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Aug 01 2012

So you were just called a bigot

I know your feelings are hurt. No one wants to be called a bigot, right? But before you do something silly like scream “FREE SPEECH” or say I’m the bigot, let’s rewind a bit.

Chick-Fil-A has funneled millions of dollars toward certified hate groups in order to fund campaigns that depict gay people as pedophiles, fight against “gay behavior” and the legalization of same-sex marriage, and support dangerous “pray away the gay” programs. They also used their profits to support Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. When I first found out about these atrocious things a couple of years ago, I stopped eating at Chick-Fil-A (despite how much I love their delicious chicken sandwiches). I did not feel right knowing my money could ultimately be used to hurt GLBT people.

I could originally understand why someone wouldn’t boycott an organization that they disagree with politically. I bet there are things I buy that support things I hate, mostly because I don’t know any better, partially because I can’t financially afford to boycott everything. But now that Chick-Fil-A has been in the public eye, you know better. And if you drove to a Chick-Fil-A today to show your solidarity with the organization, you’re not just some random apathetic person who likes a chicken sandwich and doesn’t care about where their $5 goes.

You are a bigot.

You are saying “I agree with Chick-Fil-A’s anti-gay stance!” And your irrational hatred of gay people is bigotry at its finest.

Now, why do I bring this up? I tweeted that “I love seeing the long lines at Chick-Fil-A. It’s not often you get to watch the last desperate gasp of bigotry before it loses.” I then discovered that saying “Chick-Fil-A” on twitter is like some sort of terrible Bat Signal for assholes who are irrationally afraid of Teh Gay. The BigotSignal, even. But instead of a bat, it’s a giant chicken. Or a cross. A chicken on a cross?

I digress.

It seems like people don’t like it when you call them bigots, so the stupidity started rolling in. There were three main classes of responses:

1. Waaaah, you called me a name! I’m not a bigot because I say so!

If I call you a mean name, it does not mean my argument or stance is incorrect. It means I’m kind of being a jerk. But I didn’t call anyone names. When I call you a bigot, it’s not because I disagree with you. I don’t call people who like mint-chocolate ice cream bigots. It’s because you were being bigoted. It’s simple. If you want me to stop calling you a bigot, stop being a bigot.

2. FREE SPEEEEEEECH

Here is a case where I might call someone ignorant (no screen capture of her tweet because she later blocked me). But again, it’s not name-calling because it’s true. The government is not taking away your right to say how much you love fried chicken sandwiches or how much you hate gay people. Thus, no free speech violation. Just as you have the right to spew ignorant hatred on Twitter, I have to right to point and laugh and say you’re wrong. And a bigot.

3. You’re the real bigot!

Ahh, the old “Your intolerance of intolerant people makes you the real bigot!” gambit. It’s amusing on so many levels. For one, it’s like they’re implicitly admitting that yes, they are bigoted toward GLBT people, but it doesn’t matter because you’re bigoted too! Against bigots! GOTCHA!

I call you a bigot because you support those terrible things I listed above: legally denying GLBT individuals equal rights, slandering them publicly, damaging them through terrible psychological programs, and even killing them. You can call me a bigot if I start campaigning that Chick-Fil-A-Holes should not be able to marry, adopt, or serve in the military. You can call me a bigot if I ship my friends off for traumatic psychological boot camps because they dared to eat a chicken sandwich. You can call me a bigot if I compare being Republican to pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia.

If my worst offense is disagreeing with you, trying to convince you that you’re wrong, or calling you a name? That’s not bigotry, despite how much your martyr complex wishes it were so.

This is bigotry:

Consenting adults.

The last gasps indeed.

200 comments

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  1. 1
    Buffy

    You’re expecting reason and coherence from RW zealots. Silly you.

  2. 2
    cethis

    “Every gay man has the EQUAL right I have. He can marry a woman.”

    Kind of misses the point, I think.

  3. 3
    danarel

    this just became my favorite post on the internet about the chick-fil-a ordeal.

    thank you.

  4. 4
    gworroll

    Calling those people bigots is like calling me a resident of Earth.

  5. 5
    SpitefulFox

    I feel your frustration. XD

    I recently got into an argument with my parents because my mother had been shaming my sister for having the depravity to go date someone outside of her religious caste. I told my mother she’s a bigot, and my dad told me I’m no better. I said “So, I’m a bigot? I’m a bigot because I hate bigots? Well, slap a white hood on my head and call me a bigot, then! Because I hate anyone who thinks fellow human beings should be arbitrarily judged based on circumstances out of their control.”

  6. 6
    Mary B.

    Well said, sister!

  7. 7
    andigreyscale

    Hey Jen, linked to this post on my own Tumblr.

    “When I call you a bigot, it’s not because I disagree with you. I don’t call people who like mint-chocolate ice cream bigots. It’s because your were being bigoted. It’s simple. If you want me to stop calling you a bigot, stop being a bigot.”

    That’s my favorite part, and I totally agree. XD

  8. 8
    andigreyscale

    Exactly. Why the hell would a gay man want to marry a woman? What purpose would that even serve?
    Ugh, people that say that need to be slapped across the face.

  9. 9
    gworroll

    And with marriage equality, straight men would be free to marry other men. Rights would still be equal.

    And of course what I think you were getting at, the silliness of expecting someone to marry a fundamentally incompatible partner.

    That argument is pretty much nonsensical however you parse it, almost to the point I excuse them entirely on grounds of stupidity.

  10. 10
    Kevinv

    Freedom of speech protects bigotry, so just because you’re exercising your right to free speech doesn’t make you not a bigot.

  11. 11
    andigreyscale

    I’d excuse them if it didn’t directly affect my own life with that sort of backwards thinking.

    I prefer the ladies, and while I’ve no desire to actually get married, if I met another woman and did want to marry her, I should be able too. Marrying a man would be rather silly, and I still would not be able to visit the woman I love in the hospital and/or make medical decisions for her, and vise versa.

    So for me, people that want to make sure I, along with millions of others, can never marry the people we actually love illegal are my enemy and will be treated as such.

  12. 12
    A. Noyd

    “One isn’t a bigot based on what they believe. … [A bigot is defined as a] person intolerantly devoted to their opinions especially one who treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance “

    Yes, bigots treat people with hatred and intolerance but not because of what they believe. They’re just, uh, magically malicious. Also… opinions? Totally not beliefs.

  13. 13
    SallyStrange

    “Every gay man has the EQUAL right I have. He can marry a woman.”

    It really is amazing how ignorant people are. If they knew how this exact argument was made against legalizing interracial marriage (i.e., blacks are still free to marry blacks, and whites to marry whites, what’s the problem?), do you think it would give them pause?

    …Probably not.

  14. 14
    gworroll

    It doesn’t excuse them from opposition, at all.

    More anger turning into pity, than letting them off the hook entirely. Assuming, of course, they haven’t given me reason to think they are smarter than that. If they have, then it’s willful stupidity, which I tend to view as worse(though not by much) than outright dishonesty.

  15. 15
    Geoff

    “Every gay man has the EQUAL right I have. He can marry a woman.”

    But what if a man wants the same rights of the other half of the population?

  16. 16
    Buffy

    They always think they’re being so clever when they say that. Following that train of “logic” we could outlaw every religion except Satanism. People would still have Freedom of Religion–they’d all have the same right to worship Satan.

  17. 17
    josephnobles

    I saw some references to Extinction Burst over at PZ Myers’ blog. Maybe that’s what this is. It is to be hoped.

  18. 18
    jasonbrianmerrill

    hey, this brought to light a lot of interesting things. I appreciate the article very much. nice work.

  19. 19
    adam.b

    One isn’t a bigot based on what they believe [A bigot is defined as a] person intolerantly devoted to their opinions especially one who treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance

    You know what’s amusing, the first half of his definition is functionally useless since it easily encompasses anyone with strong beliefs like people who work for charities or thoses who volunteer to leave their homes to give overseas aid.

    “WHAT! You refuse to even consider the view that we should just let people die, BIGOT!”

    The second half just goes into what Jen said, is it bigoted to be intolerant of intolerance? No not at all.

  20. 20
    adam.b

    that’s a good one I think I’m going to start using it from now on.

  21. 21
    gworroll

    Well, worse in an abstract sense. In terms of effect on the world, dishonesty tends to do more damage. Just wanted to be clear on where I stand there.

  22. 22
    Hellbound Alleee

    “Every gay man has the EQUAL right I have. He can marry a woman.”

    Ah, but every gay WOMAN doesn’t have that right. Gotcha!

  23. 23
    nyarlathotep

    Did anyone else see “John Metzger” and begin trying to find out if a certain Tom Metzger had somehow managed to reproduce?

  24. 24
    Portia

    “Every gay man has the EQUAL right I have. He can marry a woman.”

    In any logical world, denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of Equal Protection for exactly this reason. Men and women are legally treated differently with regard to, say, marrying me, a woman. (And self-determination with regard to marriage is a fundamental right, Loving v. Virginia). Therefore, they don’t get equal protection of the law. It’s really very simple if you are actually interested in reason-based public policy. Alas…

    This is my new favorite post on the topic as well. On a facebook discussion on this topic, a Mormon acquaintance said that calling people bigots is “demonization” and even better: “intellectual terrorism.” I don’t think those words mean what he thinks they mean. And this is an educated person…

    P.S. I guffawed at Chick-Fil-A-Holes.

  25. 25
    Sam Salerno

    Alright Jen. Way to put this issue into its rightful perspective.

  26. 26
    J.M. Pierce

    Let’s call ‘em a bunch of right “chicken” wing bigots….

  27. 27
    YankeeCynic

    You know what, these folks don’t even NEED parody. They’re the walking embodiment of it and don’t even realize it.

    They might, however, make excellent fodder for a drinking game of some kind. The only problem would be making sure the events that require a drink aren’t so numerous so as to bring on alcohol poisoning. Logical fallacies would be out, which would unfortunately mean the bulk of their arguments would be exempted.

  28. 28
    A. Noyd

    In any logical world, denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of Equal Protection for exactly this reason.

    Great argument. Too bad the 14th Amendment is already one the conservatives would rather re-amend into nonexistence.

  29. 29
    Mustang Bobby

    It never occurs to these Christians that there might be Christians who support marriage equality — the Quakers, for example — and that their “freedom of religion” is being trampled by their campaigns to ban same-sex marriage. It’s as if they are the only Christians in the world.

  30. 30
    Portia

    Touche. They also have a much different definition of “equality,” don’t they?

  31. 31
    Robin F

    I had this very same discussion on my Facebbok wall. You should take a peek at it.

  32. 32
    redleg

    Whenever someone uses “free” or “freedom”, one has to determine “from what and for whom”.

  33. 33
    Aliasalpha

    Make it a drinking & eating game then, really stupid gets a drink but basic fallacies mean you have to eat a hand full of nuts or chips or something

  34. 34
    LS

    It was fun to watch, though. =D

  35. 35
    ...

    Nah. You’re the bigot. I mean, you’re one of the American lefties, right? The ones who helped the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis go through? The ones living high off the hog of trade restrictions that beggar the poorest of the world? The ones who then prevented anything being done about Darfur?

    Bigot. And if you want me to stop calling you one, stop being one.

  36. 36
    ...

    And I do hope no one here drinks Cola or has an IBM. That’d be just terrible, right? I mean, it’d be terrible if we found out this blog was being hosted or composed on an IBM machine.

  37. 37
    Dylan Llyr

    Terrific post.

    Here is a case where I might call someone ignorant (no screen capture of her tweet because she later blocked me). But again, it’s not name-calling because it’s true. The government is not taking away your right to say how much you love fried chicken sandwiches or how much you hate gay people.

    I followed some of these shenanigans on Twitter and I think they confirmed how much of a disaster the comments by Rahm Emanuel and co have been. For once, when the bigots whinge that evil liberals are squishing free speech they have a bit of a point. It’s incredibly frustrating that Chicago and Boston have given fundamentalists’ narrative a little ring of truth. I expect Emanuel’s name is going to keep popping up in these arguments from now on.

    Punishing a business because of the political view of its bosses is just not the way to fight bigotry: it’s wrong and it’s damn unhelpful. Sigh.

  38. 38
    Rilian

    Yeah, I only want gay people to be able to get a same-sex marriage! Wait, that’s not true.

    Also, men can marry women, but women can’t marry women, so it’s not equal.

  39. 39
    Glodson

    Am I the only one that dies a little inside when people say “what happened to the right of free speech?” I mean, I guess I oppose free speech rights when I exercise mine?

    Fuck, my head is hurting again.

  40. 40
    Bjarte Foshaug

    We were warned that it would come to thisO :-O

  41. 41
    ewan

    Er, what? IBM are generally great on recognition of gay rights.

  42. 42
    ...

    Oh dear. Don’t know this do you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust

    I also really, really hope that no one here eats chocolate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_in_cocoa_production

    Bigots.

  43. 43
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    One of my work colleagues I know is transphobic (because he’s right out done transphobic things.)

    One of my work colleagues I don’t know is homophobic, because I saw the Chick-fil-A box on the communal table. It’s like a symbol – someone at my work hates who I am.

  44. 44
    ...

    Maybe he just saw some chocolate on your desk and decided you were racist…

  45. 45
    Beth

    I just had that exact conversation with a Mormon friend (I think possibly now and ex-friend.) It’s like you have a transcript of the discussion. They all have their talking points, for sure.

  46. 46
    Sathya

    I’m just happy you’re back, Jen.

    Nice takedown.

  47. 47
    Dave

    “You can call me a bigot if I compare being Republican to pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia”
    … in that case, sign me up. I’m a HUGE bigot. Bigot, bigot, bigot…

    Personally, the Extremist blockade of Common Sense in America has to end sometime; let’s hope it’s with a quiet whimper and not a hail of bullets.

  48. 48
    Dave

    That type of person isn’t a Christian, but an Extremist. They should start wearing their crosses over bombvests and go diving into crowds, IMHO. It’d show te World their TRUE colors.

  49. 49
    RW Ahrens

    That’s because they DO think they are the only true christians in the world…

  50. 50
    Sassafras

    If you actually gave a shit about those causes, you’d be trying to convince people to support them (and liberals who already support boycotting bad businesses would be a good place to start!), not using those people’s suffering to try to score dirt-cheap rhetorical points.

  51. 51
    jhendrix

    Excellent post, really glad to see you blogging again!

    I have to say, I’m really trying to find a way to logically argue against the “Being bigoted isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I can be bigoted against murderers” style argumentation.

    It’s the whole “you’re not tolerant if you don’t tolerate my intolerance!” argument. I know something is wrong, but I’d like a formal way to debunk that line of reasoning in an explicit way.

  52. 52
    ...

    Hypocrisy much? Someone who eats Chick Fil-A is a bigot because of some foolish things said by their president – but someone who eats something that involves child slavery, well, that’s all okay.

    Suddenly sucks when you’re the one getting the thoughtless accusations of bigotry, don’t it? Suddenly it’s not so much fun hmmmmm?

    Oh, and I don’t eat chocolate or drink coke. But your conscience seems remarkably disturbed by this…

    and liberals who already support boycotting bad businesses would be a good place to start!

    Please. “Liberals” – american lefties – are useless. To repair to my original point, they’re the one’s responsible for blocking any attempt to stop the murder of eight hundred thousand of my Tutsi brothers and sisters, and then did the same thing again in Darfur. And, yes, I’ve been involved in those causes either, to the extent I can be.

  53. 53
    Dexeron

    Thing is, your trolling aside, you know damn well that there’s always room for improvement in everything. But, we can’t boycott EVERYTHING. As Jen said: “I bet there are things I buy that support things I hate, mostly because I don’t know any better, partially because I can’t financially afford to boycott everything.” So we take stands against the things we can, do other things to work against things harder to change, but being human we sometimes can’t address everything at once. We think globally, act locally, and do what we can.

    Because by your logic, we might as well not ever take a stand for anything. “Oh, you’re not standing up against X, Y and Z! That means you’re wrong to stand up to A, B or C!” Of course, by your logic, before we can say ANYYHING, we have to boycott EVERY company that has ever done anything wrong ever in history – which means ultimately we can’t stand up against anything, but that’s your goal, isn’t it? Because you’re not actually here to encourage a consistant stand or greater advocacy. No, you’re trying to score some easy “gotcha” point (that’s pretty morally bankrupt, which makes your obvious glee at it kind of disturbing) and somehow shame
    people into being quiet.

    But yea, no one here’s perfect. REVELATION ACCOMPLISHED! Let me ask you: what stand have YOU taken, huh? Have you done ANYTHING ever, or do you just pat yourself on the back for at least being consistent while you shrug and handwave any wrongdoing you ever see?

    Go back to your hole, troll, and take your idiotic intellectual dishonesty with you. Or at least come up with a better argument than: “HURRRR, you’re not boycotting EVERYTHING so YER the bigot HAHAHAHAHA!”

    Bigot.

  54. 54
    ...

    There’s another thing. Chick-fil-A is a fast food chain of the kind that provides jobs to large numbers of working class people. So maybe I should just accuse you lot of being snobs as well as bigots. After all, you are trying to sabotage the livelihoods of those less well off.

    Oh, sorry, didn’t think about that, did you? Then maybe you should can it about handing out accusations of bigotry at the drop of a hat?

  55. 55
    capt_carl

    While I have nothing more intelligent to add since everyone has already voiced what would say, all this contraversy makes me glad that the nearest Chik-Fil-A to me is in a place I’ll never visit: New Jersey.

  56. 56
    ryansheehan

    Great article. LOL @ Chick-Fil-A-Holes.

  57. 57
    ischemgeek

    I think it stems from a fundamental conflict in the formal vs informal use of the word ‘tolerance’, similar to ‘theory’ in casual vs technical use.

    If A thinks X means Y, and B thinks X means Z, and Y and Z are mutually incompatible, you can’t have a constructive conversation about X or using X as a term. Reason being that both parties have an incompatible understanding of X.

    In the case of tolerance, in casual terms, people understand it as ‘don’t judge anyone for anything, no matter how foolish or wrong you think it is.’ In technical terms, people who are conversant in social justice issues adopt a more nuanced meaning along the lines of “don’t judge people for things outside of their control, and things that don’t harm others.” Thus shaming people on basis of race, health, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education, etc is not okay, but shaming people on their actions and beliefs is okay because actions and beliefs are in control of the person in question.

    Perhaps I’m bending myself into a pretzel to give them the benefit of the doubt here, but I’ve noticed a lot of arguments in these areas (theory =/= wild guess, tolerance =/= don’t judge anything ever, privilege =/= having everything handed to you on a silver platter, etc) seem to boil down to misunderstanding of technical terminology.

  58. 58
    gworroll

    There is some debate regarding exactly what IBM upper management knew about what the Third Reich was doing, and when they knew it, and whether or not standard business oversight should have found out more. It was also decades ago, none of the senior management from that era is working there, and I doubt anyone of significant seniority is even still alive. The people responsible for whatever misdeeds IBM committed during the Holocaust are long gone.

    Also, your argument has shades of a “dear muslima”. “This other thing is worse so stop whining”. Maybe it is worse, but it’s been made clear that Jen(and others, btw) cannot financially afford to support every justifiable boycott.

    Given this inability to boycott everything, you have to pick your battles. While it’s tempting to pick the biggest problem, these problems are often the hardest to attack. To use a naval analogy, they are the battleships of the enemy fleet, these relatively small problems the destroyers. If you want to reduce the threat of this fleet, and your resources are limited- you should sink the destroyers rather than scratch the paint on the battleship. This will accomplish much more in much less time. I’m not saying ignore the battleship completely, but you have to reduce the threat of this fleet somehow.

  59. 59
    CT

    A lot of the people saying this garbage in my feed are most definitely not RW zealots. Most of them are apathetic at best but the distraction argument of ‘free speech’ had them all worked up. My fingers fell off yesterday explaining that my disliking your bigoted stance has absolutely nothing to do with the government censoring your speech.

    truly idiots in my feed yesterday.

  60. 60
    CT

    me too.

  61. 61
    M can help you with that.

    Can’t even go a single thread without lying about the boycott, can you “…”?

  62. 62
    M can help you with that.

    I’ve mostly seen suggestions that businesses be punished due to long histories of horrendously toxic and anti-ethical corporate cultures and employment habits, exemplified by public statements by those in charge.

  63. 63
    gworroll

    I’m pretty sure that most boycotters would prefer Chick-Fil-A to cease donations to antigay groups, rather than have them go out of business. Were these donations to cease, I’d pretty much immediately go have lunch there and let them know why they gained a customer.

    And even if they went out of business, either entirely or just some of the franchises, well, the demand for fast food chicken is still there. Other businesses will need more employees to supply this demand. Yeah, it probably would still cause some collateral damage to their employees. I doubt anyone in the boycott is happy about that, but it’s a risk that we have to take if change is to happen.

  64. 64
    gworroll

    If it was just Dan Cathy being a bigoted ass and donating from his own paycheck, I wouldn’t care. Boycotting a company because they have some assholes in senior positions would be completely untenable even if I was richer than Carlos Slim. I’d pretty much have to form my own company to supply everything I need from raw materials, and fire my managers so freely that I’d probably violate labor laws.

    The problem is corporate money being donated to antigay causes, not what some senior official is doing with his own paycheck.

    Some of the mayors haven’t been helpful though. While it might not have been their intent, they did seem to suggest that they would stop Chick-Fil-A from coming to their city even if they filed all the paperwork correctly. That’s really not helpful at all, and has been cited by a few people I know, who I’d have expected to join the boycott, as a reason to support Chick-Fil-A. Their attempt to score some political points is hurting the cause they claim to support.

  65. 65
    sambarge

    So, in order to support working people, I need to eat at a restaurant that funds “Kill the Gays” legislation in Uganda? Huh. And here I thought working for a union and improving the standard of working conditions for all workers would be the best way to support working people, but I guess I was wrong. I’d quit my job but then I wouldn’t be able to pay for shitty fried chicken at a two-tier franchise that pays it’s workers minimum wage.

    Thanks, says… Your insights have changed my mind.

  66. 66
    sambarge

    I don’t know if Chik-Fil-A is even in Canada. I hope not.

  67. 67
    Gregory in Seattle

    If you walk like a duck, and swim like a duck, and quack like a duck, you have no right to be outraged when people say, “You are a duck.”

  68. 68
    Rieux

    That type of person isn’t a Christian, but an Extremist.

    Huh? Exactly what is it about (a) extremism or (b) Christianity that prevents extremists from being Christians?

    There are millions of Christian extremists in the United States, and no shortage of them elsewhere in the world. So what are you talking about?

    But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

    - Jesus, in Luke 19:27

  69. 69
    Rieux

    Wow—you didn’t even read the post, did you?

    I could originally understand why someone wouldn’t boycott an organization that they disagree with politically. I bet there are things I buy that support things I hate, mostly because I don’t know any better, partially because I can’t financially afford to boycott everything. But now that Chick-Fil-A has been in the public eye, you know better. And if you drove to a Chick-Fil-A today to show your solidarity with the organization, you’re not just some random apathetic person who likes a chicken sandwich and doesn’t care about where their $5 goes.

    You are a bigot.

    Utterly dissimilar from everything you’re bullshitting about.

  70. 70
    leftwingfox

    I have to admit, I have a problem with boycotts in general. I believe economic action will always favour the wealthier side of the equation, regardless of morality. I feel it feeds into the free market notion that morality and profitability are related, which in turn puts the burden of corporate regulation on individual consumers, who may be uninformed, uninterested, or unable to participate for economic reasons (i.e. not a consumer of the product but affected by the externality, unable to afford a moral choice because the market is structured for the immoral choice, restricted by necessity or monopoly).

    In the end, I feel that denouncing those attitudes and supporting organizations which oppose NOM and the Ugandan “Kill the gays” bill is probably the superior choice in the short term, while trying to remove the influence and prevalence of private contributions to the political system and improve the regulatory framework under which corporations operate.

  71. 71
    Richard

    I listened to Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day yesterday on KSL in Salt Lake City. My reaction: All that bigotry will make you fat.

  72. 72
    sambarge

    I see what you’re saying re. the equating of morality and profitability. On the other hand, we’re talking about a fast-food chicken place. It’s a pretty easy boycott and there are a lot of other places you could spend your money.

    Also, like Jen says, it’s all about actually going there on a day (August 1) set aside to show that you agree with the anti-gay rights/marriage/right to live stance of the corporation. So, in essence, customers to Chik-Fil-A on Aug. 1 were equating morality and profitability by spending money there to show their support of anti-gay laws, etc.

    I’m not saying corporations are moral beings but they do offer a product to the market and part of Chik-Fil-A’s product is homophobia. By refusing to purchase that product, you are making a moral statement.

  73. 73
    Jessie

    I really feel for this gay Chick-fil-A employee

  74. 74
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    …, there’s a difference between using an IBM computer, eating chocolate, heck, even eating at Chick-fil-A.

    These people aren’t bigots because they’re eating at Chick-fil-A. These people are bigots because they chose to eat at Chick-fil-A on a WIDELY known specific day designed to stand in solidarity with the owner’s anti-gay beliefs. Certainly, there could be some stray shots, someone who just wanted some crappy chicken and meh fries. Chances are, however, that the vast majority of persons going to eat at Chick-fil-A yesterday were anti-gay bigots.

    I don’t give a damn if you eat at Chick-fil-A regularly. However, if you choose to do so specifically on a day when you’re saying people like me don’t deserve equal treatment, you’re a bigot.

  75. 75
    steve84

    Many right-wing Christians think that about Christianity. They think freedom of religion means that everyone has the right to be a Christian. They completely flip out when Muslims for example want to use the same rights.

  76. 76
    steve84

    Thank you. That distinction is often lost these days.

  77. 77
    steve84

    They are perverting the idea of “free speech” in the same way they pervert “freedom of religion” when they interpret it to mean “The freedom to force my religion on everyone under all circumstances”

  78. 78
    steve84

    She is fooling herself a bit though. Yeah, they may not outright fire her, even though that’s perfectly legal in the South. But there is a good chance that she’d be bullied and harassed until she quits on her own. There is also no chance for her to ever be promoted to a higher position. They vigorously screen people in management positions – including intruding deeply into their personal lives – to be sure that employees follow the correct religious doctrines. It’s the only reason they aren’t being sued more often for employment discrimination.

  79. 79
    ...

    Fair enough on the boycott, but this is still a lousy accusation. The argument about free speech would have been irrelevant, right up to the point that the government took a hand. Which is exactly what happened in the case of Menino and Emanuel. That changed the argument, from the subject of the – admittedly abhorrent – views of the president, to the issue of whether the state has the right to punish opinion. And that is why many people are on the side of chick fil-a, even if they wouldn’t have been otherwise.

  80. 80
    ...

    I’m sorry, I should have been more clear about the boycott. That said this accusation of bigotry is thrown around far too cheaply.

  81. 81
    Portia

    I understand it’s not an exact analogy, but Chicago also fought Wal-Mart over their CEO’s opposition to unions. They made them prove they were going to pay their workers a certain amount, and from what I read, an alderman in Chicago just wants Chick-Fil-A to produce a non-discrimination policy. Doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

  82. 82
    John

    Chick-Fil-A donates money to the WinShape Foundation which is a college scholarship foundation that also provides summer camps for both boys and girls. And the site in which claims that that the WinShape foundation then turns around and supports an organization who then donated to cause that supported “Kill the Gays” is a disreputable and bias source. Chic-Fil-A has never directly supported any kind of “Kill the Gays” organization.

  83. 83
    CrystalMc

    Missing the point. It is NOT the saying you hate gay people and their right to be treated like people that we are arguing. Though that IS bigotry: Definition of BIGOT

    : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as in a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. Merriam Webster

    It is the funneling of money to take ACTION to those words. Just because you think Gays should “die” doesn’t make murder ok. THAT is not freedom of speech. Just because people agree with slavery, it still happens all over Europe today, doesn’t make it ok. Again, not freedom of speech. And, we would be abhorred by anyone saying, “Mexicans can’t marry anyone white.” and then pointing out that they have the same rights as you, “to marry into their own race.” That is a ridiculous, backwards, and illogical stance, no matter what cause you are fighting for.

    Anyone that funnels money into orgs that want to harm, discriminate and impede the beliefs of others, in the name of freedom of religion, is also hypocritical at best. If you truly support freedom of religion, then you should support people having the choice of whether or NOT to believe in that religion… which would give the Christians against Gays stance little credibility. It is the IMPOSITION of those harmful beliefs, the funneling of money that will inhibit another person’s rights to THEIR OWN belief system: that is where we find a cause for contention.

    As for that belief: Believe what you want, say what you want, have that Freedom. But don’t impose your beliefs on another person, especially not in the name of Jesus or God or Religion. In the Christian example, Chic Fil A being of that religious stance: If you have to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, give people the right to NOT accept, (even though I largely disagree with the basis of this theology). It is NOT your job to impose beliefs, it is the job of evangelical Christians to make the Gospel know and OFFER, not impose. Even the Christian God, within that theological system, doesn’t want FORCED adherence to religion. It is the heart that matters. (Again, not that I believe with What I personally consider flawed theology here.)
    And everyone has the right to decide within their heart what to believe, BUT, I think, should only be able to take action to beliefs which do not cause harm, or force religion, or impede another’s belief system.

    Off my soapbox,
    A daughter of an Adventist Pastor,
    A woman of God,
    In support of ALL LGBT rights and equal rights for all,
    Crystal

  84. 84
    Kevin

    In clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act?

    One hopes this puts a big fat spotlight on their illegal actions at the DoJ.

  85. 85
    leftwingfox

    Also, like Jen says, it’s all about actually going there on a day (August 1) set aside to show that you agree with the anti-gay rights/marriage/right to live stance of the corporation. So, in essence, customers to Chik-Fil-A on Aug. 1 were equating morality and profitability by spending money there to show their support of anti-gay laws, etc.

    I missed the whole August 1st bit. Absolutely, those who showed up that day for that reason were lending moral and financial support to the company’s political agenda, and should rightfully be called out on it, as are all these folks on twitter speaking in support of the anti-gay agenda.

    My problem is when we stretch that blanket to cover not just the actively bigoted, but the misinformed and uninformed.

    We’ve put a spotlight on this issue with Chick-fil-a, but what political policies am I accidentally supporting if I decide to take my business to a KFC or Popeyes, or McDonalds? Or hell, if I’m just buying from my local grocery store? Did I accidentally support the suppression of labor unions for farm-workers? Anti-animal welfare or factory farm lobby contributions? Anti-environmental legislation? I’m all for gay rights, but I’m also all for labor rights, sound environmentalist policy and the regulatory systems that promote ethical behaviour in companies.

  86. 86
    Sassafras

    Chik-fil-a doesn’t just donate to some random charitable organization dedicated to summer camps and scholarships. They created and own Winshape, which donates to hate groups.

  87. 87
    John

    You are correct that they created and own WinShape but you are wrong that they donate to “hate groups”. They donate to christian and conservative organizations. And as most people know a majority of christians and conservatives believe marriage is between a man and a woman but in no way are they “hate groups.”

  88. 88
    ewan

    Seriously? The Holocaust? That’s just pathetic.

    If IBM were today campaigning for the deaths of Jews in the way the CFA campaigns for the deaths of gay people, then we’d have a problem with them too, but they’re not.

  89. 89
    steve84

    Federal laws don’t cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s why people have been trying to pass ENDA for years – unsuccessfully

    It covers discrimination based on sex/gender though, which didn’t stop them from demoting a manager so she could “be a stay at home mother”:
    http://www.glaad.org/blog/chick-fil-sued-gender-discrimination
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/brenda-honeycutt-chick-fil-a-sues-gender-discrimination_n_1709645.html

  90. 90
    Pieter B, FCD

    John Metzger’s first comment caused another irony meter to embed shrapnel in the walls. I need to buy these things by the case.

  91. 91
    PatrickG

    Here, John, try this one on for size:

    http://nucleargrrl.com/2012/07/29/yes-chick-fil-a-supports-hate-groups/

    I’m sure I could find more, but I don’t really feel like engaging your ludicrous position. Well, wait, one more… answer this question for me:

    FRC actively campaigned to stop a resolution doing nothing more than expressing disapproval of a Ugandan law that criminalized homosexuality with penalties up to and including death.

    Chik-Fil-A has donated money to FRC. In fact, Chik-Fil-A heavily supports WinShape, which also donates to the FRC. Therefore, Chik-Fil-A supports hate groups.

    Now, it took me about 2 mins to write this comment, with one easy Google search for sources. I’ve done your homework for you this far, not doing any more.

  92. 92
    Rieux

    The fact that you and the organizations you and CFA support tell yourself ludicrous lies in an attempt to excuse and disguise your prejudice does not make any of you any less hateful.

    Your homophobia is garden-variety hatred, and lending aid and comfort to murderous Ugandan homophobes (which, as McCreight demonstrated in the original post, is what FRC has done) does, in fact, make one complicit with “Kill[ing] the Gays.”

    Is it not obvious to you that your notions about gay marriage will be seen, in the not-very-distant future, as brutal inhumanity—precisely as segregationism is seen today? Does it give you no pause at all to know that your grandchildren, if not indeed your children, will be deeply embarrassed that their (grand)father had such disgusting ideas about gay people and their relationships?

  93. 93
    Rieux

    Federal laws don’t cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Er, indeed. But Kevin was responding to your comment, in which you didn’t directly say anything about sexual orientation:

    They [Chick-Fil-A] vigorously screen people in management positions – including intruding deeply into their personal lives – to be sure that employees follow the correct religious doctrines.

    What you described is not sexual-orientation discrimination, it’s religious discrimination: under your account, clearly those of us who are outspoken (though heterosexual) atheists have no chance of career advancement within the restaurant chain, either.

    That, as Kevin says, is a “clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.” Your reply, meanwhile, was a non sequitur. It appears Kevin paid closer attention to your earlier comment than you did.

  94. 94
    Tom Singer

    What if you went to show Chick-Fil-A to show your support for their right not to be denied access to the city of Boston because of their bigoted beliefs (but not actual in-store business practices)?

    The ACLU has defended bigots whose free speech rights were impinged on. Are they saying they agree with that bigoted stance? http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/hate-speech-campus

    Or is this a loophole in showing solidarity with an organization?

  95. 95
    Jen

    I was 7 years old when the Rwandan Genocide took place. Sorry my 7 year old self didn’t do anything about it?

  96. 96
    steve84

    I paid attention. I just thought he was referring to the first part, which would be legal.

    In any case, just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Companies still discriminate based on race and gender. And some of them get sued for it. They just think that few people bother doing so, which is generally true. Most just quit and don’t want the hassle of a lawsuit.
    Chik-a-fil has been sued too almost a dozen times in recent years.

    Here is an article about their hiring practices:
    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0723/080.html

  97. 97
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Who’s being “denied access” to Boston? The mayor “urged” them not to open locations their, he said it would be an insult to the city’s same sex couples, but he has taken no steps to prevent them from opening. Are you saying that CFA’s right to free speech includes the right to be free from criticism? And you would financially support them because of that?

    I support the KKK’s first amendment rights but I’m not going to send them a check.

  98. 98
    Jen

    I don’t use IBM and I only eat fair trade organic chocolate from Theo Chocolate in Seattle. Troll harder.

    And yes, you are a troll. You’re that sad pathetic “Wahhh I had it so hard as a geek guy and girls suck!” person that Ashley blogged about.

  99. 99
    Jared

    Thank you for this information. I had been thinking this whole thing was based on the owner’s statement that he opposed gay marriage, and my natural reaction was, “Do you have any idea how many businesses are owned by people who oppose gay marriage?”

    (That said, it happens to be the case that I have not eaten Chick-fil-A in well over a decade for purely amoral reasons, so I think I can be excused for mostly ignoring this.)

  100. 100
    Murray

    Welcome back Jen! I loves me some Blag Hag.

  101. 101
    hieropants

    But all he was saying is that women as a whole have to atone for bullying nerds like 30 years ago before they can demand equal treatment within geekdom today, he’s not a sexist or anything.

  102. 102
    Rabidtreeweasel

    Clearly you feel very strongly about I BM and Cola; I fully support your right ti boycott those products as your freedom of expression.

  103. 103
    Troy

    Since being called bigots seems to upset them…perhaps they would prefer to be called hatemongers? ;)

  104. 104
    reneerp

    This is a point that several people have been making over the past few days. I don’t think that zoning or other municipal decisions about businesses is a free speech issue You’re impeding their ability to make money, not make their opinions known.

    Right now, towns and cities block the establishment of all sorts of legal businesses based on neighborhoods, businesses like marihuana dispensaries and sex shops (aka adult bookstores).

    And if someone wants to know whether I think a town could block a pro-lgbt equality business on the same grounds, I’d say yes. Businesses can’t refuse to serve all customers, but there’s nothing that I know of) that says all businesses can set up wherever they like.

  105. 105
    Atheist Azrael

    For those hurt by being called a bigot: you know what would hurt worse? Having bigots dictate that you can’t marry the person you love because you happen to be the same gender.

  106. 106
    Tom Singer

    When the mayor of Boston says, “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” that sounds like he will take steps to prevent them from doing business.

    I have never said that Chick-Fil-A, or anyone else, should be free of criticism for their opinions. I’m critical of how Chick-Fil-A donates their money, and I’m not going to give them any more of mine. But when the government explicitly puts up obstacles to doing business specifically because of political speech and/or religious beliefs, that’s a problem for me.

  107. 107
    Tom Singer

    The government doesn’t generally make zoning or municipal decisions to favor or disfavor certain political speech or religious beliefs. When they do, it’s a problem.

    It’s not making money that is protected speech. What’s being protected is the ability to speak without punishment by the government as a result.

  108. 108
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Source? The only thing similar to that I’ve seen is the ombudsman saying they would need to produce a non discrimination policy. Do you believe they should be free to discriminate in their hiring practices or refuse service based on sexual orientation?

  109. 109
    Tom Singer

    Source for the quote from the mayor? http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1061147182&srvc=home&position=emailed

    I believe he’s backed away from this subtly since saying it. Requiring them to produce a non-discrimination policy is fine, if it is indeed the law in Boston not to discriminate in employment or service on the basis of orientation (and I believe it should be), and to require a business to produce such a policy before acquiring a license and before there’s any reason to believe that discrimination in employment or service has been a problem (and I’m not sure it should be).

  110. 110
    Rory

    If you spent more than two minutes on FTB, you’d see that for everyone one person cheering on Menino and Emanuel, there are five more point out why what they’re trying to do is unconstitutional and wrong. Let them open restaurants wherever they like, and if people want to support them, that’s their business. But stop acting as though you’ve discovered the secret fascist soul of liberals. It’s a straw man, and not a particularly convincing one, either.

  111. 111
    Eric RoM

    Well played!

  112. 112
    Ken

    The dictionary defines “bigotry” as “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”.

    There sure seems to be a lot of bigotry in these comments.

    Yes, there are people who are mean and cruel who call themselves Christians but do not follow true Christian values (“treat others as you would have them treat you”). But to label all such people as hatemongers and bigots really just seems irresponsible and immature.

    I am a bit conflicted about gay marriage because on one hand I was brought up Mormon and was taught that family is the the most important thing in life. So it’s sacred to me. What that means to me is I support the idea that a marriage is, in God’s eyes, between a man and woman for the purpose of procreating and furthering the human family.

    My personal belief in the definition of marriage does not mean I “hate” gays or think they threaten me or my beliefs (except for those people who burn down our churches), nor was I ever taught to hate by my parents or church leaders. That also does not mean I’m against gay rights; I think same-sex unions that provide the same legal benefits as traditional couples would be great.

    On the other hand, my older brother is gay and lives with his longtime partner, so I see both sides of the coin. I love them both dearly, as do my parents and my children, and we support them and love being around them. They’re among the nicest people I know. I don’t (and cannot by virtue of my own beliefs) judge them for choosing and/or being born into that lifestyle. I’m glad they’re together and I’m happy they are happy.

    It really kind of irks me when people seem to so wantonly label all Mormons/Christians/etc. bigots when I and most others I know do not have intolerance for others’ beliefs. I’m not saying those people don’t exist, however.

    Also, I have to disagree with Jen’s statement “When I call you a bigot, it’s not because I disagree with you. I don’t call people who like mint-chocolate ice cream bigots. It’s because your[sic] were being bigoted.” That’s a rather flawed analogy. You’re absolutely calling others bigots because they disagree with you. You’re jumping to the conclusion that because they don’t agree with you, they also must hate and actively despise gays. A more accurate analogy would be to say that just because someone doesn’t agree with the legalization of marijuana does not mean they hate all people who smoke pot. That’s patently ridiculous.

    In any case, I was surprised and disappointed to find out about some of the causes that Chic-fil-a has supported in the past, and I do not agree with them or support them.

    I hope you and your readers will be understanding and tolerant of my beliefs and opinions.

  113. 113
    DrVanNostrand

    Setting up a parallel institution (same sex unions) is nothing but a rehash of “separate but equal”. First, same sex unions aren’t always as respected legal marriages. Second, excluding gays from marriage because marriage is just “too sacred” clearly implies that their relationships are inferior. Third, gays actually have families and they’re as important as all those “real” families that you consider so sacred. Soft bigotry is still bigotry.

  114. 114
    reneerp

    This case is structurally similar to apartheid era boycotts. Municipalities did pull their investments out of countries that traded with South Africa. The Disinvestment Movement ended up with US federal legislation.

    I think you want to argue that free speech should be largely free from consequence.. I disagree. Especially since this is not just speech. Consider where the money from Chick-Fil-A has gone – the murderous, anti-gay movement in Uganda.

  115. 115
    jose

    Everybody has the same right as I have: the right to vote Republican.

    (after banning all the other parties)

  116. 116
    PatrickG

    I appreciated your comment, so I’d like to take the time to respond to it at every point. If I come off as a bit hostile at any point, please know it’s been a sort of difficult day. I don’t intend at any point to be unnecessarily offensive, and I’m trying to watch myself for it. I’ll restate this at the end, so bear with me. :)

    The dictionary defines “bigotry” as “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”.

    Stubborn and complete. That’s the part to focus on. Stubborn: highly resistant, Complete: Total. Your comment suggests you, personally, are not necessarily a bigot by those definitions. However, many, many people are.

    There sure seems to be a lot of bigotry in these comments.

    Again, by the same definition, people here aren’t necessarily ‘stubborn’. I haven’t read all the comments, and perhaps there are a few that meet that standard. However, when it comes to ‘complete’, I really have to go back to the idea that intolerance of intolerance isn’t, well, intolerant. We’re discussing an issue of huge importance in many people’s lives. It goes beyond marriage. It goes to communal property, wills, visitation rights, etc. This really matters. It’s a problem of equal treatment and human dignity.

    Yes, there are people who are mean and cruel who call themselves Christians but do not follow true Christian values (“treat others as you would have them treat you”). But to label all such people as hatemongers and bigots really just seems irresponsible and immature.

    The only people who I would categorically state are hatemongers and bigots are the ones who, in your words, “do not follow true Christian values”. Love thy neighbor, and all that. On the other hand, there’s an important distinction here, which I illustrate this way: is that Catholic a bigot? Is that Mormon a bigot? Maybe, maybe not. Is the Catholic Church bigoted? Is the CoLDS bigoted? Yes. They demonstrate this by their direct actions and secondhand support of bigoted actions. See: Prop 8. See: contraception debate. See: any number of other issues.

    I am a bit conflicted about gay marriage because on one hand I was brought up Mormon and was taught that family is the the most important thing in life. So it’s sacred to me. What that means to me is I support the idea that a marriage is, in God’s eyes, between a man and woman for the purpose of procreating and furthering the human family.

    I feel at this point it’s important to stress that we are on a blog where rationality, skepticism, and humanism are very important. Because you were brought up to believe something does not necessarily make it so. Because you were taught something was sacred does not mean “sacred” is a useful term. Why should people who do not believe in your God accept your interpretation of what your God says should be? If you want to enact your principles in your own life, nobody is stopping you! However, just because one believes in God does not entitle them to interfere in someone else’s life. It’s that simple.

    My personal belief in the definition of marriage does not mean I “hate” gays or think they threaten me or my beliefs (except for those people who burn down our churches), nor was I ever taught to hate by my parents or church leaders. That also does not mean I’m against gay rights; I think same-sex unions that provide the same legal benefits as traditional couples would be great.

    If you are not against gay rights, you are definitely going against the teachings of your church. You are. You simply are. Check what your Church teaches, see where they spend their money, and rethink your position here, please. If you do continue to support your church (unclear by your post), you are actively supporting bigotry.

    On the other hand, my older brother is gay and lives with his longtime partner, so I see both sides of the coin. I love them both dearly, as do my parents and my children, and we support them and love being around them. They’re among the nicest people I know. I don’t (and cannot by virtue of my own beliefs) judge them for choosing and/or being born into that lifestyle. I’m glad they’re together and I’m happy they are happy.

    I sincerely congratulate you for being able to look past the teachings you were raised with. I really mean that. If your older brother is gay and partnerned, and you support them in that, kudos! Now extend that to people who aren’t your brother, and please do realize that your upbringing/faith is officially against that.

    It really kind of irks me when people seem to so wantonly label all Mormons/Christians/etc. bigots when I and most others I know do not have intolerance for others’ beliefs. I’m not saying those people don’t exist, however.

    Again, I refer you to the distinction I made above. Individual Mormons/Christians/etc. may or may not be bigots. From your story, it doesn’t sound like you’re a bigot. However, the Mormon church, and many Christian churches are demonstrably bigoted. I must stress that if you support and defend an organization, you are also defending the positions that organization takes. You, personally, may not be a bigot. The organization you are supporting is bigoted.

    Also, I have to disagree with Jen’s statement “When I call you a bigot, it’s not because I disagree with you. I don’t call people who like mint-chocolate ice cream bigots. It’s because your[sic] were being bigoted.” That’s a rather flawed analogy. You’re absolutely calling others bigots because they disagree with you.

    No. The distinction here (and please correct me if I misinterpet your comment, Jen) is that me saying you don’t like chocolate ice cream has nothing to do with your rights to live and function in society. Saying you can’t get married, or can’t enlist openly, or can’t participate in health care programs, or any number of other issues because of your sexual orientation is wrong. Full stop. Nobody here is trying to deny people who eat mint-chocolate ice cream rights. Even if I am, truly, possessed of “stubborn and complete intolerance” of mint-chocolate ice cream (which I am, actually), I deny you nothing by simply saying that.

    You’re jumping to the conclusion that because they don’t agree with you, they also must hate and actively despise gays. A more accurate analogy would be to say that just because someone doesn’t agree with the legalization of marijuana does not mean they hate all people who smoke pot. That’s patently ridiculous.

    Some people have legitimate concerns about the legalization of marijuana. They typically focus on how dispensaries would operate, how the production would be regulated, etc, etc. There are legitimate concerns about abuse, about cartels, about regulation choices, etc, etc. I challenge you to provide me an instance of how gay rights actually produce harm. And no, “my religion says gays are icky” is not a valid defense.

    In any case, I was surprised and disappointed to find out about some of the causes that Chic-fil-a has supported in the past, and I do not agree with them or support them.

    We’re on the same page here! I would, however, urge to you to consider that the causes that Chik-Fil-A supports are supported by a great many people and organizations. This is not an isolated case.

    I hope you and your readers will be understanding and tolerant of my beliefs and opinions.

    Thank you for your comment, and I hope I’ve responded to you thoroughly. I’ll again state that I’m really tired, so I may not have been as clear or polite as I might have been. I will check this thread for your responses, in case you want to continue discussion.

  117. 117
    PatrickG

    Tom puts it very well, but I wanted to echo that statement.

    Punishing speech (however hateful) via restriction of commerce remains punishment. There is no violation of law involved in the speech here (however idiotic it may be), therefore there can be no legal sanction by government. I highly advise you to think about slippery slopes before advocating that position further.

  118. 118
    PatrickG

    This case is structurally similar to apartheid era boycotts. Municipalities did pull their investments out of countries that traded with South Africa. The Disinvestment Movement ended up with US federal legislation.

    No, it’s not structurally similar. Municipalities don’t invest in Chik-Fil-A, necessarily. And they certainly don’t have the option of divesting from companies (you say countries, but a typo perhaps?) that invested in … Chik-Fil-A? Show me a city that has substantial holdings in Chik-Fil-A and I’ll concede that I’m wrong. Otherwise the analogy fails.

    I think you want to argue that free speech should be largely free from consequence.. I disagree. Especially since this is not just speech. Consider where the money from Chick-Fil-A has gone – the murderous, anti-gay movement in Uganda.

    Free speech shouldn’t be free from consequence, and Chik-Fil-A’s actions are reprehensible. However, the arguments advanced in saying banning Chik-Fil-A from certain locations could equally well be used to ban Planned Parenthood (not that THAT’s a challenge /sigh). Because, y’know, PP is TEH AWFUL.

    Anyways, I’m just pissed at the relevant parties in Chicago/Boston from advancing a ludicrous legal position and distracting from the ‘CHIK-FIL-A LITERALLY HURTS PEOPLE’ argument. Talk about a red herring….

  119. 119
    coreybond

    Thanks for this. I stayed off Twitter today, but I had a similar scenario play out on my Facebook page.

  120. 120
    Jen

    Ken,

    PatrickG already responded to most of your post as I would, so forgive me that this is short. But I just want to say that I don’t think that all Christians or religious people or whatever are automatically bigots. For me to make such an assumption would actually be a good example of bigotry. For example, from the way you describe your views and your relationship with your brother, I would say you’re not a bigot. This is a post about people who go out of their way to deny GLBT individuals rights, harm them emotionally and physically, and treat them like scum. That’s bigotry, and it’s not just because I disagree with them. It’s because they’re irrationally hating and harming others.

  121. 121
    PatrickG

    Sorry, Jen, didn’t mean to encroach. :)

  122. 122
    PatrickG

    But thanks for making a point I don’t think I made as well as I could have. Appreciate it. And now, off to bed!

  123. 123
    Jen

    Oh no, I love it when people do most of the work for me! Haha

  124. 124
    PatrickG

    Does that mean I get a share of your vast profits from your site? ;)

    And now, REALLY off to bed.

  125. 125
    Comradde PhysioProffe

    Figures one of those cockewaddes is a Notre Dame partisan. Notre Dame suckes fucken asse academically, with their jessus freak bullshitte pathology, and even more importantly, their football team has sucked for so long, they are a goddam motherfucken national joke. BEAT THE IRISH!!!!!!!!!

  126. 126
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Have fun with your moralizing. I support any (non-violent) action that hurts these bigots, from boycotts to red tape to sabotage. Don’t care what’s legal, only what’s right.

  127. 127
    reneerp

    If you read my earlier comment, you’d have seen that I wouldn’t make an exception for a group because I agreed with the group’s aims and work. I do think that cities get to make the call. It’s not a slippery slope argument. I know what the consequences would be.

    This goes on already. Cities limit where medical marihuana dispensaries can go; they decide not to have sports arenas; they disallow some sorts of businesses for all sorts of reasons. I think the actions, not just the words, of Chick-Fil-A justify a city saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

    If you think that governments don’t ban Planned Parenthood via funding, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in Arizona and Texas lately.

  128. 128
    reneerp

    The analogy I was making (and I did mean companies, thanks) was that a city supports a business by allowing it to operate. It could also support it by investing. I think the parallel holds, though it’s certainly not identical.

  129. 129
    You kiddin'?

    Marry who you want, I don’t care, but don’t tell me any man and any woman are not fundamentally compatible. Penis goes into vagina to create life and ensure the survival of the species. That’s about as fundamental as it gets.

  130. 130
    You kiddin'?

    Let me get this straight; you label everyone you don’t agree with as bigots, and then attempt to be very clever and flex perceived intellectual superiority by decrying all the arguments made by said bigots in the hopes that you can persuade people that being a bigot is a fact?

    Fail.

    It’s still perception. What you call a bigot, others will call convicted. For example, I think Nancy Pelosi is deluded, insane, and treasonous. She and her followers certainly don’t think so. I also think white supremecists are sick and deluded as well, but they’d say they are convicted and of sound principle. I appreciate what you are trying to do here, but in the end you wrote a whole bunch of stuff that is still opinion, and your arguments for arguments are still very easy to argue. :-)

  131. 131
    Jessie

    The fundamental incompatibility is in reference to a gay man marrying a woman. Penises and vaginas aside, they’re fundamentally incompatible because they will never be able to form the mutual love that is the hallmark of marriage as it is practiced today (yes, it used to be a business transaction, but it’s generally not anymore).

  132. 132
    James Willmott

    “Penis goes into vagina to create life and ensure the survival of the species. That’s about as fundamental as it gets.”

    Sure, fundamentally I agree, but what’s that got to do with love? ( Not directed at the original poster but to the world in general )

    I don’t ever think that procreation was ever the issue for LGBT people wanting to get married…

    On the flip side, when a man can’t get it up should the hetero couple break up because they can’t procreate anymore? What about when the woman goes through menopause? What if they don’t want children at all?

  133. 133
    Hatchetfish

    I always hear that and expect them to follow with “And every african-american has the same right we have: to marry within their own kind.”

    Something tells me they must not understand what’s funny about the old Ford quote concerning Model T paint options: “Any color you want, so long as it’s black.”

    “You have every freedom. So long as we don’t think it’s icky.”

  134. 134
    Sassafras

    Let me get this straight

    You didn’t, sorry.

  135. 135
    Mitchell

    You failed to notice that they claim they did not oppose the bill, but merely opposed some of the wording that they felt generalised too much in it’s description. They might be lying but you have no evidence so until you do you have to retract that accusation… if you’re intellectually honest.

  136. 136
    Atheist Azrael

    I don’t think your examples apply to this situation.

    Yes, white supremacists would take issue with being called “sick and deluded” (an opinion, which I agree with as well). But what if they were called racists, or bigots? I imagine some (or many) of them would agree with such labels, even be proud of it. And if they disagree… well, just because they deny being racists doesn’t mean “it’s just a matter of opinion.” Whether they agree or not, white supremacists ARE, by definition, racists and bigots.

    I don’t see where Jen (or anyone else here) is claiming that everyone they disagree with are bigots – in fact, they’re being clear that it’s NOT the case.

  137. 137
    Toby

    They don’t seem to be. I certainly never heard of them before this.

  138. 138
    holytape

    I always love the “a gay man can marry a woman, therefor gay marriage is a special rights” gambit. If we pass gay marriage a straight man then can marry a man. Everyone still has the same rights.

  139. 139
    Difficult Situation

    I’m in a rough situation because I love Chick-fil-A’s food and so does my husband. Heck, he craved it more than I did when I was pregnant! Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your stance on the matter, we really don’t have any Chick-fil-A that’s easily accessible close-by but we do get it on occasion when we visit my in-laws. Anyway, I digress…
    On the flip side, I have and always will be a supporter of the GLBT community. Personally, several members of my friends and family fall into that group as well as the fact that my former place of employment was a “gay bar”…although they termed it a multi-cultural friendly bar. :-) Regardless, I have always been quick to stand up for tolerance, even when that meant not always being popular. Recently my facebook has been flooded with anti Chick-fil-A propaganda to the point where I got extremely frustrated and made a post myself. Here it is, word for word:
    “Look, all this anti Chick-fil-A stuff is really getting old. Either go there or don’t. Honestly, they will make their money whether or not you eat their delicious food.
    Honestly, if people REALLY looked into where their money goes, they would never be able to shop or eat anywhere without getting in a tizzy. You have to wonder how many of these overly judgmental people actually contribute their money to the causes they claim they DO believe in…
    And more importantly, how often do other people’s facebook posts radically change your moral belief system? Never. Hmm. Well then stop assuming you are going to change someone else’s.
    The LGBT community are against Chick-fil-A and the anti-gay Christians are for it. We get it. That just leaves everyone else simply being harassed about their choice in FOOD – not politics or religion mind you – FOOD.
    I can’t wait for this bullshit to die down. Both sides are making themselves look like bigoted assholes.”
    Yes, I used the word “bigot” too and it was well before I read this article. I’m sure there was probably a better way that I could have vented my frustrations, but honestly, I felt like I was just doing what everyone else seemed to be doing. Then, shortly after posting it, I realized I was probably going to get some comments because, as you stated, using the term bigot and frankly just referencing the whole Chick-fil-A matter at all is like putting a giant target on your back…so I made a follow up post.
    “And BEFORE I get flamed on here by all my gay friends/family -
    I have gone to Chick-fil-A before and I WILL go there again. Not because I’m trying to make some “statement”, just because I am hungry and want to eat their food. Deal with it. I’m a fat kid. It doesn’t “undo” all my pro-tolerance that I’ve preached and promoted throughout the years, or the way that I currently feel. I love all my friends no matter what they sleep with (unless it’s my husband) so please stop being so belligerent…especially when some of the people you are attacking are actually on YOUR side. That is all.”
    Immediately I received a comment from a member of my extended family, we’ll call him “J”:
    “So you think I am a “bigoted asshole” for having an opinion when I am being directly targeted by hate groups? Nice. For the record, I support free speech and Dan Cathy’s right to be an aggressively ignorant fucktwat all day long if that’s what makes him happy. But, by donating profits his company makes to organizations like Family Research Council (among others), he absolutely is supporting hatred and discrimination, and so is anyone else who chooses to eat there. If you weren’t so stupid I might actually take the time to try to explain to you how stupid you really are. But instead, let me just say this: go fuck yourself. Twice. “Deal with” that.”
    And then I was de-friended. And he wasn’t the only one. 6 other friends and family removed me from their friend’s lists. I received a few more comments before I actually logged back on, saw the responses and made one of my own:
    Wow. Being called stupid by my own family. And de-friended…(My Aunt), please make sure you tell “J” that the whole reason I posted this was that I was tired of being blamed for being an anti-gay person by eating there once and a while. I craved it while I was pregnant and couldn’t get it and there are times now where I want it but it simply isn’t available in our area. How that makes me “stupid” is questionable… I wasn’t targeting anything that HE said, just the whole situation and how many times I have seen people on my friends list having reactions like his to people that should not be attacked (myself included). Also, to clarify, what I said was “BOTH sides are making themselves LOOK like bigoted assholes,” and I stand by that.
    And just for the record: Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance”. Also: ass·hole/ˈasˌhōl/ Noun: vulgar. An irritating or contemptible person.
    So, that whole wall of text leads my to my dilemma, what do I do now? I have friends and family that hate me…actually HATE me because I said that I would at some point go there again because I like their food. Am I really a horrible person? Does having the mental capacity to realize that a company that produces a product I enjoy supports causes that I do not believe in, yet still wanting to patronize it undo everything else I’ve done over the years? Am I all of a sudden a gay-bashing murderer because I choose to take the money I’ve scrounged up to treat myself to a milkshake? That is the leap that is being made…and I don’t know how to handle it. The problem is that I want to defend myself, but that will just make me ostracized even more. All I know is, I haven’t slept all night and I’m too afraid to discuss this with anyone who actually knows me because I can’t afford to burn anymore bridges. Apparently no matter what I say it will get me yelled at by those that I thought would actually listen. If you read this all the way through, then thank you. You may hate me too, but I still appreciate you taking the time to hear me out.
    P.S. Sorry if there are any grammatical/spelling errors. I tried to check while typing but it’s 9AM here and I haven’t gone to sleep yet because of this whole thing.

  140. 140
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Good for your (ex) friends. People who put their taste buds ahead of their conscience are pathetic and deserve the early death they have coming from all that junk food.

  141. 141
    Difficult Situation

    So, it seems you’re against junk food, which I actually understand. Like I said, I rarely get Chick-fil-A or any “fast food” because of where I live, but I am a self proclaimed “fat kid” at heart and I do enjoy not having to cook on occasion. :-) But if I understand your comment correctly, you’re saying that I deserve an early death because of it? How exactly does that work?
    I am actually enrolled in an ethics class at the moment and I’m doing some research on the Holocaust. Based on your reasoning, you are making the argument that anyone who owns an IBM product or contributes anything to one of it’s subsidiaries deserves to be killed prematurely by electrocution for contributing to a company that supported the extermination of Jews? Or someone who owns a VW or a Ford should get in an accident and die before their time? Where exactly does the ethical responsibility end? If you employed someone who patronized Chick-fil-A, by providing them with a paycheck that they then used to support them, are you just as much at fault? I am actually curious on your opinions on the matter. I think this would actually be a good segue in my class when discussing the issue of ethical responsibility that I hadn’t considered before.
    Like, I stated before, I do appreciate you at least taking the time to read my post.

  142. 142
    Toby

    Am I really a horrible person?

    Rather than answering your question with a simple “yes” or “no”, I’ll answer your question with a question (sorry):

    Are you comfortable with the notion that when you buy food from there, some of the money is used by that company to prop up laws in other countries that harm people who haven’t done anything other than simply exist? Does that actually sit well with you?

    Honestly, if people REALLY looked into where their money goes, they would never be able to shop or eat anywhere without getting in a tizzy.

    The solution to that isn’t to do nothing at all. You can’t protest all things all at once. But it isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition.

    As to the response from your friends and family: I would have hoped that they would have taken the time to actually have a conversation with you about this — a real conversation — before jumping straight to “agree with us or GTFO”.

  143. 143
    Toby

    Hmm. This should have been a response to “difficult situation”. :P

  144. 144
    John

    You listed a link to a blog. That is not a reliable source. Therefore you have no evidence to back up your theory. And to all those below I never stated my opinion on the matter so to jump to conclusions is immature. However, I do believe marriage is between and man and a woman. I do NOT hate gay people or think they deserve to die. I just simply disagree with one of their beliefs. Which is exactly how CFA is. At no time did they say that hate gays or that gays deserve to die. Actually CFA never said anything, the COO said how he feels and that CFA itself operates on family values. You guys skew the words of people and make it seem like they said something that they did not.

  145. 145
    Alyson Miers

    What is that I don’t even.

    When we speak of “compatibility” around here, we are generally not referring to the ability to conceive. “Compatibility” refers to other nice things like mutual attraction, respect, the general ability to live together…it’s a somewhat higher bar than sperm-meets-egg. If compatibility began and ended with babymaking, one should think there would not be so damn many divorces of couples with kids.

  146. 146
    Alyson Miers

    Notice the final “not” in Kevinv’s opening sentence. I don’t think he disagrees with you.

  147. 147
    theoblivionmachine

    You kiddin’?

    Nonsense, here, have a linky:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

    Huge thinkfail on your part.

  148. 148
    Raging Bee

    But…but…where else can you get fries and a medium soda with your stupid hatred?

  149. 149
    theoblivionmachine

    Difficult Situation,

    Maybe this will help you out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNq8r4S5jSk

    Also,

    Also, to clarify, what I said was “BOTH sides are making themselves LOOK like bigoted assholes,” and I stand by that.

    this is a logical fallacy called false equivalence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

    You know bigotry is wrong, which is why you are unable to adequately defend yourself when you say you’ll eat at CFA again. Your friends and family member(s?) meet homophobia every day, so your act of concious support for CFA is like a knife in the back from someone they thought was an ally.

    I hope you get some sleep and I hope you’ll rethink your position.

  150. 150
    Dennis

    It’s nice to have you back Jen. I was missin’ ya.

  151. 151
    PatrickG

    @ Difficult Situation

    Others have said this (and the guy who told you to die from fast food was a bit over the top imo, but that’s another subject):

    Your wall of text basically comes down to saying that your fast food choices are more important than the feelings of your friends and family. It doesn’t surprise me that you got such an immediate and severe reaction. Really think about how your statements impacted them.

    I’ll also add a quick note about culpability and responsibility in buying products in general: It is very hard to avoid contributing to any number of social problems (child labor, environmental destruction, what have you). However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. This situation is a really easy moral question, with almost no detriment by choosing to take a stand against bigotry. Just special sauce.

    And the IBM canard is just getting old. If I were a supporter of IBM 60 years ago, I’d have a real moral dilemma on my hands. But, you know, I wasn’t even alive then, so I’d rather look at what IBM is doing now.

  152. 152
    Adam G

    Have you considered that maybe the blog cites reliable sources for its claims?

    CFA’s contributions to hate groups are real and substantial. They’ve donated over $3 million to hate groups to date. This isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of public record.

    http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/581/581595471/581595471_201012_990PF.pdf

    (pdf link to tax returns)

  153. 153
    Loki1013

    Maybe he wants to become a right wing politician or a televangelist?

  154. 154
    Difficult Situation

    Very well written post.

  155. 155
    PatrickG

    Well, the obvious answer is that one could research those problems.

    The other response is that even if one doesn’t research the problems for whatever reason, once one is aware of a Difficult Situation, using ignorance of other things to justify ignoring newly acquired knowledge becomes much, much more difficult to justify.

  156. 156
    Tom Singer

    There is a big difference between a government deciding to invest, or to continue investment, in a company, and a government deciding not to allow a company to operate. One is support; the other is neutrality.

  157. 157
    Tom Singer

    The critical thing here is, medical marijuana dispensaries and sports arenas are not prevented from building their businesses because of the political speech of their owners. A city can say they don’t want liquor to be sold next to a school. They can say they don’t want a casino because it attracts crime.

    They can’t say they don’t want a hookah bar because the owner is a Muslim. They can’t say they don’t want a hardware store because the owner donates to the Republican party.

    Often, they’ll come up with some barely plausible reason to mask the truth, that they don’t want those dirty ______, and that’s bad enough. But to just flat out say that we don’t want you here because of your views on homosexuality, that flies in the face of the First Amendment.

  158. 158
    Difficult Situation

    Did you actually READ what a false equivalence is? Before you start claiming that I’m making a logical fallacy, perhaps you should understand what one is.

  159. 159
    gworroll

    Procreation no longer requires PIV sex. It hasn’t for a while.

    And guess what- gay people still want kids. They’ll artificially inseminate, use IVF, or if they really have to, they’ll even go ahead and have “straight” sex. There are gay people that choose the straight sex option even with the alternatives available(you’d have to ask them for the why, but it does happen).

    When it comes to procreation, everyone could go gay and I really doubt we’d have a problem. Fewer unwanted children(which is really kind of a good thing), but there’d be enough children to keep us going as a species. We repopulated from around 10-20 thousand once. Gay people are not any sort of threat to our long term survival.

    The procreation argument is basically irrelevant, even if you ignore even the most basic fertility science. We’re wired to want kids, and being gay does not change this. Wanting kids and wanting to love or to fuck are different things. Often connected, but they are different and still function in the absence of the others.

    Natural? We are more than our biology. Our emotion and intellect and sense of identity as humans is just as natural as our sex organs and how they most conveniently fit together. Even if homosexuality was specific to Homo Sapiens Sapiens(which it’s not, not even close), that would not make it unnatural. Something can be a natural part of the human experience and not be a natural part of, say, the canine experience. Species differ, and what is natural to them differs.

    Ok, this doesn’t automatically make homosexuality natural to humans, but it does pretty much destroy the inverse argument. Homosexuality existing in all cultures, and far enough back that ancient peoples put it in their scriptures, is a fairly strong argument for it being natural. It’s pretty much as universal as tool use.

  160. 160
    hoary puccoon

    @Difficult Situation–

    So you consider your choice of a lunch spot *so* much more important than your friend’s choice of a life partner. And it isn’t enough to slip off quietly for you heapin’ servin’ o’ transfats. No– you have to throw it in your friend’s face on Facebook. As a result, you lost a friend.

    You know, it isn’t very often that the denizens of Freethought blogs give exactly the same advice as Miss Manners. But I’d be willing to bet if you wrote to an etiquette column and said, “Is it all right to ignore my friends’ feelings?” you’d get the same reaction you’re getting here.

  161. 161
    gworroll

    You kind of entirely missed the point.

    They aren’t going after people who choose to eat there once in a while. Well, I suppose there are a few CFA opponents who take it that far, but the serious anger at people eating there has been rather focused. A large chunk of it is directed at those who ate there specifically to take part in Huckabee’s Chick Fil A Appreciation Day, another chunk is to other people who have said they’ll eat there more because of the antigay stance. I haven’t seen any serious drama over people saying they’ll eat there despite the donations, just over people who eat there *because of* the donations.

    Had you shown an understanding of the issues, and an understanding of who people are mad at and why, and simply said you’d keep eating there… Odds are, you wouldn’t have been defriended.

  162. 162
    Robert

    This hits home for me – literally – as my legally married spouse and I celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary just yesterday. Our two legally adopted sons, at fifteen and eleven, are just old enough to find it ludicrous and ‘stupid’ that, in some places, we would not be considered married to each other.

    Oddly, we were married by a Baptist minister (the first time) and a UCC minister (second, legal time), so the religious freedom issue is also involved.

  163. 163
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ken:
    I’m barely recovered from dealing with two nitwits on JTEberhard’s blog yesterday, so I don’t have the energy to deal with you as you so richly deserve. There are others who are more than able to tear your silly beliefs to shreds (and yes, they are silly).

    What that means to me is I support the idea that a marriage is, in God’s eyes, between a man and woman for the purpose of procreating and furthering the human family.

    I did want to tackle this though.
    The purpose of marriage is for making babies? Really?
    Do you really think this incredibly narrow, discriminatory view of marriage is a good thing?
    There are many people out there that do NOT want children, but want to get married. Would you deny them the right to marriage?
    There are many people out there who are sterile and unable to have biological children. Would you deny them the right to marriage?
    There are women who’s health can be endangered by pregnancy. Would you deny them the right to get married?
    You have a view of marriage and relationships informed not by actual evidence, but by a book that you accept is true even though you have zero proof. For all you know it could have been written by Apollo or Loki. You have no way to verify any of the claims in your mystic text, but you accept them anyway.
    Finally, have you ever read your magic book from cover to cover?

    Polygynous marriage: A man would leave his family of origin and join with his first wife. Then, as finances allowed, he would marry as many additional women as he desired. The new wives would join the man and his other wives in an already established household. Polygyny was practiced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, until the practice was suspended, a least temporarily, in the late 19th century. It is still practiced by separated fundamentalist Mormon groups which have left and been excommunicated from the main Mormon church.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bibl0.htm

    Clearly marriage is not *just* between one man and one woman. The LDS church engaged in polygamy for decades after Joseph Smith created it out of his imagination.

    In identifying 33 well-documented wives of Smith — other researchers have placed the figure as high as 48 — Compton found that in the case of 11 women, Smith’s polygamy was polyandrous. That is, the women were married and cohabiting with their husbands, who mostly were faithful Mormons, when Smith married them.
    http://www.lds-mormon.com/12117.shtml

    The guy who created your religion out of nothing (no one actually tried to verify if he made up the whole thing; they just accepted it and people still do today; that’s gullible) had multiple wives. Let that sink in.
    The guy your god trusted to spread the word just had to spread his “love” around to multiple women. The guy god chose for these ‘revelations’ had multiple wives.
    Yeah, it’s really important to god that marriage is between one man and one woman. Except it’s not. Of course after the 1980s, the church changed its official position on polygamy. I guess that’s when god decided he was wrong to endorse marriage as one man with many wives.

  164. 164
    ck

    Natural? We are more than our biology.

    I’m going to disagree with that. We are exactly our biology. What we aren’t is the platonic ideal of human biology. Human existence is messy. Every time someone tries to stuff all of it into nice neat little categorized boxes, they always have to exclude huge swaths of it to fit their model.

  165. 165
    ck

    And, we would be abhorred by anyone saying, “Mexicans can’t marry anyone white.” and then pointing out that they have the same rights as you, “to marry into their own race.”

    Would it surprise you that plenty of people still hold that opinion? A poll taken of people’s views on the matter has shown that over a fifth of republicans polled still think that interracial marriage should be illegal.

  166. 166
    ck

    I remember an argument where someone was insisting that the only way you could claim that someone was a bigot is if their true beliefs were bigoted, and actions didn’t count. I guess the moral of the story is that you can’t call anyone bigoted, racist, or sexist ever. The only people who are truly bigoted, racist or sexist are those who call others bigoted, racist or sexist.

    Liberals are often accused of trying to remove works from language via political correctness, and receive much abuse for this. Yet, there is clearly an effort to cleanse these words out of the language by the very people who decry political correctness.

    It’s… interesting, no?

  167. 167
    Ani Sharmin

    Thanks for writing, Jen. I’ve gotten really tired of the “they’re not bigots because they say they’re not” argument. Of course, people think their views are correct and not bigoted. That’s obvious, and yet it’s put forward as though it’s some brand new revelation. The people in history who we look back at who did horrible things probably didn’t think they were being bigoted when they denied women the right to vote (just as one example) … but they were. A person could come up with some nonsense argument that the traitional definition of “voter” is “white male who owns property” (and that God says so) to deny others the right to vote and that would be bigoted, even if the person saying it didn’t think they were being a bigot.

  168. 168
    Jefrir

    I have friends and family that hate me…actually HATE me because I said that I would at some point go there again because I like their food.

    No. I suspect that if you had posted something along the lines of “I hate what they’re doing to support antigay bigotry, but I just like Chik-Fil-A food too much to be able to give it up permanently”, then your friends and family would be understanding, or at most merely somewhat dissapointed.
    Instead, you posted a couple of rants criticising people for daring to object to the bigotry they face, and insisting that your choice of fast food and not being bothered on facebook were more important.
    You were massively dismissive of the concerns of those of your family and friends who are gay, and of those who are their allies. I’m not surprised they’re angry with you.

  169. 169
    leftwingfox

    PatrickG: Right. Please remember, when I made my original comment, I hadn’t realized that August 1st had been “support our bigotry day”. The nearest Chick-fil-a is 170 miles and a national border away; I simply hadn’t heard of this. Had I known this was an active call to participate in supporting bigotry rather than a continuation of the generic call for a boycott, I probably wouldn’t have chimed in at this opportunity. There is a pretty clear difference between throwing in one’s lot to support declared bigotry and being merely uninformed.

    Despite all that I still feel like these relatively clear easy situations (clear position, direct economic influence, plentiful alternatives) are the easy outliers of the issue of collective economic action.

    Our culture has swung heavily towards the idea that the only acceptable form of collective action is market participation. At the same time, wealth disparity has decreased the buying power of the majority, and corporate amalgamation has reduced choice. We’ve been herded into this political corral by libertarians, conservatives and “third way” market democrats, where the wealthy few dictate policy by economic leverage.

    It places the burden of an institutional reform on individuals in the way the majority are least equipped to deal with: perfect knowledge of the practices of all the companies, the existence of acceptable choice within the marketplace, the financial wherewithal to afford that choice. What bothers me the most if that the mainstream left has internalized this libertarian view of “personal responsibility”, and winds up in holier-than-thou snipe-fests over the economic choices of others, rather than finding effective solutions to the underlying anti-democratic influence of money in the political system.

  170. 170
    PatrickG

    @leftwingfox

    Replying to your last post here since the nesting is getting a bit cumbersome.

    What bothers me the most if that the mainstream left has internalized this libertarian view of “personal responsibility”, and winds up in holier-than-thou snipe-fests over the economic choices of other

    First, libertarianism has absolutely nothing to do with personal responsibility, and everything to do with personal power. Second, there really isn’t such a thing as the “mainstream left”. I wish there were, but what I consider to be “the left” is far too marginalized in public discourse to be considered mainstream.

    That said, I find this a really interesting reversal, living as I do in a part of the nation where I get to see, on a daily basis, “personal responsibility” warped into pissier-than-thou snipe-fests at the moral choices of “liberals” (I live in Kentucky, google some Friends of Coal images for just one example, or these bumper stickers — I actually saw the 2nd a week ago). The whole August 1st thing seemed to be just an extension of the same. Take that, you stupid liberals!

    The holier-than-thou attitude you perceive is being directed at people who deliberately double down on actively harmful positions even in the face of information and moral suasion. I would call it more of a do-i-really-have-to-beat-you-over-the-head-with-a-metaphorical-2×4-for-you-to-understand-this attitude, myself. :)

    My problem is when we stretch that blanket to cover not just the actively bigoted, but the misinformed and uninformed.

    Bigotry is as bigotry does. Are they all a lost cause we should wipe our hands of? Of course not. Can we maybe reach some people? Sure. But as the August 1st day showed us, an awful lot of people like being misinformed and uninformed. They enjoy standing up for FREEEEEEDOM far too much to care or even really acknowledge that they’re advocating bigoted positions.

    So we’re left with a question of strategy. How do we engage these people? How do we identify the ones who might be willing to listen? Is it worth our time and trouble in a reward-effort ratio? How do we counter the Huckabees of the world who deliberately reframe and hide from active discussion? Sometimes just pointing at the problem and moving on to do something else is really all you can do.

    I still hope, for instance, that Difficult Situation learned something here, and learned even more from the reaction of her family and friends. The latter is a much bigger metaphorical 2×4 than anybody in this forum could ever hope to wield.

    Though, you know, I do find it a hopeful sign that even Huckabee had to cloak this whole brouhaha under the mantle of “free speech”. Not that long ago, that canard wouldn’t have been at all necessary. So, progress, somewhat.

    Big wall of text, some clumsily made points. I should be more careful in future.

  171. 171
    leftwingfox

    No worries about the nesting. I’m just wanted to acknowledge your reply, and state I’m largely with agreement with your views, and any disagreement is probably just quibbling over semantics and going off on tangents, the latter being largely my fault.

  172. 172
    PatrickG

    I’m glad you acknowledge that I would never go off on tangents. For clearly I am that superior type of commenter.

    /cheekygrin

  173. 173
    spicedeschain

    Great post, as always :)

  174. 174
    ischemgeek

    I really get tired of the “You’re criticizing me and therefore you’re not tolerant! Hypocrite!” arguments.

    Dear people who make those arguments:

    Tolerance does not mean you get to say and do whatever you want to and you’re immune to criticism.

    Tolerance means that you don’t get discriminated against* for what you are, believe, wear, think, do or say so long as none of those things harm** anyone else.

    If A and B want to get married, it harms nobody if A and B have the same gender, or different religions, or different colored skin, or different ethnic backgrounds, or if their presented genders don’t match their biological sex, etc. If C rants that A and B’s marriage is morally wrong, should be prohibited, and further that A and B should be punished for their marriage, that harms A and B and everyone who falls into a similar situation. See the difference?

    To use Christianity as an example because it’s the vastly dominant religion where I live, it would be wrong to discriminate against Christians for being Christian. Their private religion doesn’t harm other people. However, when Christians use their religion as an excuse to advocate things that actively harm other people, I will decry such behavior and take action to oppose it, and I am not bigoted in doing so.

    So if you’re advocating or doing things that harm people, it’s not violating the principle of tolerance for me to criticize you. And as far as name-calling goes, if the shoe fits, wear it. If you act like a bigot, expect to be called a bigot.

    Sincerely,

    Me

    *criticism is not discrimination. Discrimination is prejudicial treatment based on a membership or percieved membership to a group. Criticism is the judgement of merits or faults in an intelligable way. Flawed, incorrect or unfair criticism is often a tool of discrimination, but they are not one and the same.

    **By ‘harm’, I mean ‘does measurable damage in terms of career, pay, safety, equality, and/or other measures of quality of life’. I do not mean ’causes mild discomfort to’ or ‘offends the sensibilities of.’ Note that my definition means that most harmful actions are offensive, but not all offensive actions are harmful. Note that virtually all harmful acts may be considered offensive but not all offensive acts are harmful.

  175. 175
    FORMER Fetus

    The fact that Ms McCreight who is an ardent supporter of racism and reverse eugenics has the gall to label anyone else a bigot can only be laughable. Marriage is a Judeo-Christian institution that is defined by God, not by those who are outside of that community of the faithful.

    Glad to see you are back. Keep up the hypocrisy and the (unintentional) laughs. I always enjoy the irrational reflections of atheists, but most especially your ravings!

  176. 176
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    You got a pretty fucken hilarious blog yourself buddy.

  177. 177
    James Willmott

    “Marriage is a Judeo-Christian institution that is defined by God”

    No it isn’t, do some research.

    ( And while you’re at it, cite the source where God, not people speaking on his behalf, defines marriage for us please )

  178. 178
    Cthulhu

    “I remember an argument where someone was insisting that the only way you could claim that someone was a bigot is if their true beliefs were bigoted, and actions didn’t count. I guess the moral of the story is that you can’t call anyone bigoted, racist, or sexist ever. The only people who are truly bigoted, racist or sexist are those who call others bigoted, racist or sexist.

    Liberals are often accused of trying to remove works from language via political correctness, and receive much abuse for this. Yet, there is clearly an effort to cleanse these words out of the language by the very people who decry political correctness.

    It’s… interesting, no?”

    Interesting? No. It’s just good old fashioned hypocrisy, and we’ve seen enough of this.

  179. 179
    Cthulhu

    The curious thing (Well not so curious to me it’s perfectly obvious), is that the majority of the anti gay marriage bias concerns gay MEN.

    Gay women hardly get a mention it seems. All of which goes to buttress my conclusion that the anti gay argument has sweet FA to do with the bible, or what’s right, and everything to do with they find it squicky and they’re scared they might be gay too.

  180. 180
    kathleenmcgee

    I have received all those “responses” from the church chickens on The View blog site. I asked one lady if she got up from her knees each morning and asked, “Lord, who can I hate today.” I glory in ruffling their feathers. Can’t march any more with these old feet, but I can still write.

  181. 181
    FORMER Fetus

    Gee, thanks. One man’s hilarity is sometimes that same man’s damnation. HYKIHYFI.

  182. 182
    FORMER Fetus

    Oh, silly James. Don’t you know that’s what made the Jews (the Chosen) different from all their heathen neighbours. They were the only folk in that early parade of humanity that insisted that there was indeed, only one God. All other groups had a revolving pantheon of gods and goddesses.

    So it isn’t surprising that the first covenant between God and the first family included a betrothal between the first man and the first woman that excluded all others. Unlike Americans who are so high on individualism, God set up a covenant with the first family, not the first man or woman.

    That was the original marital model. Jesus* harkened back to that very model when he declared the Gospel and defined marriage in the New and Final Covenant. One man and one woman, for life. The disciples were so alarmed by Jesus’s Gospel restriction that they said …”if this is the way it is…it is better not to marry!”

    Wow…that was easy. Research done.

    *Jesus is the God-man, the Messiah…in case the pagans don’t ‘get’ Jesus.

  183. 183
    Adam G

    Don’t you know that’s what made the Jews (the Chosen) different from all their heathen neighbours.

    Wait, how many wives did Abraham have again?

    Even if all christians agreed on everything you wrote, CURRENT Idiot, marriage in this country is a civil matter, not a religious one. You are welcome to keep on thinking about marriage in whatever way you please as long as you do not limit my right to have the same benefits you do from being married to a partner I love. My future same sex marriage has absolutely no effect on your life whatsoever.

  184. 184
    gr8shoes

    Ask Michele Bachmann’s husband. He should know why a gay man would want to marry a woman.

  185. 185
    jaycubed

    (Many people get angry & express denial regarding the concepts I will express here, but I believe there is both a useful distinction and historical relevance to be made in looking at these words this way.)

    There’s a profound difference between the words/concepts of prejudiced and bigoted.

    The word prejudice literally means to judge in advance. Although the common inference/usage is that prejudice is a negative quality, it is in fact ethically neutral and a necessary part of human functioning: prejudice can be positive or negative. The words prejudice and preference express essentially the same concept. Both trivial & profound everyday decisions are continually decided by our prejudices/preferences rather then by actively thinking/deciding. How we present ourselves socially to our fellows is based upon our prejudices.

    The prejudice of myself & most people on this site is to treat as equals their fellows regardless of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, age, size, etc. We have decided in advance (pre-) to judge (-judice) them as equals. Generally the source of this prejudice comes from our sense of ethics which we develop through example, experience & education.*

    A personal example of prejudice I learned from my father. He was a teenaged dust-bowl Okie who came to California early during the great depression. He admitted to a prejudice against Mexicans; not because he felt he was better than Mexicans (which would be bigotry), but because they were “hungrier” than he was and willing to work as hard for less money, giving them a competitive advantage. His response was not to hate or degrade Mexicans, but to be aware of his feelings and act against those feelings (as a child/adolescent he had seen active bigotry against his Native American neighbors/classmates by his “Christian” family & neighbors and found it repulsive). His “hellfire & brimstone” Baptist upbringing focused his bigotry internally: his prejudice was to hate himself because he felt his God hated him.

    The word “bigot” literally means, “By God”. It was originally coined (circa 10th century) by the French to describe the Normans, who regularly ended spoken phrases by swearing “By Gott”. The Normans accepted the “insult” with pride: they were proud of their bigotry. These original “bigots” introduced the word into the English milieu after the Norman conquest. There it developed into its present meaning – a prejudice based upon interpretation of God’s word/intent. Bigots hate because they Believe that their God wants them to hate. This is considered “moral”.

    If you condemn people (even if you claim to “really” love them but hate their ___.) because of your interpretation of your God’s word/intent, you are a bigot. If you Believe that you are merely acting on your God’s prejudices, then your “prejudices” are “by god”. You are a bigot.

    -

    * (One of my favorite works of public art used to be at the entrance door to the LACMA. One side was marked “Prejudiced” while the other was marked “Not Prejudiced”. People (those who even noticed the signs) would always try to enter through the “Not Prejudiced” doorway, but were unable to do so since that door was locked. One could only enter through the “Prejudiced” doorway. Some would turn away & refuse to enter the museum. The point, of course, is that most people are prejudiced to think of themselves as not prejudiced.)
    p.s. As it’s been decades since that artwork was there, there might have been slight variations in the wording. I am prejudiced to be as accurate as possible.

  186. 186
    FORMER Fetus

    Hey, it’s not like you’re brainwashed or nothin’.

  187. 187
    John Abbott

    Jen, you lost me the moment that you said that Chick Fil A was using their profits to support Uganda’s bill to kill gay people.

    Is one of a host of canards that the left has hoisted without ever fact checking it.

    Look here:
    “The Tony Perkins-led FRC said it did lobby on the bill, but not to kill it – rather to change the language it contained and “to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”

    “FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution,” the group said. “FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.”"

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-503544_162-20006856.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

    Its not too surprising that the FRC would want to change the wording of the bill. Its also not true that the FRC spent $25k on it. But you’d have to actually follow the links to find that out, too.

    A bigot is someone who tends to believe everything about someoone that you don’t understand. You’re gullible, which is why I see you as bigoted.

  188. 188
    John Abbott

    “Is” is supposed to be “Its”.
    My large cat fell on keyboard just as I was pressing the submit button.

  189. 189
    PatrickG

    Oh, well, that changes everything. Especially after I came across this transcript of a radio interview:

    Hello, I am Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council. At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality. The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality. The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans. The President said that “We may disagree about gay marriage, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are.” Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us. [Emphasis mine]

    (By the way, having teh gay sex while HIV positive is “aggravated homosexuality” under the Ugandan law. And I’m sure everybody in Uganda has access to regular HIV testing. Most definitely.)

    Sounds to me like he’s very much pro-criminalization. Of course, now that they’ve taken that radio clip off their website (now says No Longer Available), I guess I can’t prove that. So we’re left with no choice but to accept FRC’s claim that they totally had no problem with the resolution, just with the social language.

    Wait, here’s FRC’s Peter Sprigg interviewed by Chris Matthews (transcript for section starting ~ 8:15.):

    MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

    SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

    MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.

    SPRIGG: Yes.

    So, yeah, I suppose fairness does force me to say that I have no idea what those lobbyists actually said behind closed doors, but FRC favors criminalizing homosexuality. They lobbied in some form on a bill (a resolution, for crying out loud) opposing the criminalization of homosexuality. Did they lobby against it? Well, again, closed doors…. but it’s entirely consistent with their repeatedly stated position.

    Besides, even if we’re wrong about Uganda, FRC wants to see homosexuality criminalized. Gonna say that’s enough already to rightfully condemn them.

    Oh, by the way, as far as I know that resolution is still languishing in the House. Someone doesn’t want it passed, and sure, I’m going to go with the assumption that it was FRC, since they spent money lobbying on it. Maybe I’m wrong, but given their history I’d bet a fair amount on being right.

  190. 190
    John Abbott

    Unbelievable, Patrick.
    You STILL have no proved by any stretch that the FRC wants to kill homosexuals, either here in the US or abroad.

    Yes, there is NO WAY that you could determine what the FRC lobbyist said behind closed doors. But to THEN DETERMINE that the spokesperson said, “Oh yeah… can we lobby to kill those gays” is borderline retarded.
    And that’s what you’ve done.

    I’m not a fan of the FRC.
    I’m LESS of a fan of those who distort the truth to forward their cause. You fit in the second category.

  191. 191
    PatrickG

    Well, gee, I thought this part might have been indicative…. the part where I said:

    Maybe I’m wrong

    And, since you missed it the first time: MAYBE I AM WRONG.

    What I said was: FRC paid lobbyists, FRC did lobbying on this bill in some form. I don’t think it’s impossible that the Uganda story is wrong, but while I don’t know for sure, I sure as hell am not going to trust FRC’s word on it.

    I thought it was pretty clear that I found it plausible, defined as “Seeming reasonable or probable.” You know, sort of like how I don’t know what’s in Romney’s tax returns, but I find it plausible that he engaged in a number of shady tax shelters and paid very little in taxes.

    Christ on a cracker, try reading what people say before jumping all over it. My post was rather snarky, sure, and in retrospect I can see how a cursory reading might misinterpet, but my point was that even though the Uganda theory can’t be proven at this point I still assert based on the evidence I have seen that FRC wants to criminalize homosexuality.

    And y’know, that’s enough for me. If the Uganda thing can’t be substantiated, it functionally doesn’t matter, because, say it with me, the FRC wants to criminalize homosexuality.

    Pro tip: Calling people “retarded” is deeply offensive and does splash damage. You can criticize my writing all you want without resorting to ableist slurs.

  192. 192
    PatrickG

    And seriously, calling the OP gullible while blindly trusting what effectively was a press release by the Family Research Council makes me laugh.

  193. 193
    Sally Strange

    Feh. Why should I listen to a future corpse, anyway.

  194. 194
    FORMER Fetus

    Simply, because I have found eternity, and you haven’t.

  195. 195
    FORMER Fetus

    “…marriage in this country is a civil matter, not a religious one.”

    No, it’s not.

    Everywhere, Jesus and the disciples went about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

    The primary message of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ is king.

    You didn’t elect him. He’s not a your president.

    By his passion, death, and resurrection as the Messiah he earned his place at the right hand of God. All “authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to him”.. And, in another place, “The Word was with God…and the Word was God.”

    Canada, the United States of America, Russia, Great Britain, etc. …all nations in time, belong to Jesus Christ.

    In so much as people and politicians resist the will of God, they have status, or hold those positions of public power as usurpers, and rebels.

    Authentic Christians will always resist secular (usually Marxist-enabled) re-inventions of our sacred human institutions according to their new and strange ideologies.

  196. 196
    adamgordon

    No, it’s not

    Prove it.

    Canada, the United States of America, Russia, Great Britain, etc. …all nations in time, belong to Jesus Christ.

    Prove it.

  197. 197
    PatrickG

    Everywhere, Jesus and the disciples a whole lot of people with swords went about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of believe in our God or die.

    Fixed that for you.

    And honestly, if you can’t keep people to agree with your religious views without using secular institutions to force them to believe, maybe you should rethink your religion.

  198. 198
    Frank

    Yawn! Could a opinion be more wrong and uninspiring than this article??

  199. 199
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    As opposed to your comment, which positively glitters with profundity.

  200. 200
    WINNIFRED GALLATIN

    Hi :D

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