AAAANNNNNNDDD I knew I couldn’t do it.  NOT comment on the Chick-fil-A thing.  Fail.  Oh well, I’ll try to be brief.

I am not boycotting Chick-Fil-A over the bigotry.  I’m not big on fast food in the first place, and that chicken sandwich is a little meh.  I’m a small business owner myself, and while it sounds cliche, I really try to make an effort to support small business.  In my small town here in the south, statistically, I’d be willing to venture that most of the CEO’s/owners/managers of these businesses share Dan Cathy’s worldview.  If I were to boycott every business I patronized in Middle Tennessee based on whether or not the staff opposed gay marriage, I’d be one frustrated consumer.  No, I’m not blogging about boycotting this chicken store.

There have been many bloggers and reporters who have covered the false First Amendment angle, so I won’t address that.  When Dan Cathy goes to jail, or is fined, or restricted from speaking about his bigoted position, I’ll write that blog.

So what’s my problem?

The thing that has bothered me more than anything else through all of this, the thing that has made me the saddest and most angry, has been the glee with which the Chick-Fil-A supporters have embraced this issue.

Let’s say you’re a believer.  Let’s say you have found some way to overcome all the contradictions, all the genocide, all the immorality, all the ignorance, all the misogyny, and you really truly believe the bible to be the true and only source for guidance in how you live your life.

How, with an iota of compassion in your soul, can you celebrate this as a victory?  How can you look at the LBGT community, your friends and family, your neighbors, and gloat and celebrate this?  If you believe marriage is an exclusive right for one man and one woman only, does your heart not break for your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?  Does it not bring you to tears to know that, according to your belief system, these people will never know the joy of the commitment of marriage, the profoundly exhilarating and humbling experience of parenting?  If you believe this, and you must see how painful this will be for this community, how can you post those Facebook statuses?

There are so many things that make me angry about religion, but this is one of the things that makes me the angriest.  Some of you are my friends.  I know you are not bad people.  But lifetime exposure to a book-based morality instead of a compassion-based morality has distorted your natural, beautiful, healthy drive to decrease suffering in the lives of your fellow humans, and to increase joy.

When I became a secular humanist, I promised myself that no matter how angry it made me, I would never cut myself off from dissent.  But when you take pleasure in another’s pain, that’s not dissent.  It’s disgusting.

Thanks for reading.