Sunday, August 5, 2012


 What a week it has been. The great struggles of the people who want to believe themselves to be active in the political sphere has been reduced to chicken sandwiches. We've been at war in this country for nearly twelve years, and the poverty and jobless numbers have increased exponentially over the last twenty years. But what we want to protest is a chicken mogul who gives his money to anti-gay groups? I am pro-marriage equality. I am a firm believer in the Declaration of Independence, which says that "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal." Oh, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all people of "equal protection under the law." This alone should be enough to hold S. Truett Cathy (the founder of Chick Fil A, which is now embroiled in this protest) to not allowing his restaurants to become the segregated lunch counters keeping gays out of their restaurants. As a wealthy man, he is certainly allowed to give his money to whatever cause he chooses. But those who are gay and those who support the Fourteenth Amendment and know and love, as I do, many people who are gay, not to spend money there. Mr. Cathy says that all people are treated with dignity and respect in his stores, which is amusing-he is certainly happy to take money from gays, while his money goes to a group, the Family Research Council, which has been certified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC.) The SPLC is the group that used law suits to essentially break the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980's. They have monitored hate groups ever since, and their word is highly respected among those who believe that not all terrorists are Islamic.

I have struggled mightily with how to feel about this one. I have never liked the food at Chick Fil A. It is overcooked, too fatty, too expensive, and not really worth the price in poor health for me. Now I know I would not eat there ever again because I don't want my money going into profits that go to hate groups.  And the screeching on both sides is verging on ridiculous considering the problems this country faces right now. I don't believe that any mayors need to try and stop Chick Fil A's from being built in their cities, which would be a violation of the owner's First Amendment right to free speech. For those who don't follow this blog, and haven't read the constitution, the First Amendment says that THE GOVERNMENT can't tell Americans what we can and can't say. On the other hand, those on the right who claim that being against marriage equality is to be for "traditional marriage as discussed in the bible." When I was in the church, we were told repeatedly that the bible teaches "one man for one woman for life." I'm sorry, but I've read the bible cover-to-cover several times, and nowhere does it say that. The truth is that from earliest civilization, marriage has been a financial transaction between two fathers in which one father gave a piece of property-land, livestock, children, for some piece of property from the other father. That's it. The white dresses and rings and fortunes wasted on weddings that we celebrate in this country were an invention of European culture. It has nothing whatsoever to do with anything that is said in the bible.

On June 4th of 2011 did my first photo installment for this blog regarding how it bothers me that we haven't protested this intractable period of war that we have been in for the last decade plus. The right screams about government spending and deficits, but they want to keep bombing every country in the Middle East except Israel. Many people who scream and scream about all government help to the disadvantaged, never say a word about the corporate welfare that goes to billionaire corporations such as Monsanto, Exxon-Mobile, the Koch Brothers and Massey Energy (coal.)

We should be protesting the movement to create a military award for drone controllers-the military pilots who use remote controls to bomb locations with drones, when these strikes kill indiscriminately, and often include children and wedding celebrations. Many have said that the only reason we aren't protesting our wars in the Middle East is because we don't have the draft, as we did in previous wars. But since we can bomb without leaving the video arcade, we don't need to risk the actual lives of our soldiers. These wars are much more expensive, but fewer American military boots are on the ground. That does not mean, as we know, that fewer lives are threatened, because this sort of warfare has created a larger anti-American sentiment among the people whose families and neighborhoods have been the targets of those anonymous bombs.

I'm not actually digressing from my original point regarding the protests, both pro and con, of Chick Fil A, but there was a photo going around Facebook this week that showed Chick Fil A protesters juxtaposed with civil rights protesters from the 1960s, and the caption said, "In Forty Years, You Are Going to Feel Really Silly." And I daresay that it would be true, if the people who are protesting for Chick Fil A had the capacity to see themselves as being silly in their choices. The number of Americans now in favor of marriage equality is rising, not falling. Since Harvey Milk called gays to come out before his murder in 1978, and more have, more and more people know that they know people who are gay, and they have come to realize that gay doesn't mean "child molester," it doesn't mean freak, killer, deranged or damaged; it doesn't mean proselytizer. This is why we haven't heard crazy stories from military personnel about gays trying to recruit them since they can now serve openly in the military. I once knew a young man who was known by all of those around him to be gay, and he finally came out. I asked him, "When did you know you were gay?" He told me that he knew when he was seven years old and developed a crush on Leif Garrett. This was one of many times that my understanding of homosexuality not being a choice, but one is born that way, was reinforced. What seven year old has any concept of that man's answer to my question? And if it were a choice, who would choose to live with so much derision and hatred from so many who are in charge of public legislation and perceptions? Who would choose to feel as if there is something "wrong" with the way one's sexual desires are expressed? I never asked, at nine years old, to suddenly develop fantasies about Sean Connery. But it happened, all by itself. I didn't choose it.

I must, however, take a moment to offer a kudo to Mr. Cathy. In this day of super pacs and "secret" fortunes being spent by anonymous donors in order to achieve certain political ends, with the full blessing of the Supreme Court of the United States and their 2010 Citizens United decision, at least Mr. Cathy said out loud and publicly what he believes and why his money is going where it goes. I'm sure he may regret it now, considering the media frenzy it has garnered. But this will balance out in the end. Those who don't wish to support hate groups and anti-equality legislation in a country in which equality is constitutionally guaranteed can stop eating at his restaurants. Those who think they are showing the world what it means to live the fantasy of the biblical view of marriage can go eat all the deep-fat fried chicken and deep-fat fried waffle cut potatoes they want. I choose to believe that equality will win out in the end.
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