Debate Left, 8/7

Which came first: the chicken or the faith?

By Ben Tompkins

Nobody has the right to specifically single out Chik-fil-A and ban them from their town on purely ideological grounds.  It has never once happened in any way shape or form that was even remotely constitutional.  While a few towns in the country have kept superstores like Wal-Mart and large strip malls out of their community using legislation, they did so in a generalized, non-discriminatory way by imposing limits on the size of a building footprint or citing environmental issues rather than explicitly banning one particular store.  In this regard, I suppose a town could ban, say, fast food, provided there was a way to word it so the scalpel wouldn’t cut out local businesses they presumably supported.

There is, in fact, only one known way to selectively prune a business from your community -the best way, and it works every single time.  It allows you to discriminate, if you so choose, for all those deliciously irrational and prejudiced reasons that would be socially awkward to voice in a public forum -things like ethnicity, gender and, in the case of Chik-fil-A, the unbelievably disgusting religious mandate that the faithful should go around peeping into others’ bedroom windows while they’re having sex for the purpose of informing the rest of the community how they do it.  That method would be:

DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY.

They will go away.  It works every time.  As for those long lines of Christians in front of Chik-fil-A who will vacuously protest anything if they think they are defending the faith, let them.  They already use their religion to justify all manner of horribly invasive and nauseating behaviors in which they secretly want to participate but for which they can find no other excuse; why would it be so unthinkable they’d use it to justify eating Chik-fil-A six times a week?  If these sad individuals think God wants them to get fat and die, who am I to argue?  Their protest will end and Chik-fil-A won’t have any more customers.  You have literally killed two birds with one stone.

Personally, I will not be going to Chik-fil-A.  I think the people who operate Chik-fil-A are unbelievable assholes, and they use their blind faith in an invisible man as a rationale for shitting on people they don’t want to deal with, rather, declaring something they believe on absolutely no evidence at all gives them a pretense to threaten gay people because it’s written in a book from approximately the 4th century B.C.

I don’t know why any moral, intelligent person would tolerate such a thing.  Say you’re religious in this country and all of a sudden you are gifted unchallengeable credit for mindless blatherings like “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Do you love Saddam Hussein?  Really?  Can you in any way be morally serious and look the thousands of Kurdish orphans in the face, whose family and friends he gassed in 1988, and tell them you love Saddam Hussein and you think he’s worthy of God’s grace?   I don’t love Saddam Hussein. I hate him with every fiber of my being.  He was a horrible despot who murdered millions of innocents, violently oppressed the freedoms of the citizens who survived, raped and tortured further untold numbers.  I’m glad he’s dead, and in the words of the departed Christopher Hitchens, “It’s a shame there’s no hell for him to go to.”

To further suggest that there is any sort of moral rectitude in smugly telling a gay person you love them as an insincere prologue for your next sentence where you tell them that you’re going to make them a second-class citizen because they’re a faggot, reeks of the most unctuous amoral duplicity I have ever had the displeasure of wiping off my brain stem.

Except it’s worse than that.  They don’t just say it and give the things unto Caesar that are Caesar’s.  They give the things that are Caesar’s over to agencies that spend every waking moment pursuing the anti-gay agenda.  In other words, they are not just occupying the moral high ground, they are specifically engaging in the systematic eradication of homosexuality from our culture.  Now we’re having a discussion with consequences beyond your personal spirituality, because when you go to Chik-fil-A you are supporting that too.  I can’t speak for you, but when businesses I frequent begin forcing me to lobby simply by supporting them…I stay home and make a sandwich.  Particularly when they believe it on religious (no) grounds.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  Chik-fil-A also believes that God created all of time and eternity, created billions of species of which 99.99% are now extinct, left us wallowing in pain and suffering for the first 40,000 years of our existence until one day he decides, “Oh, hang on, I’m going to send my son to the Middle East as a human sacrifice so that down the road Dan Cathy can fulfill my plan of opening a Christian chicken joint as a platform for telling people how to fuck.”

“Oh hey, what should I call this restaurant, God?”

“Go Chik-fil-A Dan.  Chik-fil-A…”

Quite a plan, isn’t it?  If that’s what you want to support with your dollars, then go ahead.

Benjamin Tompkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist, and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colo. He hates stupidity, and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of the issue. Reach Ben Tompkins at BenTompkins@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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