Yep – when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro … Here we are, shaking our heads in amazed disbelief that now a fast-food chain purveying tasty chicken entrees, distinguished among other fast-food outlets only for a corporate policy of being closed on Sunday and a rather witty advertising series featuring illiterate cows urging us to eat chicken … is the hill to be defended in the culture war. That would be the newly-vicious cultural war between the forces of tolerant political correctness and those conservative and libertarian defenders of free-market principles as well as the freedom of belief and expression. Most of us of that persuasion are actually rather stunned at how suddenly Chick-Fil-A is now the demon that must be defeated! And defeated by any means, fair, foul, shrill or underhanded as is required by the mission, naturally. Is there some PC target of the week decided upon? Last time I looked around it was the Koch Brothers who were the Goldstein o’the Week. One can hardly keep up without a scorecard.
It seems that the offense against the gods of Political Correctness that has been committed by Chick-Fil-A is that the owners of the company in an interview have elucidated their belief that marriage is one of those traditional things: between a man and woman, families for the production and support of, which they personally (and in their own donations) support wholeheartedly. That kind of thing apparently sends the Shrieking Harpies of Political Correctness into overdrive. Such opinions appear in their view to be the same thing as urging that gays be bundled up and thrown alive into furnaces, or have walls toppled onto them … something fatal and unpleasant, anyway. So Chick-Fila-A is to be scorned, harassed, and driven from the public marketplace, through consumer boycott, urged on by the comments of has-been and soon-to-be has-been celebs, and a couple of deluded local pols pandering to their voter-base or fishing for payoffs in some form or other. (Cash or goodwill – can’t see from this distance what it would be. Evil-minded as I am, I can probably guess with a fair degree of accuracy.)
This new targeting of Chick-Fil-A, as another blogger/writer of my acquaintance has outlined, is liable to backfire in a big, big and ultimately counterproductive way, as far as the partisans of same-sex marriage are concerned. For a sitting politician, using the power of local government to block establishment of a business because of the personal beliefs of the CEO or owner, or their pattern of charitable giving is a violation of Constitutional principles any way you slice it, and the chief offenders in that respect are already walking back from public statements to that effect. The degree of fury over this is curious, though. How the heck did the love that could not speak its name become the love that won’t shut up about it? Are there really that many gays out there relative to the general population, wanting to take that hike down the aisle and collect kitchen appliances and silverware from their nearest and dearest and settle down to suburban conformity? Or is it just that the adherents carrying on so loudly ad infinitum about same-sex marriage (who may not necessarily actually be gay and wanting to get married) have latched onto it as the trendy cause du jour with which to epater the bourgeoisie, and to prove that they themselves are really hip and tolerant people.
It would be pretty funny if Chick-fil-A had the best couple of months they ever had – from people deliberately going out to their local Chick-Fil-A to get a spicy chicken wrap and some waffle fries. What with a fairly devout religious element in the US, and a fair number who may tolerate an ostentatiously gay life-style lived by their fellow citizens, but draw the line at being forced by social pressure to express approval of it, not to mention contrarians who are just tired of being hectored by the politically correct, I suspect the boycott will fizzle out.
Besides, the food is great, cooked fresh to order, and the service from the employees is excellent. I can attest to the fact that the single Chick-fil-A outlet in North-eastern San Antonio was sparkling clean, and on last Saturday night it was jammed to the rafters. I had never seen quite so many people in a fast-food place at one time, and the drive-through lanes were practically grid-locked, there were so many cars pulling through. We’ll probably go again, the next time we have a fast-food jones.
(cross-posted at www.ncobrief.com)