When People Care More About a Chicken Sandwich Than Your Rights

I shouldn’t have read this right before taking part in a panel discussion.

It’s a depressing and powerful take on what it was like to see a mass of Christians stuffing their faces with Chick-fil-A to oppose gay rights… written by a gay man who has had to deal with enough shit in his life:

When they say, “Gay people picked this fight”, they say that it is alright for Dan Cathy to espousing bigotry and pay to have gay people’s rights abridged but that my right to free speech is somehow different and it infringes on freedom of their religion. When they say, “I’m not going to let a good Christian man be harmed by the gay community” they are saying that they happily embrace the hatred that Dan Cathy promotes and hold me accountable for his financial well being (in other words, they expect me to pay for my own death). And when they say, “I’m not getting into this fight, I don’t care that you are gay, but I’m still going to eat Chik fil A” they are saying that my life is worth less than a chicken sandwich.

When a 60 year old man hears talk like that, he knows what to do with it. Yes, it hurts and it hurts deeply, but I’ve weathered those kinds of attitudes for years and things are better for me now then they were when I was in Junior High. However, for people like Raymond, for that lonely gay teen sitting in a Fundamentalist church with a bunch of girls, for the quiet kid in the back of the school room too afraid to say he likes boys, for the high school girl who cannot tell her parents that she is in love with another girl, for all of those kids like Tyler Clementi, the message is clear: “Kill yourself or we will do it for you or make your life hell. You are not welcome in our churches, unless you change and change radically or unless you lie about yourself. You cannot marry. You cannot tell anyone about your sexual orientation. If we get a sense that you are gay, we will fire your ass from your job. If we really know about you, we will see that you do not live in our buildings. If we are bored and have nothing to do but go around and beat up queers and carve scars onto their bodies or perhaps stomp them into a pulp or even kill you. And we have millions, MILLIONS, of people who will stand up for us and you have only a pitiful few who will stand up for you. And by the way, you are going to hell.”

This is why we must speak out against religion. Christians love to say their faith makes them better people. But there are too many victims of their “love” who can share stories proving otherwise.

(Thanks to Rick for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • NorwegianLamia72
    • A3Kr0n

      No thank you NorwegianLamia72, I don’t want a Kindle Fire from Amazon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418001700 Cheryl Stone-Hamilton

    Went to the grocery store right after church let out this morning. Got behind a young man in a suit and overheard him tell the cashier, “We had the most wonderful sermon today. The pastor cried. I ain’t never seen him cry before.” I wanted so badly to ask what the sermon was about but in my gut I already knew. Made me want to puke.

    • m6wg4bxw

      What an amazing gut you have.

  • http://twitter.com/JonelB Jonel Burge

    I purposefully have not eaten there in the past 4 years(since I found out they made a workplace that was unfriendly for non-hetero people), and I have not shopped at Target for the past 4 years, either–which Target was the larger sacrifice–they actually have decent plus-sized clothing and there’s not much other choice for my price range. But you know what, I still do it–why? Because rights are more important than cheap clothing. Rights are more important than waffle fries or a chicken sandwich.
    Yes, I have given up, but you know what, it’s worth it. I’m Bi–yes I could just pass as a hetero person but I purposefully bring up my attraction to women to point out that it’s not just affecting gay and lesbian people–it affects anyone who isn’t a straight “1″ on the Kinsey scale.
    I’ve experienced this first hand–my parents are both racist and homophobic, so any time I’ve met someone who’s either non-white or non-male, I can’t introduce my parents to them–and I don’t want anyone else to ever deal with these sorts of things, ever. It’s why I speak up so much about rights. Nobody should have to hide who they love. Nobody should live in fear.
    And yes it’s highly personal, but this is to counter all the religious nuts who claim that “well my beliefs are personal but it’s not like eating at chick-fil-a will hurt you.”
    They can, and they will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Vernon/587140994 Bill Vernon

    Looking at the crowds around Chick-fil-A that day, I realized that I could no longer be comfortable around crowds of social conservatives.  What I saw in the pictures were throngs of religiously motivated bigots.  If I had been at Chick-fil-A that day, I would have felt incredibly uncomfortable as I would have sensed the bigotry and hate that underlied the event.

    I’ve come to the opinion recently that the only way to deal with these bigots is to shame them into silence.  These people ought to be ashamed for the pain they cause homosexuals.  

  • david hanley

    There seems to be a curious disconnect here.  Saying that marriage is one man, one woman ( which i don’t agree with ) doesn’t equate to hate.  This author seems determined to misunderstand this, even directly accusing someone who directly says he doesn’t care if someone is gay with pretty despicable hatred “my life is worth less than a chicken sandwich.”  The author is putting a lot of words in people’s mouth that not only have they not said, but they would likely find repugnant.  You have a valid point, you don’t have to fabricate reality to justify it. 

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Saying “marriage is one man, one woman” isn’t necessarily hate in and of itself… it’s the “… and the government should enforce my beliefs through legislation” part that pisses us off. It’s the donating to hate groups and organizations that are hell-bent on keeping LGBT people as second-class citizens with fewer rights than the rest of us. That’s where the hate comes in.

    • phantomreader42

      So, would you admit that opposition to interracial marriage is racist? Or do you only claim support for legal discrimination is not hateful when it’s convenient for you? 

      Even if you ignore the obvious bigotry of their stance, Chick-fil-a is donating money to organizations that advocate the imprisonment and murder of gay people.  They are supporting TERRORISM.  If that doesn’t equate to hate in your book, then you are an idiot.  

      • Me

        Genocide. Not terrorism, Genocide.

        • Coyotenose

          I think what he means is that the tactics used against gay people are terroristic in nature. They’re designed to make them cower, hide, and even kill themselves to avoid thugs and potential (and sometimes realized) murderers, rather than participate in society.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      But groups like Family Research Council and Exodus International (which Chick-fil-A donates to) are full of the type of vile hatred that causes LGBT people to kill themselves.

    • m6wg4bxw

      Agreed—these actions aren’t necessarily the product of hate. I’m glad I’m not the only one to recognize that, at least, some of the people supporting Cathy think they are doing what is right.

      • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

        Who on earth is suggesting that these people don’t think what they are doing is right? What they perceive about their actions is largely irrelevant.

        • 3lemenope

          Quite so. Hate has the peculiar (and unfortunate) side effect of making the person feeling it feel righteous in their hatred. This is why shame is an important and effective weapon against it.

        • m6wg4bxw

          No one. No one on Earth. I must have imagined it. Sorry.

          • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

            You’re forgiven, this time.

        • Ronlawhouston

           Isn’t the whole boycott about motives?

          • Dan

            No, it is about actions. I’m sure Cathy honestly feels that he is giving money to groups who are valiantly trying to stem the tide of ‘immorality’ that will result in god destroying America, you know the typical right wing “I’m being persecuted for protecting the children and trying to save America from judgment” BS.

            If Cathy’s personal view was that god-approved marriage was just between a man and a woman I wouldn’t really care. The boycott is because they are giving money to groups working to deny gay people equal rights in marriage, taxation, adoption, employment, and housing, and who even support criminalizing homosexuality.

          • Baby_Raptor

            How many times now have you been told what the boycott is about? And why aren’t you listening?

            • phantomreader42

              Because his cult considers bearing false witness a sacrament rather than a sin.

            • amycas

              Because he’s an inane troll who never listens to anything and always asks the same questions about the same topics over and over again.

    • LesterBallard

      Maybe it doesn’t equate to hate. It just says that GLBT people are less human than Dan Cathy and those who think like him.

    • Ronlawhouston

       I’d comment but you probably stated it better than I could.  Chicken sandwich versus human rights is a false dichotomy.

      • Patterrssonn

        Perhaps you’re not aware of this but the old bigot is giving money for hate groups to fight against basic human rights for gays, that he makes by selling chicken sandwiches. I realize it’s complicated but do try to catch up.

        • phantomreader42

           He is well aware of Cathy’s support for anti-gay terrorism, and wholeheartedly endorses it, but he’s too much of a cowardly lying sack of shit to actually admit that. 

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      I suppose you can commit hateful acts by voting away someone’s civil rights, supporting hateful organizations with you financial largess, and by treating someone else’s experience of love as inferior to yours without being hateful.  I mean, behaving hatefully is different from actually feeling hatred toward someone, right?

      Right?

      If you hate the sin, but “love” the sinner, you can engage in all kinds of terrible behavior and still be “loving”.  Isn’t that a cool loophole?  You can behave like a completely rancid asshole toward a group of people you view as damaged and inferior and people will consider you to be a loving person.

    • Dan

      David,

      The religious right and Fox News has done a good job muddying the issue by trying to make it solely about gay marriage. I even saw poeple trying to say that liberals were hypocrits because they are going after Chick-fil-a for supposedly having the same position on gay rights that Obama had until a couple months ago. Besides the fact that liberals did criticize Obama for his wishy-washy stance on gay marriage, there isn’t a comparison between Obama being reticent on gay marriage, but fully supporting the repeal of DOMA and “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and supporting civil unions with all the same rights as straight couples, and the stances of the groups Chick-fil-a was giving to, which I will outline below.

      Chick-fil-a is giving to groups who want to break up gay families, support criminalizing homosexuality, have called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in all 50 states, are against civil unions, support keeping legal employment and housing discrimination, compare gay people to pedophiles, force gay teenagers to attend reparative therapy,  say the main goal of the gay movement is to role back age consent laws so they can have sex with young boys, who have loudly opposed anti-bullying laws unless they exempt bullying based on religious beliefs, and even spent money trying to get the US congress to not condemn a bill in Uganda that would have forced gay people to be put in jail for their whole lives, and in some cases even get the death penalty. I’m sure some of the poeple supporting Chick-fil-a don’t know that is the kind of stuff that Exodus International, the Family Research Council, and other groups are doing with Chick-fil-a’s money, but many do and still proudly support the company.

    • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

      You could argue that, but it’s irrelevant.  Winshape doesn’t just “say” that they have their own definition of marriage.  They lobby to have anyone who doesn’t agree with their definition denied the legal rights and privileges of people who have legal marriages.
      They also give money to people who preach conversion of gay people to straight by various means, all known to do varying kinds and amounts of damage to subjects and none shown to “work” (i.e., turn gay people into straight people) except by convincing gay people to give up sexuality altogether or engage in “heterosexual behaviors.”
      And they give money to people who spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying to stop a Congressional resolution that denounced Uganda’s proposal to criminalize homosexuality (opponents will explain that the statute only calls for the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” or what would normally simply be called rape, but that doesn’t make it OK to criminalize simply being homosexual, since the penalties would not include death.)  The Ugandan bill that the same groups lobbied for in Uganda.

      The continual outcry that the whole thing is an attack on Dan Cathy for having an opinion, or for speaking of his opinion, just isn’t the truth.  

    • Kodie

       How doesn’t it equate to hate? Some people sincerely believe they are not hating anyone and don’t understand what they are doing is hurting someone. Word for that is “delusion”. They ignore the consequences derived from their actions –

      Our support for the good Christian Dan Cathy spends money to limit rights and abuse gay people. It’s not hate, we are just supporting what we believe in which produces a hateful outcome, but we don’t see what one thing has to do with another, we’re just eating chicken sandwiches at the good Christian Dan Cathy’s store because we agree gay people shouldn’t have the same rights as straight people.

      This is like someone apologizing that you feel bad instead of apologizing for doing what they did that made you feel bad. I think you are the one with the curious disconnect!

    • Baby_Raptor

      No, personally holding that belief isn’t hate. But when you try and enforce that view via law, and deny people who don’t believe that way rights…That IS hate. And that’s what Christianity does, for the most part. They go out of their way to deny people like me basic humanity, muchless rights. 

      And, no. He’s not fabricating reality. When you willingly give money to a group that not only hurts people, but brags about it? That’s clearly saying that you don’t give a damn about those people. You don’t think they matter enough to stop supporting people that do them harm. Whether you find offense to that or not, it’s true. 

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I’ve been angry for a long time over the treatment of anyone who has been made ‘the Other’, which naturally includes the LGBQT crowd. I think that’s because I was made into ‘the Other’ for a while in my younger years, although for a reason that I think is pretty unheard of these days.

    Reading the paragraph Hemant quoted above should make me even angrier, but it doesn’t because I think I’ve already hit an emotional ceiling. Over the years the reality of what bigotry does and can do has seeped its way into my consciousness, and now permeates my thinking constantly. I can only barely imagine what it must mean to live in circumstances where you are drowning in hatred and ignorance, where all of that hate could suddenly be directed at you if you slip up even once, even a little.

    So on behalf of myself and all of the ‘Others’ out there, fuck you, social conservatives. Fuck you and your depraved, vomit-inducing inhumanity.

    • Pseudonym

      I gave your comment a “like”. “Othering” is, to put it charitably, pure distilled evil. It is the foundation of all of humanity’s self-inflicted problems, to a first approximation.

      So I’m totally with you. Or, at least, I was, right up to the last paragraph, when my incongruity meter overloaded.

      Please understand, I mean no disrespect whatsoever. I hate those who exploit latent bigotry and manipulate public opinion for their own cynical ends as much as anyone. But did we learn nothing from the Jon Stewart rally?

      • phantomreader42

        Social conservatives make extensive use of a tactic you yourself descrpbe as “pure distilled evil”, with no regard for the facts and no sign whatsoever of remorse. Exactly how is it inaccurate to describe them as “depraved”?

      • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

        I hear you Pseudonym, and I understand. But I’m not the one who decided to vilify an entire group of people *who did nothing to deserve it*. Social conservatives *chose* to adopt religious fundamentalism, *chose* to become exclusionary, and *chose* to categorically ignore reason for their pet delusions. All that the LGBTQ crowd, and blacks, and brown people, and women, etc., did was be *born*.

        So please understand my position when it comes to dealing with social conservatives. I’m not harsh because I like being mean, I’m harsh because I’m angry, and absolutely positively FED UP with their smarmy platitudes, deluded, self-centred thinking, vile perspectives and stomach-turning religious privilege. I’m not AT ALL looking for a bridge that crosses the chasm between them and us. I’m looking for a way to utterly crush them and push them into the margins where they can’t hurt anybody anymore.

        • Pseudonym

          I have a suggestion. Take some time to read Thinking Points by George Lakoff et all, and in particular, the section on biconceptualism.

          I don’t think we need to build bridges to connect with wingnut talking head propagandists. But I do think that we need to build bridges with those they manipulate. And to do that, we need to treat them as people with whom we may just have honest disagreements in some areas, but common goals in others.

          Like I said, read Thinking Points. It may be useful perspective.

          • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

            Suggestion noted, it’s on my reading list. Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    I drove near some Chick fil A’s around town and noticed huge crowds. Made me want to vomit. I can’t believe that people would willingly and knowingly give money to a company that financially supports groups that promote demonization of a large group of people. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

      You have to understand Adam that on their ‘day of appreciation’ 99% had no clue about Dan Cathy’s funding anti-gay groups. They were all whipped into a frenzy over the red herrings of “free speech” and ‘christian values” being “bullied by the left, the liberals gays and Obama. As well as whatever else their paranoia could conjure up.

      • Kodie

        Oh, they all knew. Don’t tell me they didn’t know. 

        • 3lemenope

          Actually, after reading the rather epic thread on the issue over at Jesus Needs New PR, I get the sense that it’s about half-and-half for supporters of the CFA Day, between those who were hoodwinked by the free speech argument and those who just don’t like gay people.

          And the thread also had lots of Christians as disappointed and disgusted as we are over their co-religionist’s behavior and calling them out on it, so that was heartening.

          • Kodie

            I was afk from July 31 to Aug. 3, so I didn’t get to see that. I’m gauging by how quickly this spread over facebook before I left and would have guessed everyone who ate at CFA on Aug. 1 knew exactly why they wanted to be there. Of course all their sources may be different from mine and giving them the softball version and all they knew was they had to rescue poor Dan Cathy from the evil gays. Which doesn’t really make me feel better because of how quickly they reacted to a call without even finding out why. I mean, think about it.

            • 3lemenope

              Oh, I certainly agree that tribal effects really drove a lot of it, the whole “Christians are under attack for doing Christiany things!” really gets them out in droves, and no, they individually don’t tend to think about it too hard.

              But that wouldn’t exactly distinguish Christians from any other group one cares to name. People close ranks when they perceive a threat from the outside, and it is always the exception rather than the rule for a person to see through their own side’s BS.

              Me, personally, I want to personally slap Mayors Menino and Emmanuel and that idiot alderman for handing them a distraction on a silver plate and giving their “they’re opprezzin our speech!!!!eleventy-one1!” the appearance of accuracy, since in order to defuse that argument takes a bit of patience that people don’t generally have when their emotions are heightened and they’re in combat mode. Chilling speech through official disapproval *is* a serious thing, so despite the fact that everyone whose paying attention knows Boston and Chicago have no legal leg to stand on for enforcing their disapproval, nobody needs to be doing bigots any rhetorical favors.

          • amycas

            All the people I’ve talked to personally (about 20, I know, anecdotal) claim they support CFA because of “free speech,” but after talking for more than five minutes it turns out they all knew about the donations to anti-gay groups. They knew about it and they supported it. I don’t buy the ignorance on this issue any longer. Just the other day I linked to JT Eberhard’s article on my fb–the one that specifically talked about why we’re angry with CFA–and somebody on my friend’s list (in the same comment) claimed it was about free speech, said they supported CFA’s stance AND said they didn’t read the article. That’s not just ignorance–that’s lying about your motivations and then admitting your own self-induced ignorance.

      • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

        If by “Christian values” you mean “hating those queers,” then yes. They may not have known about the donations, but they sure as hell knew about Dan Cathy’s anti-gay stance.

  • happydog

    The only thing that makes me keep from exploding about this is reflecting on the fact that all the people who eat at Chik-Fil-A will probably die before everyone else does from all the cholesterol, fat, chemicals and feces clogging their veins and their bowels. 

  • RecoveringAgnostic

    I’m with you on most of this, Hemant, but I don’t think this means we should speak out against religion. This means we should speak out against intolerant, bigoted arseholes.

    There’s a huge intersect in the venn diagram between religious people and bigots, but there are religious people who aren’t bigots, and there are bigots who aren’t religious. It’s important not to piss off people who are on the right side on this issue.

    • Kodie

      Yeah, better watch your tone in case you lump all the Christians together so they have to decide which cause to defend and pick their beliefs over equality for gay people. Clue: most of the bigotry derives from biblical interpretations of marriage, and Christian privilege to flaunt bigotry. You can’t not point this out. Tough for those in the middle of the road.

      • RecoveringAgnostic

        Thanks for the sarcasm.

        Fine, point that out. I never said otherwise. But if you pick a fight with religion in general because of this, you’re alienating a whole lot of people who would otherwise be on your side. Maybe that’s a good idea and necessary in the long run, but for now, and on this issue, it looks counterproductive to me. You’ll lose or dilute the support of the good religious types, but the non-religious bigots aren’t suddenly going to come round to agreeing with you.

        No doubt you’re going to accuse me of being too accommodating, but I’m not interested in being accommodating, I’m interested in results. I see arguing about religion as a distraction from the far greater priority of getting true equality and an end to bigotry. It may well be that the end can’t be achieved without taking on religion as a whole, but I don’t want to assume that’s the case.

        FYI, I recently left the church, probably for good, and the thing that finally drove me away was specious anti-gay rhetoric.

        • Kodie

          I do have a “people problem” sometimes because I don’t understand this reaction. It has bothered me a long time that any time you criticize something from the extreme fundamentalist Christians, something that is actually dangerous or detrimental to society, middlers will come back with “we’re not all like that, I hope you know…” and go on some other tangent about how they are true Christians and not trying to hurt anyone. It can be hard to tell people apart sometimes, because few Christians will claim to be like the WBC, they will welcome you in their front door if you show up and offer you iced tea and speak calmly and in sweet tones about those gosh darn fags wanting to get married and what an abomination it is, and everyone will be “tsk, I knoooow” and shake their heads in disappointment in the state of the world.

          People who vote against marriage equality, people who encourage others to vote against marriage equality, and people who pay money to organizations as foul as Dan Cathy does, and by proxy to him to support those organizations, no matter how nice they like to pretend they are are just as bad as the WBC in effect. WBC are not afraid to come out and say it like they really mean it, while a whole lot of Christians are in deep denial that they hate and are bigots because they have a lot of friends and people think they are nice.

          Aside from this, you got liberal Christians who put up a fight any time someone criticizes either of these sets of people. Holy fuck, we weren’t talking about you! Now were we? That’s how I feel every time someone takes time out of their busy gays-loving-and-not-hating-at-all schedule to set people right on their personal relationship with Christ that allows them to still get into heaven even if they vote and support marriage equality. Not all Christians hate gays or oppose marriage equality – got it. It’s like you need a lawyer just to post on a forum so nobody takes you personally.

          • phantomreader42

            “We’re not all like that, we just can’t be bothered to demonstrate that fact in any way other than repeatedly whining ‘we’re not all like that’!”

          • RecoveringAgnostic

            Last attempt to get my point of view across, because I’m clearly taking a pasting here, and I’ve got better things to do with my time than present myself as a target. I understand what you’re saying, and I half-agree, but it depends what’s meant by “[speaking] out against religion”. It could mean pointing out that religious views enable bigotry, which is fair enough, or it could mean using this episode as a reason to condemn all religions and religious beliefs, which isn’t. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

            I’ve heard a lot about the people queueing at Chick-Fil-A to make a point. Anecdotally, I’m not sure if I’ve heard a single person say they want to see gay people locked up, in line with the FRC’s position that’s being supported by Cathy. But a lot of people have said they’re counter-protesting some godless liberal attempt to intolerantly infringe on his right to free speech (paraphrasing slightly). I’m guessing that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable supporting that sort of bigotry, but find it much easier if they can portray it as a point of principle or identity. If you make religion the battleground, you’re only making it easier for them.

            Of course it’s not very appealing to attract the support of people who will support vile people like this as soon as they’re given an excuse, but that’s the pragmatic nature of public campaigns. Is there a politician who never got a vote from someone they’d prefer not to be associated with? I doubt it. If we want to win this battle, we need to avoid alienating people wherever possible. Of course, if you just want to mock the god-botherers, have at it, but it won’t win gay acceptance any sooner, and may well delay it.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Sorry, but I’m not going to not call out people who actively hurt me and want me dead simply because a small subsection of Christianity doesn’t hold those views. That’s a dumb idea, and it helps no one. If those people don’t like what the majority is doing, then they need to speak up. Silence is agreement. 

      • RecoveringAgnostic

        That’s just the point. Call them out, but call them out because they’re bigots with ridiculous views, not because they’re Christians. People will make their own minds up in their own time about whether the church is something they want to have anything to do with based on their record, but forcing the issue by drawing a line in the sand may not be the best idea.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          But there’s the problem, Recovering Agnostic. WE didn’t start conflating religious devotion with hating gays, THEY did. THEY’RE the ones who hold the foundation position of “Fags are to be destroyed because God told us so.” And they hammer us with that constantly. It. Does. Not. Let. Up. So because of that, my default position is Christian = Bigot, unless individual Christians make it clear that they’re not. I’d MUCH rather they speak up and speak out more often, denouncing their co-theists for being dickish douchecanoes, and if my position causes them to be quicker on the draw, so much the better.

      • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

        I don’t think the subsection is that small.  Something like three quarters of this country is Christian, right?  And basically half the country supports marriage equality?  Even if every single non-Christian in the country was for marriage equality (and that’s an unrealistic assumption), that leaves something like 75-80 million SSM-supporting Christians.

        • Coyotenose

          Keep in mind how much of the population is kids. It’s a much lower number.  It’s still a lot more than people think it is, but also realize that a tremendous number of those SSM supporters aren’t saying anything. As Baby_Raptor notes, that is tacit agreement with the other side at this point.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      To be honest, I don’t think Hemant is going to agree with you on that, given his stance in this post.

      • RecoveringAgnostic

        That’s probably true. But then, that’s the point of commenting and having a discussion.

        And I agree with that post. This issue was the final nail in the coffin of my faith which had been almost non-existent for a long time. But maybe I disagree about methods. I think if you make a big deal about gay rights, decent Christians will realise for themselves how backward and divisive the church is, and will speak up or leave. But if you make the argument about attacking Christians, they’re likely to circle the wagons and dig their heels in to protect their faith and identity.

        It’s just my opinion, and I may well be wrong, but it’s more a question of strategy in this context than how “nice” Christians should behave. And I think people are more likely to change/act if they feel they made a decision for themselves, rather than being forced into it.

        • amycas

           If a person decides to not support marriage equality because I say something mean about their religion, then they weren’t allies to begin with.

          “Oh, I was going to support your equal rights under the law, but then you went and hurt my feelings. I could have been an ally”

  • Sami Hawkins

    “Derp herp jus cuz they think gay people are immoral sinners who don’t deserve equal rights duzn’t meen dey hate gay peoplez!”

    Let’s be honest: if it were Christians being persecuted nobody would pretend it wasn’t bigotry. If Richard Dawkins started holding rallies in support of taking away Christian’s right to marriage nobody would believe for a moment that he didn’t hate them. If the majority of Atheists wanted it to be legal to fire someone for being Christian nobody would believe for a second that we weren’t bigots.

    The majority of gay marriage opponents simply hate gay people. If they didn’t hate gay people then the debate would only be over the word ‘marriage’. The reality is that LBGT people in over half the country still leave in fear that we’ll be fired if anyone finds out what we do on our days off. I’ll believe that the majority of Christians don’t hate gay people when they stop voting down anti-discrimination laws for us.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LGBT_employment_discrimination_law_in_the_United_States.svg

    • phantomreader42

      I’ve been wanting to compose a very long, link-filled comment about how i don’t hate christians, i just (pretend to) think they’re all diseased pedophiles who deserve to be legally treated as second-class citizens and have their children mercilessly abused until they kill themselves, and so on in sickening deadpan detail, and none of this could POSSIBLY imply that I hate christians, because christians themselves assure me that these things are not hateful when THEY do them…

      I have not composed such a message, partly due to the work involved, and partly because i worry that even having their noses rubbed in their own stinking, festering bigotry would not have any effect on the moronic bastards who pull this shit.

  • Alan

    “you have only a pitiful few who will stand up for you.” Not on our watch…

  • Nicole Youngman

    1) Thank you for linking to this–I’m very glad I saw it and have passed it along.

    2) When the heck are you guys going to learn the distinction between “fundamentalism” and “religion”?? 

    • The Other Weirdo

       When it starts having a functional difference, and when “religion” stops enabling “fundamentalism”.

  • Corey

    MINORITIES SHOULDNT HAVE RIGHTS, JUST ASK A CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN, JUST ASK HITLER…

  • Guest

    What a bunch of babies.  What is it like to live in a bubble of your own making.  Now, there are two possibilities here.  Either you simply ignore facts in order to live in this bubble by ignoring the actual events, or you secretly  were for the mayors using their political office to punish non-liberal wrong think (despite how so many said they were really against it).  Face it, most of the Christians and others did not do or say horrible things.  The ones in my area were low key, peaceful, and unless you define hate as failing to conform to your demands for right think, they were just showing their opinions, and in a more mature way than many on the left I might add.  No, what brought out the Christians was Big Brother stepping in and trying to punish non liberal wrong think.  Since so, so many atheists and liberals said they were just as bothered, you wouldn’t think there would be an issue.  But the more I read these little baby rants, I’m beginning to think that was bull, and in fact a growing number of leftists and secularists want nothing other than what those mayors did, and more of it.  Which isn’t surprising, since the mantra of the modern left seems to be ‘in all things sex, drugs and bathroom humor freedom and liberty; in everything else government control, censorship, and suppression of non-liberal wrong think.’

    • Onamission5

      Well aren’t you sweet.

      • Guest

        I know, that was harsh.  But it had to be said.  If all these atheists,  gay rights supporters, and liberals say they were as bothered by the majors’ flagrant attempts at censorship, then they shouldn’t act as if all those support CFA were not out to take a stand for free speech.  Fact is, not a few gay rights supporters actually stood by CFA in this.  That’s all I want.  For people to say, “Oh my, that was horrible what the mayors did,” but then act as if it never happened or nobody else could think that, makes one doubt if those saying they opposed the mayors were really, really telling the truth. 

        • Onamission5

          None of that had to be said. Maybe try listening.

          This isn’t a free speech issue. It’s a human rights issue.

          • Guest

            Actually, if it wasn’t a free speech issue, then why were all those people saying they were against what the mayors did because it was a free speech issue.  Or was that yesterday’s truth of the moment?

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          The fact is that those mayors aren’t going to be able to do what they have said initially they were going to do, and in fact, they even acknowledge that. Nothing needed to be done to support free speech, certainly not giving money to a business that actively fights gay rights by donating money to anti-gay groups. If you support gay rights but bought food from CFA to show support for free speech, I question your logic.

          • Guest

            And if a mayor said he was going to move to keep any pro-gay establishments out of a city, you would say the same?  Ah, it begins to swing the other way now. 

            • amycas

              Not if the mayor then came out and said,”oh wait, nm, that’s illegal”–which this mayor did. Also, plenty of liberals have spoken out against what the mayor did, even on this blog, in this very thread.

            • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

              You know, it’s best if you wait for me to respond before getting so giddy. And seriously, both hands on the keyboard.

              Yes, I would say the same: I would voice my opposition and go further if actual steps were taken. Cities don’t have the right to keep out legal businesses who take unpopular stances.

          • brianmacker

            “Because of this man’s ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.” – Moreno

            Sounds like Moreno believed he could do it, and was claiming he was going to do it, to me.

        • Kodie

           Capitalist pawns. Nobody actually abridged anyone’s rights. Eating Chick-fil-A when you’re given marching orders only makes Dan Cathy richer and supports his foul causes. Admit you and all the other pawns don’t actually need a good excuse to go feed your face with chicken. I’m not particularly in favor of what the mayors did (and as I recall, most people here were concerned about the free speech issue), but what they didn’t do is censor Dan Cathy and at the end of the day have no power to keep Chick-fil-A out of their zones. I do appreciate my mayor’s symbolic gesture; it will be acknowledged that he has a conscience while millions of idiot sheep ate chicken because they were told to. Buying chicken doesn’t do anything but makes sure Dan Cathy has more profits to send to organizations that are detrimental to the rights and lives of homosexuals. I’m sure your bottom line is this is something you’re willing to support, while I’m not. It has no other effect and nobody’s free speech was abridged in actuality by any stroke of this ongoing event. If someone’s rights are infringed at any time, if any active processes go forward other than a strongly worded letter urging Dan Cathy to keep his Chick-fil-A away* (which they are allowed to do!), be sure to write letters to congressmen, mayors, your local paper; assemble in protest, sign petitions, and picket the city hall. If you want gays not to have equal rights, of course, keep eating at Chick-fil-A. Nobody is actively preventing you. So stop pouting like a child over nothing.

          *Dibs on copyright “Chick-fil-A-Away”.

          • Guest

            Again, I read comments like this, and I think all the ‘hey, us pro-gay folks were against the mayors’ was a bunch of BS, BS that was more damage control than anything.  Now, we’re starting to see the ‘hey, I didn’t see anything wrong with it, no censorship there, just a couple elected officials using their office to run a business out of town because of what its CEO believes – heck, that’s not censorship.  Again, leftist BS (but then, I repeat myself).

            • Wintermute472002

               You are honestly such a dumbass that it makes my teeth ache. If you’re convinced that all us ‘leftist liberals’ are really aching for politicians to violate the law in our favor (despite many people saying specifically why we don’t want that) then I don’t know what else to tell you.

              All, you can go fuck yourself for characterizing the position of equal rights for LGBT people as leftist “right think.” Yeah, I’m sorry that we all feel that treating a class of people as subhuman is a problem. Keep going to church and eating your chicken and just ignore the rest of us trying to be decent people over here.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          Take off your social conservative blinders and open your eyes. You come here accusing everyone of supporting what some mayors did. Do you know what a straw man fallacy is? Because you committed it. Go read some of the comments and you will see that by and large people here were NOT happy with what Alderman Moreno said.

          CFA’s “stand for free speech” does not give it, you or your compatriots the right to not be criticized for what you say. Go ahead continue your bigoted stance, and we’ll continue shaming you publicly for your odious behaviour.

          • Guest

            No, I’m observing that for all the talk of people on the pro-gay side not supporting what the mayors did, and even condemning it, there seems to be an unwillingness to assume anyone on the non pro-gay side was capable of the same thing.  If it was really that wrong (which is what you are saying), then why have a problem with other people being just as bothered?

            • Wintermute472002

               Because if the best way you can think of to stand up for freedom of speech (in the face of a nebulous non-assault by a handful of idiot politicians) is to support somebody who spends his money treating LGBT as subhuman, then you lose the benefit of the doubt.

              • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

                This. There are ways to support free speech without also supporting bigotry, and anyone who supports gay rights who came out to CFA is shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak.

              • brianmacker

                Why are you calling it a non-assault (and I am not referring to your misuse of the word in your metaphor)? My understanding was that a permit was blocked. That would be an actual attack, a battery, if we are going to use your metaphor, and the threat to pull future permits would be a metaphorical assault (which is a threat to commit battery).

        • amycas

          Every single “leftist” (as you would describe it) blog that I read on a regular basis has at least one post calling out the mayor and the alderman who tried that bullshit. If the blogger themselves didn’t call it out then the commenters did. We have said we are bothered by it. If you read this thread, you’ll see multiple condemnations of the mayor and alderman. 

        • brianmacker

          Your problem is that you just assumed with your gross over generalization that I, an atheist, a rights supporter (the gay is superfluous), and a liberal (of the classic variety) did not think that CFA day was about the fact that Menino claimed he planned some very serious rights violations. I do say, “Oh my that was horrible.” and I will continue to believe it was horrible until I here a good argument why it wasn’t, and I haven’t yet. I also believe that most of this support on CFA day was about the outrage against this leftist style brandishing of power. Menino is a Chavez wannabe judging by his actions.

          Note, I really had a hard time toning this comment down because frankly people like you who don’t observe common curtesy don’t deserve polite responses. Normally I get on other atheists cases for the kind of crap they are slinging at you, but guess what, you deserve it.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      You, Guest, are an idiot.

      • Guest

        Nice retort.  That’s another way of say, “I, TCC, have nothing of substance I can refute with.”

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          No, that’s not it at all. We’ve seen arguments like yours thousands of times here, from sky-fairy-believers that are feeling butthurt. And we’ve refuted, debunked and categorically destroyed those arguments, over and over again. So we’re kind of tired of it.

          I see your indignation over TCC’s retort and raise you our outrage at disingenuous douchecanoes like you and your fellow god-sheep who are systematically doing your best to deny human rights to a category of people. So shove your faux outrage up your ass.

          • Guest

            Intellectual masturbation Silo, that’s what I see in the arguments I see from the leftists and atheists here.  Willful ignorance, idiocy, and bigotry wrapped up in arrogance and self righteousness.  Nothing more. Even thoughtful atheists and liberals hang their heads in shame over the arguments presented here. 

            • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

              The irony is rich with this one. :-)

            • cipher

              Well, look at it this way. Soon enough we’ll be burning in hell, and your Sky Daddy will let you spend all of eternity watching. That will give you no end of pleasure.

            • Piet

              Willful ignorance, idiocy, and bigotry wrapped up in arrogance and self righteousness.

              You’ve been looking in the mirror..

              Trol.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          No, it’s another way of saying, “There is so much idiocy in that post that it’s not worth the time detailing how wrong it is. A blanket statement will suffice.”

          • Guest

            Again, a lazy, intellectually vacant and cowardly way to respond.  You might as well stick your tongue out while you’re at it.  It’s a great way for you to say nothing other than ‘I have no way in the world of saying anything substantive, so maybe if I invoke my inner pre-adolescent, I’ll get some other intellectual pre-pubescents to join in.’  Oh, and congratulations, you would be right in thinking that, judging from the other responses.

            • cipher

              It’s a great way for you to say nothing other than ‘I have no way in the world of saying anything substantive…

              No, what we’re saying is this: We’ve spent years refuting the inane arguments of evangelicals and far right wingnuts, and simply can’t be bothered any longer. There is no communicating with you people. No argument, no matter how well-crafted, will convince you; you simply keep furiously clutching your security blanket, howling about the attacks on your belief system. Then, when we throw up our hands and say, “Fine then, you’re just idiots”, you pounce upon that and say, “Aha, see? Nothing of substance!”

              Why are you even here? Isn’t Fox News on?

              • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

                Precisely correct.

            • brianmacker

              You spend an inordinate proportion of your comments name calling, taunting, and generally behaving badly. Cut all that nonsense out and maybe you could get a point across. If you didn’t include that content you would be vulnerable to valid criticism in comments like TTCs. You could have just informed people what you are talking about instead you act like some child with a secret that you think makes you superior. Just explain your point.

            • brianmacker

              Oh, and your very first comment started with calling broad swats of the population babies. WTF do you expect in response when you come out of the blocks making insulting gross over generalizations. You are making Archie Bunker look like a moderate.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Re: … the mayors using their political office to punish non-liberal wrong think

      Which mayor, exactly, has actually harmed any “non-liberal wrong think” company? Please describe the event in detail. I’d like to know when it happened.

      … and no, mayors mouthing off about what they might do sometime in the future, does not count. I want specific actions, not mere words, which have been documented as having taken place.

      Please identify when this happened. If you cannot or will not do so, then your diatribe is based on a false premise and can therefore be safely ignored.

      • Guest

        You don’t read or watch the news much do you?  Oh, and I love how liberals are moving the line of what constitutes censorship.  In the 70s, if a radio station didn’t want to play the Stones, liberals screamed Nazis! all over.  Now, government officials attempt to block a company because of the beliefs of its CEO, and liberals say, “Gee, nothing wrong there.”  Or no, they say they say it’s wrong, but I’m  beginning to think that was BS like the rest of the BS upon which the post-modern secular left is founded.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          In other words, you won’t accept evidence of liberals condemning the actions of Menino, Emanuel, et al. because it doesn’t fit in neatly with your preconceived notions of liberals.

          • Guest

            In other words, it’s strange to see liberals saying they were against it, when now so many are acting as if there was never anything to see in the first place.  At first I was happy to see it, until I started to notice a growing number of folks acting as if there was never anything to condemn.  If it was no big deal, as a growing number are saying, or if there was no free speech for those folks to protest, then just what were all those liberals and pro-gay supporters saying was wrong?

            • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

              That’s bullshit. It is possible for a person to say that they oppose leaders’ attempt to discriminate through zoning or whatever against legal businesses while also saying that such discrimination was never going to happen because it would be illegal and thus very easily remedied by the courts. More or less, Menino and Emanuel were saying, “We don’t want you here,” which they are perfectly within their rights to do (free speech, after all) as long as they do not take action to prevent CFA or any anti-gay-supporting business from coming to their towns. So, somewhat ironically, what you call a violation of free speech was actually just an exercise of free speech.

              • brianmacker

                Menino blocked a permit based on a a desire to persecute the CFA owners for exercising their free speech rights and rights to free association. That is a direct rights violation with the stated motive being a desire to violate those rights, because their exercise was the reason given for withdrawing the permit. In addition Menino has indirectly violated the right of free association of all the people who wish to do business with CFA from investors and employees to customers. The Christians aren’t making this up, and this is why there was the large turnout, not because someone said they didn’t like CFA. I have no idea where all these commenters are getting their information, but unfortunately this is a true instance of Christians being persecuted for their beliefs. It might be argued that Rahm Emanuel was merely exercising his right to free speech but not Menino.

                • Erp

                   Menino has retracted his threat  realizing that he can’t actually carry it out legally.  It was the wrong thing for him to do and I’m glad that that is no longer an option.  See http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-02/chick-fil-a-deep-fried-civil-war

                  Menino as an individual is free not to go to CFA  just as I as an individual won’t either.   I was aware long before this whole mess that the owners (it is still privately owned) donate large sums to organizations whose primary purpose is criminalizing and marginalizing gays and lesbians and I have no wish to help out.  Perhaps not the same as the sugar boycott of the early 1800s but every little bit helps.

                • brianmacker

                  Yes, I already looked that up, and wrote a comment with his admission that he would be violating the rights of CFA owners if he denied the permit. I didn’t feel compelled to help them out either, and feel even less compelled now that it is clear that the law has their back, unlike in the case of gays.

                  I don’t think that tax breaks for married couples are a right, nor do I think the government should be involved in deciding who is married. I do think however that if the government is injecting itself and handing out favors it MUST do so in a non-discrimantory fashion. So I don’t think it is an equal rights issue so much as an equal privileges one with regards to tax breaks. Most people are sloppy with their thinking so I don’t blame them to harshly for confusing the two.

                  It would have been far more egregious to block the rights being threatened by Menino, than some tax breaks. Child adoption is an entirelynother matter. In that case the laws regarding adoption in fact turn the ban on gay marriage into a violation of the gays rights to freely associate. The government does not have the right to tell gays they cannot adopt from families willing to have their children adopted by gays, or for gays to adopt abandoned children who want to be adopted.

                • brianmacker

                  I wasn’t up to date on the news on this. Menino has now admitted that what he was doing was a rights violation.

                  From a news article:

                  “I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there,” Menino said, referring to company president Dan Cathy, who drew the mayor’s wrath by going public with his views against same-sex marriage.

                  So not at all surprising that many people believed that there was a rights violation here on the part of the mayors. Even they now recognized they were planning such a violation.

                  Now if only Bloomberg would recognize that fact about salt, soda, and guns.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      You know who the babies are? You Christians with your persecution complex. You don’t KNOW persecution, not in your privileged little world of Happy Funtime Jesus.

      • Guest

        Silo, you really must get out more.  Try actually reading books with titles other than ‘why liberal atheists are like so smart man, and like everyone else is dumb man.’  But then again, you might want a secular tyranny, in which case you can’t be expected to own up to this, which only weeks ago would have been seen as censorship by anyone with a brain.  That is, of course, the other option.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          I spy with my little eye, someone who can only argue with straw men and false dilemmas.

          Quick, get back to focusing on just breathing!

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          You are incapable of reason. If Christians are so persecuted (oh, the persecuted majority with all of the power), then provide evidence. Otherwise, STFU and go bother someone who doesn’t mind listen to your inane ramblings about how liberals are so awful.

    • Margaret Whitestone

       Speaking of little baby rants…

    • Piet

      Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’..

  • Raavynn

    That man’s story made me cry. How long will people continue to treat fellow humans this way in the name of god? Enough is enough.

  • Agnostic

    Are gays the only people who are discriminated against? The fat, the ugly, the short, the hunch are all discriminated against. How about the spinsters, the poor, the religious, the timid? So on and on goes the list. Racists discriminate by color and very often those of the same color whom they accuse of acting superior. The very worst are the intellectual snobs who look down on those who they think are inferior in intellect. So there is nothing special about discrimination against gays. I am sure the gays themselves discriminate against others who they think are inferior to them.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Discrimination…you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • brianmacker

        You don’t think all those groups are discriminated against? Huh? His comment was pointless but that wasn’t the reason why. It was pointless because one person being wronged doesn’t make a different person being wronged right. He believes in two unrelated wrongs make a right.

    • Piet

       Are these people allowed to marry?
      Than it is not the same thing.

    • Onamission5

      Discrimination is rampant in society. One sort doesn’t invalidate another.

      The fact that racism, ageism, sexism, ableism, classism, et al exist is *more* reason to fight against bigotry whenever one sees it, not less.  I refuse to be powerless in the face of wrongs committed against my fellow humans.


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