I was absolutely delighted when I was notified on Friday that my post Bread(ed Chicken) and Circuses (in which I pontificated about the ridiculous brouhaha regarding Chick-fil-A and its gay-hating president Dan Cathy) had been selected to be featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed- their “best of” bloggers page. I was especially thrilled given that my headline alone is deserving of great praise, if I do say so myself. Seriously, it is excellent, isn’t it?
I should also add that I was rather pleasantly surprised at the tenor of the comments – some of them were odd, some of them were annoyingly non-secular – but there were no horrible episodes of name-calling. And, quite shockingly, there wasn’t a single mention of “it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”
And while I stand by the hypothesis of my original post, my thinking has evolved somewhat. To a large degree, I think it remains ridiculous that people equate eating or not eating mediocre, unhealthy chicken sandwiches with making a political statement. However, the responses of many who share Mr. Cathy’s bigotry was shocking. This article by Jesse Bering on Slate was eye-opening to say the least – most notably the tweets he posted, most littered with references to “faggots.” Granted, I live in the liberal bubble of SF – but it’s nearly unbelievable to me that there are so many people who feel comfortable in expressing this type of hatred in a public forum such as Twitter. And that they apparently suffer no social consequences in their particular circles; that they are surrounded by people who are quite comfortable with sentiments along the lines of “kill fags.”
I thought David Sirota’s piece over at Salon was pretty good, too – even if perhaps some of his points (equating drought and homophobia) were perhaps a bit tenuous.
So, yes, perhaps this episode is a bit more than a tempest in a teapot. And frankly, at this point, I am quite comfortable labeling those who patronize Chick-fil-A as homophobes. It’s a pretty simple fact – CFA and Dan Cathy donate millions to anti-gay groups. And the source of those millions is people who buy those chicken sandwiches.
Anyway, to end on a lighter note, there’s this: a crowd of CFA customers singing a round of “God Bless America” while waiting to purchase more grease to cram down their maws. Yes, it really is genuinely tragic that these people equate purchasing fast food with civic engagement – though I’m not exactly unhappy that their political “actions” will only hasten their deaths from diabetes, heart disease and morbid obesity. But it is also hilarious… especially given that it was written by Irving Berlin, a Russian Jewish immigrant to this country.