Former Arkansas governor and current radio show host Mike Huckabee is announcing a “Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day."
Huckabee is calling for folks to eat at Chick-Fil-A on August 1 to support the company from what he calls “vitriolic assaults":
I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A company because the CEO [sic], Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld. The Cathy family, let by Chick Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, are a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story… I ask you to join me in speaking out on Wednesday, August 1 “Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day.” No one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate. The goal is simple: Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.
As Huckabee rushes to the defense of Chick-Fil-A, he conveniently omits the reason as to why the gay community is angry at the company. He conveniently does not mention how Chick-Fil-A donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay hate groups and ex-gay groups in 2010 .
And he omits any specific mention of the viciously anti-gay comments of Chick-Fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, who claimed that gays are helping to invite "God's judgement" on the country.
Huckabee's failure to mention these things could be seen as merely an accidental slight on his part.
But not necessarily.
He committed the same willful distortion in 2010.
In November of that year, the Southern Poverty Law Center called out certain anti-gay organizations and deemed them as hate groups because of how they lie to stigmatize the lgbtq community.
According to SPLC:
Even as some well-known anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family moderate their views, a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations . . . Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.
Huckabee, in a December interview with the Walton Sun, tried to make it seem that these groups were being called out because they "simply" opposed marriage equality:
Huckabee was also astounded when the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Family Research Council as a hate group, because they oppose same sex marriage.
“So does 60 percent of America,” Huckabee said. “Does that mean that that 60 percent of America is a hate group?”
I don't necessarily think that Huckabee's failure to mention Chick-Fil-A's support of anti-gay hate groups or Cathy's homophobic comments was an accident.
On the contrary, I think it was an intentional part on Huckabee to distort the conversation, just like he attempted when talking about the SPLC in 2010.
The irony is that one of the problems SPLC had with anti-gay groups is how they falsely connect homosexuality with pedophilia. Huckabee committed this same distortion in a recent interview.
In addition, according to media watchdog site Media Matters, Huckabee has a long history of anti-gay speech from not just comparing homosexuality to pedophilia but also to necrophilia (i.e. sex with corpses). In 2010, he said that legalizing gay marriage is akin to legalizing drug use, incest and polygamy.
I don't know whether or not Huckabee's "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" will be a success but it does cast much-needed attention on the tendency of religious right figures to use lies against the gay community and then plead religious ennui when called to the carpet about these lies.
At the very least, one has to wonder if partnering with Huckabee is the right way for the organization to go?
If Chick-Fil-A is attempting to quell its argument with the gay community, gaining the support of a man who compared being gay to having sex with corpses isn't a smart move.