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Religious bigotry on display: ‘Fuck you queers,’ say Chick-fil-A patrons

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I am sure that all of you, by now, know the back story of this issue — Chick-fil-A has donated millions to anti-gay organizations and hate groups, their CEO and founder both voiced their virulent opposition to gay equality, and thus they faced a PR backlash with many people boycotting the company.

Since then, however, many conservative, anti-gay politicians have voiced their support for Chick-fil-A. These include Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum (both, bastions of intellect and integrity, right?), and, most prominently, Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee has taken it upon himself to herald a full-fledged campaign called “Chick-Fil-A appreciation day” in which Christian conservatives go out of their way to patron a restaurant that actively opposes the civil rights of gay people. Yes, when he’s not irresponsibly spreading misinformation likening gay people to pedophiles, he is launching disingenuous, thinly veiled hate campaigns under the transparently erroneous pretext of “protecting first amendment rights.”

This entire “censorship” smokescreen is a roundly dishonest misrepresentation of what is actually being said by the supporters of the LGBT community and critics of Chick-fil-A, who have not in any way attacked the rights of Dan Cathy or his company.

In an act of ultimate intellectual cowardice, conservatives have decided to equate any and all criticism of Dan Cathy and his homophobic views/actions, as an attack on his right to freedom of speech. By childishly inciting the false notion that Cathy is a victim of censorship, numerous right wing politicians and preachers have managed to, once again, stir up fear and resentment towards the LGBT community, giving people a gateway in which to wantonly parade their bigotry and spite.

I live in semi-rural Georgia, in the center of the storm. On my way to take care of a few errands in my neighborhood, I passed a Chick-fil-A along the way. The drive-through line stretched all the way down the road. The parking lot was full and people had even begun filling up an adjacent movie theater parking lot.

As I was stopped at an intersection, I was forced to sit there and watch hundreds of people, flaunting their homophobia like a badge of honor. They were standing in line with smiles on their faces, as they actively and consciously gave their money to a company expressly opposed to the equal rights of a select group of people. I had to sit there and watch this menagerie of spite and willful ignorance.

I watched droves of xenophobic simpletons patting each other on the back about how they were “defending free speech” from an imaginary threat, as they united against the civil rights of other human beings. I watched as they stuffed their faces and gloated amongst each other about how they “showed those faggots who this country belongs to.”

I had a hard time fully comprehending what I was witnessing. It is at times like these that I find it difficult to believe that I am living in the year 2012.

I find it unfathomable that we, as a country, are still capable of such repugnant and hateful behavior. I know that such cavalcades of ignorance will one day be looked upon by future generations with the same level of revulsion, pity, and embarrassment that I felt at that very moment. Something had to be done immediately. This event would commence, regardless of my actions, but it would not do so without incident, without a single voice of opposition.

I browsed Facebook and found that, among my friends, I was not the only one disgusted by the bigotry in my community. However, none of them could carve time out of their schedules to actually show up at the restaurant. Then I saw a post from one of my friends named April. She said that she was going to show up to protest, alone if she had to. We made ourselves two signs — one sign said “Hate is not a family value” and the other said “love is gender blind.” So, we were ready to begin our protest.

We parked in the movie theater parking lot, next door, and immediately upon exiting my car, a group of four or so 18-25 year old, rural males sped by us, yelling “fags!” and “fuck you, queers!” April and I just smiled and waved. We gave them the classic two-fingered peace sign in response to their middle fingers, as they pulled out of the lot and quickly sped off. It was an interesting way to set the tone for the evening. We didn’t receive any attention quite that extreme throughout the rest of our protest, thankfully.

We approached the sidewalk out front of the Chick-fil-A, and immediately all eyes were upon us, both the people passing on the road and the people standing in line. However, we felt not a single ounce of fear or anxiety. Not only because we could see these people for the fearful, reactionary simpletons that they are, but because we knew that our mere presence made all of their guts tighten in dread.

The moment we showed up on that sidewalk, we had already won.

Surprisingly, we received more positive attention than we had anticipated. We received numerous thumbs up, smiles, cheers, and words of gratitude. About a dozen people approached us on foot to thank us for what we were doing, and for standing up to prejudice. In the final hour of our protest, the positive feedback vastly outweighed the negative feedback.

There were, of course, less than positive responses. We received all manner of confused, bewildered, angry, sneering, and disapproving looks. There were a few middle fingers, thumbs down, or fists in the air. Some people attempted to “get our goat,” yelling things like “I love Chick-Fil-A,” and bandishing styrofoam cups with the company’s logo. Naturally, this display did not strike us as any more egregious than the hundreds of other patrons, showing up with the purpose of celebrating their intolerance and false sense of supremacy.

A select few had the mettle to actually attempt to engage us in conversation. One elderly lady proclaimed, “we ain’t hatin nobody,” to which I replied, “Well, preventing people from being married is pretty hateful.” Similarly, we were accused by a bearded fellow of “spreading hate against Christians” and being “hypocrites.” Which is odd, considering that none of our signs even addressed Christianity.

Interestingly, April and I ended up on the local news as they were interviewing people around the Chick-Fil-A. And as a result of our three-hour protest, hundreds of people saw our message, and we were being talked about across town.

This protest was a roundly uplifting experience for me. People tend to forget that you don’t need thousands of protesters to get a point across. You don’t even need an organization or a mobilized event in order to stand up for what is right.

The power of someone’s message is not defined by how many people they have marching beside them, but by the veracity of their ethics, the solidity of their character, and the strength of their conviction — all of which appear to be lacking in the patrons I encountered at Chick-fil-A.

I no longer feel sick and dispirited over recent events, because I know that, decades from now, when I tell my children about August 1, 2012 — I will be able to tell them exactly where I was.

I was not among the fearful, easily manipulated dregs, indulging in their own petty hatred. In a cesspool of backwardness, April and I were there to be a beacon for the future, and that is far more savory than any chicken sandwich.

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33 more reader comments:

  1. They’ve been saying that,and worse,as long as I can remember.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:30pm
  2. So, they’re saying “fuck you queers?” They do realize, that will make them part of our community, should they follow their own words.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:31pm
  3. god does not like contension…love is the answer…we are all deserving of love and all that love brings with it….=]

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:34pm
  4. When someone tells me that, my standard answer is, “You’d LIKE to get a piece of this!”

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:35pm
  5. The funny part is that the second most important commandment is to love your neighbor.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:37pm
  6. I know God DOESN’T hate, so that’s enough for me

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:39pm
  7. When, where, how hard and what position?

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:49pm
  8. hahaha jonathan

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 2:54pm
  9. Yes, they would like to, wouldn’t they?

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:01pm
  10. Ummm I think God would have a problem with their language

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:03pm
  11. I’m truly confused as to why these people are lining up to shove hot, greasy cocks into their mouths to support an organization that actively protests gay marriages.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:04pm
  12. And some of these ppl r raising our up n coming generation …lovely!

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:07pm
  13. “Fuck you queers”…Christianity in action.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:10pm
  14. You are dealing with mostly uneducated, Fox Listening, Christian Extremist, or are most like likely republicans. What would you expect.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:10pm
  15. Hate and bigotry and ignorance breed hate and bigotry and ignorance.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:10pm
  16. Fuck u pussy whipped dogs

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:10pm
  17. Christians and bigots.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:20pm
  18. So were is the video for this.I thought this guy was a video blogger.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:21pm
  19. do not be SHOCKEd this is their idea of cgrisitan family values…cursing others causing oothers painand embarrasment and pain…perfect christian values..and THEY say Christians are being attacked…NOPE YOU are the aggresssors and disgusting bible liars as well

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:29pm
  20. What can you expect from those self righteous Chik fil hate eating homophobic hypocritical ‘Christians’. Way to be ‘Christ like’, and show us your ugly true colors. I prefer my Pride & my pretty Rainbow Flag.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:30pm
  21. Matthew 19:11&12

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:35pm
  22. These two people are a shining hope for the future ! Well done !!

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:36pm
  23. How Christ-like!

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 3:37pm
  24. Great article

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:04pm
  25. fuck you miserable, overpopulated heteros!

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:23pm
  26. christians are nothin but a quiet kkk

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:38pm
  27. I thought this country belonged to ALL of us. Ohhh, how embarrassing for me.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:59pm
  28. Hats off to you two with your signs! Proud of you – Watching this from Canada. Maybe we are really the land of the free?…

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 5:14pm
  29. Fuck me? LOL, with that little хуй you have? Dont make me laugh, American chicken eaters.

    There. That’s how to deal with idiots.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 6:09pm
  30. Two simple commandments!

    Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Where’s the Christ-like love for this man-kissing homo?

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 10:43pm
  31. The feeling is mutual.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 11:34pm
  32. Love it.

    Posted on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 11:49pm
  33. So original, seem’s like they have nothing better to do other than hate on others.

    Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 3:26am