To eat more chicken or not to eat more chicken, is that really the question?

Cross posted on my personal blog

I wasn’t going to write about this whole Dan Cathy/Chick-fil-a fiasco that’s going on because there’s so much commentary going on about it, I didn’t think I really needed to jump in but then I read this. The Chick-Fil-A Mirror by James Emery White attempts to portray the general reaction here as a some sort knee-jerk reaction against Christian values rather than what it actually is: a knee-jerk reaction to defend love and not discriminate against it.

White writes:

First, classical Christian orthodoxy was marginalized.
Second, it became ostracized.
Third, it became demonized.
Fourth, it became penalized.
And now the move would seem to be to have it criminalized.
He also adds:
As the Baptist Press reporter has since said of the tempest over Cathy’s remarks, “I don’t understand why that’s a bad thing all of a sudden. It was not an anti-gay statement. It was a pro-family statement.”
Let’s step back here for a moment and look at exactly what the “classical Christian orthodoxy” has meant over the decades when it comes to the abstract concept of “pro-family”.
It means marriage without the option of divorce even in cases of abuse, even if that means a lifetime of unhappiness.
Forty-five years ago it meant marriage between a white man and a white woman; it surely did not include marriage between a black woman and a black man or, even worse in those times, a black man and a white woman. In fact, before the Supreme Court ruled on Loving v Virginia rendering anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, the lower courts ruled that the Lovings’ marriage was in fact invalid based on their respective race.
Delivering the court opinion against the Lovings, Judge Leon M. Bazille wrote:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Once upon a not so distant past being “pro-family” meant that women who got out of abusive and/or unhappy marriages were shunned and ostracized. Often, women were unable to seek divorce on financial grounds– they lacked the necessary financial independence that was needed to survive at the time and this was due to the traditional classical Christian view of marriage. Adding insult to injury, a women that did manage to secure a divorce would likely be shunned by society and treated as an outcast. Facing these obstacles that traditional views on marriage brought, many women were forced to remain in unhappy marriages. From the words of one womanwho lived through this:

When I divorced my husband in 1965 there were still some who would practice the tradition of shunning, turn their backs to you as though you did not exist.

My husband was ordered by a court order to pay $100 per month child support for our two sons. Fifty dollars per month for each son. He decided that since I divorced him, he would not pay this support money. He never paid and the courts were not an option in getting him to pay.

Over time American society has mostly been able to rid itself of these [redacted] that essentially dehumanized women and supported segregation. When James White  says that “classical Christian orthodoxy” has become “marginalized”, “ostracized”, “demonized”, and “penalized”, what he fails to mention is that it’s the exclusionary orthodox practices that have come under fire. The ones that separate, discriminate, and worst of all, hurt. How is this a bad thing? Had we not moved forward and shed what we were taught was right and just, women would still be confined to the home, single mother families would be scorned, and I wouldn’t be getting ready to marry my Caucasian fiancé.

 Furthermore, by stating that he’s not “anti-gay” but “pro-family” the Baptist Press reporter mentioned above seems to imply, and White appears to agree, that gay people don’t have families which couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality the two words “pro-family” and “anti-gay” have become synonymous because of the actions of those that tend to use them. Feigning ignorance or playing with semantics doesn’t make Dan Cathy any less anti-gay. His support of radical conservative organizations like the American Family Association prove that.

White notes that “[Chick-fil-a] provided free meals for the police force in Aurora, Colorado”, what he fails to state is that Chick-fil-a also supports the American Family Associate (AFA). This is the same AFA that blamed the Aurora shooting on homosexuals and gay marriage. Seriously. Fred Jackson, the American Family Association’s news director, blamed the shootings on liberals by “deemphasizing the fear of God and the Bible.” On AFA Today during a discussion with Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries they blamed the shooting on homosexuals and acceptance.

 Jackson: I think the sources of this is [sic] multifaceted but you can put it all I think under the heading of rebellion to God, a rejection of the God of the Bible. I think along with an education system that has produced our lawyers, our politicians, more teachers, more professors, all of that sort of thing, is our churches, mainline churches. We’ve been dealing Teddy and I know the AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God.

James: And God will not be silent when he’s mocked, and we need to remember that.

Jackson: We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.

While Dan Cathy supports the American Family Association, he actually donated money to the Family Research Council. This is the Family Research Council that boasts the likes of Peter Sprigg; the same Peter Sprigg that opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and believes that homosexuality should be criminal. This is also the same Family Research Council that advocates for “gay away” treatment” and publishes heinously false and horrible offensive literature on homosexuality.

The list of anti-gay groups that Chick-fil-a has donated to goes on and on.

So Mr. White, let’s drop the semantics here because, in my opinion, it doesn’t get any more anti-gay than that. Whether you’re the person on the end of the microphone spewing this hateful rhetoric or the one bankrolling the people who spew this shit, you’re anti-gay.

The protest against Chick-fil-a may be a knee-jerk reaction at White states but it’s the right one. If you enable hateful groups like the AFA, I don’t care how much good you do, you don’t deserve my hard-earned money.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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