I apologize for how I keep going on and on about Chick-fil-A. I know the whole ordeal is just another tedious way station in the long slog toward marriage equality in this country, and a particularly silly one at that. I know I’ve already shared my thoughts about the issue… twice! Those of you who are bearing with me in this vexatious time, I thank you for your patience.
But God help me, something about the way my peeps are reacting to this controversy is working my very last nerve. So — it’s my blog, and I’ll rant if I want to.
First of all, who could possibly have seen this coming?
All day long Wednesday, restaurants were packed largely with conservative Christians who showed up for a Chick-fil-A appreciation day, an event organized by former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas after the company was targeted as being antigay.
When is a chicken sandwich not a chicken sandwich? When it’s a deep-fried mouthful of religious liberty, that’s when. Suddenly one can make an angry political point and harden one’s arteries at the exact same time. (If there is a more fitting metaphor for today’s America, I’d love to hear it.) Now all right-thinking liberal politicians can preen about keeping nasty bigots out of their cities, and all right-thinking social conservatives can pride themselves on eating the most morally-upright fast food on the market. Everyone’s a winner!
As I’ve said already, even though I was almost certainly not going to be eating there anyway, I won’t be buying myself any Chick-fil-A anytime soon. That’s how boycotts work, and I happen to think it’s perfectly legitimate to withhold one’s custom from a merchant who will use his profits in part to fund causes one opposes. On the flipside, people who hold the opposite view can show their support for said causes by flocking to said merchant’s stores. It remains to be seen whether anything even remotely meaningful comes from this flurry of buying/not buying, but I don’t find either response annoying.
What do I find annoying?
People who support same-sex marriage and oppose the company’s position are organizing a kiss-in on Friday at the restaurants.
Boom, annoyance a-go-go.
I will give you a shiny nickel if you can explain to me what organizers of this “kiss-in” hope to accomplish. (Note: “feeling good about ourselves” does not count as an accomplishment.) Maybe my dark tar heart is too riddled with cynicism to see the inherent beauty in this protest, but from my perspective watching gays and lesbians necking during lunchtime will do little to change the minds of restaurant patrons. I guess if that doesn’t work, they can just throw glitter on them.
As delicious as Chick-fil-A partisans seem to find the food, I am actually quite glad that there do not seem to be any franchises in the state where I currently reside. Why? Because we have a marriage-equality referendum coming down the pike, and while the poll numbers certainly look good the very last thing we need is to get lazy or arrogant. And frankly, I’d just as well pass on any asinine, pointless stunts that might piss off undecided voters right now, thanks all the same. It’s all very courageous to play tonsil hockey for the cause, and I wish the saliva-swappers well on their self-congratulatory voyage to Herotown, but actually changing people’s minds and getting them to side with you at the ballot box takes much more time and effort.