(Or famewhoring For Jesus: What Does Fried Chicken, Jimmy Swaggart, The Duggars and Fox News Have in Common?)
Alright, so I know Chick Fil A and Fox News aren’t exactly Quiverfull supporters directly but I could not allow their media manipulation for “Good Christian Values” to pass without commentary.
It was with great amusement I watched the Chick Fil A August 1st “Good Christians Show Your Gay Hatred by Eating at Chick Fil A” Appreciation Day led by Fox New’s Mike Huckabee yesterday. While I was out running errands I noticed that there was a line around the building and drive thru was backed up past IHOP. I saw various people I knew from the scattered church community. I chuckled and drove on by. Later I heard the police had to be sent out there and at other CFAs to direct traffic. I guess you can’t get between a Southerner and their fried chicken when ‘Biblical Marriage’ is at stake.
I don’t eat at Chick Fil A and it has nothing to do with gays, the poor overworked home schooled kids working at the one by my house or any political affiliation. They fry their chicken in peanut oil and I have a severe peanut allergy. I prefer the chicken of my hometown, Popeyes, so much more. Have to have those hot peppers and special Cajun spices!
When Mr. Cathy came out against homosexuals and gay marriage I can’t say I was surprised. It’s been a well known fact for many years that they identify themselves as a “Christian” company. They give out scholarships to Christian colleges, they give money to a variety of “Christian” causes, just like Wal Mart, Toms of Maine and Dominos Pizza. In fact, Chick Fil A gives money to several groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law center as Hate Groups.
But really, it’s their business if that’s the business culture model they chose to use. It’s America and everyone is free to do whatever really stupid or smart thing they chose.
Just as an aside I remember back in season 8 of American Idol that when the finale came, between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert that it is rumored that CFA hosted large viewer parties with free food across Arkansas in order to get more locals to vote for Kris Allen. Not only was Kris Allen a local Arkansas boy, but he was a young worship leader and unapologetic Christian as opposed to Adam Lambert and his openly gay lifestyle. Rumor has it that CFA and other homophobic Christian organizations pulled out all stops in Arkansas to see that Kris won. When the allegations surfaced on a few news sites and blogs I laughed it off. Now, I’m not so sure.
This morning when I picked up my local morning paper I was pretty disgusted to see the smiling faces of some of the more, shall I call them ‘publicity hungry’ Christians in our town. You never seem them at the soup kitchen, the homeless shelter or the Free Clinic, you only see them in their pew and they perform as the “Super Christian!” whenever there is a reporter or cameraman around. Attention whoring over chicken as manipulated by Huckabee and Fox News.
Most companies do not come out and announce their stances on things like gays or global warning, nor do their CEOs. Because it doesn’t matter.
So why CFA? The cynical side of me is thinking Mr. Cathy made his remarks knowing full well that Fox News and others would repeat his words ad infinitum. The ensuing controversy would drive more business his way. Were Fox News and Cathy in some sort of cahoots together? Especially since this has been such a hot button issue in our nation?
It seems that Fox News has been determined to distract America from the real problems of this nation, homelessness, lack of healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, the threat to the rights of women and our economic woes. They come up with things that capture the minds of those that are used to living in fear, the fundamentalists, the conservatives on the edge, the Teapartyists. Attention whoring for the minds of many Americans with false fears. Ooooh, gays are going to take over and turn you gay! Better stand up for straights by gorging on greasy chicken because we say so! Fame whoring CFA.
The first case of shamelessly fame whoring on television for the approval of Jesus I witnessed was way back when I lived in Louisiana and the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart started his television show, replete with tearful entreaties for dough to do God’s work here on the earth. If you didn’t sent him your money then poor lil’ Asians or Russians or other heathens might never hear the word o God and be sent to an eternal lake of fire for a round the clock barbequing. Also, if you donated today you’d get this lovely set of Ginsu knives with the Ten Commandments carved into the handles plus a copy of the Bible edited by Brother Jimmy and Brother Kent Hamsteaks book “Jesus and His Pet Dinosaur”.
It was a pretty opportunistic money-making scheme. Living in the same town as the ministry, attending college and working a few short blocks over from their organization afforded me the opportunity to see that it was a scam, plain and simple, well before my run in with Jimmy Swaggart. Scare the pants off the viewers with fear in the name of Jesus so they sent you money while you thank them with a few cheap Taiwan-made geegaws in return.
I know before I left Louisiana Brother Jimmy was investigated by the feds for possibly laundering Manuel Noriega’s drug money. Later when the scandal broke that Brother Jimmy was busy picking up hookers at the sleaziest nasty motel on Airline Hwy in the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area I cannot say I was surprised. It did slow down some of Jimmy Swaggart’s television antics as stations dropped him around the globe.
Changing channels a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning I caught a glimpse of Brother Jimmy still using fear and Jesus to get people to give to him. Except this time he was hawking an entire sideline of specialist Bibles and other trinkets to the faithful, the few that are left now. Old dog, same tricks, same medium and message. Pure narcissism with no love.
The first time I saw the Duggars on television I remember thinking how clever they were for being a visual witness to the world for the Quiverfull movement and Fundamental Evangelicalism. But I realized as time went on that the payoff they were getting was more than the mere physical check that the Discovery Channel paid or being an example to a non-believing world. They, like Chick Fil A, Fox News and Jimmy Swaggart plus countless other professed Christians in the media, were getting some sort of emotional payoff from being in front of the cameras with the ability to say their way was the right way. Leveraging their fame on their proclamations of being Jesus following Bible thumping Christians.
Self-aggrandizement seems to be the subtext behind all of these people. Not helping others. Not free speech, not witnessing to others. Pure, sheer “Looket me!!!! I loves Jesus!!!” More narcissistic behavior.
I guess since the Bible says that if you make a show of your faith, your praying, that you get all the reward you’re going to get by being seen that means none of these folks or others like them is likely to pass through the eye of that needle. They wonder why the world doesn’t rush to join them. Gee, I wonder why
Where is the love and why so much narcissism? Sick to death of Christians using the media to further their own twisted agendas plus to puff themselves up inside..
Comments open below
Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blog is Calulu – Roadkill on the Internet Superhighway
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce