I was shaking my fist at God the other day when I had an amazing brainstorm. When Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made his historic “guilty as charged” announcement that his fast food chain opposed gay marriage (and that gay marriage proponents were guilty of “shaking their fist at God”) he wasn’t simply condemning gays, but every American who who hasn’t been converted to Christianity…yet.
While the LGBT community (and its supporters) have every right to feel victimized by Cathy’s homophobic rhetoric (and what community wouldn’t appreciate thousands of chicken puns headlines?), there’s another group we’ve forgotten about: people who don’t want a side of the King James Bible with their chicken sandwich.
When Cathy went maverick in the first-ever chicken war, he didn’t reveal his restaurant’s true nature via CNN, ABC, or even Fox News. Cathy was speaking to the “Biblical Recorder,” a newspaper for Baptists. No fair and balanced there, and why should it even try? The BR is devoted to spreading the Baptist faith like a honey mustard on a hot-buttered bun.
So why did an interview with a little Baptist newspaper (with approximately 25,000 subscribers) garner such nationwide attention? Why do people in New York suddenly know what Chick-Fil-A is? (a majority of it’s 1,600+ franchises are below the Mason-Dixon line). You can argue that Cathy’s “guilty as charged” statement was the most resonating line in his “Biblical Recorder” interview, and you’d probably be right. But here are a few more anti-atheist, anti-agnostic, and anti-Eastern religion gems for you:
Cathy: “[Chick-Fil-A is] based on Biblical principles, asking God and pleading with God to give us wisdom on decisions we make about people and the programs and partnerships we have. And He has blessed us.”
And Cathy’s relationship with his 61,000-plus employees nationwide?
“Our performance in the workplace should be the focus of how we build respect, rapport and relationships with others that opens the gateway to interest people in knowing God…Our work should be an act of worship. Our work should be our mission field. As long as we are stateside, let’s don’t think we have to go on mission trips by getting a passport…If you’re obedient to God you are going to be evangelistic in the quality of the work you do, using that as a portal to share [Christ].”
All of that said, Cathy said that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t “claim to be a Christian business.”
It’s almost too unbelievable to comprehend. In the U.S. right now, 61,000-plus Chick-Fil-A employees are being judged on how their fast food restaurant skills (whether operating the fryer or managing a PR team) help customers get closer to a Christian God by acting as a customer portal to Christ.
Do you want salvation with that?
And if you base your business structure on a Christian “mission” that involves donating customer money to gay cure organizations and anti-gay marriage campaigns, the customer eating the chicken becomes a part of the anti-gay, Christ-portal action (chicken trans-substantiation?). And the funny thing is, all of this has been happening for years, and we, in the world of gay news, knew it. But because Cathy came out and said it, literally owned up to being a homophobe, the nation is witnessing even more Mason-Dixon line polarization. It was the chicken “b-gock!” heard round the world.
As Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have demonstrated in the past few weeks, Dan Cathy’s announcement, like President Obama’s pro-gay marriage statement in May, was a watershed moment for Republicans who felt suffocated by the social and political climate of increased LGBT tolerance in America. But do all conservatives practice Christianity? I know George W. Bush made it sound like that was the case, and I’m sure a majority do, but not all Americans are Christian.
And even if 100 percent of the U.S. was Christian, America is a nation based on religious freedom. We are the land of the free, not the land of the Christians who want us to eat their Jesus-inspired chicken while donating cash to make sure gays (and God knows who else) stay in their place. Its time a few chicken-pun headlines got written about that.
(I recommend: “Home of the Whopper, not Jesus”)