Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Simple answers to the questions about the Chick-Fil-A boycott

 An online buddy of mine, Rusty McMann, has assembled some simple answers to the questions about the gay community's anger at Chick-Fil-A, as well as why we are boycotting the restaurant.

This is necessary because while there have been so many television stations, newspapers, pundits, and columnists who have weighed in on the controversy, very few are trying to get the full story:

Simple answers to difficult questions about the Chick-Fil-A boycott

Q.  Why are the gays making such a big deal out of this?  Aren’t we all entitled to our own opinions?

A.  Well the first thing you need to know is that there is no "the gays."  Gay Americans don’t speak in a unified voice any more than all straight Americans, or all African-Americans, or all left-handed Americans.

Q.  OK  fine.  So what’s the big deal and why are *so many* of gays so upset that Dan Cathy is against gay marriage?

A.  Dan Cathy is perfectly entitled to his opinion about marriage equality or anything else.  That’s not what has so many people upset.  The reason we are boycotting Chick-fil-A is because the CFA Corporation, through its charitable arm The WinShape Foundation, has donated almost 4 million dollars to organizations and causes that are dedicated to doing harm to gay men and lesbians – not just here in the US, but around the world.

Q.  Oh, come on.  The WinShape foundation is about leadership training and strengthening families.

A.  While it is true that the WinShape foundation has a number of admirable programs for at-risk youth, it would also appear that WinShape believes that “curing” homosexuality (a concept that is roundly rejected by the scientific community) and preventing same-sex couples from being legally married is something that trains leaders and makes families stronger – because they give A LOT of money to foundations and advocacy groups that are hostile to the LBGT people.

In the year 2010 alone, WinShape donated nearly 2 million dollars to groups with anti-gay agendas:

$1,188,380 to the Marriage & Family Foundation (founded by Bubba Cathy (Dan’s Brother) the MFA provides funding to organizations that preach that the American family is threatened by the proliferation of same-sex couples )  

$480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (dedicated to “curing” gay athletes);

$247,500 to the National Christian Foundation (is a grant-making foundation that has provides money to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, Family Life, and the Family Research Council);

$54,000 to the New Mexico Christian Foundation (the New Mexico branch of the NCF);

$1,000 to the Family Research Council (which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of the provable falsehoods it spreads about gay men and lesbians);

$2,500 to the Georgia Research Council (which lobbies against marriage equality, both in Georgia and around the US); and

$1,000 to Exodus International, an organization dedicated to “curing homosexuality” and whose board member  Don Schmierer had a hand in the creation of  a bill in Uganda that could "punish homosexuality" with death .

So every chicken sandwich and waffle fry you purchase helps to fund one of those organizations.  


Q.  How do I know all this stuff you’re saying is true?

A.  Don’t take our word for it; it’s a matter of public record.  All charities have to file documents with the IRS and most State Attorney Generals, so you can look it all up yourself.  

Q.  But isn’t that their right, to do whatever they want with their money?

A.  Of course it is.  But it’s also my right to spend my money how I see fit and you might want to do the same.  Personally, I don’t want to spend my money at a business whose profits go to taking other people’s rights away.  And you might not either; we thought you might like to know what your lunch money is helping to fund.

Q.  But what about freedom of speech and freedom of religion?  Aren’t you trying to take his rights away the way you claim he’s trying to take yours?

A.  Actually no.  First of all, we’re not trying to shut him up or change the way he worships.  But when the Constitution mentions freedom of speech and freedom of religion it says that the GOVERNMENT can’t step in and stop you from talking (or spending your money) and the same with religion.  Citizens of the original 13 colonies had no choice but to worship in and pay tribute to the Church of England – the constitution guarantees that there will not be a state-mandated religion.  Neither of those things mean that we don’t have to be held responsible for what we say or do.

As far as I am concerned (and I am only speaking for myself - Alvin McEwen, the man behind this blog), the point of the boycott is not to shut down Chick-Fil-A or even put the company out business.

The point is bring attention as to how Chick-Fil-A has unfortunately helped to harm gay equality while falsely  pleading religious ennui. And how easy it is for groups and individuals  to demonize gays and fund the efforts of those who would seek to stamp out our equality by pulling the  the "I am only expressing my personal religious beliefs" card.

If the expression of your personal religious beliefs entails the destruction of someone else's freedom, then perhaps it's time to  rethink how you express your religious beliefs.

Related post - What Chick-Fil-A's money supports - a video montage of homophobia

Editor's note - If you feel this information is timely and accurate, then please send it to your friends, allies, enemies, and especially those in the media.
 


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36 comments :

Joel said...

Wonderfully succinct, calm, and fact-based (as always). Thank you for this resource! I also direct people to the list of FRC videos you posted the other day.

Sharon Christine said...

This is pretty much what I said tonight explaining this tiny parents who both agreed with me :)

Jess said...

I shared it on facebook. Thank you.

The Colorful One said...

The point is bring attention as to how Chick-Fil-A has unfortunately helped to harm gay equality while falsely pleading religious ennui. And how easy it is for groups and individuals to demonize gays and fund the efforts of those who would seek to stamp out our equality by pulling the the "I am only expressing my personal religious beliefs" card.

Precisely so. I tire of the faux martyr status people like Dan Cathy try to build up for themselves while hiding the true venom of their words and deeds. If he continues to turn a profit, so be it. But let his status as someone who contributes to the marginalization and harm of LGBT people everywhere be clearly known.

Daniel said...

Thank you for posting this response. I sometimes wonder why,specifically, this homophobe when there are so many. This response helps.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is "religious ennui"? Could you clarify, please?

Robyn Jane Sheppard said...

I just posted a link to this on my own Blogger page.

Marlena Machol said...

I have a gay son. I have been boycotting Chick-fil-A (and a lot of other Dominionist-run companies)for years, to the point where it's become a family joke about where we are "allowed" to eat or shop, what products we are "allowed" to buy. I'm glad to see people finally have had enough of them. Do an online search for Dominionist owned companies and you might be surprised and horrified by what you find.

EvilI said...

That's not fair. They didn't ask to be answered, they asked so they could make up fake answers.
You keep telling the truth at them, and that's just mean! Jerk.

LeAnna Bing said...

This is exactly what I wish I'd been able to express and how I think and feel about this situation...thank you.

Al said...

Thanks for posting this list. I have been working with my kids' PTA to get their school cut ties with CFA. The response from both has been good (A liberal school district in GA--who'd'a thunk it?), I just need put in the work to get more parents on board. Would it be okay with you if I linked to this post in an email and/or in a petition? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing people say that Chic-Fil-A is taking away gays "rights". They're not taking away anyone's rights, you still have the freedom to do whatever you want dispite anything that the company does. The supposedly tolerant are the most intolernt. I love the double standards.

BlackTsunami said...

Feel free, Al. And that goes for anyone else wishing to spread this post to their friends, neighbors, etc.

BlackTsunami said...

Poor anonymous, if u had taken the time to read the post, u would have learned that Chick Fil A fund groups who ARE attempting to take away gay rights. You really should read more so as to not waste time spinning silly semantic garbage.

JJ Hefley said...

I was not aware that The Fellowship of Christian Athletes attempted to cure gay athletes. I have been to a few FCA meetings and never witnessed anyone attempting to cure gay athletes. Can you elaborate?

Anonymous said...

I get why a good portion of the LBGT community is upset by this. And I respect their position, but the general public is simply powerless to make this happen. Sorry, but MCD puts that pink slurry in their food, my kids will not eat that. And while I am not condoning their active participation against LBGT, the facts do remain that those charities supported do a large amount of good in the world. Compare it to the situation the Boy Scouts face in their beliefs. Compare it to Planned Parenthood. Both have come under huge media fire lately for some things that are not very well received by the general public. I would love to beat down PP directors for the practice of partial birth abortion, but I also support their efforts of women getting prenatal care and cancer screens. So what can one do. Do I petition to shut down PP because they jam scissors in babies necks when they could be birthed and survive? Do I post the name and picture of every PP worker online and call them baby killers? No, I simply let it happen and petition my government representatives to ban the practice of partial birth abortion. Hoping that some day we will return to a society that can agree to value human life. Unfortunately, I suspect we may never return to that society.

Anonymous said...

actually, they can't do whatever they want. Not the right to get married in most states, and many states don't even cover LGBT hate crimes. Chick-Fil-A's money is going to organizations that not only try to prevent LGBT people from gaining the right to marry, but to organizations that try to change their orientation

Anonymous said...

Of course it is. But it’s also my right to spend my money how I see fit and you might want to do the same. Personally, I don’t want to spend my money at a business whose profits go to taking other people’s rights away. And you might not either; we thought you might like to know what your lunch money is helping to fund.

I feel the same way about abortions...i don't want my tax money paying for people's abortions... people are allowed to give money to whoever they want...and Marlene, you better stop buying gasoline as the coutries that own all the oil we use just kill homosexuals...thank God they aren't killed in the USA.

BlackTsunami said...

Mr. Heffley, the link to what you are asking about is included.

Anonymous said...

Comparing buying gas to buying fried chicken is a terrible comparison. I mean, I can go the rest of my life without fried chicken, but if you think that's a reasonable comparison then you apparently can't which is Just sad.

Great post! I wish more people agreed!

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the media screaming about the fact that Boston's mayor gave $1.8 mil in public land for a mosque, a trustee for which openly wants gays executed. Because chicken sandwiches are more dangerous?

BlackTsunami said...

Sorry my friend but you are going to HAVE to do better than that. What exactly are you talking about? What mosque and where and when did these folks say that gays should be executed. Pathetic.

The Colorful One said...

Alvin: I believe he's referring to the mosque run by the Islamic Society of Boston. Allegedly, al-Qaradawi was listed as a trustee for the ISOB at one time.

Of course, the mayor did not give any land to the ISOB. He sold them land. Granted, he sold it to them at a price below market value, but that is still not the same as "giving it away."

BlackTsunami said...

And how much did that trustee have in terms of control over that land vs. Chic-Fil-A giving money to groups attempting to ACTIVELY take rights away from gays. The Family Research Council has a foothold in Congress which they brag about at least once a week. And I know this to be true because I get their emails.

The Colorful One said...

In case it wasn't clear: I in no way agree with Anonymous's premise comparing the situation with the mosque to Chick-Fil-A's endorsement of anti-gay groups -- some of whom, by the way, have also spoken favorably of the death penalty for LGBT people.

As for Alvin's most recent questions, I have no idea. The very brief search I did only provided me with the names I provided here. To be frank, the couple of pages of search results were of the "look at the liberal hypocrisy!" sort we're all used to and offered few, if any, details.

Anonymous said...

Another question to answer would be that the political activity preceded Cathy's comments, and there had been little reaction from the gay community or the liberal media. So when Cathy does express his opinion and this political activity is suddenly cited as the true reason for the media fueled campaign against the company, it's had to view as credible.

That said, personally I don't care much either way as there's no Chick Fil A in my area, and I'm in the tiny minority that thinks that the "state" should have nothing to do with a religious classification of a relationship gay or straight. Everyone has civil unions from the state, while churches are free to marry gays, straights or both, persons can choose to patronize churches based on their stance on this issue if they wish, and this issue largely evaporates.

BlackTsunami said...

Not necessarily true, anonymous. In our community, there was MUCH talk of what Chick-Fil-A funds. Before Cathy's comments caused it to go global, several gay blogs - particularly Jeremy Hooper's Goodasyou.org was talking about what Chick-Fil-A funds.

Unknown said...

Everyone has civil unions from the state, while churches are free to marry gays, straights or both, persons can choose to patronize churches based on their stance on this issue if they wish, and this issue largely evaporates.

I appreciate the pragmatism in this comment. Unfortunately, the people flocking to Chic-fil-A over this are impervious to logic.

I suspect that a lot of evangelical churches are preaching that if you allow sin to occur, your complacency makes you culpable for that sin. So by doing their part to marginalize gays, the "righteous" can feel as though their souls are safe. (At least when it comes to homosexuality. For some strange reason, no one's trying to shut down seafood restaurants to save America from the unholy abomination that is Lobsterfest.)

What's interesting to me is that the idea that we are all collectively punished for the "sin" of homosexuality, is something that I've seen printed on some very rude signs displayed by a family of religious whackjobs protesting at funerals. Everyone claims to hate the WBC, but I think the people who are clogging up the roads and their arteries in this bizarre attempt at solidarity with Dan Cathy, have more in common with Fred Phelps than they might think. And since they're lending monetary support (and most likely, voting for things like NC's Amendment One) to the cause, you could say they're actually causing more harm than the ones standing around waving signs.

Anonymous said...

Cathy's comments were the equivalent of the so-called smoking gun.

We have been complaining for years about the WinShape Foundation's donations to anti-gay groups and the official answer from CFA has always been that they respect everyone and do not discriminate against anyone, nor encourage enmity against gays because the WinShape Foundation is not the same as CFA. Blah, blah, blah...

Then Cathy confirmed our suspicions that it was CFA's intent to feed their religious garbage down our throat, along with their MSG and salt-filled fried sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen anyone saying anything concerning those who boycott Chick-fil-a, but that they support Chick-fil-a. I am concerned with the amount of hate towards those that think that same way, even if they went to Chick-fil-a or not. Even the headline in this blog, "Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters" is demeaning. Why do certain people feel the need to over-accentuate their feelings of hate towards the other side that they are accusing of the same thing, and feel that they are completely justified?

BlackTsunami said...

Dear Anonymous,

I find that hard to believe that you haven't heard ANY negative comments from folks supporting Chick-Fil-A about the gay community. But just in case - check out this link - http://storify.com/homophobes/top-50-homophobic-chick-fil-a-tweets

It's 50 homophobic tweets by folks supporting chick fil a. Lastly, before making assumptions about the title of this blog, you really should ask so as to know look like a fool.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters highlights the way that SOME who call themselves Christians lie about the gay community as well as demean us and attack our dignity. You know, like claiming that chick fil a is being attacked for what its president said while omitting the fact that part of the reason for the anger is because of the groups chick-fil-a donates to, i.e. the groups seeking to stamp out equal rights for gays.

Anonymous said...

I fully support Chick Fil A and their right to conduct business the way they want (closed on Sundays), etc. It's funny how you left wing flag burners are all for free speech, as long as those people agree with your views. Once someone disagrees with your views, their words now becomes "hate speech". And you wonder why you will never have full support of your deviant lifestyle.

Would you feel different about Chick Fil A if they included free little packets of KY Jelly in the condiment section???

The majority of society stands with Chick Fil A as seen by the record setting day on Wednesday. I for one am glad that so many of you freaks will not dine at Chick Fil A, it will become a safe place to go and not be bothered by your militant movement. Hopefully keeping fellow Gays like Jerry Sandusky out of the restrooms where young boys are vulnerable.

BlackTsunami said...

Oh anonymous, your letter is so full of contradictions that I think it would do good to leave it up so folkd can read it and have a ggod chuckle. One thing though - calling a group of people deviant and implying that they hurt children is hate speech. I doubt reasonable Christians would say that u r 'defending the faith.'

Dan said...

To the previous anonymous: I'm sorry you're such a hateful person. We don't scream 'HATE SPEECH!' when the NRA opposes more gun control, or when people oppose Obamacare, or if they don't think climate change is a threat. Calling left-wingers 'flag-burners' then criticizing them for never agreeing with the other side makes you a hypocrite, as you'd never agree with the left anyway. Gays don't equal pedophiles. I have gay friends and they are some of the most open-minded and kind people that I know. I don't know where you got your ideas from. Have a nice day, you're quite funny because obviously you don't make any sense.

Cari2655 said...

I'm sorry but is the Marriage and Family Foundation based in Virginia and headed by Victoria Cobb? I want to make sure I am looking at the correct website. If not, could you please direct me to the website that Bubba Cathy founded? The Family Foundation one that I am looking at is scaring me. thank you

Cari2655 said...

Is the Marriage and Family Foundation website the one based in Virginia and headed by Victoria Cobb? If not, could you please direct me to the website for the Marriage and Family Foundation that Bubba Cathy founded? I want to make sure I am looking at the correct site. Thank you.