[personal profile] thecosmicdance
I’ve wanted to write down my thoughts on this for awhile, but I promised myself I’d let it drop on Facebook.

So, you may’ve heard about That Chicken Place and the national boycott of it by gay Americans and their allies, because of the owner’s donations to The Family Research Council, a certified hate group, and the subsequent overwhelming support the fast food joint received from Christians. Many Chicken Place supporters claimed they were defending the owner's right to free speech. For those of us who are Christians but do not appreciate Chicken Place, this was all extremely infuriating and embarrassing.

For one thing, I can’t appreciate Chicken Place because I have literally never been inside it. There’s only one in my state and I didn’t know that particular branch existed until Chickengate happened. It's a bit far to drive for fast food and this branch sponsored the local Gay Pride Festival, so, you know, I don’t live in a place where people are cool with openly homophobic businesses. My state has gay marriage and the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop. A recent newspaper poll indicated that most people would prefer things stay this way.

But the recent Chickengate didn’t start in my state, obviously. Because to understand why this really happened, you have to understand how strongly they feel about fried chicken in the South and "flyover" states (between Virginia and California, basically). In the US, fried chicken is one of THE southern dishes, as quintessentially linked to the South as baked beans and chowda are to New England, or sushi is to California. Of the nation's biggest fried chicken franchises, all were originally created in the South. And that same fried chicken loving region of the nation is also one of the most heavily Christian. When both chicken and Jesus become so intrinsically linked to your image of your culture, insulting chicken means your culture is insulted, and that means Jesus is being insulted.

Chick-fil-a fans have described eating the food as just like tithing.

It wasn’t ever about free speech, or gay people. It was ultimately all about Christians circling the wagons because something totally unbiblical but somehow bound up in a certain segment of their culture appeared to be under attack from people they’re already conditioned to hate or fear. A lot of them may have no idea what was happening, they just heard that a lot of non Christians (they must be non Christians if they are criticizing the Church!) were planning to boycott a restaurant just because the owner expressed views in support of typical Christian doctrine.

So, at the urging of a celebrity pastor, they lined up in droves.In their efforts to prove a cultural point, they spent more than they usually would, to eat more than they usually would, consuming unhealthy quantities of food that has been slowly poisoning them for years (no, guys, the fact that it’s run by Christians doesn’t make it any healthier). They say they ate it to show how much support they have for traditional biblical beliefs, or to stand up for “free speech” but it was really because someone insulted their favorite chicken restaurant.

Jesus, of course, would probably never have eaten at Chicken Place. Chicken Place is not kosher. Yes, he said that we should worry less about “unclean” food, which a lot of people take to mean that he was giving permission to ignore kashrut, but since he grew up on a kosher diet, eating Chicken Place would’ve made him quite ill regardless. Religious Jews probably wouldn’t eat there, which implies even more about the clueless and rude way Chicken Place fans are behaving. The sort of Jews who are anti gay on religious grounds *certainly* will not eat a restaurant that cannot be certified kosher, certainly not one openly run by Christians. So this was largely a Christian thing only. An event entirely blind to the fact that Chicken Place is not as important to the rest of the world as it is to them.

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May 2013

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