So, Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and current media personality, has declared today a Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. Why?
“The goal is simple: Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1. Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant.” (http://www.mikehuckabee.com/supportchickfila)
As a reminder, during an interview with the Baptist Press, this is what Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A President, said after being asked to address his franchise’s support of the traditional family:
“Well, guilty as charged.”
He went on to say:
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Then, in an appearance on The Ken Coleman Show, Cathy took his comments slightly further:
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html)
After these comments, I made a YouTube video. You can see it here.
Today, more than 600,000 people have said that they will support Chick-Fil-A.
I have had numerous discussions with many people recently about this topic – both religious and political. Apparently, you post your thoughts on YouTube and people tend to wanna talk to you about them. Who knew? I welcome these conversations because if nothing else, I’m putting a face on this issue with the people who know me…or semi-know me…or know someone who knows me.
And I will continue to make it personal. It’s hard to be anti-anyone who occupies time in your life. In your space.
Look, I am clear that we live in a very divisive world. It’s the one we have created. “You are different than I am.” “You think differently than I do.” You are “other” than me.”
We use these differences as a means to separate the “right” from “wrong.” If someone is “other” than you, it’s easier to make him/her “bad,” while you remain “good.” These differences help create “normal” or “traditional” versus “different” and “scary.”
Let’s be clear…
Supporting Chick-Fil-A today (or any other day for that matter) is a direct slap in my face. Not because I don’t support free speech – I made a YouTube video for cryin’ out loud ‘cause I’m all for the freedom to express your opinion – but because this is wrapped up in so much more than free speech and the support of the “traditional family” or “Godly values.”
By saying you support “traditional family,” you’re telling me that the family I create will never be “normal” or “good” or “right.” Why use the word “traditional” if not to show how anything else is abnormal?
This is about so much more than marriage equality or chicken. It’s about looking someone – a fellow human being – in the face and telling her, “You are not the same as me and, therefore, don’t deserve the same.”
Buying a chicken sandwich or those amazing waffle fries (dammit.) today isn’t supporting free speech. You know that. Don’t try to convince me differently. You know that today is not about supporting free speech or Godly values. Today’s “Appreciation Day” is about supporting a business over a person. A person that you have deemed “other” and, therefore, wrong or bad or different or scary.
They are just a handful of teenagers who killed themselves rather than face a world where they felt they were too different to ever fit in.
They are just teenagers.
Not wrong or bad or different or scary. Just kids.
I share this face with you. It’s mine.
I love to laugh. In fact, I laugh too loudly when something happens that I find enjoyable. Music feeds my soul. Going to the theatre is the thing I could spend the majority of my money on. Over the course of the last year, I have given and/or helped raise over $20,000 for organizations that help make our world a better place. I have too many dogs, but love each of them. I own my own house and my own business. I drink a lot of coffee, and I love cheese. I have a hard time saying “no” to my friends and end up overextending myself on a daily basis. Daily, I try to make a difference in our world.
These are just some of the things that make up me. These are the things for which I will hopefully be remembered. Note that “being gay” isn’t one of those things.
Enjoy your waffle fries. Or better yet…don’t.
This is personal. I won’t let you forget that.