On Chik-fil-A, part 1

Though I have clear, strong opinions on marriage equality, I’ve been carefully staying out of the whole Chik-fil-A argument. I tend to think that companies should stick to their business and keep their politics out of it. I also tend to think that we all “boycott” businesses all the time (we just don’t call it that or make a big deal out of not shopping at certain places). Making a big show of boycotting those who don’t meet our beliefs on certain topics is just a little… well… pointless. For every person who shares our views, there is another who disagrees with equal vehemence.

However, when a corporation’s head honcho, controlling shareholder, whatever you want to call them, publicly stands up and and starts spewing stupidity, I tend to think things like, “Huh, maybe I don’t want to shop there… ever.” It has nothing to do with the quality of the business or its employees and everything to do with the declared attitudes of the person whose pockets will be lined by my business. And yes, I know if I take my money away, there’s another person standing there ready to spend theirs. But that’s their money, not mine. There’s a difference.

So, when Chik-fil-A (can someone please tell them to learn to spell?) president and COO Dan Cathy made a public declaration of his support of traditional, “biblical” marriage, it’s no surprise that a nightmare ensued. People on both sides of the fence got all in a tizzy. Someone scheduled a Chik-fil-A Appreciation Day (that would have been on Aug 1, for those living under a rock). And the opposite side countered with pledges to act in the opposite way.

Cathy has since softened his public approach (nothing like a political firestorm to get you to realize you screwed up). But there’s a problem… the statement has been made. The general public, who could perhaps turn a blind eye to the politics of a corporation’s owners when those politics were kept quiet, could no longer pretend they didn’t know where Cathy stood. There is no taking it back. There is no softening the blow. Unless the company can suddenly produce a string of long-standing management personnel who are openly gay, there is pretty much no rescue from this mess except for time. Soon enough, some other debacle will take this one’s place.

And that’s where I was leaving it.

No need for a big blog post. No need to haul out the soap box or the stupid-person stick. Nope. None. Just business as usual here.

And then there was the Facebook photo. Two young men in a simple kiss. Stupidity and ignorance came scurrying out of the woodwork like so many cockroaches. The one that really stuck in my head, however, was this one (copied precisely – all spelling, punctuation and grammar intact):

“i don’t watch gay porn,keep your shit in your bedroom,this is ugly an gross,it would be ugly an discusting if it wall male an female,but you put two ill men sucking face,sick sick,public displays sould be illegal,don’t put your porn on my facebook.”

Wait… wait… ummm… I’m sorry, I can’t get past the terrible English and I’m trying to decide if she means “sick public displays should be illegal” or just “public displays should be illegal.” If the latter, that’s scary enough! The idea of making it illegal to kiss your spouse (fiance, significant other, whatever) in public is what’s sick here.

And if the former… great. So… whose idea of “sick” do we use? How, pray tell, do you intend to define what is “sick” and therefore “illegal”? And let’s use the slippery-slope argument here, since it’s such a favorite of the religious right. If same-sex public displays of affection are wrong (and therefore illegal), where is the line drawn? Do we have to worry that the next “wrong” thing is mixed-race public displays of affection? Why, before long, people won’t be able to pet their dog in public!

This is also a prime example of why I simply stay out of the argument. First off, stupidity of that degree makes my brain hurt. But beyond that, there is no way to intelligently debate someone like that. You can’t change their opinion, you can’t even get them to accept that you might have one that differs from theirs and that it, too, is valid. They are caught up in a form of self-righteousness that nothing can penetrate.

And now, pardon me, but looking through all of that hateful crap has me feeling like I need a bath and a good stiff drink, not necessarily in that order.