Disclaimer: I'm really, really sick of Chick-fil-a. I don't like their chicken anyways. I do like waffle fries. The bad spelling from the cows has always given me a nervous tick.
I'm writing this here, mostly because I just have to get it out somewhere. Most of you who read my blog won't be surprised by anything I have to say. I think the majority who might wander to my blog with contradictory views end up here because they have clicked on a link to one of my monthly snapshots. So they're probably not seeing this post anyway. *shrug*
If you're offended, stop reading. I realize that I'm mostly probably preaching to the chior. But until I get it out somewhere it's going to keep spewing over in my brain, making me feel yucky.
So here's what I need to say, in order to keep my brain from exploding.
1. I am so sick of hearing about Chick-fil-a's First Amendment rights. Seriously. Anyone who is going, "But you're violating Dan Cathy's right to free speech!!' stop, right now. You are making Christians look stupid, because you clearly do not know what Freedom of Speech actually is
Freedom of Speech does not mean, "You can say whatever you want, and then no one is allowed to have any opinion about what you say, unless it is a positive opinion." The term you are likely looking for is 'dictatorship', and you would have to be the dictator for it to work in your favor.
Mr. Cathy can say/think whatever he wants. And in response, I can have whatever opinion I want. He can say, "I don't think gays should get married," and I'm allowed to think he's kind of a jerk. And I can say, "But I love the gays!! They are my bestest friends in the whole world!! I want to ride unicorns with my gay friends!!" and he's allowed to believe I'm going to burn in hell for all of eternity.
No one has impeded on anyone's Freedom of Speech. When I say, "That guy needs to stop doing hateful things to people," all I am doing is cashing in on my right to Freedom of Speech. That's it.
If I were lobbying to pass a bill which would restrict Mr. Cathy's speech and only allow him to say warm, fuzzy things about my gay friends, I would be impeding on his freedoms. No one is doing this. Saying, "I think your opinion is kind of an asshole opinion" is perfectly legal and violates no one's rights.
2. Saying, "What you are doing is hateful and hurts people I love and I want you to stop it," is not equivelent to me being hateful.
So if you are shouting that "You're claiming we're hateful, but you're being hateful too!!!", as though that would excuse Christians' behavior to homosexuals, stop now. I'm not being hateful. I'm not telling you you're going to burn in hell. I'm not trying to infringe on your rights. I'm not trying to break apart your family. I'm not working to ensure your specific people group is not protected under equal employment rights.
I'm not doing anything mean to you. I'm telling you that I think you're doing something mean, and you need to stop it. I'm choosing not to give money to people that I think will manage it in a way I disagree with. None of that equals me being hateful.
Saying, "Stop doing that mean, hateful, incredibly wrong thing you are doing," is just that. It is me calling out bad behavior, not me engaging in bad behavior of my own.
3. No, I will not shut up already. Yes, I am going to harp on marriage equality and equal human rights until gay Americans are given equal rights. I'm going to pay my dues to the Human Rights Campaign, write to my Congressmen, and generally be a pain in the ass about it. Also, I vote. And when equal rights are *finally* granted (and they will be, you mark my words - very likely in my lifetime), I will know which side I stood on. And I will know I stood there well and did the right thing.
What's that saying? That the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing? I'm not going to sit back and do nothing.
4. If you have a gay friend, son, daughter, cousin, co-worker, etc, etc, etc and you stood up and supported Chick-fil-a, they will remember that.
I have a friend whose mother volunteered to watch her children overnight on the night of the first Pride since she had come out, saying to her, "It seems like this is something that's really important to you. Let's make it a sleepover at my house for the kids!". She will remember that her mother did that. She will always remember, and if she ever has any doubts about her mother's love for her, she will look back and know.
If you told your gay child you loved them unconditionally, and then you went to Chick-fil-a to show your support for their right to donate millions of dollars to organizations that are seeking to diminish rights for gay Americans, your child will remember that. Not that you said you loved them unconditionally. That when it came down to it, you chose making a religious point about a second rate chicken resturaunt over defending their basic human rights.
I would recommend apologizing.
5. If you are supporting Chick-fil-a because you have a vague notion that they are working to 'protect the traditional family', stop it. Find out what their dollars are actually being spent on. Be an informed consumer. And more than that, be an informed activist.
I know exactly what it is I'm fighting for. Most of you clearly do not, as evidenced by number of people who have tried to tell me that Chick-fil-a does not support any groups that are anti-gay.
The Family Research Council, which receives Chick-fil-a dollars, may not be as vocally anti-gay, or as obviously batshit crazy as the Westboro Baptist folks, but that doesn't mean they're good guys. They claim to be 'pro-family', but what exactly does that mean? Apparently for FRC, 'pro-family' means:
* calling for the criminalization of 'gay behavior', stating there should be legal sanctions on it (Holy shit, people, I put a rainbow sticker on my car - how many years do you think I'm going to get? But seriously, would you like to do jail time for acts performed privately between consenting adults?)
*deflaming homosexuals by repeatedly claiming they are more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexuals, despite repeated reputable studies proving this is not true. (with such gems as the oddly titled phamplet, "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys." Seriously?)
*working against equal employment rights for LGBT persons (Did you know, in 29 states you can be fired for being gay? True story.)
*working against marriage equality (probably the only thing people consistently did seem to know)
....among other classy anti-gay statements, such as that they would like to export gays from the country.
None of that has anything to do with taking care of anyone's family.
That is anti-gay. End of story. That is anti-human rights. If you want to support that, fine. Go right ahead. But own it. Own that you think it's okay for people to be fired from their jobs because they are gay. Own that you think it's okay to blatantly lie to the public about an entire people group because you don't like their sexual orientation. Own it.
But don't try to tell me you're just supporting your rights as a traditional family. You are not supporting your own rights. You are actively working to infringe on the rights of others. Those two things are not equivelent. Do that if you want to, but own up to it. And understand that most people are going to think that's an asshole thing to do.
6. If you like the idea of being known for what you are against, and who you oppress, keep up the good work.
Otherwise, you might start thinking about what you can do to demonstrate what you stand FOR.
I do not look at Christians and think about Jesus on the cross, or Paul writing about love, or even whether I can get some of that water-wine. I look at Christians, and, aside from a select few, the first thing I see is, 'those people that hate my friends,' and 'those people I have to be guarded against, until I know whether they are safe or not'.
Is that how you want the world to see you?
I know what you're saying. Stop right now. Stop going, "but I don't hate gays, I just.......". Stop it. If you have to qualify your statement, it doesn't count. I'm not even gay and I feel like the religious right hates me, just by association. That means you are doing something wrong.
If you want to be known for loving people, START LOVING PEOPLE. With ACTIONS, because love is a VERB.
Become known for what you stand FOR. Become known for who you LOVE, who you work to FREE from oppression, who you TAKE CARE of, and who you SUPPORT.
Stop claiming your religion is all about love and then taking actions that make people feel hated.
There is more. There is so much more. But for now, that's all my brain has. There are those of you whom I know and love who are made so much more beautiful by your faith. You know who you are. And I have no doubts that you are also saddened by the way the church has once again justified hate behind Jesus' face. You know where we stand. The rest of you..... *shrug*
If you want to read some more coherent, intelligent, not so I'm-really-pissed-off-right-now accounts, check these out:
The Chick Fellatio: stuck in the craw -very well spoken, intelligent description of what this actually looks like for gay Americans.
Five Ways the Church Failed Yesterday