Friday, August 10, 2012

The Flames Of Chick-fil-A Are Still Burning While The Intolerance Gap Widens In A Battle Nobody's Winning.

The only things left are an endorsement by the NRA and a declaration of war by President Obama. 

Into the valley of Chick-fil-A rides today's writer.

At least it feels like that.*

Because almost everyone chronicling the events surrounding Dan Cathy's "statement of faith" these last few weeks has felt a sense of foreboding mixed with angst. Ennui? No. There is nothing boring about anger and frustration, although perhaps the truly boring elements were some of the people involved as they beat their chests in righteousness.

Where did it all go wrong?

What started out as a Christian Right-wing, homophobic statement by a Christian Right-wing, homophobic fast food entrepreneur followed by a call for a "kiss-in" to emphasize that Christian Right-wing, homophobic agenda got out of hand, landing in one mayor's lap, then another than another: Boston's Thomas Menino told the franchiser to "stay out of Boston", causing a domino effect upon other cities: Chicago, San Francisco, New York followed suit.

Being "banned in Boston" used to be a badge of honor for everyone in the porn industry. Now it has become a badge of honor for many people who scream : " Freedom of Religion!" and "Freedom of Speech!" In retaliation, former Presidential hopeful, former minister, former governor of Arkansas and current Fox News (home of "formers") pundit Mike Huckabee quickly called for a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" two days before the scheduled "kiss in." The franchise reported a record-breaking $30 million sales for that day, after bused-in nuns and former governors had photo-ops. Some of that profit wound up being donated to the long list of homophobic hate groups.**

Tempers still flared, with one NewYork artist, Manny Castro, mimicking the Chick-fil-A ad campaign and spray-painting "Tastes Like Hate" with its famous black and white Guernseys on the side of a Chick-fil-A. Also, a corporate executive who videoed his drive-through rant in opposition to Dan Cathy's sentiment was fired. 

Behind the Fire - The Reality

"If that were my wall, he'd be dead right now."- comment on Michelle Malkin's Twitter site (re: spray paint artist Manny Castro)

Huffington Post:

One gay employee who works at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, says he is getting it from both sides. On the one hand, there is the customer who came in and said he supported Dan Cathy and then "continues to say something truly homophobic, e.g. 'I'm so glad you don't support the queers, I can eat in peace,'" the employee, who is 23 and has worked for Chick-fil-A since he was 16, wrote in an email. On the other hand, he continued, "I was yelled at for being a god-loving, conservative, homophobic Christian while walking some food out to a guest in a mall dining room."

Media Research Center:

It’s a double standard as old as the liberal media itself,” stated Media Research CenterPresident Brent Bozell. “If it’s part of the liberal agenda, it’s protected free speech. If it isn’t, it’s bigotry. The media smeared anyone who lined up for a chicken sandwich as an anti-gay bigot instead of a proud Christian or free speech patriot, and when the counter-protest flopped, they were predictably silent. Thanks to Chick-fil-A, the media’s liberal bias was stark naked for all to see.”

And gays were portrayed as bullies, even by other gays

Perhaps the most reasoned and impassioned support of Chik-fil-A by a gay man was given by  CVNeutron (Matt):

I'm a gay man. I love Chick-Fil-A as a place to get good tasting food. I do not support their beliefs and disagree with their funding of groups that are well known to be anti-gay activists. Personally they have never treated me any different as a gay man and I will continue to do business with them so long as that holds true.
The criticism he endured for his stance, necessitated a follow-up by Matt expounding on his views.

The Polarity Of It All

The vehemence of stances has created an atmosphere of polarity with such magnitude that even the stark contrasts listed here and elsewhere could not do it justice: either you're a bullying, media-hungry, ultra-liberal boycotter and detractor of Chic-fil-A, or a homophobic, anti-gay marriage, fundamentalist supporter of Chick-fil-A. Even Colonel Sanders thinks so.

This is obviously a battle in the culture wars nobody will win. 

*Apologies to Lord Alfred Tennyson

*The groups Chick-fil-A gives to include the Family Research Council and Exodus International, according to Equality Matters, an initiative associated with the progressive Watchdog group, Media Matters. The Family Research Council is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while Exodus International is a Christian Ministry that has long endorsed ex-gay therapy, a controversial practice of "curing" gay people that mainstream mental health organizations have disavowed. (In recent months, the president of Exodus has tried to distance his group from the idea that gay people can be "cured.")

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