Attack on Chick fil-A was a cheap shot

Initially we heard from the media that the Chick fil-A guy had made this impressive public announcement about his opposition to gay marriage.

Weeks later, we find out it wasn’t like that.

He’s a Baptist and he made a statement to a Baptist reporter for a Baptist magazine that he supported traditional marriage. The quotes I have seen from the statement seem to be more about supporting traditional marriage then taking a stand against gay marriage.

So we were misled. The comments were out of context so that certain interest groups could start some media war, as if the Chick fil-A guy declared war on gay marriage.

Actually, there is no indication that he had any intention that his comments would see a broader audience.

It looks to me like some anti-Baptist online trolls were picking through an online Baptist magazine looking for something so that they could start a fight with the Baptists.

I’m no fan of the Southern Baptists but trying to prevent Baptists from talking with other Baptists about Baptist beliefs is un-American and disgraceful.

What damage did Mr. Chick fil-A do to gay rights in that hotbed of homosexuality, the Southern Baptists? His comments probably set back gay rights back two weeks.

The response to the article was and is an attack on everybody’s rights to communicate, to have their own thoughts and to associate with like minded people. It’s not just an attack on the Baptists. It’s an attack on the culture that made gay rights and other rights possible.

The Baptist article sounds like the kind of piece people sometimes arrange to appeal to a specific population. It has elements of an advertising gimmick- I’m like you, buy my product. Don’t be surprised if Mr. Chick fil-A’s real world view is somewhat less Baptist than depicted. You don’t go from 0 to 1600 restaurants on hail Mary’s, or whatever it is that Baptists do. A saintly man would use success to ensure good wages, benefits and pensions for his workers, leaving less funding for expansion. Rapid expansion in a market already as competitive and saturated as fast food is not consistent with such priorities. It suggests more a ruthlessly objective focus on bottom line business principles. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, but it isn’t a holy mindset.

So this guy does some light puffery piece where he’s trying to look Baptist to the Baptists and gets blindsided with a fight that he doesn’t seem to have been looking for. He’s going along to get along and may have overstated his position. I’d hardly expect him to be drawing the Baptist’s attention to the fact that Chick fil-A’s policies prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (which they do). If he was interviewed by a gay magazine he would have probably mentioned the latter position and steered clear of the gay marriage issue.

I don’t see that as being a problem. You can get along with most people by focusing on areas of agreement and you can start a fight with almost anybody by focusing on areas of disagreement. There’s nothing nefarious about being agreeable, it’s good manners.

Turning somebody’s agreeable conversation in a puffery piece into some great national tragedy is out of line. He isn’t inciting hatred, he just doesn’t agree with gay marriage. The price of freedom is that people will say things you don’t agree with. Deal with it.

[and before somebody goes histrionic on me, “puffery” is not related to the anti-gay slur “poof”. If you don’t know what it means, look it up]