When Rightbloggers Tell You the Battle of Chick-fil-A Isn't About Gay Rights, It's About Gay Rights

tomt200.jpgIn years to come, rightbloggers will tell their grandchildren many stories of the glorious summer of twenty-twelve. They'll tell 'em how they warned America about the socialist menace of the Olympics. They'll tell 'em how, in the wake of the Aurora shooting, they defended assault weapons against Democrat gun-grabbers. They'll tell 'em how they revealed the newly-deceased Andy Griffith to be nothing but a shill for Obamacare.

But their proudest tale will probably be about the Battle of Chick-fil-A, in which rightbloggers showed their hunger for freedom (or contempt for homosexuals, take your pick) by eating chicken sandwiches.

Dan Cathy, President of CfA, has made no bones about his feelings on gay marriage. "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about," he said in an interview. Also: "We are very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit."

When this got around, some schools, like Bowling Green State and Northeastern, decided to keep CfA off their campuses. Evangelicals like Denny Burk complained this was "intolerant" (i.e., a decision by stakeholders that did not go their way), as well as a sign of "more open opposition to Christian teaching on human sexuality." "Rump-Rider Sycophants Removing Chick-fil-a from College Campuses," said Doctor Bulldog and Ronin. "Nothing like the hypocrisy inherent in the much touted 'all-inclusive,' Liberal academic world excluding those who are of a different opinion."

Ed Helms from the Hangover films tweeted, "Chick-fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan." At the Washington Examiner, Thomas Valadez called Helms "gender confused," said he "never had a very good physique," and reasoned, "boycotting a restaurant for being anti-gay seems like a contradiction. They are intolerant to gays, and Helms is intolerant to their intolerance."

If you were confused by the idea that not eating a certain brand of junk food is intolerant, libertarian* Nick Gillespie at Reason offered to set you, as it were, straight: While he admitted that "libertarians believe in 'disciplining through the market' - in refusing to do business with folks who annoy you," he suggested CfA might be different for some reason: "Is the Chick-fil-A ban a modern-day instance of that? Or is it political correctness run amok?" he asked. "And finally: Why am I jonesing for chicken for lunch today and it's not even 10am?" (* "libertarian," for the uninitiated, means "conservative with social anxieties.")

Soon private citizens began to lose faith in CfA. Sensitive junk-food lovers offered their own "Chick-fil-Gay" alternative home recipes for the CfA chicken sandwich.

At this stage only a small cadre of rightbloggers were taking up the cause. Even when the Muppets pulled out of CfA (and were replaced with the Berenstain Bears, though it looks like they might not last there either), they didn't get into it. The real world couldn't give a shit.

But then some Democratic officials decided they'd try and get a piece of this anti-CfA action.

chikfilaagh.jpg
From my cold dead hands. (cc) Chris Harrison
Boston Mayor Tom Menino wrote CfA a letter, saying, "I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston," and that it would be an "insult" to gay people "and to our city's long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick-fil-A across the street" from City Hall. He added later that "if they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult unless they open up their policies."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values... if you're gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values," and Chicago alderman Joe Moreno moved to block a franchise from opening in Logan Square. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee tweeted, "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer." Etc.

Statements like these from public officials are basically threats, and folks like Glenn Greenwald, the ACLU, and Mother Jones' Kevin Drum jumped all over the offending pols. So did Barney Frank and Mike Bloomberg. Menino ("I make mistakes all the time") and Emanuel through his spokesperson ("[Emanuel] did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here") backed off. It now seems unlikely anything except consumer disinterest will block those franchises now.

But another politician, former GOP Presidential candidate and anti-gay crusader Mike Huckabee, saw his opening and called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. To protest "those on the left" who "make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity," said Huckabee, he asked his godly followers, not to "make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate," but only that they prove their devotion to the cause by "simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A" on August 1.

To normal people, this may seem weird -- eat a chicken sandwich in protest? But on the peculiar terms of rightblogger politics, it was a brilliant idea, because it gave the brethren the best of both worlds.

First, as with their "Human Achievement Day" schtick (in which they claimed anyone who used power on Earth Day was thereby joining their protest against environmentalism), they could claim anyone who ate at CfA that day was protesting with them.

Second, they could forthrightly show support for CfA without having to mention gay marriage -- they could just say it was about freedom, and wink.

Of course, many of the brethren couldn't help themselves, and went there anyway, portraying the Battle of Chick-fil-A as a struggle between liberty and homosexuality.

Fox News' Todd Starnes tweeted that "a Chick-fil-A sandwich" was "the best defense anti-Christian, anti-Chicken, leftwing, heterophobic bigots."

"Chick-fil-A Latest Example of How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Freedom," roared Thomas Messner of the Heritage Foundation. "Boy Scouts of America has lost equal access to public facilities and programs because of its position on open homosexuality... This is precisely what is happening right now to Chick-fil-A."

At NewsMax, GOP direct mail king Richard Viguerie announced that the Battle of Chick-fil-A proved that "the Democratic Party has now, once and for all, dropped all pretense of respecting the values held by tens of millions of American Christians and has instead launched a concerted attack to undermine those values in favor of the radical homosexual agenda."

"The gay marriage movement isn't just arguing with its opponents; it's pathologizing them," claimed Ross Douthat at the New York Times, who also thought that gay marriage had advanced not by convincing straights that gays had rights, but by "inducing people who haven't really changed their mind to simply give up the fight."

At Hot Air, Rob Bluey told us it was the liberals who were intolerant, because "when the company's top spokesman died unexpectedly last week, one liberal friend of mine declared on Facebook, 'Oh, karma, you crafty bitch.'" Oh, wait, he had more -- Mark Regnerus' study claiming children suffered from having same-sex parents was torn to pieces, not, as most of us thought, because the study was shoddy and compromised, but because "activists" -- you know the kind he's talking about -- "sought to destroy his credibility and banish him from public discourse." Also, the Boy Scouts.

So how'd Appreciation Day go? Rightblogger estimates were between fifty and a hundred kabillion in sales. CfA, natch, said it set a sales record, though it declined to release figures. 600,000 people said on Facebook that they'd go -- and, given that they were promising to visit a fast food restaurant, we believe them.

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19 comments
Julia Grey
Julia Grey

Where is my Gravatar? Sheeze. You pick the thing so it will follow you around, and it keeps disappearing....

parsec
parsec

If this is support of the "biblical view of family" can I have mine Old Testament?  Now where are my concubines?

 

substancemcgravitas
substancemcgravitas

<i>"Tastes Like Liberty," said Doug Ross. "Tasted like freedom," said Mollie Hemingway. They must have changed the formula since we ate there.</i>

 

Where's Robert Duvall to set them, uh, straight?

substancemcgravitas
substancemcgravitas

as well as a sign of "more open opposition to Christian teaching on human sexuality."

 

The hidden opposition does not seem to be working and in fact these folks seem to ENJOY the glory holes.

StringOnAStick
StringOnAStick topcommenter

I see ol' Ace is still feeling that gynophobia.  I'm surprised he can handle eating a chicken "breast", though the total novelty of it might be how it works for him. 

obeyvonlmo
obeyvonlmo

I'm still waiting for Chick-fil-a to post their "Whites Only" menu or the "No Jews Allowed" sign.

waldo
waldo

Rube bait is the GOP's precious bodily fluid. Bush was the biggest spurt evah - ". “You know, I was famous and I was powerful,"

Douthat is a shiver looking for a spine to run up.

ifthethunderdontgety
ifthethunderdontgety

=> "Of course people like the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson are engaging in a rational exercise to maximize their wealth. Their contributions will come back manifold in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, and exclusive franchises. The primary purpose of the GOP these days is to provide tax breaks and other financial advantages (such as not regulating pollution and other socially costly externalities) to their wealthy donor base. All the rest of their platform, all the culture wars stuff, is simply rube bait.<=

 

"The Party Is Over" by Mike Lofgren

~

Blibblub
Blibblub

I honestly don't care about whatever nonsense Mr. Cathy blathers at some backwards church re: God's wrath and gay marriage. What bothers me is that he uses profits from his company to prop up dangerous hate groups like the Family Research Council, which spread incredibly ugly propaganda about gays (child molesters, responsible for the holocaust) not just here but in countries like Poland and Uganda.

GeoX
GeoX

Boy, the national party can *try* to tamp down the vicious homophobic rhetoric just a bit, but when the base comes out to play, all bets are off.

On another note, I know I should be inured to this stuff by now, but I'm still amazed that anyone can possibly imagine that eating shitty mass-produced food product is a meaningful protest of anything, or not feel really, really pathetic doing so. 

Jennifer
Jennifer

"Boone reckoned that the "very distasteful kiss-in show" was "designed to turn customers away and damage the business."

 

If Boone is worried about distasteful things and turning people off, it's probably a good thing that most folks have never seen that picture of him with his dick in a box.

mdsisnot4characters
mdsisnot4characters

"I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,"

 

... said the guy claiming the right to define what marriage is about for everyone else in the country.

parsec
parsec

I'd like a Numbers 31 with a side order of Leviticus.

 

Al_Swearengen
Al_Swearengen

 @GeoX But they get to give their precious "dickweed" glands a good workout.  If it feels good...

MackJ
MackJ

 @Jennifer Pat "When-you-post-a-blog-story-about-this-article-please-don't-use-that-picture-of-me-dressed-as-a-leather-daddy" Boone

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