Eat More Fish

Two quotes to consider:

“We’re 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. ”

“And I can tell you right now because it’s the righteous judgement of God almighty.”

One of those quotes was from a member of Westboro Baptist Church (a small child), the other from Dan Cathy, President of Chik-Fil-A.

As a Christian, I support Dan Cathy’s right to make a statement of faith. I cannot, and will not, support a statement of faith that includes invoking the wrath of God on our nation. If I can’t tell the difference between you and WBC, you’ve got issues. If that were all it was, however, I might sneak one of their tiny, sweet chicken nuggets now and then. And a waffle fry. I love those things. Unfortunately, that’s not where this story ends. 

According to their 2009 IRS 990 form, Chik-Fil-A has given money to the following organizations (original source):

  • Marriage and Family Legacy Fund – Founded by Dan Cathy in 2007, its purpose is to implement and fund the Marriage CoMission, which reported that corporations are to “guide America’s values back towards the traditional family.”
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Sounds benign enough. But in reality, its intent is to “free” athletes from homosexuality.
  • National Christian Foundation – Gave grants to The Discovery Institute, one of the most prominent proponents of replacing evolution with intelligent design; The Family Research Council, which was originally part of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and advocates against not only LGBT rights, but divorce (you wimminz who left your abusive husbands are going to hell!) and the theory that global warming is caused by humans, and is also involved in the politics of social policy; and Focus on the Family – James Dobson’s “family” oriented organization which launched a “True Tolerance” campaign warning people that anti-bullying campaigns are merely pro-gay propaganda, despite the high rate of suicide among LGBT youth who have been bullied. The rate is much higher than that of their heterosexual peers, and is much higher in conservative areas.
  • New Mexico Christian Foundation – a smaller branch of NCF
  • Georgia Family Council – Supports legislation to ban gay marriage
  • Exodus International – The very famous organization that tries to “cure” homosexuality, as if it were a disease. The founder of this therapy has recently stated this kind of reparative therapy doesn’t work, and that he failed to repress even his own homosexual urges.
  • Family Research Council – an organization so vitriolic in its anti-gay stance it was added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups. It now sits among the KKK and Aryan Nation on that list.
  • Eagle Forum – As anti-gay as founder Phyllis Schlafly’s anti-feminism stance. She was one of the leaders in preventing passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

I have quite a few gay and lesbian friends, and I love them all dearly. Not because of their sexual orientation, but because they are some of the most incredible individuals I’ve ever been blessed to know. They are smart, kind, witty, compassionate individuals, and like all those whom I consider dear, I can’t imagine my world without them. Through them, I’ve witnessed the pain of hatred and bigotry that defies all logic, and I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to experience that. I will not risk one cent of my hard-earned money going to any of the above organizations. Not. Ever. I dare anyone to tell me they would be willing to stand by and watch someone they care about be hurt, and then willingly give money to the organizations that are major sources of their pain.

Here’s what’s driving me completely batty in about this whole thing:

  1. This is not new. I had this discussion with a gay friend of mine seven or eight months ago, each of us mourning the loss of our beloved chicken nuggets. Those things are tasty, believe me. But my friends are far more valuable than a stupid piece of chicken.
  2. This is not about Dan Cathy’s statement of faith. This is about not funding what amounts to as hate groups. So please, for the love of everything holy, stop posting on Facebook and on blogs that it isn’t fair that poor Dan Cathy and, by extension, all of Christianity are being persecuted, because they’re not. And stop asking why he’s not allowed to make a statement of faith, because he is, he did, and he will probably continue to do so. Further, Chik-Fil-A is a privately held company. They can say/do whatever they want and give money to whomever they choose. So can I, for that matter.
  3. Stop calling a boycott “liberal intolerance”. It is not “intolerance” for people to stop spending their money somewhere once they realize where their money is being funneled. What, you gonna force me to head over to Chik-Fil-A and buy a sandwich?
  4. Stop calling it an “attack”. I am simply taking my money elsewhere.
  5. Why was it okay for One Million Moms to protest JC Penney for having a Father’s Day ad with two gay dads in it, but it’s not okay for the rest of us to refuse to fund Chik-Fil-A?
  6. If people can cheer over politicians defunding Planned Parenthood because, although it is illegal for PP to use tax dollars to pay for abortions, they are afraid other PP funds will be freed for that purpose, then I can keep my money in my pocket, rather than risk it going directly to one of the above groups. Excuse me, but I don’t see any difference.
  7. Stop making fun of those who choose not to eat there. It makes you look even less tolerant.
  8. I’m just sick of the self-righteousness, the indignation, and the whatever-will-we-do-now pity party over non-existent religious persecution.
  9. Stop saying this isn’t about being anti-gay, that it’s about being pro-traditional marriage. That’s Orwellian Doublespeak, and we all know it. So knock it off. It’s double-plus ungood.
  10. It is stupid for mayors to tell Chik-Fil-A they aren’t welcome. Yeah, you read that right. That’s one I’m calling for the other team. Because that is a scary, scary line to walk. How many other businesses would be refused for any variety of reasons? Could you imagine if people were told they couldn’t build a house of worship in a community because they disagreed with their teachings? Oh wait…
  11. Here’s another one I’m handing to the other side: it is stupid to walk into a Chik-Fil-A and start ranting at an employee for his or her employer’s stance. You might just be yelling at someone who may or may not still be in the closet and was just subjected to a gleeful “Glad you don’t support them (homophobic slurs)” by the last customer.
  12. You don’t get to demand a company not financially contribute to bullies and then bully that company’s employees. That’s an asshole move, and you know it. Abusive behavior is never okay under any circumstances. As they said in Legend of Billie Jean, Fair is Fair.

If you want to eat at Chik-Fil-A, that’s your business. If I didn’t have to drive over a bridge to get there, I probably would have set up a tent in the parking lot years ago. Their chicken is just that tasty. If you want to eat there to support Dan Cathy’s right to make a statement of faith, fine. I believe we all have the right to do that, especially since Chik-Fil-A is a privately held company.  But stop pretending that’s all there is to it, and stop pretending to have a monopoly on understanding what God wants. You don’t. No one does.

4 Comments

  1. Edee, you are such a great writer. I am absolutely and always impressed at how well spoken your are, I have a lot of respect for you. I hope that what I say will not change your opinion of me. You know I’m not a hateful person. I too have friends that are homosexual and I am now entering a business where working with and being instructed by homosexuals will not be uncommon. I grew up in a culture where homosexuality was seen as evil or wrong. So I was kind of afraid of them, I had my ideas of what kind of people they were. As I have gotten older and had the priviledge of getting out of my closed off life I realized how seriously wrong I was. I came to find out they are just as human as I am. So I stopped seeing them as “other” people, I see then now as just people, no different than anyone else.
    Ok, so that being said, and I’m sorry if this lowers your opinon of me, I will always believe “marriage” is meant to be between a man and a woman. BUT I also think it’s wrong that people who are in a homosexual relationship, especially a committed one, don’t have the same legal rights. I guess I just want “marriage” to be sacred, as it was originally defined. I would support a law that said civil unions had the same legal rights as marriage. It’s ok if you don’t agree with me, I still think you are a great person.
    I was a part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. There was never a time in our meetings we were trying to figure out how to convert homosexual people. It was a group of college students who played sports, or loved sports, that met once a week just like a bible study. It was never hateful, it was all about our character and how we can be a witness to people we come in contact with. And by witness I don’t mean hitting them over the head with a really big bible and telling them they are going to hell. It was not being afraid to share what you believe with someone who asks.
    I guess I need to not be afraid to say what I believe, even if people don’t like me for it. I am someone who unfortunatelly cares a lot about what people think of me, a big character flaw I know. But I am, slowly, starting to accept that it is ok for me to have my beliefs and that it is ok for me to stand up for them.
    Anyway, I really hope you don’t see me as an ignorant person who is being close minded. I am, to this day, grateful I was able work with such an amazing woman, you have inspired me in so many ways.

  2. Hi Kim! I don’t see you as ignorant – never will – and I don’t think less of you! We can agree to disagree, and I will always adore you, too. My problem with this whole Chik-Fil-A thing is the vitriol I’m seeing from people who vehemently disagree with boycotters (and disagreement is fine) and don’t get it that it’s an issue of where the money goes, not an issue of faith. I’m seeing status updates saying things like “Liberals hate Christians” and “God hater” and “liberal ignoramuses”. “Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day” really tore at my heart, because it was almost like a big plea to “Please continue funding organizations that tell kids they’re worthless and to be feared and divide families.” I found the laughter and “Hey liberals, we’re all showing up in November” pictures to be very mocking something very serious to millions of people. It’s a tiny bit hurtful to read that I’m “godless” just because I’m a liberal. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    I’m sure Foundation of Christian Athletes is a great organization for many, many people. What I found was an article stating that on the application to become an officer (which I looked up, here it is) there you have to check off and agree with the statement that “Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.” It says if you do, you can’t apply or you can lose your position. But when there are still states where even civil unions are viewed with hostility, that automatically excludes gay couples. It also presumes that being gay is all about having gay sex, when it’s not. Let’s all us old married people admit it: nobody gets married just for sex. There are statements on their website about being “delivered from homosexuality,” which sends a message that there’s something horribly wrong with you if you’re gay. I’m sure there are many other really, really wonderful things about it, and scores of kids have gotten a lot out of participating, which is fantastic. I look at it kind of like Boy Scouts. They do really great things for millions of kids every year. They also discriminate, and it is absolutely their right as a private, religious organization to do so. Doesn’t matter whether anyone likes it or not. But it just happens to be one of the places Chik-Fil-A sends their donations to, which is why I included it on the list. Frankly, it’s not the organization that causes me the greatest concern.

    My main point stands, however. I love their food. I don’t want my money going to James Dobson. I’m tired of hearing about God’s “hatred” so much these days. And it’s not fair for people who would boycott JC Penney in a heartbeat and called for boycotting P&G to be so ugly to me for giving up my nuggets. I’m tired of the assumption this is just about finding a reason to pick on Christians. I am one (okay, slept in, didn’t make it to church today, oops!), and I would never want anyone to tell me I couldn’t be one. I know people who don’t support marriage equality, but don’t support Chik-Fil-A’s donations, either.

    Like I said, I do adore you. “Ignorant” is so NOT a word that comes to mind when I think of you! Healthy debate is, well, healthy 🙂

  3. You’re so sweet 🙂 I too am tired of all the negativity. I think people like to generalize because it’s easier than actually talking to someone face to face and finding out what truly makes them tick.
    Seeing all the negative things people have been saying to each other, on both sides, has made me really look at my own life and if I am truly living how God would want me to. Am I an ambassador for Him? Am I letting his character and love show through? Or am I too busy judging people and their choices?
    Now that I have chosen a career that has landed me smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood that goes against everything taught to me as a child, I have never been so happy. Here is my opportunity to show others that not all Christians are hateful. That there are people who love God AND love people, all people.
    I think it takes so much energy just to make sure I am living my life right, I don’t really have time to worry about the choices the person next to me is making. All I can do is try to be a positive influence on their life, especially these people I am in school with. I am the oldest person in the class (including the instructor) and I have been given an amazing chance to be an example.
    Remember John 3:16? It starts “For God so LOVED the world” not For God so hated the world.” I think many people have forgotten that part.

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