Chik-fil-A Flustercluck: Missing links

Hey, remember that time when Christians lined up to eat chicken to defend their religious freedom?

No, not that time, the more recent one, at the beginning of this month, after legitimate Todd Akin fan Mike Huckabee declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” remember that?

Yeah, well, I didn’t ever finish linking to — or even reading — all of the sharp commentary and follow-up posts in response to CfAAD. So let’s take a trip back to those days of yesteryear, all the way back to four weeks ago, to catch up on some of the leftover links I failed to highlight earlier this month.

The anti-gay “National Organization for Marriage” was so thrilled with Huckabee’s “appreciation day” that they have urged their supporters to “make every Wednesday a Chick-fil-A Wednesday!

The funny thing about failing to link to that news sooner is that this effort already seems to have fizzled out. But then we shouldn’t underestimate the organizing power of NOM. These are the same people, after all, who boast of having toppled Starbucks and Google.

Tony Jones talked to a bunch of Chick-fil-A appreciators after their big day and found:

They don’t know any gay people. … And I think the church blew it because a lot of Christians have been able to dehumanize GLBT people; and they’ve been able to dehumanize gay people because they don’t know any gay people.

Jason Dye: 10,000. “Distinguished professor of philosophy” J.P. Moreland: 0.

(And, actually, that score makes it seem closer than it really was.)

If you think Jarred seems angry, he’d like to explain that it’s not about “seeming,” he actually is angry: “I tend to get angry when I feel that someone, anyone, is actively hurting me, people I care about, or both.”

Witnessing the Flustercluck, Richard Beck reprises this kernel of wisdom:

“Christianity” has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed “spiritual” substitute.

Sierra @ No Longer Qivering tells us what she saw at the Chik-fil-A:

This was no display of Christian love. This was no humble stand for the truth. This was an act of spite. Bloated, aggressive spite, rooted in pride and void of compassion.

I would invite my fellow evangelicals not to react to that as an argument or as a political statement. Consider Sierra’s post a theater review.

On August 1, American Christians put on a show. The reviews are in — hundreds of thousands of them. And Sierra’s is pretty representative.

This is what the audience thought of the show. That’s not the sound of applause.

For weeks now, the cast of that show has been insisting that the audience just didn’t understand. The cast disagrees with all of the reviewers: they misunderstood the play, or they failed to grasp its true deeper meaning, or they just stubbornly refused to appreciate the subtle nuances of the performance.

I understand this impulse. I’ve been in some real clunkers myself. But the cast, the playwright and the director don’t get to correct the audience.

Well, they can do that. The cast can sit around all they want complaining about how obtuse, uncomprehending and unappreciative the audience was. That may give the cast something to do during all the free time they’ll have the following weekend now that the show has closed as a flop.

But here’s another option: The cast could get out of costume, take a seat in the house and see how this show looks from out there.

That’s Eric Reitan’s suggestion:

What they see within the walls leads them to unwittingly support injustice, to magnify human suffering and alienation without ever seeing that this is the consequence of what they do. From behind the walls, given what they see, it looks like goodness.

My job, then — and the job of those who see what I see — is not to call the owners of Chick-fil-A and those who support them evil or hateful or bad. Our job is to help them see the walls, and then to help hoist them up to look beyond.

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  • Vermic

    Flustercluck is best pony.

  • Vermic

    Also, dang, CfAAD was only a month ago, and it seems like forever already.

    It’s interesting to contrast CfAAD alongside Occupy Wall Street.  The former, a big media splash for a few days, then not much — itself the political-movement equivalent of fast food.  The latter started quietly, but kept on for months, always present.

    Between both cases, the methods of demonstration were as opposite to one another as the viewpoints being demonstrated.  There are probably some salient insights to be drawn from comparing the two (by someone more insightful than me, at least).

  • It’s interesting to contrast CfAAD alongside Occupy Wall Street.  The former, a big media splash for a few days, then not much — itself the political-movement equivalent of fast food.  The latter started quietly, but kept on for months, always present.

    The latter was a cause.  The former was a tantrum.  It’s hard to devote oneself to a tantrum.

  • Tricksterson

    And how much attention is being pad to OWS now?

  • I believe Vermic’s point was that OWS was a movement with a lifespan measurable in months.  CfAAD was a single day of foot-stomping (and face-stuffing).  OWS is no longer an active concern, but it’s had an effect on the public consciousness that reverberates to this day.  Who will remember CfAAD a year from now?

  • Vermic

    Yes, I was unclear in my original post but that was my intended point.  Whatever the ultimate long-term impacts of CfAAD vs. OWS (and they may well be comparable, i.e. not much), there is at any rate a significant difference in how they were conducted.  In the long run, in the push-and-pull for social change, there’s something to be said for those who can keep it up longer than the duration of a drive-thru visit.

    EDIT: Maybe one of the side effects of having privilege is the belief that you shouldn’t have to work hard to retain it.

  • Kirala

    Apropos of nothing – does anyone know the significance of the numbers at the end of the post? I’ve been noticing them and wondering for a while now.

  • There wasn’t any attention paid to Occupy for a couple of weeks when it started either. They went from invisible to spoiled college students to union thugs to vicious druggies to invisible again after police bulldozed their sites.*

    *This summary is biased, but so was the coverage of Occupy, when the media deigned to eventually notice them.

  • JustoneK

    What numbers now?

  • Jenny Islander

    Nobody has made the obvious pun yet?  The headlines almost write themselves!

  • How many times the post has been shared on (from left to right) facebook, twitter, email, any number of things linked to the share button, and google+, using the buttons below the numbers.

  • Madhabmatics

     It’s how many people used each service to repost the article. 5 people reposted on facebook, etc.

  • Joshua

    A coded message from Fred to his Soviet Masters.

  • AnonymousSam

    I want Soviet masters! Where does one find them nowadays?

  • Tricksterson

    YOU TOLD! 

  • Joshua

    I think you need to have kept the old ones. Although Putin’s doing his best.

  • PJ Evans

     They’re still seen by some people (generally conservative) as dirty hippies, even when the group said conservative is looking at is grey-haired, clean, wearing clothes that aren’t tie-dyed or rags.

  • PJ Evans

    My local CfA has attendance that’s gone back to its usual level, although this evening there was some kind of charter bus outside it – the only thing I could read on the side of the bus was VIDEO.

  • Lori

      But then we shouldn’t underestimate the organizing power of NOM. These
    are the same people, after all, who boast of having toppled Starbucks
    and Google.

    Don’t forget their bus tours in favor of “protecting” marriage. Why tens of people showed up and every stop, some of whom weren’t protestors.

  • Loki100

    Reading these articles, I am gripped by a seething rage wanting me to respond to comments almost a month old. It is incredibly difficult not to write a vicious screed towards J.P. Moreland.

  • Kirala

    Thanks to those who answered my question re: the numbers. On my home computer, it’s blindingly obvious; on my work computer, with its ancient version of IE, it’s just a string of plain text numbers without context, and I was getting puzzled.

  • Joshua

    Ack. The horror, the horror.

    When IE is the answer, you’ve asked the wrong question.

    I write web applications for a living. IE makes my left eye twitch.

  • Ross Thompson

  • hagsrus

     Hmm. Well, I use Firefox and am often frustrated by the way text sometimes distorts and overlaps (no idea why). Things like submit and capcha buttons sometimes disappear. I used to have to look at it the problem pages in IE, but now Chrome fills the gap.

    I’d consider switching to Chrome if it could match the various FF add-ons which have become indispensable to me. It does have a few, but last time I checked by no means all.

  • Joshua

    Yes, I’ve heard of that before. We passed it around among us at work, with much cheering. What a good idea.

  • Joshua

    I use Chrome myself for preference, although I have FF and IE installed on my work laptop. I keep it to a very thin list of well-supported add-ons, mainly to preserve stability and keep it easy to find the cause when I encounter a problem. Also, best way to mimic customer experience.

  • erikagillian

     What happened to OWS in my tiny mountain town of 5000 very nice conservative people is the meetings turned into people deciding to do things for different causes, I believe most of them are working on something. 

    My mother did a bunch of stuff to get the county to stop foreclosures here, which I believed mostly worked.  She’s now trying to get people interested in public banking.  There’s another who’s helping run community gardens.  I know someone was trying to get the local superintendent of schools changed.  I’m not remembering more off the top of my head but there were more. 

    I have no idea if this happened anywhere else but it is possible, once you learn you can change things, and in OWS you’d hear of all kinds of things that need activism.

  • Crap! I got 10,000 points and nobody bothered to send the trophy in the mail?

    Maybe it’s lost in congressional bullshit maneuvers to hurt the African American working class…. Oh well, I’ll be sitting by the mail slot patiently.