Pop Culture Diatribe: The Chick-fil-a Controversy

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“Chicken-fried bigotry tastes gross, even with two pickles” or
“We didn’t invent the chicken, just really bad public relations!”

By: Manny V., Hack Comic

Originally I began writing this as a commentary on the Chick-fil-A PR flap. However, this issue has turned more polarizing, as people who are opposed to marriage equality saw eating a chicken sandwich as an opportunity to support discrimination. And the discourse on social media has been very deep and complex. Also, I typed that last part on Opposite Day.

By now, you’ve surely heard about Jim Henson Company becoming yet another vocal supporter of the LGBT community by withdrawing from a cross-promotion with delicious bigots, Chick-Fil-a of Atlanta, GA. But to make things ‘juicy’, Chick-fil-A tried to save face, only to fall flat on their own. Instead of relating that Jim Henson Company had decided to pull their children’s toys from Chick-fil-A kid’s meals, the restaurant made the stupid, stupid PR decision of creating a bogus, chickenshit story about kid’s fingers getting stuck in holes. Really.

The good folks with JHC called out CFA for their dishonesty and accordingbly, he internet has blown the whole thing up into gargantuan proportions. And it just continued to smolder throughout the week, as CFA tried to cover their lies with even more lies. And people all across the country have taken the backlash as a rallying cry to “Eat Moar Chick’n.”

The sound you may have heard this week was millions of sane Americans face-palming out of embarrassment. This has all lead to some delicious discourse across social media and the blogosphere, and a tasty debate flared up on my own Facebook page, multiple times. I invited an acquaintance that worked for the beleaguered chain to comment on the Internet firestorm that was raging. While this acquaintance stuck to defending her individual experience with the company, things got interesting when others decided to weigh-in. A few people began using their perceptions of the Good Book to make an argument for discrimination. One former friend even likened homosexuality to alcoholism. And that brought up an interesting point: is it ok to deny equal rights to a segment of society because you don’t know shit about the religion you follow? The answer is something to the effect of, “Yes, but only if you’re an extreme asshole.” Speaking of, let’s get to the bottom of this.

“Am I really a dick for demanding that someone change their beliefs to allow the acceptance of everyone?”

It takes a special kind of dick to accuse someone of reverse discrimination for demanding everyone be treated equally. If I could get inside the mind of someone who thinks like that, I would probably hope for a head injury. I’ll admit to my own intolerance: I seriously can’t stand stupid people. Like someone who says, “Hey, don’t force me to condone and accept lifestyles that differ from my own and are therefore immoral in my eyes!”

I want to be an accepting and understanding person, but sometimes I’ve got to say fuck those people. If you accuse someone of being intolerant for not tolerating your right to discriminate against others, you’re operating with the kind of logic that only comes after your 3rd bottle of Boone’s Farm. This is a self-fellating cycle of logic that makes sense only if you’re raised in an echo chamber of indoctrination or live on the Internet. It sounds stupid, I know. But I’ll diagram it for you: “As an American, I have a God-given right to dislike and exclude other Americans because they are different from me in a way that I don’t understand and is therefore offensive me” (translated from their native derpa-derp) Seriously, if you could jump in a modified DeLorean, load up the Mr. Fusion and set the flux capacitor to 1963, you could read a similar article about the Civil Rights Movement.

The fact that Atlanta is a setting for this story isn’t a coincidence; it’s a sad reminder of our inability to learn much from the past and our (read: The South’s) refusal to progress. That’s why Doc Brown didn’t mass-produce time-travelling DeLoreans. If one time-hopping Biff could cause that much urban decay in present-day (1985) suburban Hill Valley, just image the horrors wrought after a fleet purchase by the 700 Club. With time-travel comes great responsibility and sadly, we’re displaying that we’re not ready. That’s also why we don’t have hoverboards and self-lacing shoes, probably. So thanks a lot, bigots! I hope you’re happy.

“Marriage was between Adam and Eve, not a multi-flavored camel and a danged scorpion!!”

Look, I’m going to cut directly to the chase: there’s no compelling argument that they can make that would be acceptable as a stance against marriage equality. They can point to DOMA, they can point to what they think the Bible says, they can scream about the so-called “sanctity of marriage.” But the reality is, they can win many battles, but they will lose the war. How many times must people point out that DOMA violates the Constitution? Or that the Bible has been gutted and re-written at multiple times, and if someone really tried to live their life according to The Old Testament, they’d be jailed for burning a bull and stoning their neighbor for wearing a poly-fiber shirt and attempting to enslave a Canadian. People that scream and stomp about “trying to preserve the sanctity of marriage” make me want to repeatedly punch some common-sense into their stupid, stupid faces. Why aren’t these same folks protesting to: the creators of The Bachelor, the Bachlorette, Joe Millionaire, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Millionaire Wedding, ashleymadison.com, every divorce attorney that erects a 40-ft billboard advertising a “quickie divorce”, the Kardashians & the wedding planners and PR people behind every manufactured Hollywood and political family wedding for manufacturing ‘wedded bliss?’ With 1 out of every 2 marriages ending in divorce, the “sanctity of marriage” is a bigger joke than the legacy of Penn State’s Joe Paterno.

The reality is, true Bible scholars don’t talk about the Bible in every single lay conversation because it would be pretty pointless. But you know who loves doing just that? Jackass wannabe Jesus-freak bigots that have no idea what they’re talking about! They can’t wait to beat their chest about all the things they’ve been told that they know. Breaking down the ridiculousness of referencing Leviticus & the Old Testament as a guide on how to live your life today is like advising a parent to read “Go Dog, Go” to learn how to raise a child. There’s nothing I could write that hasn’t been covered in the brilliant letter, “Why Can’t I Own a Canadian?” If you’ve never read it, seriously: google it right now.

“Who gave you the right to tell me I don’t have the right to treat queers like shit?”

The unbelievable aspect of this flame war is the CFA-supporters stance of claiming that “it’s hateful and intolerant” of us, the progressive and unbiased bunch, to demand tolerance and acceptance from a company doing business with the public. A facebook friend who works for the chain in Texas said that her restaurant has never discriminated or turned away a customer due to appearance or sexual orientation. As a former patron of the chain, I can agree. If a Chick-fil-A store has ever refused someone business, it was probably only due to the fact that they couldn’t pay for their sandwich. However, it’s incredibly illogical to expect that people would want to patronage ANY company that says, in both the interviews they conduct and in the monetary contributions that they make, that they are against your lifestyle and your right to be treated equally. Like “the premise of Gilligan’s Island” illogical.

Look, if you don’t agree with Gay Marriage, the Gay Lifestyle and you believe that being Gay is a choice, we get it: you’re a boob who refuses to pull your head out of your ass. And there’s probably no saving you from being so. But much the same way that every decent person who also happens to be BORN homosexual, bisexual or transgender does: KEEP IT TO YOUR DAMN SELF. Once you open your ignorant mouth to the public, it’s likely that the very same people who have been bullied and mistreated at some point in their lives for being different, or “queer” are going to tell you to close your hate-spewing word-hole. And they aren’t committing bigotry. YOU ARE.

The funniest, and by that I mean ‘saddest’, argument that I heard against the comparing the denial of equal marriage rights for gay couples and interracial couples was, “At least interracial couples can procreate.” If procreation is the threshold for an acceptable marriage, then I guess he expects impotent and infertile couples book a cruise on a doomed Italian Cruise Liner. I could breakdown how stupid this piece of logic is, but if it hasn’t already given you a headache attempting to comprehend it, then you’re likely mouth-breathing as you stare wistfully at your Fred Phelps poster and thinking unspeakably unpure thoughts. If that’s the case, you’re beyond saving. And society won’t miss you.

“You could be concerned about these bigots, but you have better things to do. Like clipping your toe nails. Or playing Frisbee golf.”

I know this level of ignorance and hate is concerning, as it should be. But before you jump to the conclusion that this is the sign of the erosion of societal progress, realize that we live in hyper-mediated, polarizing times. This is the Fox News age. It’s a time when many folks who refuse to leave their olden days of bigotry and discrimination, yet are allowed to shout loud enough to be heard in our world. They’re pissed, because they see the fight for equality as an infringement on their “rights.” They’ve had it good for so long that the sensation of having to give up some ground to the minority feels to them like they’re being robbed. The Fox News Age has given their echo chambers an audible boom. It sounds so loud because the progressive world isn’t adjusted to hearing such vitriol.

Hate & ignorance is jarring when you’re not used to it, like catching unexpected full frontal nudity during a PBS documentary. But engaging these fools is pointless. It takes twice as much effort to reverse the process of brainwashing and indoctrination that they’ve grown up with. You’d have more success turning a diamond back into a lump of coal. These people only see what they want to see and nothing bothers them more than being confronted with reality. You’re never going to make much sense to someone that believes that Jesus wants them to prevent gays from being happy, yet ignores all of the other Jesus-y directives, like “help the poor” or “love and accept everyone.”

The people who lined up during noted bigot Mike Huckabee’s sanctioned “Chick-fil-A Gluttony Day!” thought they were making a salient point. They believed in their cause because they’re not real Christians and they understand as much about their faith as my dogs do when I explain to them how to play Risk (occupy all of Russia early in the game, Frisky). If they really wanted to prove a point as “Christians”, they would have spent all of those millions of greasy chicken dollars to feed the hunger and stop child abuse and neglect. But loving is so much harder than hating. And I label those folks as fake Christians because the real Christians that I do know are too busy being decent humans to even entertain the thought of harassing people with alternative lifestyles. These “disciple failures” fail to realize that someone that they know and love and likely see almost everyday is gay. And of course I’m talking about Neil Patrick Harris. But he’s hardly the only gay person in the world (he’s not even the only gay person in the media – SPOILERS!) Sadly, this ignorance, intolerance and hatred is causing the suffering of someone right now. And if supporters of Dan Cathy’s freedom to speak and donate money to anti-gay action groups can’t see that, then they’re welcome to go to their neighborhood Chick-fil-A and stick their head in the waffle fry oil.

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