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.
August 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm
Could not have said it better myself.
August 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm
August 5, 2012 at 7:29 am
You begin with, “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.”
From the premise you give above, it is clear that you think all Christians are total idiots. Then you procede to ask “how, with an iota of compassion in your soul, can you . . .”
It seems ridiculous to expect those you believe are total idiots who condone contradicions, genocide, immorality, ignorance and misogyny to have the capacity to properly feel and apply compassion. Given your view, why do you think they are capable?
August 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm
Erik, I’ve never known Gayle to call christians idiots. She herself was one once. What she is saying is that to use the bible as your only moral guide requires either willfully ignoring a lot of troubling passages or some rationalizing and re-interpreting of those passages. It’s not an intelligence test, more of an objectivity test.
But one would hope that christians would place more value in the good, love thy neighbor parts of the bible rather than in the harsh Leviticus passages, by listening to their social consciences. The CFA customers, unfortunately, decided to follow Leviticus instead of Jesus, and celebrate hatred. It was a sad spectacle.
August 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm
I’m not surprised that a small business owner in a small town in the south doesn’t go around calling Christians idiots. It could be bad for business.
However, you don’t have to call someone an idiot to let them know that is how you feel about them.
August 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm
I really don’t think she’s implying that you’re an idiot, Erik. But how do you deal with all that contradictory stuff in the bible? Seems to me, most christians aren’t idiots, they just don’t want to think about it. Most haven’t even read the bible in its entirety.
August 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm
Well Phil, I don’t want to get into a long conversation about the Bible on this blog. Contact me by email or something, and we can discuss it.
“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 . . .” Still sounds to me like Christians must be idiots. It feels like more than an accusation of a lack of objectivity.
August 5, 2012 at 8:44 am
It appears my previous comment has been deleted. Oh well.
You have every right to your opinion and to cleanse your blog of unwanted speech.
I do not think that you as a small business owner should be persecuted for your beliefs.
August 5, 2012 at 8:45 am
Oops, I guess it was not deleted. Now I see that it is awaiting moderation.
August 5, 2012 at 9:37 am
Gayle, I agree with you and I’m glad you posted this. As a Believer myself, I’m ashamed of the way in which this entire issue has been handled. I am most insulted by the willingness of self-proclaimed “moral”/Christian people to “jump on” this issue when there are so many more important things for us to do with our time, our words and our energy. Love one another. Let’s put our energy towards that. I think that if we could all choose to agree on that despite our differences, we’d be a hell of a lot more gracious towards each other. I’m discouraged by this recent issue, but not downtrodden. Love is the most profound thing we’ve got and I still get to be a part of it every day despite the hate that persists. I’m sorry for the hurt that “my culture” has caused in these past few weeks. I appreciate your perspective.
August 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm
I am one of those aforementioned friends of yours, and as you know, a believer. Totally agree with you.
August 6, 2012 at 11:45 am
As I posted for my Facebook status last week, I think Casting Crowns says it best in their song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.”
“Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.”
August 16, 2012 at 8:48 am
Some of the responses to your post is the reason why this country is suffering. It seems a lot of people can’t have a rational discussion about anything without it becoming an argument. Whatever happened to being entitled to your own opinions? Nothing in this world is a solid black or white, so why do some feel that others need to be converted to their own way of thinking? I 100% disagree with the CFA people, so guess what? I don’t have to eat there! Their food sucks regardless.