Dumb quote of the day--"Gee, thanks, Captain Obvious, why didn't they let you be President, again?" edition

>> Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant.
- former Presidential aspirant and
radio talk-show host Mike Huckabee,
announcing "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day",
July 22nd, 2012.

Well, I mean... yeah, so what?

Look, I don't really care how someone justifies their bigotries, fears, hatreds, whatever. Certain religious people are squicked out by men putting their man-things into other men and maybe also (but probably a little less) by women getting it on with women; consequently, they want gays and lesbians to go away and meanwhile would deny them the civic benefits of the civil institution of marriage. They're retrogressive, ignorant and on the wrong side of history, and I don't give two shits whether they justify their beliefs by way of their interpretation of an old anthology of shepherds' folklore, royal genealogies and cultist chain-letters or because that's just how they felt when they woke up this morning.

Simple word of advice: you don't want someone calling you a bigot, how about not acting like a bigot? I don't think that's terribly difficult, or it shouldn't be. And if you act like a homophobe, get used to people calling you a homophobe. I mean, hell, if you're not going to be shamed into rethinking your core values, you might as well wear the word as a point of honor.

In fact, that's one of the things that gets me the most when someone like Huckabee wheezes about this kind of thing. They clearly don't like being called bigots, but they don't want to get out of that by not being bigots; it's like they expect to get whatever benefits they somehow accrue from being assholes about something without actually accepting any of the consequences of acting that way, e.g. being called "assholes" by people whose opinions, frankly, they don't seem to value all that much in the first place. It's kind of a weird mix of wanting to have their cake and eat it too, when they don't actually like cake to start out with.

One thing I'd like to be clear about is that Mike Huckabee has always struck me as a pretty good example of why "Someone I'd like to have a beer with" is a pretty lousy criteria for picking a national leader: Huckabee has always seemed to me like the kind of guy who would be a great, slightly wacky neighbor, the kind of guy who throws great cookouts and can be trusted to check your mail or water your plants when you're out of town, but you'd never actually do something like vote for him if he was running for school board or city commission or something (gods only know why anyone would let him run a whole entire state). The kind of guy, though, who anytime he started talking about religion or politics--or gay marriage--you'd roll your eyes and decide whether you felt like arguing with him or just letting it slide so nobody's cheeseburger buzz got harshed. I don't dislike Mike Huckabee, in other words, I just find his belief system pretty reprehensible and don't think that nebulous nice quality he radiates makes up for the fact that, yes, he is a bigot, he is a homophobe, he is intolerant, he is a fundamentalist. I guess another way you could put it is he'd be as lousy a friend as he would be a leader, but hey, probably a great neighbor.

The world can be funny like that.

I mean, same kind of thing, totally different angle: Huckabee is throwing his support behind Chick-fil-A, a fast food franchise that produces phenomenally good chicken sandwiches but has long left me a bit queasy over their up-front Christian values thing (their kiddie meals have featured tie-ins with the Narnia movies and the VeggieTales, and they cover the walls with posters promoting their family values initiatives). The ScatterKat is obsessed with their iced tea, and if that doesn't mean anything to you, I imagine you're not a Southerner. They have pretty good thick-cut waffle fries and their shakes are awesome. They were one of the first fast food chains to offer Coke Zero. And by most accounts, they're a great place to work; among other benefits, they're closed on Sundays. And oh, those chicken sandwiches! And the chicken biscuits, too! It actually breaks my heart a little that I've started boycotting them, because I can't abide giving them my money and then they turn around and give it to the Family Research Council (for instance), because losing those chicken fillets really is a very minor hardship; you can say I shouldn't be eating the fast food anyway, not ever, not even rarely, but that doesn't help. It was easy to give up Domino's as a political boycott, because Domino's is shitty cardboard discs laden with a greasy cheese-like substance and dubious meat products; it was easy to give up Coors products because their flagship beer is pisswater and even the halfway-decent Killian's Red they bottle and distro in the States is easily substituted by better beer.

Point is, anyway, that Chick-fil-A might be one of the best fast food joints you could pull up to while on a road trip or after an overworked day when you just need something fast and affordable, but they're supporting bigotry. It would be convenient if they were bigots like Domino's--bigots who make a product you'd rather avoid anyway even if not on principle. But they're not. Mike Huckabee seems like he might be a great guy to have living next door, but it doesn't change the fact he's a bigot when it comes to gay marriage.

And if you don't want to be called a bigot, stop acting like one. I'm not about to hold back just because you say it's your religion. And nobody ought to.


Phiala Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 9:28:00 AM EDT  

I've avoided that chicken place for years because of their politics, but it hadn't ever advanced to a definite refusal to eat there. Until now.

And yeah, they do have good fries and chicken. Which, yeah, makes it harder to avoid, especially since it's one of the few edible food choices on campus.

Janiece Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:51:00 AM EDT  

I haven't eaten at Chick-Fil-A since 2000 as a matter of principle.

Want to promote discrimination against my kid? Then you get a great, big FUCK YOU, no matter how good your chicken is.

And I know exactly what you mean about Huckabee. There are lots of lots of LDS church members South of Denver (where I live), and your words describe them, as well. Great neighbors, bigoted asshats.

KimK Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:15:00 PM EDT  

Find a lovely locally-owned chicken/burger place and enjoy it. Your local economy will certainly enjoy it! (Says the woman who has rarely seen a Chick-Fil-A and never had a chance to taste the kool-aid there.) Or maybe you have a Culvers nearby? (a franchise, but owned by socially progressive people)

Jim Wright Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:20:00 PM EDT  

Like Janiece, I haven't eaten in one of these places in at least decade just on basic principle.

Chick-fil-A is just like Huckabee, a nice smiling exterior over an ugly core of hate and bigotry. I don't care how much you love Jesus, you're still an asshole.

Jessie H,  Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:42:00 PM EDT  

Great Read. Jim Wright sent me here. Glad he did. Feels good to be amongst like-minded people in a sea of ignorance called Indiana. Thanks!!

Ken Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:43:00 PM EDT  

Too much "nice". After our initial encounter from the very nice counter clerk taking our order, before we even sat down we got a nice welcome from someone washing the door windows, then as soon as we sat down waiting for our order to come, around the corner came another face pleasantly welcoming us and hoping we enjoy the meal. No food yet and already a bit too much nice for me, I'm in a fricking fast food joint. Needless to say from when we got the food (she was very nice)we were accosted by niceties by every passing employee! We both agreed, the people suck but the food was good.

Deb Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:43:00 PM EDT  

I don't know that I ever ate there, but certainly will not now. Isn't it just more beige, deep-fried food? The fact that the owners are giant douche nozzles makes it easier to never go there anyway.

Parrishsky,  Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:51:00 PM EDT  

Proud to say I've never eaten there so won't miss a thing boycotting them.

“Judge not, that you be not judged." -Matthew 7:1
I think these folks need to spend more time actually reading their Bibles... they are clearly doing it wrong.

Carol Elaine Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:52:00 PM EDT  

I've never eaten at a Chik-Fil-A - it's only been within the last three years that one showed up in L.A. By that time I was aware of their homophobic stance, so I had no desire to even try their fries.

tmohn Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 12:56:00 PM EDT  

Never have and never will be a patron of openly bigoted business, no matter their mantra! Oh... and Thanks, Jim Wright, for turning me on to this blog.

Cranky Bastard,  Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 1:28:00 PM EDT  

My 78 y/o Dad's first job as a kid was sweeping the floor of the original Chick-fil-a in south Atlanta, GA. They have been a family staple fast food my entire life - except for those six god-forsaken years in TX when we didn't have one. It gives me a sad. But hey, I haven't dropped 30 lbs in the last two months eating chicken biscuits and drinking sweet tea.

As far as Huckabee is concerned, the Free Market isn't free. You make your statements, you take your chances.

Warner Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 2:56:00 PM EDT  

I've been told on Facebook that I'm committing an act of extortion by announcing I won't go in the place and urging others to do the same.

As it happens, I've never been in one.

Janiece Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 3:02:00 PM EDT  

Warner, boycotting only equals extortion when you're dissing a CHRISTIAN company. Otherwise it's called "free enterprise." Get with the program, dude.

Eric Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 4:18:00 PM EDT  

Hello and welcome, everyone (new readers and regulars)!

AKDD Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 4:56:00 PM EDT  

These two things:

1. If you don't want to be called a bigot (and I would add, if you don't want to be CAUGHT being a bigot), don't act like a bigot.

2. People who don't like being called bigots are (strangely) unwilling to do what it takes to have that stop, ie, quit being bigots.

Excellent points, applicable to many areas of life. Great post.

AKDD Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 4:56:00 PM EDT  

These two things:

1. If you don't want to be called a bigot (and I would add, if you don't want to be CAUGHT being a bigot), don't act like a bigot.

2. People who don't like being called bigots are (strangely) unwilling to do what it takes to have that stop, ie, quit being bigots.

Excellent points, applicable to many areas of life. Great post.

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