Fred Phelps: Why it is not possible to believe that you ate Chick-fil-A because of ‘freedom of speech’

Please stop pretending that the orgy of hate last week at Chick-fil-A had anything to do with free speech.

It obviously did not. I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it.

Fred Phelps.

That’s why if you say you went to Chick-fil-A “Appreciation Day” because of “freedom of speech,” everyone knows you’re just play-acting.

Fred Phelps, buddy. Fred freakin’ Phelps. Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps of the infamously nasty Westboro Baptist Church.

Fred Phelps proves you’re just playing games.

Phelps is a reprehensible human being, but he’s a skilled publicity hound, so I find it hard to believe that the chuckling hordes of chicken gobblers last week were unfamiliar with Phelps and his body of work. They’ve seen his signs. They’ve seen him on the news, in the paper, on the Web. Their kids may even have played him in the school play.

Everybody knows about Phelps and what he does. And everybody knows that Phelps is free to do it. Free to continue doing it.

Anybody claiming to believe that the freedom to speak against homosexuality is somehow under threat has to explain how such claims could possibly be compatible with the continuing freedom of the deliberately obnoxious Fred Phelps.

And that cannot be done.

You say you went to Chick-fil-A to stand up for the freedom of speech? Nonsense. Fred Phelps.

Fred Phelps, ergo, liar, liar pants on fire. Fred Phelps, therefore, no one believes you.

Fred Phelps therefore no one is able to believe you.

So since no one is able to believe the pretense, drop the act. Last week’s ugly display was not inspired by some noble defense of freedom of speech. There was nothing noble about it.

Fred Phelps. His freedom disproves your claim.

But don’t be too hard on him. After all, he’s on your side, and that’s all that matters, right?

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  • W33B33 weebee

    For a second I thought Phelps had actually said some of that. Just the way it was there and his name was alone on the next line. Wierd, I know.

  • Hexep

    Oh, a dedicated conspiracy theorist could “reason” their way out of that one.  They’d just claim that Phelps was a strawman, a double-agent, a ‘pet fundie’ carefully maintained and protected to create the illusion that dissent was tolerated.  That way, the Bad Guys (which, to them, are us) could point to Phelps and say, ‘see?  you’re free to do as you like.  If this guy’s walking around a free man…’  But all the while, it would be a sham, a front, a Potemkin Presbyterian acting under strict orders from his mysterious masters to cause a stink and get away with it.

    There’s no reasoning with the tinfoil hat crowd.

  • LMM22

    There’s actually an *incredibly* viable theory that a large chunk of Phelps’ actions are just a way to get money.

    They’re all trial lawyers. They spend their time provoking people and then taking them to court when they get aggressive. It’s clear they believe their own statements — i.e. that homosexuality is evil — but their protesting strategies make no sense from any sort of productive point of view.

    Think about it. They’re protesting at soldiers’ funerals. They protested (IIRC) at the funeral of the little girl killed during the Giffords shooting.

    Those aren’t targets you would pick if you wanted to convince everyone that homosexuality was evil. If you wanted to do that, you’d target gay-oriented locations. Gay pride parades (etc.) may be easy targets, but there are targets one could hit up every day of the year — e.g. gay bars and clubs. Hell, they could move to San Francisco. Every other protest movement on the face of the planet — ranging from anti-abortion groups to the Occupy movement — have targeted locations that have *something* to do with what they are fighting for. It makes no sense to do otherwise.

    Unless you’re trying for a fight. Unless you’re aiming to get beaten by other members of the dead soldier’s battalion or the father of a dead girl. Unless you want to target areas filled with people who are likely to be less disciplined (e.g. ComicCon, which is filled with young adults) and more likely to strike out.

    Unless, that is, you’re essentially trolling.

    Again, I don’t doubt they believe their message. But their strategy, the targets they pick, has no resemblance to what they want to accomplish. And that’s really inexplicable if one assumes that they’re doing everything in good faith.

  • Wingedwyrm

    Actually, that’s not too far from the truth of their actions.  But, also note that, by picketing a gay rights activist’s funeral,  soldier’s funeral, a little girl’s funeral, or comiccon, they’re also more likely to be in the news than just for picketing a gay pride parade.

    Attention means donations.

  • Jared Bascomb

    And if they tried to picket a gay pride parade in a major city, they’d be vastly outnumbered and would pretty much be lost in the crowd.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    They don’t get donations. I don’t think they even accept them. 
    There’s a name for what they do: Barratry.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    They’re all trial lawyers. They spend their time provoking people and then taking them to court when they get aggressive. It’s clear they believe their own statements — i.e. that homosexuality is evil — but their protesting strategies make no sense from any sort of productive point of view.

    Trigger warning:  death.  

    I think that you are quite right that the Phelps’ are trolling, not for lulz, but for cash.  Their message is not only about hate, but also about greed.  

    But I worry, what happens when one day they push someone too far?  They want someone to take a swing at them, but what if one of those people have something more than just their fists to wield?  They protest events where people there are already wracked with grief, intending to push them into lashing out.  Eventually, the dice will give the Phelps a bad roll, and one of those people will just… snap, and should that person also be carrying a concealed weapon, they will end up with a second-degree murder charge, and the Phelps will end up with one or more fewer family members.  

    In the wake of such compounded tragedy, I cannot help but want to ask the Phelps family, “Was it worth it?”  They tried to inspire people to violent anger, and the plan went horribly right.  In a world where they have made themselves pariahs, where they have made themselves hated, they lost some of the only people who actually loved them.  All because they went out of their way to inspire such hate.  

    When I think of that, all I can feel about the Phelps family is pity.  

  • Wingedwyrm

    Having heard what I have about the Phelps sons that have escaped the pastor, the answer to your question would probably be an unreserved “yes”.

  • LMM22

    “The Most Hated Family in America” is online for free these days. I watched it recently — it’s an interesting portrait, and the fact that it’s narrated by an absolutely confused BBC reporter makes parts of it hilarious in an awkward way. (Although the bits where he talks with one of the girls about the fact that she finds it amusing that he — an acquaintance — is going to hell is … rather chilling.)

    There’s a scene in which one of the children — maybe six — is hit with a bottle (?) thrown from a car with a covered license plate. It’s horrifying, but at the same time, they’re using human shields.

  • Wesley Bourland

    I’ve really considered following Fred Clark’s “mock them, don’t engage them” policy and writing “God Hates Musicals, the Musical,” based loosely on “The Most Hated Family in America.” Cause seeing Fred Phelps tap dance would be awesome.

  • AnonymousSam

    So long as the actor playing him salutes the audience and declares “Heil… me!

    Yes, that would be fabulous.

  • Wingedwyrm

    I am a thoroughly amateur writer and, if you need any help writing your musical, beta-reading your musical, funding your musical (I can donate very little but something), working the concession stand for your musical, or sweeping the floors after, I will want to be a part of that!

  • Ross Thompson

     

    narrated by an absolutely confused BBC reporter

    That would be Louis Theroux. He’s a satirist and comedian, not a reporter. “Hilarious in an awkward way” is exactly what he was aiming for.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    If he’s a comedian, he’s keeping it well under his hat. Theroux certainly tends to pick “offbeat” subjects for his documentaries,  but they are still definitely documentaries. BAFTA apparently agrees, since he won the Richard Dimbleby Award for the Best Presenter (Factual, Features and News) in 2002.

  • LMM22

    Ok, that explains some of it. I still think it would have been more interesting had he not gone for some of the obvious stuff, though.

  • Lori

    Those people who claim that eating hate chikn is all about free speech don’t show up to wave a “God Hates Fags” sign to support the Westboro Baptist asshats’  free speech rights and would probably be aghast if you suggested that they should. That raises the question of why they think the situations are different.  I think there are two things going on. First, Cathy is “nice” and Phelps is clearly not. You can support Cathy’s raging hate and still pretend you’re about decent family values and blah, blah, blah. Phelps and his abusive family horror show don’t allow for that.

    Second, and I suspect far more important, the flustercluck has a monetary aspect. Dan Cathy is facing a danger that folks on the Right tend to take far more seriously than than any possible limits on Fred Phelps’ right to actual speech—money. Cathy is facing the horror of Rahm Emanuel expressing  a desire to keep him from making more money.  That can’t be allowed to stand.

    Keep a whole class of people from being treating as a full and equal human beings before the law? That’s either a positive good or at worst an unfortunate situation that maybe, probably ought to be remedied at some point in the future when all the straight folks are OK with it.

    Suggest that you would like to stand in the way of the expansion of one business, even if you take no action to actually back up your wishes and the law wouldn’t be on your side if you tried? Flustercluck.

  • Jennifer Ramon

    I have a recurring daydream . . . 

    Fred Phelps will, eventually, shuffle off this mortal coil, as everyone does.  His family, after having a service at their little church, drives to a graveyard to dispose of his remains, and finds there a crowd waiting for them.

    A huge crowd, filling the cemetery, lining the roads for a mile around.  And as the family approaches, every one holds up a sign:

    JESUS LOVES YOU
    THE FSM EMBRACES YOU WITH HIS NOODLY APPENDAGE
    KWAN YIN HAVE COMPASSION ON YOU
    PERSEPHONE WELCOMES YOU
    ERISHKIGAL ACCEPTS YOU

    Etc., Etc., Etc.  A myriad of messages, every single one of them positive, or at least comforting from its own perspective.

    Not that I think it’ll help, but I can dream, can’t I?

  • Wingedwyrm

    I’m all for it, so long as at least one sign is “All Glory to the Hypnotoad”.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Aw.. that’s really nice. All I want to do is share a beer with him.
    First I drink it, of course…

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Fred Phelps will, eventually, shuffle off this mortal coil, as everyone does.  His family, after having a service at their little church, drives to a graveyard to dispose of his remains, and finds there a crowd waiting for them. 

    I have a friend who says that he looks forward to dancing on Fred Phelps’ grave… in absolutely fabulous heels.  

  • Makabit

    When Fred Phelps dies, the United States will have the biggest block party in our nation’s history. There will be barbecue. There will be balloons. There will be an all-day drag revue taking place on the grave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    My own hope for Fred Phelps’ funeral is that nobody shows up to picket it; his family/church will look to every horizon for the protests that would make them think they were right and persecuted, and instead find nobody and nothing. I think that’d sting quite a bit more than seeing an ocean of humanity enjoying itself.

    Wait a week or so, let the media stop paying attention, and THEN do the Time Warp on his grave.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Increasingly, saying hateful things about queers is becoming socially unacceptable, which is removing our ability to say such things with impunity.

    Those of us who want fewer hateful things to be said about queers correctly recognize this as an increase in options that we value. Those who want more hateful things to be said about queers correctly recognize this as the loss of options that they value.

    Sure, they talk about those options in sloppy ways. They talk about them as an issue of “Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech,” for example, which is completely beside the point. (As has been said by others: guaranteed protection
    from legal prosecution for socially unacceptable speech, which the First
    Amendment grants, is not the same thing as guaranteed social acceptability for what one wants to say.)

    And you’re right, of course, that when they say stuff like that they are simply wrong. Some of them are lying, as you suggest. Some are confused. Some are mistaken.

    But if I look past their sloppy labeling, they’re basically right. They want to say (and do) hateful things about (and to) me and people like me, and they want to do so with impunity and social support. Increasingly, their ability to do that is being constrained, and they resent it. Again, that isn’t a constitutional issue, and those who claim it is are mistaken/confused/lying, but there really is a loss of privileges there. They’re not wrong about that.

    Whether they are privileges that any decent human being would want to have, is admittedly a whole different issue.

  • Becca Stareyes

    I cease to be surprised at the amount of cognitive dissonance that some folks in the Religious Right can assert regarding their religion.  When you can assert that the US is a majority-Christian nation and always has been AND assert that US Christians are persecuted and constantly in danger of being oppressed by the atheists or the Muslims or ‘Satanists’ or whoever…

    … at that point, even the existence of Fred Phelps can’t persuade you of something because you apparently have no problem holding two contradictory ideas.  Either Christians are a majority and thus are allowed to set policy favorable to them* or they’re a persecuted minority fighting for fair treatment and the right to exist freely.  Both cannot exist at the same place and time. 

    * Way to sleep through civics class there.  The Bill of Rights was deliberately passed to protect all sorts of minorities from being harassed by majority-supported government. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I cease to be surprised at the amount of cognitive dissonance that some folks in the Religious Right can assert regarding their religion.  When you can assert that the US is a majority-Christian nation and always has been AND assert that US Christians are persecuted and constantly in danger of being oppressed by the atheists or the Muslims or ‘Satanists’ or whoever… 

    Fred refers to that as the phenomena of the “persecuted hedgemon”.  He made a good explanation of it a few years ago here.

  • Will Fitzgerald

    I’m sure many people who ate at Chik-Fil-A were hypocritical (after all, they are human). I’m pretty sure most of them did it with mixed motives (see above).

    But, there have been anti-free-speech statements by Boston’s mayor Thomas Merino and Chicago alderman Joe Moreno which are worth protesting.

  • Wingedwyrm

    The “Chik-Fil-A” appreciation day was proposed and scheduled prior to the statements by prominant politicians.  It was, in fact, scheduled by Huckabee who had also referred to the boycott as “economic terrorism”.  So, no, it was not about the statements of any mayor.  It was about Huckabee and CfA and followers all supporting a person’s right to say bigoted things about homosexuals and fund groups that support the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality without any social or economic backlash.

    In short, it’s about the right of a privileged group to maintain said privilege and their view that not being privileged is every bit worse than what anyone who is a member of a non-privileged group goes through.

  • Wesley Bourland

    Here’s how I’ve tried to explain it to people:

    Imagine there is a popular restaurant in [your hometown]. Now the owner of that restaurant comes out publicly and calls you an asshole. Not only that, he says one of the tenets of the restaurant is that you are an asshole. You’re welcome to eat there, of course, or even work there, but you’re still an asshole. Then, just to round it out, he starts actively campaigning for you to be evicted from [your hometown]. You’re not going to eat at that restaurant. You’re probably going to tell your friends not to eat there. Sure, people will still eat there. Most of them don’t care one way or another about you, even though they’re not bad people. They’re just apathetic. Fine. 

    But there’s also a huge group of people who goes there BECAUSE you were called an asshole. They post pictures showing how much they support you being called an asshole. Of course, that’s just because they support the owner’s right to call you an asshole, right? Somehow I don’t think you’d feel that way.

  • W33B33 weebee

     And, really, it goes further than that. you’re not an asshole because you cut him off in trafic, or because you TPed his house. You’re an asshole just because you exist and he’d rather you not breath his air

  • Wingedwyrm

    Is there a reason you’re esplaining this to me in particular?

  • Wesley Bourland

    Crap, sorry. I started to reply to you, realized it would’ve been redundant, and then forgot to open a new comment. My bad.

  • The_L1985

    Not to mention that the free-speech aspect is generally not the reason for the boycott in the first place.

    I haven’t gone to CFA in years, because CFA corporate money goes to organizations that legislate Christian theocracy at home and abroad*, and I can’t support that.

    * Christian theocracy, by the way, is a sure-fire way to kill Christianity.

  • Rowen

     Ha! A friend of mine posted on Facebook about how he’s sick of everyone talking about Chick-Fil-A and why can’t we homos just get over it? He and I argued about it, and THEN one of his friends say “You idiot. If any restaurant came out as donating money towards and being vocally anti Puerto Rican*, you’d be the first leading the charge, so shut up.”

    *he’s Puerto Rican.

  • Lori

    But, there have been anti-free-speech statements by Boston’s mayor
    Thomas Merino and Chicago alderman Joe Moreno which are worth
    protesting.  

    First of all, protests aren’t particularly necessary in this case since A) none of the city officials have actually tried to stand in the way of a hate chikin franchise being opened and B) the law wouldn’t allow it if they did. This is less a legitimate cause for  protest than some folks getting their panties in a wad.

    The fact that they chose to get their panties in a wad about this threat to Freedom! and not other, actual threats to our First Amendment rights (warrantess wire-tapping anyone?) is also telling.

    Even if there was a legitimate, not totally hypocritical cause for protest eating hate chikin would still not be the way to go about it. When some law makers attempted to place unconstitutional limits on Fred Phelps’ right to act like a nasty ass on public property because that property was adjacent to a military funeral did these champions of free speech grab a “God Hates Fags” sign and get to steppin’ next to Fred and his kin? No, they did not.

    When Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, IL and people tried to prevent them from doing so did champions of free speech support their right to march by slapping on a swastika armband, throwing a Heil Hitler salute and goose-stepping down the road? No, they did not.

    On occasions when the Klan has wanted to march in some or other parade and someone has tried to block them from doing so did champions of free speech support their right to march by joining them in a cross burning? No, they did not.

    If you want to protest in favor of free speech you protest in favor of free speech. You can do that in a number of ways, say by writing to the offending officials and expressing your displeasure or picketing or raising money for their opponents in the next election. You can also donate to the ACLU, who you know will be right there if Dan Cathy’s rights are actually infringed even though Dan Cathy is an asshole who wants to take rights away from others. Because that’s how the ACLU rolls, bless them.

    What you don’t do is stuff your face with chicken and in the process give money to a corporation and man who financially support hate groups while adding to a spectacle that allows homophobic bigots to point and say, “See, people agree with us. Look at all the folks who support “family values”.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    First of all, protests aren’t particularly necessary in this case since
    A) none of the city officials have actually tried to stand in the way of
    a hate chikin franchise being opened and B) the law wouldn’t allow it
    if they did

    Actually, would it?

    I mean, as far as I know, a business license is not a right, and municipalities are free to reject one for pretty much any reason that isn’t protected.

    In fact, my understanding is that if you want to stick a shiny new fast food restaurant in a neighborhood, the onus is actually on *you* to demonstrate that yuo won’t be making trouble for your neighbors. They have public hearings and things where people can come in and say why they think you shouldn’t be allowed to open your business there.

  • Wesley Bourland

    I think there would be a legitimate First Amendment case if the only reason the license was withheld was a “religious opinion.” Not 100% sure, as I’m not a Constitutional lawyer, but that’s the angle I’d push.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Possibly. He wants to frame it as a religious opinion, but otoh, I imagine some could frame it as a statement of intent. It’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in chicago and boston, and if Cathy’s words are taken as a statement of intent to discriminate, then he’s basically told them that he plans to break the law.

  • Lori

    Cathy claims that CFA doesn’t discriminate in hiring and I haven’t seen any proof that he does. I suspect that in practice CFA isn’t going to hire anyone trans and makes life unpleasant for anyone who is gay and out on the job, but I also suspect they’re smart enough not to make that obvious.

    Has CFA ever actually expressed any interest in or intent to open restaurants in Boston or Chicago? I ask because I can see them writing off any city that has made sexual orientation a protected class because they know that sooner or later they’d get sued and it’s just not worth it.

  • The_L1985

     CFA has openly fired a Muslim employee for not saying a prayer to Jesus during a company meeting.  They don’t give a damn about hiring discrimination laws.

  • Tricksterson

    He or she sued their ass I hope?

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     Has CFA ever actually expressed any interest in or intent to open restaurants in Boston or Chicago?

    There’s a Chick-fil-A up somewhere around Water Tower Place in Chicago now.

    The interesting thing about the Emanuel kerfuffle was that it was started by Alderman Moreno, who had been engaged in a protracted program to open Chicago’s second CfA in his ward.  He’d said that he was aware of CfA’s history of bigotry but was basically willing to ignore it.  Then Cathy did his thing, Moreno reversed course, and Emanuel popped up and said he supported Moreno.

  • old democrat

    Hadn’t Moreno been concerned all along about how  CFA would conduct itself in a gay neighborhood.? He said CFA didn’t even have a written non-discrimination policy, and he wanted to see that “before they proceed.”

  • Lori

    There are usually ways that you can block a business you don’t want, but when you’ve publicly announced that your reason for not wanting them is that the company owner said some things and made some donations that you don’t like I suspect you’re going to have a tough time getting a “zoning issue” or whatever to pass the smell test. Especially since Cathy can, and most certainly would, claim that both the speech and the donations are expressions of his religious beliefs. At that point you’re in protected class territory and the courts are going to look at the situation really hard. 

    If the neighbors really do rally to say that they don’t want a CFA in their neighborhood that’s one thing, but legally I don’t think there’s much that even the apparently nearly all-powerful evil of Rohm Emmanuel can do to keep them out of Chicago.

  • Gotchaye

     I want to push back (gently) on “if you want to protest in favor of free speech you protest in favor of free speech”.  I can think of situations where it seems to me appropriate to respond to an attack on free speech by helping to produce more of the particular speech at issue rather than only by protesting in favor of the principle of free speech.  It depends on how great the violation is, how effective various kinds of protest would be, and how disgusting the speech is.  It’s hard for me to imagine marching with the Klan to show support for free speech.

    But suppose a newspaper prints something and the editor receives credible death threats (or there actually is violence directed against the paper’s employees) such that we expect a chilling effect on that sort of speech.  That’s not a governmental violation of free speech, but it’s similarly problematic.  It seems to me that other newspapers have a reason to not only wring their hands about the importance of free speech and deplore the violence and so forth, but also to re-print the offending material.  “I’m Spartacus”, basically.

    For governmental violations this is harder to justify because we have a process, but I could see joining in to produce more of the offensive speech, even if I didn’t agree with it, as a form of civil disobedience if protesting in favor of free speech wasn’t actually having an impact.

  • Lori

     

    But suppose a newspaper prints something and the editor receives
    credible death threats (or there actually is violence directed against
    the paper’s employees) such that we expect a chilling effect on that
    sort of speech.  That’s not a governmental violation of free speech, but
    it’s similarly problematic.  

    But they’re not similar. The newspaper editor isn’t facing a threat to free speech, he’s facing terrorism. Obviously the response to terrorism needs to be different than the response to a threat to free speech.

    And yes, there could be circumstances where the correct response to a threat to free speech is more speech. However, I don’t think that there are any circumstances where the correct response to even a legitimate threat to free speech is to engage in hate speech oneself or give money to a man who financially supports hate groups. Which is why decent people don’t support free speech by marching with Westboro Baptist or the Nazis, burning crosses with the Klan or buying chicken from Dan Cathy.

    Cathy is not and never was facing any real threat to his First Amendment rights and even if he had been paying money for his chicken is not an appropriate response from anyone who isn’t either a bigot and/or knee-jerk defender of the bigot tribe or a really shallow thinker. 

  • The_L1985

     …You know the ACLU supported Citizens United, right?

  • Lori

    What does that have to do with this? I think the ACLU is wrong in their interpretation of the issues surrounding Citizens United, but that doesn’t change the fact that if someone was actually attacking Dan Cathy’s First Amendment rights the ACLU would step up for him. I don’t have to agree with 100% of the organization’s decisions to know that.

  • Wesley Bourland

    The ALCU SAID they would fight any city trying to block Chick-Fil-A. No hypothetical needed.

  • LMM22

    Really? WTF?

  • Tricksterson

    True, and more than a few people on the left (though not all)  have said they went overboard.

  • Will Fitzgerald

    That comment looks like it was posted anonymously, but it is by me, Will Fitzgerald.

  • The_L1985

     Nope.  Your Disqus ID went through. :)

  • John

    Most of those eating at Chick-Fil-A for ‘freedom of speech’ were probably boycotting Heinz ketchup in 2004 for the sole crime of allowing 4% of their shares to be owned by the widow of the founder’s great-grandson. They were ‘punishing’ Heinz for Teresa Heinz Kerry’s speech, when she had no role with the company whatsoever beyond the ability to vote 4% of its shares. That shows how much they support freedom of speech.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Fred, this post was deliciously blunt. I love it.

    TRiG.

  • banancat

    I celebrated freedom of speech on that day.  I celebrated my freedom to speak out against CFA and other bigots.  I celebrated my freedom to say that the supporters are complete idiots who don’t know what freedom of speech means.  And I celebrated my freedom to spend my money however I want for any reason I want, which did not include giving a penny of it to CFA. 

    People can criticize my speech all they want, but if their main claim is that I am somehow infringing on someone else’s right by not giving them money, then I won’t think very highly of the person criticizing my speech.

  • Lorehead

    Today, of all days?  When we’ve just seen what religious persecution looks like?

  • Lori

    Unfortunately the approved narrative is that it’s nor religious persecution if it’s committed by an angry white dude.

    I wish strength and peace to the families of those who were killed and speedy recovery to the injured.

    I also wish for coverage that it’s totally offensive and stupid.

  • PJ Evans

     Well, at least the FBI is involved in this already. They seem to be taking it very seriously. And I understand this temple has had problems with fools in the past.
    (Dear idjits: in the US, people wearing turbans are probably Sikhs. Muslims aren’t required to wear them, and usually don’t.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    (Dear idjits: in the US, people wearing turbans are probably Sikhs. Muslims aren’t required to wear them, and usually don’t.)

     While this is true, the media has been full of talking heads telling us that Sikhs are not Muslims all day, giving the very strong impression that  *that was the worst thing about it* (CNN even said at one point “It’s very easy to mistake Sikhs for Muslims or Taliban”), as if it would somehow be less tragic if he’d shot up a mosque instead.  So pointing that out isn’t really helping.

    Also, allegedly, CNN muted a Sikh leader when he referred to the shooting as an act of terrorism. because you can’t describe a crime committed by a white man against predominantly-not-white victims as “terrorism” on US tv.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     

    Also, allegedly, CNN muted a Sikh leader when he referred to the
    shooting as an act of terrorism. because you can’t describe a crime
    committed by a white man against predominantly-not-white victims as
    “terrorism” on US tv.

    That would be very weird, because I was watching CNN this evening and they pretty explicitly described the attack as a “domestic terrorism” incident.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    CNN even said at one point “It’s very easy to mistake Sikhs for Muslims or Taliban”

    Guh… buh… WHAT?!

  • Tricksterson

    On the plus side the FBI is investigating it as an act of “domestic terrorism”.

  • The Guest That Posts

    It’s possible that what the CNN meant by “it’s easy to mistake Sikhs for Muslims or Taliban” was simply “the perpetrator was probably an Islamophobe who didn’t realise that his victims were Sikhs, not Muslims”.

    But you’re right, they do leave themselves open to less charitable interpretations.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    And so the countdown clock to the next gun massacre is reset again.

  • Tricksterson

    Let me guess, some dumbshit who can’t tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim? (Not that it would have been any better if the victims had been Muslims.)

  • Lorehead

    Not that it would have, indeed.  I don’t know and will refrain from speculating.

  • dzsquared

    Is it possible people turned out on Wednesday because they were protesting liberal bullies trying to misuse governmental powers?
    Of course. That’s why I was there.  And the chicken nuggets were really good.

  • Lori

    What a sad little person you are. 

  • ConservativeWhitebread

    Hi SherryLevine!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Bullshit.

    No one seriously believed that “liberal bullies” were tring to “misuse governmental powers.”  Not a fucking person.

    The government’s trying to stop Fred Phelps from picketing soldiers’ funerals. Why aren’t you going out there and standign bweside him in solidarity?

    You’re a liar and I’ll call you one to your face.

  • The_L1985

     CFA donates money to organizations that use long-disproven methods to “cure” people of their homosexuality.

    CFA donates money to organizations that have made it a capital crime to be or know a gay person in Uganda.  (Seriously, if you have a neighbor that you think might be gay, and you don’t turn him in, you can be executed on charges of “conspiracy to commit homosexuality.”)

    Those same organizations are responsible for the resurgence in belief in evil witches and other such things in Uganda.  Innocent children are being tortured to death because they disobeyed their parents once, and thus must be “witches.”

    I refuse to support any cause which causes no physical, emotional, or spiritual good in the world, and actively harms so many people.

  • Jessica_R

    It’s so horrible, but at least finally, finally, the authorities are treating this as a domestic terrorism incident. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    My mother was mentioning that the news hadn’t said if it was a white guy or not as the shooter but that it was “domestic terrorism”. My response was that it was impossible for the killer to be a white guy, because that’s not how these things get reported in America.

  • Makabit

    Well, the killer was, apparently, a white guy, about forty, and they are calling it domestic terrorism.

    This allows the FBI to take over the investigation, luckily. I thought the police department, and the nearby one that came to support them did magnificently.

  • W33B33 weebee

    wait, I’m lost. Who’s treating what as a domestic terrorism incident? Did I miss something here?
     

  • Jessica_R

    The shooting that happened today at a Sikh Temple, I’m guess a post on it will be going up soon or tomorrow. 

  • Dan Audy

    I moved out of one of the largest Sikh communities in North America recently and they are just devastated at their faith being targeted like this.  They’ve always been a major target for bigotry due to how visible their turbans make them but usually the worst is offensive slurs or the occasional bunch of drunk rednecks that think ripping off their turban is funny.  Just awful.

  • Lorehead

    For the record, Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno was wrong to suggest that he wouldn’t let a franchise open in his neighborhood.  People seem to want to pretend that Mayor Rahm Emanuel said something like that, but he didn’t.  I’ve come to take this kind of urban legend as a tacit admission that what happened in the real world isn’t a big enough deal to get that upset about.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You don’t even need to invoke Fred Phelps.

    Remember a few years ago? When the government wanted to invade a country under the guise of “pre-emptory action” (i.e. they haven’t actually attacked us, but we reckon they would like to so our invasion morally equivalent to defense).

    Remember how some people said this was bullshit? Yeah, and said people were told to shut the hell up terrorist sympathisers because you’re a threat to national security?

    I am certain that, of the apparently 5 million people who shoved fried chicken in their face last week in the name of free speech, there will be a whole lot of people who agreed that criticizing the invasion of another country was tantamount to treason.

  • PJ Evans

     I’m sure that at least of them think liberals are, or want to be, traitors.

  • Wesley Bourland

    Or the best analogue- how many of these people eating at Chick-Fil-A “for free speech” felt the same about Muslims building a cultural center in lower Manhattan?

  • Tricksterson
  • The_L1985

    That didn’t work. Try &lta href=”website address”&gt link display text &lt/a&gt

  • Julian M Elson

    Getting a little animal rightsy here and somewhat off-topic re: Fred Phelps and Chick-fil-a’s support for the AFA, but I either was never aware or forgot that Chick-fil-a was responsible for the EAT MOR CHIKIN signs. I find those signs horrible. Leaving aside that the portrayed cow is a loathsome cowardly quisling, I think the disturbing part is that the ad acknowledges that Chick-fil-a is in the business of bringing death to animals en masse, then sort of laughs it off. It’s like “as consumer, you hold the power of life and death over these animals in your hands. For extra fun, make them beg not to be your next meal for your amusement!”

  • Matri

    That reminds me: PETA has been strangely silent on this?

  • Julian M Elson

    While PETA apparently has staged a “Chickens Aren’t Gay at Chick-fil-A” protest ( 
    http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/08/02/chickens-aren-t-gay-at-chick-fil-a.aspx ), they don’t seem to be doing much. I’m not too displeased that they aren’t sticking their noses into this and using Cathy’s support for hate groups as a launchpad for a publicity stunt, it does seem odd that they aren’t doing more, since it seems like exploiting tangentially related events as a launchpad for publicity stunts is standard PETA MO. Maybe they just haven’t gotten a comprehensive campaign together yet or something

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    PETA hasn’t yet thought of how they can make a misogynistic campaign out of it, probably. If they can figure out a campaign surrounding this that demeans women and celebrates rape culture, they’ll be all over it. If we’re really “lucky”, they’ll also Godwin the entire thing.

  • http://formerconservative.wordpress.com/ Formerconservative

    PETA has the unique ability to be universally offensive to everyone on earth, except people who are  members of PETA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    PETA hasn’t yet thought of how they can make a misogynistic campaign out of it, probably. If they can figure out a campaign surrounding this that demeans women and celebrates rape culture, they’ll be all over it.
    If we’re really “lucky”, they’ll also Godwin the entire thing.

    Quoted for truth.

  • Dragoness Eclectic

     I’ve always been amused by the fact that the cow in the ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ signs is very obviously a Holstein. That’s a dairy cow; generally, we don’t make hamburgers from them. I find the signs ironic and hilarious.

  • PJ Evans

    That’s a dairy cow; generally, we don’t make hamburgers from them.

    I’ve heard that they get sent off to be turned into hamburgers (or something, possibly pet food) after their milk production starts declining.

  • Emcee, cubed

    I think they have looked into Boston, because I think the Mayor’s statements there were in response to them actually saying they were considering a specific spot. I know they certainly are in cities such as New York City, and campuses like NYU that have non-discrimination laws and policies, so I don’t think they are avoiding those jurisdictions specifically.

    I do have to wonder about stores in any states where SSM is legal, though. Do they give spousal benefits to employees who are married to a same-sex spouse in those states? Are they exempt because they are based in a state where SSM isn’t legal, or are they required to follow state law? (I know they are for other laws, such as tax law and labor laws, so I assume they do…) I know they don’t use a lot of full-time employees, but you do need one or two – at least a manager and an assistant manager.

    But having looked now, they don’t have a major presence in any state where SSM is legal. 2 in MA, 1 in NH, 1 in IA, 1 in DC, 1 in NY. and 0 in CT and VT. So they might be able to get away with saying it hasn’t come up yet. But if MD’s law survives the referendum in Nov, or SSM in CA starts up again (if SCOTUS voids Prop 8), it’s gonna be much harder for them to avoid it…

  • Ross Thompson

    I do have to wonder about stores in any states where SSM is legal, though. Do they give spousal benefits to employees who are married to a same-sex spouse in those states? Are they exempt because they are based in a state where SSM isn’t legal, or are they required to follow state law? (I know they are for other laws, such as tax law and labor laws, so I assume they do…) I know they don’t use a lot of full-time employees, but you do need one or two – at least a manager and an assistant manager.

    They’re franchised, so each individual restaurant is its own company, probably registered locally. There’s some evidence that CfA Corporate refuses to sell franchises to non-Christians or homosexuals, but as selling restaurants (unlike selling food) doesn’t count as a public accommodation, they can legally refuse to sell to anyone they want for any reason.

  • mumble

    Not to hijack, but – thanks for all the kind words and support for my comment on the other post. Even from internet strangers, they can mean a lot.

  • Jessica_R

    If you’d like a tonic check out everybody celebrating the Mars landing, this is what we can be, this is what we’re capable of. 

  • Rhubarbarian82

     My dad works on the Mars program at JPL; I’m super happy for him and the rest of the Mars team. Most people don’t realize just how high the failure rate is for Mars landers. It’s an incredibly difficult task and I’m so relieved it went off without a hitch so far. Maybe this will cause some people to rethink slashing NASA’s budget, but… prolly not. For now, it’s probably better to stay focused on the Mars team’s amazing success.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And I am all for staying focused on the Mars team’s amazing success, but I feel it incumbent on me to note that 1969 was more than forty years ago and 2001 more than ten. By now we should have had people landing on Mars and mass transit to the Moon.

  • The_L1985

     Via Pan-Am? :)

  • PJ Evans

    It’s a long, long trip to Mars. They don’t have life-support systems for that kind of trip yet. (It’s also a lot of money, which comes from Congress. Remember who controls the House.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You mean like how $10 billion is OMGBREAKTHEBANK but $400 billion in military spending? Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

  • Lori

    I admit I’d rather have universal health care than a trip to the moon.

    The Mars rover’s success is really fantastic though and I hope they get some great data and that we learn lots of new things from it.

  • hidden_urchin

    I say we cut military spending in half and have both.  A lot of the R&D supported by the military in terms of robotics, computing, and materials could be switched over to space exploration without much trouble anyway.

  • Lori

    Yeah, but political reality is that any plan that depends on cutting the military budget in half and switching our major R&D expenditures to NASA is a total non-starter.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    but political reality is that any plan that depends on cutting the military budget in half and switching our major R&D expenditures to NASA is a total non-starter

    Unless we can convince the right wing that brown-skinned Martians are going to try to move to Arizona.

  • Lori

    But that would just militarize NASA, which would kind of defeat the purpose, right? I have no doubt that the Right would be all about the space exploration the minute someone finds the slightest hint of aliens interested in going all ID4 on us or a reasonable way for a tiny handful of people to use it to get fabulously wealthy. On balance I’d rather we not go that way though.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Actually, NASA is relatively militarized, or at least has its roots there.  The program was founded as a means to centralize all the space development efforts that were already being done by the various military branches (preventing right-hand versus left-hand developments) and the early technologies justified their funding because the ability to launch rockets into space had obvious strategic applications.

  • LMM22

     I have no doubt that the Right would be all about the space exploration the minute someone finds the slightest hint of aliens interested in going all ID4 on us or a reasonable way for a tiny handful of people to use it to get fabulously wealthy.

    There is a very noticeable contingent of libertarian sci-fi fans. I remember attending a con panel in which one of them made a very obvious point: Why on Earth would any government want to cover up something which would make *everyone* want to immediately double their taxes?

    On a related note, did you see the National Geographic poll about which candidate one would want in charge during an alien invasion? I’m thinking of writing a movie proposal: ID4 meets “Wag the Dog”.

    If I start now, I’d have a chance of getting it done by either 2016 or 2020, depending upon how the elections go.

  • Lori

    On a related note, did you see the National Geographic poll about which
    candidate one would want in charge during an alien invasion? I’m
    thinking of writing a movie proposal: ID4 meets “Wag the Dog”.  

    I didn’t see the poll, (did people actually vote against the guy who got bin Laden?), but I would absolutely watch that movie.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Isn’t that within 15% of being the plot to ‘Watchmen’?

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Most people don’t realize just how high the failure rate is for Mars landers.

    Ok, that I didn’t know. 

    I was a space-mad child in the ’70s; seemed like every other month National Geographic would have photos from a new space probe, so my reaction had been “nice, but why the big fuss?”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I was a space-mad child in the ’70s; seemed like every other month National Geographic would have photos from a new space probe, so my reaction had been “nice, but why the big fuss?”

    Partly that is because most of those automated probes we send up are never meant to come back down, so that is not an issue.  Even the crewed missions we send up are either meant to come back down in the ocean (which is relatively soft) or are designed to make a careful and human-corrected glide down to a very long airstrip.  

    However, landing on Mars is a whole different beast.  We have nothing but irregular rocky surfaces to touchdown on, which are poor places to land at the best of times.  Further, the lightspeed delay means that the probe must be entirely self-guided in its descent since there is no time for human input to make corrections.  To top that all off, any planned method of safely landing on Mars must be largely theoretical as the system is being designed, since we cannot replicate perfectly Mars-like conditions on Earth.  It takes millions of dollars and several years just to get something to Mars, let alone landed.  This means that the engineers at NASA are biting their nails the whole way, since they will not know if their design will actually work until after all the money, effort, and time is spent.  

    It is actually kind of exciting.  Only in this last decade have we actually done any “on the ground” data collection on an extra-terrestrial surface any further than our own moon.

  • LMM22

    Only in this last decade have we actually done any “on the ground” data collection on an extra-terrestrial surface any further than our own moon.

    Voyager. (And, technically, the first Mars rover landed in 1997.)

  • PJ Evans

     I saw a cartoon somewhere:
    picture of a scoreboard
    Earth 15 —- Mars 24

  • The Guest That Posts

    Damn.

    The Sikh community are in my thoughts.

  • Parisienne

    I know it’s a minor thing, but why is that middle cow holding up a French flag? Looks kinda out of place there to me…

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    I presume it’s a reference to Phelps’ “God Hates America” campaign, which is why the board is in the colours of the American flag.

  • The_L1985

     It’s not intentional.  Remember, the French and American flags use the same 3 colors.

  • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com/ spinetingler

     No they don’t: the US flag is red, white, and blue and the French flag is blue, white, and red!

    (repressed high school french class memory)

  • Tricksterson

    Betting pool on how long it takes before someone comes up with a reason that it was somehow the Sikh’s fault.

    PS:  I don’t actually expect this to be the majority reaction on the right or even of the fundgelicals.  The political right will be full of the usual meaningless platitudes.  The religious right will probably pretend it never happened.  But you just know somebody will be meanspirited and stupid enough to try and turn this around.

  • Emcee, cubed

     I believe the answer is yes, but they settled out of court (I’m guessing because CfA knew they didn’t have a leg to stand on). The woman fired because the manager wanted to encourage her to be a stay-at-home mom is still ongoing. As are two sexual harassment lawsuits (which are in discovery to see if corporate will be named as a co-defendant. But even if they aren’t, they certainly didn’t do anything to stop the harassment.)

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/03/chick_fil_a_too_sinful_to_fry_chicken/

  • old democrat

    What I’m seeing in the news is slanted journalism distorting what the mayors said (even assuming the media got the out of context quotes right).

  • http://twitter.com/gndwyn Urthman

    This is terrible, ridiculous logic.  If I can point to one person whose freedom of speech isn’t being infringed, that proves no one’s freedoms are?

    That’s like the people who think racism doesn’t exist because Oprah.

  • EllieMurasaki

    How about you point to some actual people whose freedom of speech is actually being infringed. Don’t bother to mention anyone who owns Chick-Fil-A or bought any CFA food on ‘CFA Appreciation Day’, because self-evidently they spoke and they have been allowed to go on having spoken without suffering ill effect.

  • Ross Thompson

    If I can point to one person whose freedom of speech isn’t being infringed, that proves no one’s freedoms are?

    If that one person is the most obvious, visible example of someone doing what people are screaming that people are being persecuted, and that person is taking this stance to the most obnoxious extreme imaginable, then while it doesn’t prove that no-one else is being persecuted for such behaviour, it does strongly imply it, and it does mean that if people want to claim that persecution is happening, they should provide evidence of it, or they’re likely to get laughed at.

    Wow, that was a horrible run-on sentence. Hope you can pick your way through it.

  • http://twitter.com/gndwyn Urthman

    I agree that the Chick-Fil-A fans are wrong that they are defending freedom of speech (or freedom of religion), but it’s just not true that persecution always goes after the most visible targets first.

    Furthermore, Fred Phelps in particular is such an odious character, if I were an Evil Secular Humanist trying to persecute Christianity, wouldn’t I give him more attention and publicity rather than trying to shut him down?  I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t Christians who believe he’s a parody or false flag operation run by liberals like Landover Baptist

  • Ross Thompson

     Yeah, there have been days when I’ve entertained the idea that he’s a liberal sock-puppet. The alternative is that people can genuinely be that nasty. But then I realise that being that nasty just to demonise your opponents is probably even worse than doing it out of genuine conviction, and I get depressed again.

    (Equally, I’ve wondered if PeTA isn’t funded by McDonalds to discredit animal welfare groups)

    But the point remains: Unless you can actually point to some evidence that someone is being oppressed for holding these views, I’m going to assume that it’s not happening. Is that so terribly unreasonable?

  • Emcee, cubed

    Betting pool on how long it takes before someone comes up with a reason that it was somehow the Sikh’s fault.

    Haven’t seen what you are saying yet, but apparently Pat Robertson is blaming it on the atheists.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lyp55wvj50&sns=fb

  • http://twitter.com/thedrunkenrogue Joel Sharpton

    This was exactly what I was thinking as we had a military funeral that was supposedly to be attended by the Phelps just two days after the “Appreciation Day.” 

    I shared this post to my Facebook and this is what resulted.

  • Bnerd

    They have to believe they’re persecuted. You know this as well as all of us who grew up in the movement. It’s a central tenant of their tribe. Otherwise, all the end times fervor and fevered dreams of being the Last Christian Action Hero fade and wilt. Imaginary persecution keeps the plant of crazy alive like water and sunlight. So Fred Phelps or no, they’ll find a way to twist anything they don’t like into example #3,979,340 of persecution against Christians. Perhaps an interesting thing to note of course, is that these are the same people who have passed laws trying to desperately to restrict Phelp’s freedom of speech and cheered an egrigerious Court verdict fining Phelps and family $5 million before the suit reached the Supreme Court and was reversed. It seems just like salvation is “only for certain people to them, freedom of speech is only for those whose actions or speech they agree with.

  • W33B33 weebee

    Actually, I’m sorta inclined to agree with urthman here to some degree. Fred Phelps, so free speach isn’t being infringed doesn’t really fly with me, though I didn’t really think it through until he brought it up. Keep in mind, that, though  I would dearly love to shut Phelps up as much as anyone else, it must be pointed out that some people apparently tried, thus the lawsuits that he kept getting ruled unconstitutional.

    Basically, there are a lot of factors that argue against Phelps being an example of how far free speach can be pushed, including the fact that he is a lawyer, and his family are lawyers, all vursed in constitutional law, he is pretty much the ultimate example of what we oppose so keeping him yelling his crap could be, well, not good, but a way to remind people of how far you can fall into extremism, and sockpuppetting of the sort speculated on has apparentlyhappened before, at least according to a cracked article I read once, in this case involving a racist radio host, though the issue there gets rather confused since his over-the-top crap apparently turned into actual belief somewhere along the line.

    It’s not that I think these guys are really being opressed, as others have said, you’ve got a right to say whatever you  want, and I’ve got a right to call you an idiot over it, but the argument in the article does seem really weak now that I look back on it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I think that Fred’s argument here is not nearly so strong as when he deployed the same argument before in response to, eg., Glenn Beck’s claims that the government was a totaltiarian regime that would stop at nothing to silence all views it found hateful and they were secretly plotting to assassinate him personally — it’s a very good argument there: are we really to believe that there’s a widespread all-powerful conspiracy to take down anyone who dares hold anti-gay views when they can’t even have their fabulously jackbooted secret police ship Fred Phelps off to the gulag? That would SO OBVIOUSLY be the FIRST move of this hypothetical fascist-gay-agenda-army that the continued liberty of Fred Phelps *proves* the non-existence of the conspiracy.

    It’s a bit different here. because we aren’t dealing with claims of a national conspiracy to harshly oppress all homophobic christians — we’re dealing with the claim that a few leaders have overstepped their authority.

    But, of course, once you acknolwedge that this is about the possibility that a few leaders overstepped their authority (which even still, I disagree with), and not “there is a systematic conspiracy of oppression”, then you call the CfA Day into question: is a national “protest” consisting of showing your solidarity with homophobes really a reasonable response to three city-level officials suggesting they might overstep their authority (Remember, Chick-Fil-A has not, whatever Rahm  & company have said, been denied anything yet)?  Clearly not. Therefore this was not about free speech-in-principal. It was about showing support for the *content* of Cathy’s speech, not his right t osay it.

  • MaryKaye

    It’s next to impossible to prove a negative.  And it probably is true that someone, somewhere in the US is getting inappropriate trouble from some branch of government for being a Christian and for doing things that are legally protected.  There are so many people, so many branches of government, so many opportunities–it must happen occasionally.  (The ACLU could probably provide a list of such events, because they act on such peoples’ behalf from time to time.)

    I think we just have to say, the burden is on those who claim persecution to show some evidence that it is happening.  This is the standard to which women and minorities claiming discrimination are held, after all.  And “People are criticizing what I said” is not discrimination.  “People won’t buy my product because they don’t like what I said” is not discrimination.  That’s the flip side of free speech, is all:  the right to speak in return, and to react to others’ speech.

  • SirThinkAlot

    Is this Chick-fil-A thing really worth devoting two whole weeks to?  I may not agree with the causes they support, but I dont see why theres such a ****-storm over it.  If you disagree with the causes they support, then dont buy or eat their chicken.   Besides is anybody really surprised to learn a company founded and run by Mormons is supporting anti-gay causes.  

    Plus they make tasty sandwitches and fries….just throwing that out there.  

  • Lori

    Way to totally miss the point.

    Enjoy the tasty, tasty hate chikin. It’s a free county.

  • Ross Thompson

    I may not agree with the causes they support, but I dont see why theres such a ****-storm over it.

    Yeah, he’s only donating to groups that lobby to have homosexuality punishable by death. Why would anyone think that was worth getting worked up over?

    It’s not like the Religious Right (in fact, the same groups that Cathy is funding) freaks out and call for a boycott of JC Penny for hiring a gay person. That’s totally justified.

    ETA: The Cathys are Southern Baptist, not Mormon.

  • SirThinkAlot

    It’s not like the Religious Right (in fact, the same groups that Cathy is funding) freaks out and call for a boycott of JC Penny for hiring a gay person. That’s totally justified.
    No, that was stupid too.  

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Is this Chick-fil-A thing really worth devoting two whole weeks to?

    Yes. They are funding groups trying to deny people their civil rights – and in other countries, their right to life. Damn right this is worth devoting two weeks to.

    If they had funded Robert Mugabe’s anti-white landgrabs in Zimbabwe would you be asking the same questions?

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net/ Jake

     Chick-fil-A isn’t Mormon. Neither is In-N-Out Burger, which is also evangelical Christian but less publicly obnoxious.

    Novell and Marriott are Mormon, FWIW. Note that none of the companies I named other than CfA are involved in public kerfuffles over their business practices and institutional beliefs, so it’s certainly not impossible for a company to adhere firmly to a religious belief without courting controversy.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Sir Think Alot – well put.

    This seems like a case of people being in a hole continuing to dig. The Chick Fil A boycott was a well meaning but silly idea. It was, I gather, meant to express support for gays but was taken as an attack on anyone who wasn’t urban and/ or an elitist. 

    and Fred Phelps isn’t really a good analogy for anything.  He’s out on a limb somewhere that isnt even right or left and seems to exist solely to make everyone in out current ridiculous dialogue feel more moderate.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     That’s THE WHOLE POINT. If the government was going to start repressing Christians, surely they would start with the ones with the most extreme viewpoints that nobody likes – and since they haven’t, then the claims of repression are rather dubious.

    It was, I gather, meant to express support for gays but was taken as an attack on anyone who wasn’t urban and/ or an elitist.

    Only by people unable or unwilling to examine the facts. Surprised you fell for it, I am not.

  • AnonymousSam

    “Support for gays.”

    And here I thought it was because I didn’t want my money going into the hands of people who are actively hurting people through vicious lies and promotion of discrimination. I guess I should have known it was well-meaning but silly. I’ll go back to funding their domestic terrorism now.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    @Jamoche: Yeah, it’s tough. The Mars Polar Lander, the Mars Climate Orbiter, and the British Beagle 2 lander are some of the most recent failed attempts (the MCO was obviously an orbiter, of course). It’s an extremely difficult task, and that the scientists and engineers at NASA and JPL have been able to pull it off as often as they have, is a testament to their skills.

    Also, whenever people bandy about the $2.5 billion cost for the Curiosity lander, it’s important to remember also that that’s the total price tag, not an annual budget. That $2.5 billion covers costs going back to 2004. The entire planetary sciences budget is only 1.5 billion each year (an amount that President Obama wants to cut to 1.2 billion. I shudder to think of what Republicans want it reduced to).

    I do wish I lived in a country that wanted both universal healthcare and a robust science program. I know we can’t have that, because we can’t have nice things, but… at least we have a goal we can work towards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269018319 Chris McGuire

    Filmmaker takes on Westboro Baptist Church & Homophobia in hilarious new Mockumentary. Laugh! & Please Share! http://youtu.be/V-EVbB4pZ80

  • SirThinkAlot

    If they had funded Robert Mugabe’s anti-white landgrabs in Zimbabwe would you be asking the same questions?
    If I couldnt go two weeks without hearing about it every time I turned on the news.  Yes I would.  Although I would also stop eating there altogether(not that I eat there that often anyway).  

  • Ross Thompson

    No, that was stupid too.

    The problem is that you seem to see “hiring a gay person” and “working to get gays outlawed and murdered” as problems of equal magnitude. That people should express their disapproval, and then get over it, leaving the status quo as it is.

    If I couldnt go two weeks without hearing about it every time I turned on the news.  Yes I would.

    So, people should just mention bad things (mass murder, in this case) once, then shut up, rather than trying to put pressure on organizations to affect change?

  • Lori

    So you just admitted flat out that you would stop eating CFA if they supported groups with anti-white policies, but the fact that they support anti-gay policies doesn’t make you feel like you need to change your chikin buying habits at all.

    We now know everything we need to know to assess your opinion about this issue.

  • SirThinkAlot

    Who said I wasnt stopping eating at Chick-fil-A?  

  • SirThinkAlot

    So, people should just mention bad things (mass murder, in this case) once, then shut up, rather than trying to put pressure on organizations to affect change?

    I think there are more important issues than how a chicken restaurant(of all things) conducts its business.   Maybe if people showed the same level of outrage towards, for example, the use of drone strikes to blow up people on little more than the presidents say-so.  Or even towards the actual harassment and harassment of gay people that occurs in the US and elsewhere….But nope, our outrage has to be directed towards a company that makes chicken sandwiches….

  • Ross Thompson

    Maybe if people showed the same level of outrage towards, for example, the use of drone strikes to blow up people on little more than the presidents say-so.

    Ah, the good old-fashioned Outrage Olympics. We can’t do anything about this problem, because people are starving to death in Africa! And we can’t do anything about Africa, because people are being tortured in Yemen! There’s always some greater problem that can be brought up as a reason not to react to the current outrage, and so you* never react to any outrage.

    For what it’s worth, I am strongly and outspokenly opposed to all manner of outrages that the War on Terror has produced, including presidential assassinations. And I think many progressives are, but the media isn’t geared towards reporting issues that have bipartisan support amongst politicians.

    Or even towards the actual harassment and harassment of gay people that occurs in the US and elsewhere

    Yeah, if only there were some way we could protest such groups, and maybe even try and limit their funding…

    *Generic “you”; I don’t mean to imply that you’re not tirelessly working to increase awareness of the problems you identified (so long as such awareness doesn’t extend into a second week).

  • SirThinkAlot


    For what it’s worth, I am strongly and outspokenly opposed to all manner of outrages that the War on Terror has produced, including presidential assassinations. And I think many progressives are, but the media isn’t geared towards reporting issues that have bipartisan support amongst politicians.

    This is a fair point.  The media in this country is pretty terrible.  But it annoys me how people just go along with the issues the media chooses to be outraged over(see the number of people who showed up at ‘chick-fil-a day’ for example).  

    *Generic “you”; I don’t mean to imply that you’re not tirelessly working to increase awareness of the problems you identified (so long as such awareness doesn’t extend into a second week).

    I dont mind issues being pushed hard over a long time, if they are issues actually worth pushing.  I just dont think the chick-fil-a thing is.  They arent doing anything illegal, its a small amount of their money going towards these causes, and they arent the only sources of funding for these organizations.  

  • Ross Thompson

    I dont mind issues being pushed hard over a long time, if they are issues actually worth pushing.  I just dont think the chick-fil-a thing is.

    So, the problem is that other people have different opinions on which issues are worth pushing than you do? How would you feel if someone complained that they’d been hearing all about this drone-murder thing for two whole weeks, and just give it a rest already?

  • MD

    “the chuckling hordes of chicken gobblers”

    I see what you did there. It just so happens that all Chick-fil-A fryers are male chickens*, so feel free to be poultry gender-specific next time.

    *Not intended as a factual statement


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