Donald Paul “Frog” Perryman, age 58, of Bauxite, passed away Saturday, June...
DREW PRITT: My Response To Eat Mor Chickin
Updated: August 2, 2012
Okay, I know there’s a lot of rhetoric and a lot of words flying around about the whole brouhaha about Chick Fil A. So let me give you another perspective, in response to Grant Merrill’s post.
There was a time, for me and one of my best friends, Tim, that we went to Chick Fil A. It was one of our special treats we afforded each other, even when we both were watching our budget. I love the Chicken Nuggets and a side of Honey Mustard, with Waffle Fries, Cole Slaw, and a large Sweet Tea with two huge wedges of lemon. Tim and I are both reverently spiritual. He is Jewish and I am Christian. We both also are gay. But up until Dan Cathey, CEO of Chick Fil A made his comments, we were okay with eating at his establishment. You see, while we both support the rights of businesses to make a profit and spend that profit how they choose, it should be spent responsibly.
For those of you whom are fundamentalist in your faith of Christianity, would you find it justifiable if you spent money on bottled water and found out later that the proceeds from that bottled water to pay for a Madrasah. A Madrasah is an Islamic word for school, however it’s been bastardized because Madrasahs have been used also by the Taliban, by al-Queda, by groups that hate our nation. In fact, there’s an onus by many towards the Islamic faith. How many conservatives who now defend Dan Cathey also criticized and spoke out against the building of a Mosque at the site of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack.
Now you may have read this paragraph and said to yourself, what does one have to do with another. People died in 9/11 and people are trying to kill us with those groups you mentioned.
If you are not gay. If you are not part of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender communities, you may never get the sense that many of our community, have already died. And yes, in 2012, there are still those who target us in the GLBT Community and we do face death and hate crimes. So when the CEO of a million, maybe billion dollar industry speaks out about our community, and appears to just enjoy attacking our community, our rights as American citizens, how can we not just stop, collectively, and say enough is enough?
When we all went to elementary school, we placed our little hands over our little hearts, and we recited the same words over and over, day in and day out, and those words had reverence, respect, and honor when I gaze upon our red, white, and blue flag. Yes, the words say, “One nation under God.” And I understand and respect that. The words, “With liberty and justice for all.” All means all, there’s no disqualifiers in those words for religion, for race, for sexual orientation.
Yes, I agree the Chick Fil A sandwiches and nuggets are tasty. Yes I love their cole slaw. But the root of this argument is this comes a litmus test for our society. Will all who claim to support equality, take a stand and say yes, I support equality and no I will not trade that support, or that belief in equality, in support for civil rights, for the taste of some tasty chicken. Especially when I know the profits are being used to harm people I know, love, respect, and share my life with. I know each person reading this article knows someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Maybe you are within your own privacy, one of the four designations mentioned, but you keep it private. But each dollar you spend at Chick Fil A is being used to deny others the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every time you eat at Chick Fil A, you deny the words of the Pledge of Allegiance you make and say all is not all. Liberty and justice only is for those who support what some interpret to be traditional marriage. Every time Chick Fil A has a profit, those profits are used to impose a religious fundamentalist view on a people and deny the freedom and liberty our nation stands for and has stood for since 1776. In a way, the religious bigotry found in al-Queda or Taliban is now found in Christianity with a narrow view of the love and acceptance of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Some have tried to justify and base this argument on religious grounds. Ok, take the Ten Commandments, the basis of which Christianity and Judaism both base their faiths. Read through the Ten Commandments and you never see anything about homosexuality. You see other commandments we ignore. Those ignorances are justified in society. I mean society cannot shut down for an entire day, like the Sabbath. (Remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy….six days thou shalt labor, but on the seventh do no work…) And we see corporate greed with the CEO’s getting their golden parachutes that came from bail out money from the American taxpayers. Money meant to bail out home owners, but instead went to corporate CEO’s (Thou shalt not steal.) We also see the deaths of many, some through a corporate judicial system, and some through “crimes of passion”, all of these justified for whatever reason. (Thou shalt not kill.) And I can go on, an on, about the Ten Commandments, the basis of two faiths, and the basis of our society in what is and what we should be about. Nowhere does it speak out against homosexuality. Hey, here is a greater point, for those who are Christian….JESUS CHRIST, our Savior, the Son of God made incarnate as a man, who walked amongst us, talked with us as humans, who died on Calvary for our sins and rose again three days later. Who gave us the Holy Spirit to be in and with us. Jesus Christ never once….not in one passage spoke against, about, or ever talked about homosexuality. If anything, the problem of homosexuality is a problem of those who are heterosexual and either ignorant or uncomfortable about the topic of sexuality.
The point is this, discrimination in any form is bad. When a CEO of a company uses the profits to promote discrimination, to justify it, then people have the right to say, this is wrong and you cannot take my money to fund this effort. Would it have been anymore justifiable had the CEO used profits to promote marriage equality? Maybe if he had used the profits to promote racial discrimination? What about money used to promote gender inequality and justify paying men more of a wage then women? We all hope for a better society. We celebrate its birth every Fourth of July. We celebrate it when we pledge allegiance to the flag or when we go to church and pray for those less fortunate than us.
I say a society, a community, where bullying, violence, harassment, discrimination, inequality in income, inequality in in health, inequality in whom we love and choose to spend our life with is not tolerated is a society, a community much better than where a tasty order of chicken and the owner of that chicken entity uses profits to promote such things is tolerated.
Drew Pritt lives in Southwest Little Rock, works in the service industry, is a member of Quapaw United Methodist Church, is an activist, and an occasional political operative for Democratic candidates. He ran for Lt. Governor in 2006 but lately is enjoying a more peaceful life as a recovering politician.