Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Eat More Chiken
So Dan Cathy, Chick Fil A CEO, said the company upholds traditional values regarding marriage between a man and a woman. And Chick Fil A became corporation non gratis in Boston. And Chicago.
But not in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Chick Fil A Day. Cars are lined up into the street trying to get into the Chick Fil A at Martin Luther King and Razorback. The Cutest Community Organizer To Whom I Am Married along with some politico friends and I got there at 11 a.m. to avoid the rush. Ha! The place is packed.
The issue is not about discrimination against homosexuals. Chick Fil A says it does not discriminate on any basis, including sexual orientation. It's just that Cathy and his closely-held company hold the same values as most Americans.
It's a festive atmosphere at the Fayetteville store. The crowd is young – mostly 35 and below; there are kids, some teenagers, many young parents. Two Boy Scouts are in line. And a sheriff's deputy. There are some young guys with tee shirts saying they're part of a football team. A young man wears an Ave Maria University shirt. The line inside spreads throughout the building. In fact, people keep asking, "Where is the end of the line?" Me, playing the funny guy, keeps pointing and saying: "In Oklahoma!"
California, hotbed of liberalism, amended its constitution to prohibit gay "marriage." But Those Who Know Best in federal court overturned it. Twenty-eight others states put on the ballot constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. All of them passed.
One of the lines at the Fayetteville Chick Fil A is delayed. A woman is picking up a massive order to take back to her co-workers at the local veterans hospital. Two soldiers in fatigues are embarrassed as people keep giving them cuts to go ahead of them in line.
Voters in Hawaii instructed legislators to ban gay marriage; voters in Maine stopped legislation that would allow it. This week supporters of California's ban on gay marriage are asking the U. S. Supreme Court to settle the whole thing once and for all. Like so many issues, the will of the people is no longer relevant; rather, lawyers in robes rule us.
A maintenance man comes from a back room of the restaurant carrying a fan that looks like a boat propeller on steroids. What a day for a restaurant fan to give out! A Chick Fil A worker says the milkshake machine has quit. On the street behind is a truck from an expediting freight company set up to unload. Are they bringing extra supplies to Chick Fil A? But they're parked a few doors down. Could it be they didn't want to block cars belonging to Chick Fil A customers that are parked off the street and on the grass? Why would anyone come to a restaurant they know is going to be packed? In fact, there were some people who had no idea what was going on -- they just wandered in wanting a Chick Fil A meal. They looked a bit overwhelmed. We hear people saying a Channel 5 news crew is on the property. Reports indicate the what's happening here is happening all over the country.
The issue is not homosexuality per se. Most people don't care about what goes on in other people's bedrooms. But gay marriage is uncharted territory. Even ancient Greece, highly tolerant -- even encouraging of -- homosexuality, did not think to tamper with the concept of marriage.
And when Dan Cathy voiced what so many of us believe, he was mocked, his company threatened. But there is a large majority out there: tolerant, respectful, not wishing ill on their fellow human beings, but who know what is right and what is wrong. People who try to work within the system, signing petitions, securing amendments to state constitutions, people who are tired of what they hold sacred being mocked. People who are tired of being bullied while they are accused of being bullies.
People who one day just go to their local Chick Fil A and decide the most relevant political action they can take is:
Eat more chiken.