Well, this ought to stir the Arkies up.

My hometown newspaper just ran this editorial.

 If, in 2008, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had possessed the sort of influence evident by the overwhelming national response to his “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” initiative Aug. 1, he might have become president.

Reacting to the gay marriage controversy stemming from remarks by Dan Cathy, president of the fast-food restaurant chain, Huckabee urged those who share the “traditional values” held by the company’s management to show support by eating at a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

The turnout was greater than many imagined. But then so was the original furor, which, frankly, looks a lot like an ambush.

Chick-fil-A was incubated in Atlanta by Truett Cathy, Dan Cathy’s father, who delivered the chicken sandwich to the fast-food industry. Anyone who knows anything about the elder Cathy knows he is a deeply religious man. Even those who know nothing about the origin of the restaurant or the beliefs of its founder might have noticed that Chick-fil-A restaurants — all of them — are closed on Sundays, which should be a strong hint that there’s a matter of faith involved in closing when one’s competition is open.

Recently, a writer for Baptist Press, a news service dedicated to Christian Baptist news, wrote a profile of Dan Cathy and the company’s adherence to biblical principals — and belief in the biblical definition of the family unit.

It’s not as though Dan Cathy actively declared war on homosexuality. It was a passive affirmation of a Christian value system that has guided the Cathy family and its chicken empire since long before the business was hatched.

The reaction has been an interesting study in sociology. There are those on both sides of “the issue,” although what’s at the center of the maelstrom isn’t quite clear. Is the conflict over Christian/traditional/conservative beliefs? Is it about gay marriage? Is it about free speech? Is it — forgive us — a clever campaign to get folks to “eat mor chikin?” …

No, we suspect that the criticism of Chick-fil-A struck a raw nerve in people whose embrace of conservative values mirrors that of the Cathy family, and who have gotten a bit weary with attacks on Christianity, whether real or imagined. Couple that with our stubborn resistance to the inference that one cannot freely speak one’s mind, an organized day of support and the opportunity to buy a fine fried chicken dinner, and we’ll turn up in droves.

— Dothan (Ala.) Eagle

My dad responded…

Freedom of speech. The only conceivable infringement of Mr. Cathy’s freedom of speech was the threat by an insignificant Chicago alderman to prevent Chick-fil-a from opening a store in his ward. Mr. Cathy has the freedom of speech to say exactly what he said over and over again as many times and in as many places as he chooses to say it.
The waffle fry gobblers just don’t want anyone else to have the freedom of speech to disagree with or to criticize Mr. Cathy’s opinions. If people use their freedom of speech to criticize what Mr. Cathy said and to propose others criticize it with their pocketbook, then the gobblers want to paint Mr. Cathy as a freedom of speech martyr. He isn’t.

The reaction isn’t just about what Mr.Cathy said, it is also about who he FUNDS.  Chick-fil-a has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, some of whom want criminal sanctions against homosexuals and support reparative therapy which every mainstream medical and psychological professional organization has recognized as harmful. These groups also lobby for institutionalized homophobia by promoting laws that deny equal rights under the law to LGBTs. You might notice this article makes absolutely no mention of the officially designated hate group and other anti-gay groups that Chick-fil-a funds.

Anyone is naive who thinks that is an accidental omission in this article instead of an omission designed to paint an untrue picture of what this issue is about.
The article is totally wrong when it says, “It’s not as though Dan Cathy actively declared war on homosexuality.” That is exactly what Mr. Cathy has done, and trying to whitewash that by labeling it “promoting Christian/traditional/conservative beliefs” doesn’t change that ugly truth.

It is about AMERICAN values, not “traditional Christian” values. It is about “All men are created equal [under the law]“. Innocently proclaiming the Ku Klux Klan is just promoting traditional Southern values is a very lame cover for discrimination against Blacks…..exactly like innocently proclaiming Cathy is just promoting traditional values is an equally lame cover for promoting discrimination against gays.

I understand that the Bible considers homosexuality to be a sin. However, I guarantee the Bible doesn’t say homosexuals shouldn’t have the equal rights and privileges of every single other American citizen. The outcry against Chick-fil-a is an outcry against his support of legalized discrimination. Not that Chick-fil-a discriminates, but that it financially supports groups that DO support discrimination.

Let’s make a small effort to be honest. The eat-in isn’t support for traditional Christian values; it is support for keeping homosexuals as second class citizens in a country dedicated to the proposition that All Men Are Created Equal.

Believers of this stripe, who are fans of the commandment against bearing false witness, don’t seem to mind so much when it’s a convenient lie for them.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.