeming desire to poke a stick in the eye of LGBT Oklahomans and Americans – that “their kind” aren’t welcome in our scrubbed restaurants catering towards wholesome, 50’s-styled “just folks” crowd. And to think that conservative Arky gasbag Mike Huckabee was behind it. Who’da thought?
While everyone has a right to express their personal views (I’m no vocab Stalinist), Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy knew exactly what he was doing expressing his anti-gay views. Asked if he was against gay marriage, Cathy responded; “Guilty as charged.” He says he bases his decision on “biblical principles.” Weren’t “biblical principles” used as as a justification 150 years ago in order to keep the business of slavery in the black?
And this, from a guy who has contributed as much as $5 million to anti-gay causes and groups, like the Family Research Council – the same group that promotes controversial “conversion therapy” and lobbied Congress not to condemn the horrific “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda, which we have written about multiple times here at Red Dirt Report.
Sure, Chick-fil-A restaurants had “record-setting” days and saw their business increase by as much as 200 percent on Wednesday’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” That’s American capitalism for you.
But with those remarkable receipts comes a loss – a loss in civility. I’ve never seen a country so divided. Even though I missed the Civil Rights era by about a decade, I couldn’t help but think of those “Whites Only” lunch counters that peppered the country, particularly in the American South. Sure, Chick-fil-A may serve gay Americans, but I suspect they won’t like doing it. We’ll see how that scheduled “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” goes when it concludes later today.
And what’s so striking is that this clash is coming at a time when marriage equality is spreading into increasing numbers of states, regardless of the underhanded efforts of groups like the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.
I can’t ignore the arrogance and boastfulness coming from the pro-Chick-fil-A crowd. It seems very un-Christlike to me. In fact, ask anyone supporting Chick-fil-A if they really think Jesus would’ve been in a queue with the rest of the chicken-n-waffle-fry seekers. If they were intellectually honest they’d say he would not.
And to see Baptist ministers, Catholic cardinals and others weighing in, supporting Chick-fil-A, makes me uncomfortable. But then I'm not a fan of Rahm "Chicago values" Emanuel and his ilk.
Of course these are very strange times. Very uncertain and difficult times. And rather than further seeking division and to “make a point” that your side is better and right, we should be looking past our differences and find common ground. I know it’s not easy but hey, we sent astronauts to the Moon, right?
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report