Chick-Fil-a versus Gay Folks, right v right
There has of late been a brewing controversy over the Chick-fil-a Corporations statements and efforts that can he said to be either “For traditional marriage” or “Against gay people.” And well there should. But let us be clear about who has done what, and what “rights” are involved and whom may do or say what. Let us be certain that “Rights” are a two way street — that is, both Chick-fil-a and Gay people both have certain inalienable rights – but also that with “Rights” come responsibilities. Alas, Chick-fil-a is trying to go down a one way street. And it’s not just Chick-fil-a – it’s many a fundamentalist Christian, in various guises, and a few other religious groups come to aid the beset corporation. Well, we do not live in a theocracy. At least not yet.
Christians don’t have a free pass to say anything about gay folks and then we have no right or responsibility to say things right back. Does this mean that everything said by gay folks is OK? Absolutely not. Calls to violence are neither right nor rights, calls for the government to stop what Chick-fil-a or Christians are saying are not right. But then why do Chick-fil-a and the Fundamentalist Christians think that Gay folks have no right to say anything right back at them? Who died and left them in charge? Where are the American rights of gay folks? Are we to have none because they say so? It seems they do believe this. Well, too bad. That’s not happening. But we didn’t organize a fight against Chick-fil-a out of the blue – they brought this upon themselves. They threw the first punch. We have the right to self-defense. They have joined a political fight by donating $2 million to political groups that have stated clearly as their goal to rid America of gay people.
Chick-fil-a and its Christian brethren have every “Right” to say whatever they want. But therefore there is a corollary right for gay folks to say whatever we want. For we are equal under the law. I find it amazing that Chick-fil-a tells us we are grave dangers to society – and then that we have no right to question this. Well, again, too bad for them – not only do we have the right, we have the duty, the responsibility even, to question them and what they say. Also amazing is that they are saying they essentially don’t want gay people or our friends in their stores – and then when gays organize a boycott they are claiming we are against them. I dare say, if you tell me don’t patronize your stores, and then I don’t – how can I be at fault for doing what you want? You have told me, Chick-fil-a, that you are against my existence. Now you want me to buy your sandwiches so that I might fund your efforts against me? Or that I can’t spread the word that you are against the rights of your fellow Americans? Surely you can’t be serious.
Indeed, Fundamentalist Christians of all types have made it quite clear that they want gay people gone from America. They are vocal about it. Well, I’m not going anywhere. Yet also, I don’t say I want fundamentalists gone, nor Christians – I ask only that you get rational. For you are being irrational. And in your irrationality you are making up lies and what can charitably be called “tort actionable slander and libel.” Things like “Gays attack family.” On what factual basis do you make this absurd claim? Merely that we are gay? I guess tautology is your strong suit. Or you “believe” this to be true? But again, on what basis? What facts? Can you present any gay person who has ever “attacked” a heterosexual family? Physically? Mentally? Financially? In what way? Do give some evidence for the court of public opinion, and not your belief based on your faith – of which I care not – and then claim you are exempt from criticism. It’s like claiming that the Amish are attacking electricity because they choose not to use it. I have yet to hear an Amish person call for the banning of electricity. Nor have I heard anyone demand that the Amish use electricity or else.
You say your “freedom of speech” is being attacked. Or that somehow you are being prevented from speaking. Absolutely not. No one is telling you you “can’t” say it. We are saying, “don’t say it.” There is a world of difference. Much like no one says you can’t walk into a dinner party and tell the host her food is garbage and her house a pigsty – but common decency tells you to shush and leave the event, or shush and be gracious and eat what she serves and sit amongst the squalor.
You have provoked us into telling you you are crazy, by being crazy. You have simply made up lies about us – and you admit that you seek government power to get rid of us in anyway that you can. Some of your brethren and supporters have outright called for the killing of all gay people. Come now, don’t be shy, own up to what you are saying: genocide for gays. These groups like NOM, AFTAH, NARTH, FRC, AFV etc etc, not just dealing with “marriage” – you and your kind are calling for our elimination from society. Whether through our forced conversion to your religion and to heterosexuality (obsessed with sex, are ye?,) or our incarceration, or our exportation, or our genocide, or a mealy mouthed “Go back into the closet.” What do you think Bryan Fischer is saying? Or Rick Santorum? These two men are clear – arrest and incarcerate all gays. They are blunt, they are open. This is somehow their “Right” to call for absurd policies, I suppose. But equally so it is my, and all gay people’s, right to try to stop your folly. Don’t attack me, I won’t defend myself.
Merely holding up a Bible and trying to thump it on my head is insufficient. You are within your rights to say that your Creator did not create gay folks, that’s your business. Preach it from your pulpits. But you seek to go to Congress to get laws against me – and I pay for that Congress – I have an equal right to speak. I have a responsibility to say that my Creator did indeed create me and mine. The Declaration of Independence is clear: All Men Are Endowed With Certain Inalienable Rights By THEIR Creator – that is, my Creator – not your version of Him. So now you want a religious war. You want laws based on your religious beliefs, and my religious beliefs are to be trumped and thumped by yours? Well, you got another thing coming. You’d have to be utterly insane to think I shall just sit around and wait to be collected and incarcerated or exterminated. And you are out of your ever loving mind to think that I have no right to defend me and mine against your scurrilous and erroneous charges. Fabricate what you will, Hollywood and the media are filled with such people, but I can say “You are wrong.” Indeed, I shall argue the Bible right back at you – for you are being hypocrites – which Jesus did say is the worst of sins.
You cannot expect any gay person to enter your stores and buy your products so that we might fund your efforts against us. You’d have to be crazy. Next you’ll demand we be forced to come in to fund your efforts, no doubt, as much as you demand we stop being gay. With you and your brethren calling for our incarceration and criminalization shall you next call for the seizure of our assets? You are like Medieval Popes and Potentates. Those are foreign things. It is against the Oath of Citizenship to swear fealty to foreign potentates. Rick Santorum, now so proudly on his way, with Mike Huckabee, to confab with Chick-fil-a, is sure that the Pope in Rome is the font of all wisdom. Well, that’s his business. But I don’t recognize the Pope has having any legal jurisdiction in the United States of America. Not to mention that my family hasn’t recognized the Pope’s powers or authorities for well near 600 years. Now you demand I join the Pope or else? You’re nuts Santorum. Mr. Huckabee, Baptist though he be, is probably also sure that the Pope is a dope. Now he comports with Santorum against what they perceive as their common enemy – who just so happen to be your fellow American citizens. Ain’t that rich!
Meanwhile, there is this bizarre idea that we “flaunt our sexuality.” Absurd. We say “This is my boyfriend” just as you say “This is my girlfriend.” We deserve the right to say “This is my spouse” as much as you do. You have abandoned the principles of the great Barry Goldwater on this matter: “You don’t have to like it but gay Americans deserve full constitutional rights including marriage and military service.” But no, you have abjured liberty and gone for theocracy. Let me warn you Misters, both Santorum and Huckabee, and this Don Casey, or whoever is the CEO of Chick-fil-a – you three, and the rest of your fellows, are going down a dangerous road to religious wars within this great republic. Should you win against gays you will next be at each others throats, as religious people were for hundreds of years in Europe. The Catholics will fight the Episcopalians (The Pope is already up in arms about the Episcopalians welcoming gay folks into their fold. Frankly, it’s not the Pope’s business. He’s the head of Catholics – he has, in a burst of hypocrisy of astounding proportions welcomed into his fold Newt Gringrich, a twice divorced, thrice married admitted adulterer – merely because Newt is as anti-gay as the Pope. Talk about a marriage of convenience, eh?) The Baptists will fight the Methodists, and perhaps the Methodists against the Jews – that’s what happens when religious beliefs are enshrined in laws.
Then, heterosexuals, of all kinds, have said gays shouldn’t be “Politicizing” the issue – well, we have endeavored to remove us from politics – but we are not the ones who outlawed our being and our loves. We are not the ones who dragged us under the law into psych wards and raided our bars. We are told that in this nation political gatherings are to be left alone by government – and yet the government had no problem raiding our political meetings in our gay bars – a woman named Linda Harvey is now lobbying governments big and small to outlaw gay bars! What? Gays have no right to peaceably assemble to redress our grievances? Ms. Harvey sure thinks so. The government had no problem stopping the publication of our manuscripts and political tracts – going so far as to seize them and destroy them to prevent the freedom of speech of gay people. So we sought redress from the very political forces against us.
There are still here among us in this great land of liberty seeking to destroy the inestimable rights of gay people to gather in peace, and redress our grievances, and seek fair laws, and our inclusion in others that already exist. There are many among the Fundamentalist community, such as Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg of the ill-named “Family Research Council” (Which has yet to find a gay person in any family that we might hail from, as if we are from outer space or just pond scum,) who have called repeatedly for our incarceration – for Liberty? They are insane. They are obsessed with gayness in a way that no gay person ever was. What does it say when two men spend all their hours together talking about gay sex while perforce abandoning their families at home as they scoot around the nation trying to get rid of a segment of the population? Peter Sprigg, ably joining Chick-fil-a, has called for our “Exportation” (see www.goodasyou.org for a fine compendium of that sick man’s belief structure and his “export the homosexuals” quote on tape.) – you perhaps have the “Right” to call for our expulsion from the country of our birth, though it be against every single precept and principle on which this nation stands. But by God & Law we have the right to fight you until you come with the police to bring us to the docks to ship us somewhere you don’t know or care.
The idea that Christians can say anything about gays, and that then gays have no right to question this is farcical in the extreme. It’s a brazen audacity that no gay person ever mustered. We have sought peace, you continue your verbal assault, lies and falsehoods, and accuse us of somehow imperiling your rights as you seek to eliminate ours. Again, the fundamentalists and Chick-fil-a are clear – get rid of the gays. Well, I should say we will have a thing or two to say about that in the marketplace of ideas. We don’t care what you believe – we want to know what evidence you have for your charges. You have none, except your belief. You are not for Liberty for All – you are for a Medieval Theocracy.
There is this belief that gay people have no right to freedom of speech because somehow this offends some heterosexuals – well, blow me down. Since when do your rights to free speech trump mine? Since when might you demand government power to stop us from saying “This is my boyfriend” or holding hands in a public park we pay for as much as you? Who gave you this right? You claim God did? Well, talk to Santa Clause too for all I care. But get a better God. I don’t question your right to live in your houses or communities unmolested by the police – while you demand the police come and molest me – and you demand too that I pay for this privilege you have arrogated to yourselves to destroy my life. Again, you got another thing coming if you think I shall sit still and listen to this because you quote your version of the Bible. You are arrogating to yourselves the idea that I have no right to believe the Bible as I see fit. That, sirs, is just nuts.
And our big gay answer to this call for our abject surrender to your demands is “NUTS!” Which is the most eloquent answer any American ever gave to a demand for surrender. The 101st Airborne Division of some 10,000 men, with dwindling supplies, was surrounded at Bastogne by 10 divisions of German Panzers, and an American just as feisty and sure of himself as any gay man said: NUTS! Remember that, you Fundamentalists. Remember that, you heterosexuals who think gays should not be seen or heard. Remember that, you politicians and political mavens who have the audacity to tell gay folks to stop “politicizing” gayness when you all have done what you can to keep the issue of whether America is grown up and mature enough to handle less than 5% of the population being gay in the public eye and on the front pages and in the news. We would rather it went away, you would rather keep calling for our removal from society – this we have said, that you made clear.
So fearful of your apparently tenuous sexuality are you heterosexuals that apparently you think everyone will be gay within the fortnight if a good word is ever said about us and we are allowed out without government and religious harassment. It’s childish and ludicrous. Even more amazing, we tell you – “We are born this way” – and you dismiss this as lies – and then go fret yourselves into a tither because you think you all will be gay as soon as we are left alone and the issue removed from the political arena. Never before have so many been so fearful of so few for no good reason but your own fears. What you know about yourselves that we gay folks can’t grasp is well, beyond our ability to understand. We say only we are gay, and you tell us everyone will be gay, that’s why we must be pounded into the ground.
Well, like I said. NUTS! In every sense of the word. Remember well, the Rights of Gay Americans are just as formidable against Tyrants, domestic and foreign, as the Rights of Hetero Americans. But if Chick-fil-a wants to spend $2 million bucks on preventing the inclusion of gay people into the law and society than gay folks have the equal right to stop Chick-fil-a’s delusions.
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