What Chick-Fil-A appreciation day meant

There is much to be said about what happened at Chick-Fil-A yesterday.  The first, and most obvious, is that those willing to drop money to deny equal rights to others, whether it’s to an anti-gay hate group or on a sandwich made by a company they know supports a hate group, are not compassionate.  This is a fact so conspicuous I can hardly believe it must be voiced.  The idea of compassionately denying someone equality is ridiculous and cowardly.  Cowardly because it’s an attempt to dodge the social consequences of expending effort explicitly to negatively impact the lives of others by calling it love.  Causing harm to others is simply not what compassionate people do. 

It’s reminiscent of every other hate movement populated by the faithful throughout the years.

As Blair Scott said: “Same people.  Different decade.”  Love of god didn’t remove the mote that kept them from seeing inequality then, and it has become no more useful since.  Those claiming Christianity as the solution to hate in our world are, ironically, so often eager to prove that faith does not inoculate against hatred.  In fact, by their frequent example, faith is often hate’s decisive ingredient.

And Jesus Fictional Christ, the excuses.  They’ll tell us we don’t have the right to not be offended, as if that is anywhere on our list of gripes.  It’s about the harm done to others for no good reason.  It’s like segregating the water fountains inside your restaurants and telling us we don’t have the right to not be offended.  Offense isn’t even on the radar.

Christina hit the nail on the head yesterday.  When referring to the response of the population at large to stop giving any money to a company that supports a hate group, the other thing the bigots will do is bleat about suppression of free speech.

Bear in mind, these are the same people protesting Oreo cookies on account of supporting marriage equality.  As I said earlier, if religion didn’t have the effect of producing blindness of almost every intellectual stripe (including an immense blind spot for personal hypocrisy), things would be a lot easier here on earth.

The defense is that Dan Cathy was merely stating an opinion – namely that he supports biblical values.  That’s like the KKK saying they are merely stating an opinion – namely that they support Southern values.  How does it not occur to these people that their values can be terrible, traditional or not?  Vile opinions that value discrimination and/or hate are not “mere.”  They are anathema to humanity.  For those possessed by true compassion for others, not the mealy-mouthed “compassion” of those giddy to display their lack of empathy for others in the name of Jesus, we should ensure that those who actively oppose the well-being of others, as expressed in their opinions, become pariahs.

It has nothing to do with their free speech.  Dan Cathy remains free to say what he wants.  But when you use that freedom to express an opinion that a significant portion of the population are second class citizens, and when you spend an exorbitant amount of money not on feeding the starving or housing the poor, but on fostering a world where millions of good people are denied equal rights, you have set yourself against humankind by the vehicle of not only your opinions, but also your actions.  You cannot be shocked when humankind shuns you as it is the only moral thing to do.

Beliefs have consequences.  They should not be dismissed as tawdry opinion the moment they are examined.  We should care about the validity of our opinions.  They should be the product of research, reason, and compassion, not a substitute for them.  This is why religion draws so much of my rancor – it tells us what’s important is that we believe something, not the reliability of the methods we used to reach the belief.

Mostly, I have a deep well of pity for any gay employees of Chick-Fil-A.  It was wave after wave of people who thought those employees were an abomination – order after order, customer after customer.  I cannot imagine what it must’ve been like to look each one of those customers in the eye and see how blithely they hate you.  I don’t care to even wonder how it must’ve felt to serve people who smiled at the chance to spend money to make you a second-class citizen.  I could not have said, “Have a nice day” through clenched teeth to even one of them.  Those employees did it all day.

To all you people tripping over yourselves to eat at Chick-Fil-A yesterday, here is the bottom line.  You are liars.  You are just as dishonest as Dan Cathy.  It’s not about protecting Cathy’s freedom of speech, since that is clearly under no assault.  It’s about keeping equality from those you dislike.  It’s about keeping the gays under foot, and most of you don’t have the tiny sum of requisite courage to admit it, while at the same time assuring us how proud you are to be Christians.  You are not compassionate.  In fact, you gathered together on a single day to unite under the banner of discrimination.  Compassion, for you, is only a word; useful as a rug under which to sweep actions that are hostile to empathy in every way.

Each and every one of you is a bad person.  And though you come from different backgrounds, there is a single, manifest commonality amongst you.  Almost all of you subscribe to a faith you believe is the very mother of compassion.  You are the living proof that Christianity doesn’t do shit to grow morality or kindness in anybody’s heart.  You are the most compulsory evidence that Jesus does not stave off hatred – in fact, by your example, faith in Jesus seems to empower that which makes us less than human.

I have no reservation about loathing you as I loathe all things malicious to humanity.  History will do the same.

  • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    It’s like some sort of unholy alignment of bigotry, Tea Party values, and fried fast food.

    What next? Will Chick-Fil-A become an official wing (sic) of the Republican Party? Will Fox News open a fast food chain? Will churches serve communion chicken?

    • PatrickG

      an official wing (sic)

      +1 internetz

  • The Lorax

    Well.. shit dude.. warn me next time you bust those guns out.. I’m not even Christian and I felt that like a punch to the gut.

    May I also say, I agree with the sentiment regarding Chick-Fil-A’s homosexual employees. I fancy myself pretty good when it comes to imagination, but I cannot, cannot, fathom how they must feel right now. To any of you out there, my most heart-felt sympathies.

  • fastlane

    I saw a good pic floating around various fb feeds that showed a crowd lined up outside Cfa, and the caption: “You’d have a hard time getting this many xians to help out at a soup kitchen or charity, which are things Jesus actually said to do.”

    • StevoR

      ^ That. Yes. A thousand times yes.

  • Lauren F

    Those last three paragraphs sum up exactly how I’m feeling today.

  • magistramarla

    Bravo! You put into words what so many of us have been feeling.
    I was depressed at this news yesterday. It makes me worry. If they are so organized in getting people out to support their bigotry, I can’t help but wonder if they will be this organized in getting those bigots out to vote in November?
    We really need to get this organized at getting progressives and liberals out to vote.

  • Jim

    I think you meant “conspicuous” not “inconspicuous” in the first paragraph.

    • http://twitter.com/V2Blast V2Blast

      Nope. It’s a fact so obvious he can’t believe he needs to spell it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Volizden stephenfullerton

    While Chick-fil-A celebrates one day of record sales, it’s worth noting that there may be lasting effects that aren’t quite so positive. According to the polling organization YouGov, Chick-fil-A’s brand approval ratings have plummeted in the wake of the media firestorm. According to its data, the company’s overall consumer brand health among fast food eaters has dropped to its lowest levels since mid-August 2010.

  • Richard

    But I am also troubled by politicians like the mayor of Boston and the alderman of Chicago threatening to deny Chick-Fil-A the right to build there based on Dan Cathy’s free speech. I think that such political moves provide a convenient straw man for these religious bigots to knock down. A talkshow host at Salt Lake City’s holier-than-thou radio station, KSL, was fond of mentioning these politicians’ threats as an excuse to support Chick-Fil-A.

    • http://www.facebook.com/using.reason usingreason

      What’s troubling about Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco is that while they are busy trying to get in the press on the Chick-fil-A issue their cities are full of institutions denying rights to LGBT people and women; they are called churches. Maybe they should walk the walk and dump the talk.

    • M Groesbeck

      What if the pressure to keep CFA out of the towns were due to a history of discriminatory corporate culture, poor ethics, and extensive support for hate groups? Oh, wait, I forgot — that all counts as “free speech” as long as the right-wingers insist that only “opinions” are the motive behind anti-bigotry actions.

  • http://deep-friedfreethinkers.blogspot.com/ Nathan Piccolo
  • Rich

    JT:

    Context for your readers first: I am a believer (as in, “believer in Jesus Christ”). I DO believe that the Bible is clear regarding homosexuality. Having said that, I was not one of those who felt comfortable using a lunch purchase as a proof of faith on Wednesday. I know (and love) many LGBT who would be irrepperably (sic) hurt and my Christian witness to them ruined if they had seen me flaunting pictures of a chicken sandwich on Facebook. I believe that I am mature enough to be able to see several chess moves down the road from that action, and I know that it would do more harm than good. Having said that, allow me to speak to a completely different side of this issue… one that concerns me more than the possibility of having my own personal beliefs called “bigoted” and “hate-filled.”

    I have kept silent while people that I love deeply (on BOTH sides of this issue) have said hurtful, many times ignorant, things to- and about- one another. I think what saddens me the most about this is that it reveals (yet again) just how angry and fractured we are as a culture. The fact that very few people seem to be able to simply sit down and have an actual discussion without resorting to pithy remarks or put-downs is deeply concerning to me.

    Truth be told, I am wrestling with what MY response SHOULD be. I agree with fastlane that most of the folks who waited hours in line on Wednesday would never darken the doors of a food kitchen or donate money and time to something that would truly make a difference to humanity. And all of the hateful speech on both sides has been enough that I’ve seriously considered not looking at my Facebook page for a while until it dies down. All of the vitriol has taken a toll…

    I am well aware that many will think that I am spineless because I am not really defending or condemning either side. I am also well aware that this post will be lambasted as being “hypocritical.” However, I feel strongly that there are deep wounds in our country and very few people who truly want to see them healed. We have become a people who are so intent on winning our militant argument at any cost that we have lost much of the humanity that we say we love so much…

    I apologize if I have said anything to offend, but this has been on my heart all week. I haven’t posted in on my Facebook page because I know that it would further fuel the firestorm, and (quite frankly) I want to keep my page as hate-free as possible…

    • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      I DO believe that the Bible is clear regarding homosexuality.

      The Bible is equally clear regarding fabrics of mixed wool and linen. Also, not eating shellfish. Do you observe those rules? Or do you only observe the one about homosexuality because you, personally, find it so “icky” it is easy for you to condemn?

      Wrestling with what your response should be is natural. It is because you’re trying to work out the moral action to take. The Biblical code requires you to act in a manner that you are coming to realize doesn’t match your own personal convictions and personal standards of morality.

      • Rich

        Actually, Zinc, I find most shellfish to be much more “icky” than homosexuality…

        Just to be clear, that was a joke… :)

        • roland72

          Answer the question. Do you eat shellfish? Do you wear mixed-fibre clothes? The Bible bans these activities.

          If you do eat shellfish or wear mixed fibres, why do you feel free to ignore the explicit instructions of the Bible on these points?

          These are serious, not jokey, questions, and they deserve a serious answer.

        • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          Don’t worry, we do jokes too!

          But you’re kinda heading towards my point here. You have your Biblical code telling you homosexuality is wrongbadevil, but you have your modern sense of morality telling you that discrimination is bad.

          I’m just trying to point out that the Bible contains many instructions of equal weight that you pay not a jot of attention to, so why should this one be the one that causes you to go against your own sense of right and wrong? Why aren’t families tearing apart under the strain when one of them insists on wearing mixed-fabric clothes? Why aren’t there laws being passed preventing the sale of mixed fabrics? Why aren’t churches organizing a mass eat-in at McDonalds in support of their lack of shellfish on the menu?

          Why do churches make so much noise about this, and not a peep about that? Why do you feel you should stay quiet, when you know this issue hurts real people you care about?

          You’re more moral than your Bible, and you’re far more moral than someone who picks a single instruction out of the Bible, ignoring so many others, just because it’s “icky”, and discriminates while bleating loudly about Christianity and love.

      • petejohn

        And it’s also very clear about boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk.

        http://bible.cc/exodus/23-19.htm

    • hexidecima

      Rich, So, was the bible “clear” when it was speaking about women too? That we have to be silent, that we can’t teach men, that we are only property? Hmm, that we should be forced to marry our rapists? That we are “unclean” when we menstruate? How about people of other religions, that they should be killed if they dare try to convert you to their religion? How many people who work on the “sabbath” have you stoned to death? Will you try to excuse your inaction by claiming that JC didn’t say to do so? Hmmm, not even when he said follow *all* of his father’s commandments, not just the ones that Christians like to pick and choose?

      You don’t love anyone but your delusion that some old collection of books is right and right in only they way *you* interpret it. Your beliefs are bigoted and hatefilled, when you advocate for a religion that is also bigoted and hate-filled. You want to have your own version of the bible and of god that agrees with *you*. You want to shove the issue under a rug, so piously claiming that you feel there are more important things, that no one but you “truly want to see (deep wounds) healed”. I do find you spineless and indeed part of the problem. Your supposed “tolerance” is nothing more than saying that gay people, and indeed anyone who doesn’t agree with your primitive phobic religion should shut up and sit down because you don’t want to actually stand up for anything.

      • Rich

        hexi:

        I’m sorry that you feel that way about me without even knowing anything about me or my heart. Perhaps I didn’t explain my views effectively… I WILL say that if you truly want to know what kind of person I am, JT knows me well enough that he could probably let you know if I am a “pious” person or not (along with any other personality traits that you may have ascribed to me).

        Again, I apologize if what I said offended you (or anyone else on this site, for that matter)… I was attempting to bring to light my personal concerns rather than write something that has already been discussed…

        • hexidecima

          Rich, I know a fair amount about you by your own words. I know your excuses for your actions, that you believe in a ridiculous set of myths, etc etc. So don’t give me that nonsense that I “don’t know you or your heart”. And you showed your views quite well.

          Let’s see “I DO believe that the Bible is clear regarding homosexuality.” “I have kept silent while people that I love deeply (on BOTH sides of this issue) have said hurtful, many times ignorant, things to- and about- one another.” “Truth be told, I am wrestling with what MY response SHOULD be.” “However, I feel strongly that there are deep wounds in our country and very few people who truly want to see them healed. We have become a people who are so intent on winning our militant argument at any cost that we have lost much of the humanity that we say we love so much…”

          So, you do believe your what your bible says, that homosexuals should be killed and/or deserve death. So much for your claims of love, Rich. And look up the definition of “pious” Rich, it means religious aka a theist. another definition is “making a hypocritical display of virtue” which would fit too since you want to be so very correct in your religion but of course don’t answer my other questions to you about if you think the bible is right about everything it says. Nice dodge there, Rich. Cat got your tongue? Can’t admit that your bible is only what you pick and choose to match your personal hatred and desires and that no god is involved?

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      Having said that, allow me to speak to a completely different side of this issue… one that concerns me more than the possibility of having my own personal beliefs called “bigoted” and “hate-filled.”

      I’m very sorry, Rich, but your personal beliefs *are* bigoted and hate-filled. I know you don’t feel like they are, and I appreciate that you struggle with this, but you cannot nicely deny people the same rights as anyone else. You cannot kindly say that their relationships are invalid because you read in a book that an unknown, unknowable creature is really, truly out there and feels very strongly that this is the case.

      Obviously, I think the best option is to give up superstition all together, but if you insist on trying to reconcile your faith with abandoning bigotry, I suggest reading John Shore or Fred Clark (Slacktavist on Patheos)’s blogs for some perspective on why they can be evangelicals and not tolerate anti-gay bigotry.

      Or you can listen to JT and leave behind all those nonsensical things that do more harm than good. Then you won’t have to worry about when what you know to be the right thing to do inevitably conflicts with the dubious will of a being who has gone to great lengths to hide from his own creations.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Rich is a close friend of mine. I’d go so far as to say I love him.

      His statement about the bible and homosexuality is fair game, and Rich very much knows how I feel about this issue. It would be enough to nullify any friendship with him were he not such a good person otherwise. As most of you know, this is one of the primary reasons I hate religion so: it’s ability to make good people believe horrible things.

      That being said, Rich was not at CFA Wednesday. He is, in fact, one of the Christians you’ll find at a soup kitchen. He is a person who, despite his errors on this issue, makes the world a better place on the whole. I hope that buys him measured rage in responses rather than ballistic rage.

      JT

      • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

        Thanks for the heads up, but I think we’re playing pretty nice. He seemed like an upfront guy, not a troll. I feel bad that somebody who clearly wants to be a good person is stuck with these terrible beliefs.

        I hope you and Rich will understand, though, that when people point out that despite his intentions his beliefs are still objectively bigoted, it’s mostly in the hope that he’ll understand that that belief is monstrous and unworthy of human beings who genuinely want to be good.

      • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        Perhaps you might ask him to guest-post about it, with a little more preparation time to get his thoughts in order instead of an off-the-cuff comment.

        Every other response from a Christian that doesn’t support Chick-Fil-A begins and ends with No True Scotsman, and he didn’t do that. He acknowledges the conflict and the uncertainty and confusion he’s experiencing, and this seems like something we (and he) could learn from.

        • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

          ^^^ What he said.

      • vel

        Then, JT, you love a person who thinks homosexuals should be killed or at the least deserves death. It’s unfortunately that basic a problem. He may be at soup kitchens. Is ministering to a few, enough to excuse what amounts to an approval of genocide?

        I do like the idea of a guest post from Rich.

    • Ken

      No. This is a call for maintaining the status quo. “Why cant we all just stop fighting.” “Don’t rock the boat.” Sorry, the fight is a good, moral fight. The boat needs rocking.

      The status quo is a situation where the majority is using the government to discriminate against a minority. The hateful Christians (and Muslims and Jews and whoever else want to continue to discriminate against LGBT people) are very happy with people like Rich. They help to maintain the current state of inequality.

      There are two sides to this. Those who want to keep the current discrimination in place, and those who wish for equality.

      Rich has chosen his side, and it is the side of hate and bigotry.

    • NotAProphet

      Rich, I’m not going to call you spineless, but I do find myself wondering what sort of decent person maintains silence if they believe the actions of another are going to condemn them to a posthumous eternity of torment? Likewise, what sort of decent person maintains silence while seeing people receiving the kind of hatred, on account of their sexuality, that has caused so many before to be driven to taking their own lives?

      There is indeed a rift, not just in your country but in most of the world. How do you think that rift would be best healed, if everyone just shut up and maintained the status quo that relegated some citizens to second-class status on the basis of their sexuality? If all the icky gays stayed hidden? If all the hate just flowed one way? There is no middle ground here Rich, equal is equal, so where is the room for compromise? It wasn’t ok to give people of colour identical but separate drinking fountains; it wouldn’t have been ok to give women a fraction of a vote each, or have them vote in separate elections; how is it ok to deny a loving couple equal rights on the grounds of their gender.

      I applaud you for being one of the Christians who gets out there and tries to help those less privileged than yourself. I just hope you can see your way to extending that humanity even to those human beings that your bronze-age story-book says are icky. Remember, as good as we may be, we are always judged by our worst actions (or inaction).

    • CASANDRA LOVE

      DO WHAT I DID. I POSTED ONE FINAL THOUGHT AND ANNOUNCED THAT I WOULD NO LONGER ADDRESS THE ISSUE. IT’S THE BEST AND MOST MORAL THING TO DO ON BOTH SIDES BECAUSE IT IS NOT CONSTRUCTIVE. IT IS NOT TANTAMOUNT TO THE REPARATIONS WE SO SEEK WITHIN OURSELVES AND SOCIETY. I REALLY BELIEVE JESUS WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING AND JUST CONTINUED HIS WORK OF FULLFILLING BIBLE PROPHECY AND PERFORMING MIRACLES, TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT GOD’S KINGDOM IN HEAVEN. I THINK HE WOULD HAVE DENOUNCED EVERYONE STANDING IN LINE FOR USING HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN IN SUCH A GRATUITOUS AND AGGREGIOUS MANNER. THE INCREDULOUS CROWD WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT HIM IN DISGUST AND CALLED HIM NAMES OR IGNORED HIM TOTALLY. I THINK HE WOULD HAVE WALKED INTO THAT CHICK- FIL-A AND TRIED TO TEACH PEOPLE A MESSAGE OF KINDNESS, COMPASSION, AND PEACE AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT FOR BEING A LIBERAL OR GAY WHEN HE TRULY WASN’T. THEN HE WOULD HAVE TURNED TO THE THREE CASHIERS SERVING IN SILENCE TO QUICKLY LEAVE THE BUILDING AS SOON AS THEY COULD. AND NOT LOOK BACK. ONLY ONE WOULD HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO ACTUALLY DO IT–THE OTHER TWO WOULD MAKE UP SOME EXCUSE THAT THEY NEEDED THE HOURS OR SOMEONE COULDN’T COVER THEIR SHIFT. BUT ONE. ONE PERSON ESCAPED. THEN JESUS WOULD HAVE RAZED THE BUILDING TO THE GROUND. EITHER THE EARTH WOULD HAVE OPENED UP AND SWALLOWED IT OR IT WOULD HAVE RAINED FLAMING ROCKS AT THE BUILDING AND THE CROWD UNTIL IT CEASED TO EXIST. THEN THE ONE THAT ESCAPED WOULD BE DIVINELY INSPIRED TO DOCUMENT THE INCIDENT AS A LESSON TO ALL WHO USE RELIGION RATHER THAN LEARN FROM RELIGION PUT THAT IN YOUR BIBLE AND BEGIN A NEW RELIGION. ONE THAT ALL CAN SHARE AND BE UPLIFTED BY…ONE THAT DOESN’T SEGREGATE OR ALIENATE ONE THAT WILL MAKE ME “BELIEVE AGAIN”.

      LOL, THEN CHICK-FIL-A WILL COLLECT THE INSURANCE MONEY AND BUILD ANOTHER FASTFOOD CHAIN EXACTLY WHERE THE LAST ONE STOOD AND DENY THAT THE INCIDENT EVER HAPPEND… JUST SAYIN’.

      • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

        I got you this.

        That’s how far you’d have to move your little finger in order to not be dismissed out of hand as a loony.

      • NotAProphet

        Poe’s Law strikes again!

    • brianpansky

      Rick, I think I can agree that certain forms of conduct are troubling. Our culture is nasty that way, and it would be nice to have reasonable discussion.

      SO why am I having a familiar difficulty with your post? I think this is where I am annoyed.

      “Having said that, allow me to speak to a completely different side of this issue”

      You say “this issue”. I dissagree. I think a lot of people (like Ken I think said your post comes off as being “don’t rock the boat, just stay quiet”) take your word that you are talking about this issue. I don’t think you are talking about this issue.

      You are talking about general principles of reasonable discourse. I think they merit their own conversation. I understand that this recent activity has alerted you to this problem, however I think that (when you associate this general problem with this specific controversy) it comes off wrong.

      I also am unsure as to what qualifies as insult etc. Examples would have helped this look legitimate.

      As it stands (from both the general/specific mixup, and also the lack of examples), I am troubled by your post.

      The general/specific mixup makes it seem like you are only saying this because you dissagree on the specific issue, rather than the general problem.

      The lack of examples makes it seem like you *might* ignorantly think valid criticism is automatically insulting, which is anti-intellectual.

      Point out specific things you would like to have corrected, and why. It will help your position on the general problem.

    • Drakk

      You know, everyone else seems to have addressed what’s wrong with this, but this little bit jumped out at me:

      I know (and love) many LGBT who would be irrepperably (sic) hurt and my Christian witness to them ruined if they had seen me flaunting pictures of a chicken sandwich on Facebook.

      Aside from this having undertones of “I’m not a bigot, I have gay friends”, it also seems to imply that (part of) the reason you didn’t join in CFA appreciation day is because it might make said people less likely to believe your bullshit.

      I can honestly say that attitude disgusts me.

      • brianpansky

        Ya, basically translates:
        “I know (and love) many LGBT who would be irrepperably hurt and my Christian witness to them ruined (oh no! someone think of the christian whitness!) if they had seen my true loyalties (which override my love)”

        Not just deceptive. This basically means he would have gone (and was there in spirit) but was aware of consequences.

        “pictures of a chicken sandwich on Facebook… would do more harm than good”

        this means that he thinks supporting chick-fil-A would have done some good.

        If he would have gone, that is just as wrong as actually going (except no evidence of donation). How would he like those few sentences he wrote posted on his facebook? As much as the picture of the chicken sandwich?

    • Uncle Glenny

      The fact that very few people seem to be able to simply sit down and have an actual discussion without resorting to pithy remarks or put-downs is deeply concerning to me.

      I am what I am. My existence as such should not be a topic for discussion, no matter how ostensibly polite.

      Go fk yourself.

  • Chris

    Very well written piece, JT. I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, if you could climb into the minds of those who showed up to eat chicken yesterday, you would see people who sincerely (for the most part) thought they were doing something moral and good. They simply are incapable of equating their actions with those of their anti-civil rights’ counterparts many decades ago. In both cases, what makes it so easy to hate and discriminate is the belief that the reviled population is not human, but evil. The irony is, I wouldn’t even call these people promoting the suppression of human rights evil. They are naive. Uneducated. Misinformed. Small-minded… but not genuinely evil. They will only change when somebody they really care for turns out to be a victim of the very discrimination they advocate. Even then, it takes time.

    When you’ve lived a lie and believed in a lie for most of your life because of your upbringing, it’s hard to recognize truth anymore. Fortunately, you and others keep trying to tell them. I pray to the FSM they will realize the error of their ways one day. Ha.

    • petejohn

      …And that’s what’s so damn scary about “evil.” You can do it while thinking, with your whole heart, that you’re actually doing a good thing. That scares me.

  • https://twitter.com/RealityEnthused Reality Enthusiast

    I take some comfort in knowing a significant portion of the homophobes who showed up to support Chick-fil-a will have posted about it on Facebook and other social media using their real names. Unlike the racists photographed in Arkansas at the 1959 anti-integration protest, today’s bigots will be much easier to identify in fifty years. Generation after generation will look back at them in shame. And the same internet records their descendents will use to identify them will also nullify the typical excuses that “it was a different time” and “they didn’t know better”. They were told better. Repeatedly. In public.

  • Richard

    I don’t go out of my way to offend, but I believe that anyone who would deny a certain group of people equal rights for no good reason is a bigot. And religion is the worst of all possible reasons.

  • http://thecyberneticatheist.blogspot.com/ RW Ahrens

    This is a great post. I might write about this on my blog and point more readers this way to get a much better written essay on the subject than I am likely to do.

    Thanks!

    • http://faehnri.ch/ faehnrich

      Uhh… Is this comment spam? Sounds kinda vague.

      • http://twitter.com/V2Blast V2Blast

        Nah, I think it’s just generic praise. Can be hard to tell the difference sometimes…

  • Kryten

    For a very clear, well-written, and touching piece on this, see http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288.

    The writer makes the point that this is not just about same-sex marriage. It’s about something much worse: Chik-fil-A’s support of organizations which work toward criminalization of homosexuality and (in some parts of the world) execution of homosexuals.

  • http://faehnri.ch/ faehnrich

    Nothing says, “I hate gays” like shoving some meaty cock in your mouth.

    • MattP

      And with that my quote file grows yet again. Many thanks.

    • JustKat

      Had to laugh at that…

    • http://twitter.com/V2Blast V2Blast

      Jon Stewart did a great segment on this on Wednesday.

      • PatrickG

        “Spread apart two buttery buns and fill your mouth with cock”. If you haven’t seen it, be prepared for abdominal pain from laughing.

  • Randomfactor

    I’m planning on eating at Chick-fil-a relatively soon.

    I plan to celebrate there the day that DOMA is finally overturned. Plan to tell them WHY I’m celebrating, too.

    Until then…no.

    • invivoMark

      Unfortunately, I think the minimum-wage high school counter-jockeys won’t give a butt what you tell them you’re buying the meal for.

    • http://peopleofpublictransport.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      They don’t just support discriminatory legislation in the US.

      The “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda is a direct result of the actions of organizations Chick-Fil-A donate to. So you’ll just be financing hate in countries where they have even less protection of law.

  • Eileen

    A mention on the ‘Traditional Values’ thing.

    In Ireland, there’s a millennia old ‘tradition’ of sacrificing a man in order to make the harvests better.

    In England, there’s a centuries old ‘tradition’ of dancing around a maypole with streamers attached.

    In Germany, there’s a centuries old ‘tradition’ of breaking a newlywed couple’s pottery, and watching them pick up the pieces.

    In France, if you tip the waiters, they look at you funny.

    So we look at these and say what exactly? But wait, I’m not French/German/English/Irish? No, because the vast majority of original stock of the country is from these origins, with Spain and Dutch and a few others.

    So what, then, are our ‘traditions’? We’ve barely been a country for long enough to have traditions. Every person who says “we have traditional marriage here in ‘Merica” is wrong. And they are wrong because they have no concept of what the word Tradition really means.

    • IslandBrewer

      Well, I sometimes don’t tip.

      … and occasionally kill a man at harvest.

      But only if the service was bad.

    • Rando

      You forgot one of the most important “traditions” of all times. It was practiced for well over two thousand years. It was well documented in the history of many “holy books.” It was practiced for almost four hundred years right here in America. It even has the approval of the Christian god. This tradition is rarely discussed by Christians today.
      Unfortunately, you won’t hear Fox News demanding it’s return. The Republican party won’t say how it would be good for America to protect this “tradition.” I would even bet NO ONE would support Chik-Fil-A if they called for this tradition to be protected. You’d think Christians would bend over backwards to support a “tradition” like this, after all SLAVERY is well supported by “traditional values.”

      So, come on Christians! Where is the support for “good old traditional values” on this one?

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    JT:
    If I ever make it to one of the atheist/skeptic conventions that you’re at, I hope you’ll let me buy you a drink.
    This post nearly brought me to tears in both a good and bad way.
    Most excellent.

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    Rich:

    And all of the hateful speech on both sides has been enough that I’ve seriously considered not looking at my Facebook page for a while until it dies down.

    I’m trying so very, VERY hard to not rip you a new one right now. Do you have any idea how hard it is being gay? Do you have on inkling what it’s like to deal with the BS we have to deal with every day of our lives? Do you have any idea that one of the biggest defenses of homophobia are the backwards, anti-human “values” found in Christianity?
    That you seem to wear your belief in something completely unproven, something cobbled together by people who didn’t know jack about the universe or humanity over the course of 2000 years, something supportive of hate, slavery, rape, genocide, homophobia, xenophobia, filicide, incest and more (YES, all of that is found in the Bible and all of it is endorsed by YOUR so-called ‘loving’ god), that you seem to wear that as a badge of pride, all the while daring to act as if there are two sides to this completely disgusts me.
    In the interest of trying to be civil and attempt what Dan Fincke seems to think is appropriate in online discourse, I’m trying so hard right now to not use every vulgar word I possibly can, but if you can think of a non gendered/racial/ableist term of offense right now, imagine them all being directed from me to anyone who believes in Christianity right now.
    No I’m not being rational.
    Yes, I am being emotional.
    But I’m sick to DEATH of being treated as a second class citizen because people believe in crap that has ZERO truth to it.

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      I’m with Tony on this. I’m trying to be nice to Rich here, but for the most part I’ve mostly given up on kindness to people who are “just expressing their deeply held spiritual beliefs”. In fact, I just wrote a blog post about it yesterday (sorry, don’t mean to self-promote, but it’s germane to the discussion), in which I point to people like Kevin Swanson, a pastor who a few days ago had the audacity to call for the death of homosexuals and, in the same discussion, talk about how intolerant the left is for calling him a bigot. I also had a lot of links to people complaining about “intolerance on the left” compared with links to stories about the number of gay people who have been *set on fire* this year alone. And I ran out of ways to rhetorically fit in the links before I ran out of examples.

      So, Rich, please try to understand that this sort of false equivalence is not a middle ground that seems reasonable. You’re comparing being called bigot and homophobe to being set on fire. Or beaten nearly to death. Or having their property vandalized. There is no comparison, and “pox on both your houses” statements do nothing but minimize the very real danger that those of us in the LGBT community face on a daily basis.

    • Ken

      The Rich’s of the world would have been telling Rosa Parks to not make a scene. Let’s just sit down and talk it over. I’m sure we can come to a compromise where, maybe, on days when no other white people are on the bus she could sit in a middle seat.

      The privileged majority never gives their privilege up without a fight. It takes people of courage to upset the world by sitting in a front seat.

      • Rich

        Okay… let me get this straight. I am a bigot, hate-filled, spineless, a pawn of hateful Christians, anti-intellectual, not a “decent person,” someone who knowingly bull-****s others, and someone who would have been on the wrong side of the Civil Rights Movement…

        You win. I’m done. This is not a “take my ball and go home” thing, but those are very powerful words that have been directed at me. I’m not going to fight with any of you, but I hope that you know that the response to my comment has been very hurtful. If you go back and read what I originally posted, I didn’t attack anyone. And to those that I hurt or made so angry… again, I apologize. That was most certainly not my intent… neither to troll nor to offend.

        This will be my last post. I don’t expect anyone to change their minds about me, but just please be aware of the power of the words that you speak and write on the Internet. I imagine that many of you know what it feels like to be called names (some of you probably more frequently and, sadly, much worse than what I was dealt today). I don’t know most of you personally, so maybe there is power in anonymity, but to make an enemy of me so swiftly and decisively was most certainly NOT what I expected coming on here.

        • http://promethics.wordpres.com Dalillama

          I don’t know if you’re still reading, but What did you expect? You came in and declared that you agreed with the bigotry of Dan Cathy and all the people who are supporting CFA:

          I DO believe that the Bible is clear regarding homosexuality. …and I know that it would do more harm than good

          and that the only reason you weren’t out there yourself is because it would

          …hurt and [your] Christian witness to them.

          Which ‘witness’ I have no doubt includes all the bits about how your imaginary friend wants to torture them forever and you’re only telling them this because you ‘love’ them. You say this based on the badly transcribed millenia old ramblings of a collection of illiterate goatherders, and that that is sufficient reason for them to be treated as second-class citizens, to face assault and murder simply for existing, and to endure a constant stream of threats from people like you, out of your so-called ‘love’. Yes, saying that people will burn in hell is a threat, no less so for being a fictitious penalty. If you walked into a store, jabbed your finger in your pocket and told the clerk you had a gun, that’s still armed robbery. You declared yourself an enemy with your first words, why are you surprised when you’re treated like one?

        • M Groesbeck

          This is not a “take my ball and go home” thing,

          Yes it is. It’s a flounce. And it’s a flounce because not everyone is as nice about your insistence on labeling a few percent of the population as inherently inferior and then having the chutzpah to expect us to gush over your magnanimity when you insist that we should only be slightly “less than” and that we should be treated gently as long as we respect our second-class status.

          Fuck that. Go ahead and leave (it remains to be seen whether you’ll stick the flounce) — just don’t even try to play the victim card because you were “nice” and horrendously patronizing in demanding that the people you shit on thank you for it.

        • mikee

          Rich,
          Only one or two people called you names, others asked you questions about the inconsistency of your beliefs which you have not answered. Hopefully this means that you realize the inconsistency of biblical beliefs, perhaps you will resolve this in the future.
          JT has described how you a in general a decent caring person, I hope in future this extends to gays and other minorities once your realize the inconsistency your arguments have.

          JT this is an excellent post. In my own country, NZ, gay marriage is going to a conscience vote in parliament some time this year and the chances of it going through looks good. I hope it eventually sorts itself out in the USA as well

        • John Morales

          Rich:

          Okay… let me get this straight. I am a bigot, hate-filled, spineless, a pawn of hateful Christians, anti-intellectual, not a “decent person,” someone who knowingly bull-****s others, and someone who would have been on the wrong side of the Civil Rights Movement…

          How does it feel to be despised by righteous people?

          • Keith

            What a great response! Kudos to you.

          • lanetaylor

            I agree. That’s a fantastic response, and based on reading the rest of the thread, probably wasted. Pity.

            If they can hate the sin, but love the sinner, we can hate the belief, but love the believer, right? For some reason, in the latter situation, the xianists can’t seem to get that to work.

        • NotAProphet

          So let’s get this straight, your feelings are hurt because some people have taken the time to read and digest what you have written and called shenanigans, and you feel the best way to respond to this is not to tell them why you are right in what you say, or to concede that they may be right and re-examine your beliefs, but to flounce off (yes, it is a flounce, easily identifiable by the fact that you felt the need to post about it, rather than just going) and bury your head in the sand?

        • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

          Rich, this is what we like to call “privilege.” You are so used, as an xtian, to not being questioned that it suddenly sound terrible when you actually are. At least you acknowledge that this is a tiny, tiny fraction of the sorts of things that LGBT people go through on a daily basis.

          Either way, stop playing the victim card. People have pointed out that you cannot lovingly treat people as second class citizens, even if you do it impersonally through a vote, and they’re right. They’re not attacking you, they’re saying that your position is inconsistent and this insistence that you “love” your LGBT friends is impossible unless we drastically change the meaning of the word “love”.

          And you know what? Most of the people here have been incredibly nice to you. I can only imagine what it would be like if we treated you the way Christianists treat the LGBT community.

  • Mark

    I think understanding that sin and the person committing the sin are not one in the same is the key to the controversy. It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage. If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation. It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act (unlike race) and it is a choice to make it known to other people (unlike color).

    • Glodson

      So, when you made the choice to be straight, you dealt with the desire to fuck and suck other dudes, right? I mean, if you didn’t, then what kind of choice is that?

      I know I didn’t really deal with those feelings. But I didn’t really chose my sexuality. Just based on my experience, my sexuality was thrust on me, so to speak, by my environment and genetics. That’s anecdotal, I know. I’m sure you have a much higher standard of evidence. I mean, the evidence suggests our sexuality is built from genetics, hormones and environmental factors. So it seems that my experience told me something true, that my sexuality wasn’t chosen.

      But let’s assume that it is a choice. That you have to consciously elect to be gay or straight. That doesn’t mean that homosexuality is bad, or negative. Homosexuality shows up in a number of other species, indicating it has value for the survival of a species. I can think no good reason to oppose gay men and women the same rights as everyone else. I can think of plenty of reasons to not allow my money to go into the hands of people that will foster this culture of hate that surrounds the LGBT community, a community that has a much higher rate of suicide among teens than the average rate, one that is actually trending upwards. It might have something to do with how people celebrate the fact that we allow for institutionalized bigotry and reward a company donating freely to hate groups.

      Anyway, back to your lusting for other men, since it was a choice and all. You must have had those feelings. Otherwise, you never made a choice in the first place. So, how did you deal with them?

    • petejohn

      Their actions are wrong because a 2000 year old book cobbled together through oral tradition and shitty translations says so? Well that’s a pretty lame position.

      And let’s say sexuality is a choice (which I don’t think it is, but let’s pretend), what privileges your choice over another person’s choice? That dusty old book? Really? That’s the best you’ve got?

      You have no right to use religion to chase your fellow citizens into a deep, dark, lonely, segregated corner. None. And if you even try to argue that as a Christian you are persecuted in this country… Well, let’s just say that opinion will be torn apart in a matter of seconds, and it will be torn apart with joy.

    • John Morales

      Well, Mark, I think the religious concept of ‘sin’ is a stupidity, and that adopting one’s morality in toto from some bronze-age mythological book is an abrogation of personal responsibility and therefore an act of cowardice.

      Had you been born and raised in an Islamic society, I am pretty sure you’d be a Muslim. Because you clearly don’t have what it takes to think for oneself.

      In short, Mark, I think you are a moral coward and this explains your absurd and bigoted beliefs.

    • anteprepro

      I think understanding that sin and the person committing the sin are not one in the same is the key to the controversy. It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage. If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation. It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act (unlike race) and it is a choice to make it known to other people (unlike color).

      You’ve described my policy in dealing with Christianists, homophobes, and assorted conservatives. I don’t hate them, just hate what they do and what they believe.

      Just stop being a Christian bigot and/or stop making it public, and I won’t have to “hate the sin” towards you as much, you fucking pig-ignorant, hateful fuckwad.

      A modest proposal, no?

    • DaveL

      . It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act (unlike race) and it is a choice to make it known to other people (unlike color).

      Let’s assume for a moment that sexual orientation is a choice (it’s not; I never chose to be straight). Does that actually make it different from the civil rights movement?

      What if race were a choice? What if we had a pill that a black person could take in the evening that would make them wake up a white person? A pill that would change their skin color, their features, their hair, erase their memories of their parents’ culture and the experience of growing up black in America, and implant false memories of white culture and experience?

      If such a pill were available, would that make it morally permissible to roll back the civil rights movement, reinstate Jim Crow laws, etc.? Is racial equality something white people condescend to extend to non-whites because, poor dears, they just can’t help being what they are? Or is it an inherent right of all people, because being a person of colour is an equally worthy way of being human as being white?

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    JT:
    Do you have a comments policy?
    Before I rip our resident homophobic bigot-Mark-a new one, I want to make sure I’m in the bounds of what is allowable here.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Destroy him. He deserves it.

      • Rory

        My understanding is that you don’t like to resort to banning people, and your house, your rules. I must confess though that I don’t see what value he brings. This isn’t someone who has expressed any interest in arguing in good faith. He’s a hit and run troll whose raison d’être seems to be to tell us all how swell Chick-fil-A is for putting those nasty queers in their place.

        Like I said, your house, your rules, but I wouldn’t be sorry to see him catch a ban hammer right between the eyes.

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          I’m very tempted. Probably will before too long.

          • Drakk

            I remember when he was just a scientific ignoramus.

            Trolls these days grow up so fast *tear*

  • Paul

    I’m not touching most of 21 because it seems like a waste of time (Tony seems more motivated, anyway, and I wouldn’t want to steal thunder), but I think he said something that’s worth some thought (if not on the subject he is using it on):

    If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation.

    I wonder if we don’t do the same thing sometimes by coming on too strong against people digging in with strong religious foundations. By focusing on the overall moral bankruptcy of the Bible as a whole, we’re excluding any middle ground and result in them doubling down on what they believe and/or simply becoming self-loathing for their own failures in applying God’s standards (the “I don’t dislike gay people personally, but God says I can’t condone that sort of behavior so I’m supporting [x|y|z] anti-gay measure” type). I know I tended towards the latter, but I got over it eventually.

    Just an idle thought sparked by that comment. Take it or leave it. I’m not tone trolling or introducing any “should”s, just sharing something that came to mind and that I’m going to mull over myself. I’m also definitely not saying that everyone does that, or that people don’t sometimes treat the religious with kid gloves even when they’re being terribly offensive.

    • B-lar

      I think we give a pretty thorough drubbing though, both holistically and specifically.

      Unwillingness of someone to confront a conflict between their beliefs and reality can only be the responsibility of that someone (and perhaps their pastor)

  • otrame

    You want to know what it was like to be a gay employee of CFA on CFA Appreciation day? This is from a comment on Slacktivist.

    Ugh. You know, I work at a CFA, because I have bills I can’t not pay and it’s been the only place I could find work for months, and I was there on Wednesday, and yesterday, and the only people I felt bullied by – the ones who made me feel so stressed out and awful that I came back home and threw up (and scared enough that I’m not posting this under my usual nic or email) – were the ‘decent’ people who told me and my coworkers over and over how happy they were that finally they could stand with a company who was on the ‘right’ side; that they could support keeping things ‘the way they should be’; that they were, in effect, thrilled to bits to be able to publicly show their absolute hatred of and revulsion towards people like me (and how! There were more camera phones on display during lunch than at the Apple store). Of course, they didn’t know they were talking about people like me, but like I said, I have bills I can’t not pay and it’s the only place I’ve been able to find work for months, and tbh I don’t think that would have made a difference (except perhaps to inject more ‘Oh, but Jesus!’ into those conversations).

    Which, I mean, maybe I’m being unfair. I don’t know what’s in these people’s hearts; I can’t imagine the courage it must have taken to wake up Wednesday morning and decide to openly support bigotry and homophobia – to stand with just a few million other against the teeming mass of us queer folk (who have so obnoxiously decided to publicly martyr ourselves for attention by being bullied, assaulted, disowned by our families, discriminated against, harassed to the point of suicide, and occasionally murdered) and tell us that they will bravely oppose our fight not to be dehumanized. They have seen us struggle for civil rights for years, but they will be mere spectators no more: they will, with great inner strength and fortitude, stand in our way and push us back. It takes a very special kind of bravery to stand up to the little guy and kick him when he’s down. Admittedly, to some, buying an overpriced chicken sandwich and sitting in a restaurant with some friends might not seem like it takes a lot of bravery or courage or fortitude (except perhaps of the intestinal kind), but perhaps we should stand in awe of these modern-day Paul Reveres: they took their little mustard seeds of bigotry and nourished them until they became veritable mustard packets of social injustice (which go so well with the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, srsly).

    To be fair, us queers really brought this down on ourselves. Our years of militantly trying to live our lives with peace and dignity and wanting to love/marry our consenting adult partners must have had a horrible effect on our straight, CIS neighbors. Sure, there may be things more mentally scarring than acknowledging the fact that other people are different than you, and there might be things more horrifying than looking around you and seeing yourself surrounded everywhere by happy, legally-protected families and people who are free to fall in love without fearing discrimination, ostracism, and death, but – well, I’m just hard put to think of any. Me, I just wanted to be able to mention my ‘special friend’ openly in conversation with my family and coworkers without being scared of homelesness and unemployment and never being able to speak to my parents again, and I thought it would be really cool not to hate myself for being in love, and the idea of maybe someday adopting some kids and starting a family with this person who makes me a happier, far better person every day – that was totally awesome! But in retrospect, I really should have thought a little more about how my happiness and my lack of hatred towards myself would make the bigots feel. I mean, like so many other queer people, I chose to be born gay or bi or trans or otherwise defective, right? I should have planned ahead and chosen to be normal instead. I mean, right now, just sitting here in my jim jams and typing this I am contributing to the decay of family values in this country! This morning, I totally thought I was just eating a burrito, but I was in fact helping to rip apart the moral fabric of society, harming the souls untold future generations of children who might be born thinking they could be who they wanted to be and fall in love and not be horrible people for it. I may be closeted now, so my abominationatory lifestyle is semi-private, but in a couple years when I’m openly practicing my perversions (like shopping for knickknacks at IKEA with my sweetheart and holding hands and making sappy faces at each other in public), I will openly be oppressing those poor, scant millions and millions of people who think I should be stoned or shot or put in jail.

    No wonder they needed to take a principled stand now!

    I’d go on, but I just realized I haven’t turned my phone off yet, and I don’t want it on in case it gets too busy at work and they try to call me in, what with the kiss-in and the counter buy-a-sandwich-for-FREEDOM thing which I’ve heard is going on today. I get panic attacks sometimes, see, and find it hard to sleep at night and can’t eat what with having been told I’m revolting and hell-bound and shouldn’t be allowed to live most of my life by well-meaning people who thought they were talking to someone who agreed with them, and I’m not sure I could stand another day of that at work without melting down or quitting. And, like I said, I’ve got bills I can’t not pay and nothjng else to pay them with, at the moment. So if you’ll excuse me…

  • Roger

    To be fair, there is a major religious organization that supports and encourages homosexuality: The Roman Catholic Church. Here’s the logic behind that. Catholic priests are, by definition, male. A number of their rape victims were boys. Boys are underage males. The Catholic Church supported these priests by not stopping them; and in fact, moved them to new locations so they could find new rape victims. Thus, they supported sex between two males, aka homosexuality. The fact that this was non-consensual raping of minors didn’t seem to be a factor in the actions taken by the Church that permitted these homosexual acts to continue.

    Now, try pointing that out to xtians and watch the fireworks. I’d say one response would be “Catholics aren’t true Christians!” (I’ve heard that from many Protestants.) Another would be “But it’s wrong to rape boys!” Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t do it.

    Checkmate, Christians.

    • M Groesbeck

      …yeah, you know that the whole “pedophilia is gay” line that you’re peddling here is one of the favorite slanders of the homophobic right wing, right? Congratulations on contributing to the very lie that’s so dear to the hearts of the people you’re pretending to criticize!

      • Roger

        I’m not saying “pedophilia is gay”. I’m using sarcasm to point out the hypocrisy of the Church condemning homosexuality, which is not a crime, while at the same time covering up the criminal acts of Catholic priests. Sorry it was too subtle for you.

  • hotshoe

    Mark -

    It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage.

    Who/what gives you the confidence to say “their actions are wrong”?

    You do realize that many of your fellow christians around the world disagree with you that homosexuality is “wrong”. Many christians even celebrate the sacrament of marriage with same-sex couples. Nothing wrong about that!

    What gives you the authority – and not them, the other christians, the ones who genuinely believe that all persons are equal “in the sight of god” ?

    If you deceive people into thinking that is the way they are and cannot change, you have created a hopeless situation.

    What information could possibly change your mind ? Can you change ? Can you change from a anti-gay bigot (who couldn’t stop himself from saying “their actions are wrong”) to a more-accepting person ? Are you hopeless ?

    It is not like the civil rights movement. It is a choice to act

    Yes, I’m sure you believe “homosexual behavior” is just a choice to act.

    Fine, if that’s true, then it must be absolutely true that heterosexual behavior is likewise a choice to act.

    Prove it.

    Quit behaving like a heterosexual right now. Right this minute and for the rest of your life. No more sex for you, not even to your lawfully-wedded opposite-sex wife (if you’ve got one). No masturbating while thinking about girls. Not even any wet dreams while dreaming about girls. Not for the whole rest of your life.

    If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away!

    Don’t think of it as a sacrifice! Think of it as a chance to prove that you’re correct and that those evil gay men acting out should just choose not to.

  • http://strangesally.wordpress.com/ SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    The Bible is a terrible guide for morality. This is evidenced by the fact that Christians who are decent people–Richard, for example–struggle to reconcile their sense of morality with what the Bible says, while Christians who are horrible, awful, bigoted people–Mark, for example–defer mindlessly to it.

  • hotshoe

    The Bible is a terrible guide for morality. This is evidenced by the fact that Christians who are decent people–Richard, for example–struggle to reconcile their sense of morality with what the Bible says, while Christians who are horrible, awful, bigoted people–Mark, for example–defer mindlessly to it.

    QFT.

    I almost feel sorry for the decent christians who have to live with that cognitive dissonance.

  • B-lar

    To any christians reading these comments – I think Jesus was pretty cool (I mean, not as cool as Samurai Jack – HE HAS AN UNBREAKABLE SWORD FORGED FROM PURITY AND TRUTH!!!) and his whole deal was compassion and courage to stand up for the conviction that leads on from that compassion.

    Hate to break it to you guys, but Jesus is totally rooting for the gays on this one, and ironically, any atheists who stand up and be counted too.

    WWJD? Its sure as shit not: Eat the chicken.

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    ::cracks knuckles::

    Mark:
    “I think understanding that sin and the person committing the sin are not one in the same is the key to the controversy.

    What is sin?
    How would I, as a lowly gay man who has never been indoctrinated into religion understand what sin is?
    Those are rhetorical questions, btw. I fully understand what you hate filled Christians consider sin to be:

    In Abrahamic contexts, “a sin” is an act that violates God’s will. Sin can also be viewed as anything within a person that violates the ideal relationship between them and God.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin

    No one on this planet has convinced me that any god exists. Not Allah or Yahweh. Not Zeus or Thor. Not Osiris or Dionysus. No one on this planet has produced any proof that any god exists or ever has. Your precious book of ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ offers proof of nothing more than the imaginations of poor, uneducated bronze age men. There is nothing enlightening about the Bible. There is nothing moral about the Bible. There is precious little in the Bible worth aspiring toward.
    There is, however a tremendous amount of what I and many others deem immoral, cruel and sadistic.
    Your god, the god YOU say you worship kills more people in the Great Flood than Hitler and the Nazis.
    Your god gives directions on how to treat your slaves.
    Your god instructs his followers to stone unruly children.
    Your god instructs his soldiers to marry the women they rape.
    Your god directs one of his followers to nearly kill his own son.
    Your god sent his own son to die in an act of human sacrifice.
    This shit is in YOUR holy book.
    The same holy book that you hold up as evidence that my “lifestyle” is immoral and sinful.
    Hitler and the Nazis were condemned for the genocide perpetrated against Jews in World War II. Hitler is still held up as very nearly the personification of evil.
    Your god killed more people than the Nazi regime with the Great Flood. Why should anyone worship such an evil being?
    Civilized societies do not tolerate slavery.
    Why should anyone worship a god that endorses it?
    Civilized societies believe stoning to be a barbaric practice and ended such punishments long ago.
    Why should anyone worship a god that calls for stoning unruly children?
    Civilized societies condemn rape. I consider rape-along with murder-to be the absolute worst actions one human being can do to another.
    Why does your god tell soldiers to marry their rape victims?
    Civilized societies do not ask fathers to kill their sons. In the event a father is seen attempting murder his own child, many humans with an ounce of compassion would do what they can to avert such a tragedy.
    Why worship a being who calls for a father to murder his son?
    The civilized societies of the world condemned human sacrifice. Yet YOUR god sent his only son to Earth to be tortured and killed in an act of human sacrifice.

    So according to *your* holy book, sinning entails violating Gods’ will.
    If you don’t murder your unruly teen, you’re violating God’s will.
    If you eat shellfish, you’re violating God’s will.
    Work on the Sabbath? Violating Gods’ will.
    Gambling, premarital sex=violating god’s will.

    Tell me oh bileful one, what is the punishment for violating God’s will?
    Tell me why I should accept such an evil being as a creator.
    Tell me why I should accept inhuman, monstrous actions from a creature that I’m then supposed to worship.
    Tell me why I should not worship another god, such as Thor, who is far nicer and displays more compassion than your god.
    Tell me why I should even worship your god when there’s no reason to and no proof of his existence.


    It is not about hating a person, but making them aware that their actions are wrong, which is the first step to freedom from their bondage.

    Do you even know how to think for yourself?
    You’re parroting the ridiculous theist line of ‘love the sinner/hate the sin’?
    I’ve established that I don’t believe in your god, or the concept of sin. Since you can’t prove the existence of your god (and even if you could I would *never* willingly worship such a malevolent being), then the concept of sin is meaningless, which means that homosexuality is not inherently right *or* wrong.
    How are you supposed to “tell me” that my actions are wrong when you can’t even prove it for yourself?
    Moreover, who the hell are you to judge my life when you haven’t walked a mile in my shoes?
    You didn’t sit there in gym class in the 8th grade looking at your gym coach and thinking strange thoughts.
    You didn’t lie to your PE teachers through high school to get out of gym class because you were afraid you would be in a locker room full of men and get an erection and be ridiculed.
    You didn’t almost commit fucking suicide when you told your parents you were gay.
    You don’t have to worry about the possibility of never having children.
    You don’t have to worry about not being able to adopt children in the state of Florida.
    You will never know what it’s like to be afraid of holding hands in public with someone you care about.
    You won’t ever know what it’s like to watch what you say around others for fear of being discriminated against.
    You won’t have to face the prospect that there are people who would kill you for loving someone.
    You don’t know the first fucking thing about me, or any other gay person on the planet.
    You don’t know the heartache that we go through every day of our lives because of people like you.
    You don’t know that we never *chose* to be gay.
    When I hit puberty, my hormones went in a different direction than yours. I didn’t even know what gay or homosexual was. I just knew I was different and that difference wasn’t considered good by a lot of people.
    Does your tiny brain think that I woke up one day and thought it would be cool to suck dick?
    Have you even bothered to think beyond your sick, twisted, hateful religious upbringing and consider that what YOU think of gay people is completely wrong?
    Don’t bother answering. I already know.
    You never have.
    You’ve never thought for yourself on this matter.
    You don’t care if gay people kill themselves.
    You don’t care if gay teens are killed.
    You don’t care if gay adults are denied the 1000+ rights afforded heterosexual married couples.
    You don’t even know that gay people have fought and fucking DIED for your right and Dan Cathy’s right to regurgitate religious hatred masked as personal opinions.
    You don’t even know, because you’ve never bothered to listen to a gay person that being gay is an intrinsic part of who we are. You can’t love us and hate part of who we are. It’s not possible. You’d know that if you would stop and think. But no, you’d rather imagine what it’s like for gay people. You’d rather imagine that it’s easy to be not gay.
    Even through all that…even though I detest the type of person you are with every fiber of my being…I would never want you to live life as a gay person.
    I would never wish harm upon you.
    I would never tell you to go to hell.
    I would never condone any harm done to you.

    What I will say is FUCK your EVIL god.
    Fuck your religion.
    And most of all:

    FUCK YOU you hate filled piece of shit

    • invivoMark

      That. Was. FANTASTIC.

      That is all.

      • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

        Thank you. I don’t know if you could tell, but that was heartfelt.

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    Rich:

    Okay… let me get this straight. I am a bigot, hate-filled, spineless, a pawn of hateful Christians, anti-intellectual, not a “decent person,” someone who knowingly bull-****s others, and someone who would have been on the wrong side of the Civil Rights Movement…

    Did you, or did you not say this:

    Context for your readers first: I am a believer (as in, “believer in Jesus Christ”). I DO believe that the Bible is clear regarding homosexuality.

    ?
    If you are a Christian and you believe the Bible is clear about homosexuality, what does that mean to you? Does it mean that you think homosexuality is a sin? If so, congratulations for being consistent. It *does* make you bigoted and homophobic.
    If you *don’t* think it’s a sin, what makes you think the Bible is right?

    You win. I’m done. This is not a “take my ball and go home” thing, but those are very powerful words that have been directed at me.

    So instead of actually doing some soul searching when you’re confronted with accusations that you’re a bigot, you turn tail and run? You don’t stay and discuss things with intellectual honesty? You don’t stand by your views and explain why they’re right? You just up and leave?
    That *is* taking your ball and going home.
    Yes, those are powerful words.
    Do note that I never specifically said any of them to you. I told you to imagine words, yes, but if you’re going to take the Bible literally about homosexuality, then take me literally as well.

    I’m not going to fight with any of you, but I hope that you know that the response to my comment has been very hurtful.

    Responding to Mark got a lot off my chest, but this almost dials my anger back up to 15.
    YOU have hurt feelings?
    Oh boo hoo.
    Cry me a river.
    Come back and talk to me when you’ve almost committed suicide because your parents reject you for revealing an intimate side of who you are.
    Talk to me again when you have to go to work and you’re constantly faced with workplace discrimination for a characteristic about yourself that you can’t change.
    That’s hurtful.
    What you’ve faced in these comments is nothing compared to that and I’m offended that you would even make such a comparison.

    If you go back and read what I originally posted, I didn’t attack anyone. And to those that I hurt or made so angry… again, I apologize. That was most certainly not my intent… neither to troll nor to offend.

    What.
    Did.
    You.
    Expect?
    You believe in the ramblings of the Bible. You believe what it says about homosexuality is true. That. Is. Offensive. That. Is. An. Insult. Until you reject-at bare minimum-that the Bible has anything worthwhile to say about human sexuality, your apology means less than nothing.

    This will be my last post. I don’t expect anyone to change their minds about me, but just please be aware of the power of the words that you speak and write on the Internet. I imagine that many of you know what it feels like to be called names (some of you probably more frequently and, sadly, much worse than what I was dealt today). I don’t know most of you personally, so maybe there is power in anonymity, but to make an enemy of me so swiftly and decisively was most certainly NOT what I expected coming on here.

    To quote Buffy:
    What, are you 12?
    You got called names and you’re turning tail because your feelings were hurt?
    One of most amazing people I’ve ever known died over 2 years ago. He was the best friend I could ever have had. He was gay. He and I were inseparable. He told me that the only reason he joined the military was to get out of his house b/c his father-a preacher-told him he would kill any of his children if they told him they were gay.
    *THAT* is hurtful.
    *THAT* is devastating.
    *THAT* is something that destroys families.
    *THAT* indirectly contributed to the death of one of the best, brightest, most compassionate people I’ve ever known. The world is a sadder place without him.
    Call me a little insensitive if I can’t muster the courage to feel bad for your hurt feelings.

    • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

      To jump on this for a second: Rich should have hurt feelings. It should be painful to realize that you’re treating people miserably. It should be devastating to know that what you do and believe causes vast amounts of pain and suffering to other human beings. That is part of human empathy.

      I get annoyed with the insistence of people like Rich who think that because they condemn us with a smile on their face, we should be perfectly ok with that and not remind them that what they’re doing is awful. But it is awful, and I, for one, will not participate in trying to help them forget that what they’re doing is awful. I will remind them at every turn that their beliefs are horrible and inhuman and not assist in the willful suppression of that knowledge.

      The sorts of things that equality opponents do should keep them up at night. They should feel shame whenever they look at an LGBT person. Every action that they take against queer people should be accompanied by the mental anguish associated with harming another human being. And we should never let them forget that: those hurt feelings they have are the result of being reminded that they do terrible things to other people. That’s what humans should feel.

  • PatrickG

    I wanted to make a comment responding to both Mark and Rick, but instead, I just want to take a moment to stand in solidarity with Tonys. There’s just nothing I can really add to the personal experiences he recounted here.

    Thank you for your passion and being willing to share such personal and intimate details, Tony.

  • FossilFishy

    Tony! That was awesome. You are awesome, in the sense that I am now filled with awe at your deft wielding of the clue-by-four and your willingness, your bravery even, in speaking so frankly and intimately about your experiences. Thank you my friend.

  • Drakk

    Tony, please teach me to verbally eviscerate as you do. That was amazing. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I can honestly say they were moving.

  • Tony •King of the Hellmouth•

    Drakk, FossilFishy, PatrickG:
    Thank you all for the kind words.

    Drakk, it’s funny you say that b/c FossilFishy will tell you that I find hir way with words remarkable and would love to be as eloquent as xe is. I have to acknowledge the unconscious influence of many commenters and bloggers at FtB. They’ve played a role in shaping my ability to communicate effectively.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    Thanks for writing, JT.

    Mostly, I have a deep well of pity for any gay employees of Chick-Fil-A. It was wave after wave of people who thought those employees were an abomination – order after order, customer after customer. I cannot imagine what it must’ve been like to look each one of those customers in the eye and see how blithely they hate you. I don’t care to even wonder how it must’ve felt to serve people who smiled at the chance to spend money to make you a second-class citizen. I could not have said, “Have a nice day” through clenched teeth to even one of them. Those employees did it all day.

    I hadn’t even thought of this, but of course, there must be gay employees of Chick-Fil-A. Sometimes, I do look around me and wonder if some of the people I see would be in favor of discrimination against me. I can’t imagine what it must be like to serve people at your job all day and *know* that a great many of them favor discrimination against you.

    @Kryten (#15): Thanks for the link.

    @V2Blast (#2@#16): I must go watch that clip now …

    @otrame (#24): Thanks for the quote.

  • http://Www.metalmischief.com Ye Olde Blacksmith – in bed with absolute evil and a Spocktopus!

    Tony, I <3 you so much right now! Great response!!

  • Pingback: Update « Sprinklings of Alice

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Tea Party changes to Chick Fil A Party.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I hadn’t even thought of this, but of course, there must be gay employees of Chick-Fil-A.

    Yeah, if I worked in the kitchen at one of those places, I’d have gotten dehydrated from all the spit I was adding to the food.


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