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Gay: ‘Hey, Hey, No Chick-fil-A!’

Noah Michelson, a commissar for the Homintern, lays down the law in HuffPo: [1]

If you care about queer people ― or you yourself are queer ― you have absolutely no business eating at Chick-fil-A. Ever. It’s really that straightforward.

If you’re arguing there are other (arguably bigger) fish (or, in this case, chicken) to fry, you may not be wrong. However, I think you’re underestimating my (and probably your) ability to be angry about ― and take action against ― more than one target at once. Just because Chick-fil-A may not be as “bad” (in your view) as the Trump administration [2] (or countless other folks or corporations), that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge Chick-fil-A on its anti-queer stance while continuing to call out and work against other offensive and/or dangerous entities.

Any effort or energy you dedicate to not filling Chick-fil-A’s queerphobic coffers does not compromise your ability to simultaneously do the same with other opponents. Surely, like me, you have enough ― and are, sadly, constantly generating more ― outrage to spread around whenever and wherever it may be needed.

Well. For people who like opinions, that’s one. Noah Michelson is not the kind of person any of us should want to be.

Meanwhile, this post from 2016 is making the rounds again on Facebook. The author is Joey Mustain:

I took Stella to Chick-fil-A today. It’s our normal daddy/daughter spot. It’s clean, so good, and the playground has a tractor beam on her the moment she sees it. When we finished eating and she’d worked up her dessert appetite playing with the other kids, we went back to trade in her toy for ice cream. She wanted to sit at a table to eat the cone (something we usually do in the truck), and I’m so glad she did.

We took a booth right next to the spot where you wait for your drink to be “refreshed,” and we had a front row seat to this beautiful scene: a homeless traveler had walked in and asked if they had any extra food. Mud was wet and caked on his well-traveled shoes. His hair was matted, and his beard wasn’t a statement as much as it was a necessity and a sign that he doesn’t get to shave as often as most of us do. People near him kept their distance, but that didn’t stop him from being kind. He spoke to people who reluctantly spoke back, and he smiled while he waited on a manager.

change_me

All I could pick up on of the conversation was the manager saying that he’d love to give him a full, warm meal–not just scraps or extras–, and the only thing he required was that the man let him pray with him. After the homeless man agreed, there was no waiting for things to die down, there was no scooting anyone to the side. As busy as they were, the manager stopped then and there, laid his hand on the man, and proceeded to pray.

I heard love in that prayer. The homeless man wasn’t some untouchable stain on business. He was the reason that store opened its doors this morning (or any morning).

I asked Stella to watch and she stared. She asked what was happening and when I told her, she bowed her head, too. I realized then and there that Chick-fil-A doesn’t simply do business for profits, they truly use business to minister. In a time when companies are trying to win in the market by neutralizing any possibility of offense, CFA is thriving because they unwaveringly cling to their principles and purpose. I love teaching my daughter life lessons, and I also love being there to watch other Christians teach her life lessons. Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for taking care of the latter today.

Here’s the photo. Live like this anonymous Chick-fil-A manager, not like Noah Michelson. Delicious chicken sandwiches washed down with the milk of human kindness tastes better than bile. And: Eat Mor Chikin.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Steve S. for reminding us of this:

Chick-fil-A hates gay people so much that the local franchise provided free food to those who were waiting to donate blood to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting [3], and they did all of this on a Sunday when Chick-fil-A usually is closed in observation of the Christian Sabbath.

And I am sure that that manager would have given that homeless man the food even if he had said that he doesn’t want to pray. But as Christians, we know that “man does not live on bread alone.” Why are people so threatened by prayer? And why do you presume that the homeless man was put-upon by this request? Maybe, just maybe, this was also received by him as a gift.

134 Comments (Open | Close)

134 Comments To "Gay: ‘Hey, Hey, No Chick-fil-A!’"

#1 Comment By VikingLS On June 13, 2018 @ 11:00 pm

“Hostility only exists from liberals to conservatives. You learn something every day.”

No Kevin, I didn’t say anything like that. I said Kevin on the left is a hostile commenter.

This is a conservative site. Kevin on the Left, and you, are here because you are hostile to what the site stands for.

#2 Comment By JEinCA On June 13, 2018 @ 11:03 pm

I was impressed to hear that in Sacramento, California Chick-Fila was hiring with a starting wage of $17 p/hr. As a working class man who worked in restaurants in my youth for minimum wage I commend Chick-Fila for paying their employees a decent wage for an honest day’s work. That is a Christian notion put to practice as well.

#3 Comment By VikingLS On June 13, 2018 @ 11:16 pm

@Kevin Sullivan

Just to make sure this is completely clear to you. Were I to go the blog of a secular liberal on a liberal website every day and reflexively disagreed with everything the blogger said, (let alone acted like liberals had no right to object to my boorish behavior) I would be hostile commenter too.

I just don’t feel the need to do that.

#4 Comment By Houstonian On June 14, 2018 @ 1:42 am

Just putting it out there that: The CFA down the street from us hired a parolee (replete with ankle bracelet) as he was re-establishing himself “on the outside” with support from of various Christian agencies.

Also, I some time ago I read in the Huff Post, no less, the first person account by the gay activist against CFA who was reached out to by the owner of CFA. Although they agreed to disagree on some matters the relationship building was a success and the calls to boycott ceased. Honestly for a lot of people across many divides the only thing that comes between them and a CFA sandwich is “Sunday.”

#5 Comment By Hound of Ulster On June 14, 2018 @ 1:59 am

So dumb and utterly self-defeating.

Memo to Mr. Michaelson: nobody likes a sore winner.

#6 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 14, 2018 @ 2:49 am

If people wanna boycott Chick-fil-A, or Starbucks, or Mozilla, or whoever, fine with me.

I occasionally eat there, though I don’t find the food as tasty as many people claim it to be.

#7 Comment By Elijah On June 14, 2018 @ 7:18 am

“We always handed out food to homeless people…but I think it’s an old tradition in restaurants.”

It used to be but died out in the 1970s/80s as homeless became more aggressive. These days restaurants are much more likely to give out food to organizations that feed the homeless directly.

#8 Comment By russ On June 14, 2018 @ 7:26 am

One thing I’m interested in here. Is the desire to boycott a business for the business’s official views and the organizations it donates to related to seeing the corporation as an individual (Citizens United)? Note that I’m not saying this only happened in the wake of Citizens United.

I live in a real small town. Besides a few pizza places (I have no idea why we have so many in a town of 1300), there’s a cool market with homemade food, seating areas, etc. It’s rumored that the owners are gay. But hey, it’s great food, a cool setting, and its a local small business. If the rumors are true (I’m very uninterested to find out), I assume the owners support causes I’m opposed to. Whatever, they’re a local business doing things well. I’ll support that any day of the week over the Dunkin Donuts that came to town about a mile down the road.

Actually, truth be told, I go to WaWa more than either of the other two places. And then there’s the farm market run by Christians a bit further away that sells delicious apple cider donuts. mmmm, brb.

#9 Comment By Philly guy On June 14, 2018 @ 8:48 am

Please post monthly re: Chick-fil-A to remind me I have not had one lately and am due.

#10 Comment By Jeff On June 14, 2018 @ 8:59 am

“A commissar for the Homintern”

Please never change, Rod.

#11 Comment By creekmama On June 14, 2018 @ 9:38 am

“And yes, non-Christians are aware how Christians pray. You have this propensity for public demonstrations of prayer, as well as assuming everyone is Christian. It’s a shame so few of you are willing to join the rest of us in heartfelt prayer to our goddesses and gods, for their blessings upon you””

For the Christian, to pray to any other god than the one true God is a sin. Be quiet and respectful while people of other faiths pray? Sure. Be genuinely appreciative when people of other faiths pray for us? Of course. Pray to your gods? No. A thorough reading of the Bible makes it clear that praying to other gods is a no-go.

As to the Chick-fil-a manger who prayed for the homeless man, I would approach that a little differently. As I gave him the food, I would say, “May I pray for you before you go?” If that was okay with him, I would ask, “May I hold your hand?” Can those who object to the manager’s approach give him the benefit of the doubt? We weren’t there. We didn’t hear his tone of voice, see his face. Why assume he was being coercive? It’s easy, of course, to extend the benefit of the doubt to people we think like we do. More difficult, and therefore more meaningful, when we do that for those we are predisposed to disliking.

#12 Comment By La Lubu On June 14, 2018 @ 9:44 am

VikingLS, nice job of redirection: “look at those muslims Over There!” And silence about the christians doing the same thing in Africa? Interesting.

I don’t think you have an appreciation for the degree to which christians insist that everyone else’s religion take a back seat to their own in the public square. Perhaps as christianity continues to wane, you will experience what those of us who are not christian have always experienced. Perhaps you will learn some humility, and learn to grant others the same respect you have always taken for granted. Or not. We’ll still carry on. (shrug)

It is your prayers offered at governmental ceremonies, not mine. It is your holidays recognized as governmental holidays, not mine. It is your bible presented to swear upon in courtrooms. It is your people that wish religious tenets specific to their religion be enshrined in public law. Your polticians advertising their religion in campaign materials. And when non-christians assert the right to our space as well? Pandemonium. (see what I did there? “Pan”….ahh, never mind. *smile*)

I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. I’m still going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Your further comments will reveal whether that is a mistake on my part. FWIW, it does bother me when Pagans take a gratuitously anti-christian position, even though I understand that the persons doing so are reacting out of pain based in their own past, having been raised within a particularly oppressive christian tradition (usually one that teaches female subordination). It is a privilege of mine not having been subject to that, raised a religious “none”. Also FWIW, I can’t help but notice that when it comes to boundaries, more often than not it is christians that insist upon trangressing them (ex.: getting upset at the removal of “ten commandments” plaques on government property, or pushing to have christian prayers in public schools. At my daughter’s graduation ceremony, there were loud complaints by christians on the lack of a christian invocation…for a large, urban public school whose student body consists of multiple varieties of christian denominations, judaism, islam, hinduism, buddhism, bahai, and several Pagans).

Final note: tone is hard to convey in print. You may have noted my capitalization of “Pagan” and decapitalization of everything else, in contrast to my previous responses. It is my attempt at poking fun at your doing the same thing but in reverse. It’s not meant as a note of hostility, but merely one of humor. Perhaps you can laugh at the absurdity of it. Or not.

Blessed be.

#13 Comment By Alex On June 14, 2018 @ 9:56 am

They’ve learned that, by toeing the line on liberal cultural issues, (which costs them nothing), they get a free pass on violating liberal economic issues (i.e. non-union labor, paying low wages, oppressive hours, lack of vacation time/maternity leave, etc.).

This has a name, by the way: [4]. Though sometimes that’s also used to contemptuously refer to organizations that do the same sort of misdirection with breast-cancer charity.

#14 Comment By cka2nd On June 14, 2018 @ 10:24 am

VikingLS says: “This is a conservative site. Kevin on the Left, and you, are here because you are hostile to what the site stands for.”

I think you have this all wrong, VikingLS. In my experience as a subscriber to TAC, and participant in these forums, for over 10 years, I haven’t found the liberals or leftists who hang around here on a regular basis to be doing so because they are hostile to TAC and EVERYTHING it stands for. The liberals and leftists who stay the course here do not do so to troll. On the contrary, I think, like me, they have found something in TAC with which they can agree, even if that agreement is reached coming from a different set of values or reasons.

Anti-interventionist foreign policy is probably what attracted most of us to TAC initially, but we also found support for civil liberties in the post-Patriot Act period, and opposition to “free trade” agreements like NAFTA. Some of us found conservatives supporting public transportation and New Urbanism. Some of us are fairly lonely among our co-thinkers in our opposition to gun control. Others, like Siarlys, broadly share religious beliefs with some of TAC’s writers. And I think it is blindingly obvious that many of us regular liberal, progressive and left-wing readers of TAC’s website stay because it is possible for us to have more civilized discussions here, even with our ideological opponents, then it is at other websites, including ones that might more closely match our personal political beliefs.

#15 Comment By Donald On June 14, 2018 @ 10:56 am

The Bible on the table for fallen servicemen is nice. I was just imagining the reaction if some leftist owned restaurant in Portland had little memorials out for all the children we have bombed or starved ( via sanctions or war). I bet there would be sarcasm or anger or ridicule from some (not all) conservatives. Better yet, imagine the reaction if a big socially liberal corporation had some sort of memorial for all the gay people who have been persecuted for their orientation or for refugees who have died trying to reach some Western country or, well, whatever. One person’s heartfelt memorial is another person’s absurd virtue signaling.

I might eat at Chick Fil A, but I don’t eat chicken. Too much animal cruelty involved in the food “ industry, though for all I know maybe they get all their chickens from farmers who let the birds have a somewhat normal life. I doubt it though.

#16 Comment By Adam Loumeau On June 14, 2018 @ 11:34 am

I’m sad that I caught this article so late. Anyone who has followed my comments on this site knows I am very LGBT friendly. I disagree with traditional Christian teachings regarding homosexuality and am heartbroken over the pain and suffering these teachings have caused.

But I also LOVE Chick fil-A and not just because their food is delicious. They are what every company should strive to be. They are the embodiment of what we should all be supporting. I just read Rod’s article on liquid modernity. In my mind, the two articles are connected. Liquid modernity is what’s driving this hyper identification with one’s political beliefs. We no longer have healthy connections with our community and our world so we cling to our political beliefs as if they were our very identity as human beings. How awful.

#17 Comment By La Lubu On June 14, 2018 @ 1:09 pm

For the Christian, to pray to any other god than the one true God is a sin. Be quiet and respectful while people of other faiths pray? Sure. Be genuinely appreciative when people of other faiths pray for us? Of course. Pray to your gods? No. A thorough reading of the Bible makes it clear that praying to other gods is a no-go.

Yes, exactly. I understand that. But here we are, non-Christians, out here in public amidst a lot of what could be termed “compulsory performative Christianity”, even if it is well-meaning. There isn’t any way for those of us who are non-Christian to graciously abstain without being regarded by our Christian neighbors as hostile. A simple “no thank you” doesn’t suffice. “Happy Holidays!” is regarded as an opening salvo to culture war.

#18 Comment By connecticut farmer On June 14, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

“If you care about queer people ― or you yourself are queer ― you have absolutely no business eating at Chick-fil-A. Ever. It’s really that straightforward.”

So, er, don’t eat at Chick-fil-A! Ever.

And leave the rest of us alone.

#19 Comment By VikingLS On June 14, 2018 @ 2:33 pm

@La Lublu

Subsaharan African culture isn’t a shining example of the best of pagan culture either.

The gulf states are modern, wealthy countries with a literate population. It just seems to me that American pagans might have larger concerns than that a Chik-Fil-A manager who wanted to pray with a homeless man.

I lived in Turkey, a Muslim majority country and it never occurred to resent the fact that the spiritual life of the country almost exclusively revolved around Islam.

#20 Comment By Brian in Brooklyn On June 14, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

Nate J writes: “This word keeps coming up again and again: condition (and conditional, and conditioning).”

It does because of the report of the observer who wrote: “…the manager saying that he’d love to give him a full, warm meal–not just scraps or extras–, and the only thing he required was that the man let him pray with him.”

If something is required, then there is a condition.

More Nate J: “I highly, highly doubt that a meal would have been denied.”

I agree, but what I am talking about is the requirement reported on.

More Nate J: “If you see this as ‘transactional’, then you’ve missed the part about the free, unmerited grace inherent in the Christian belief system.”

The transactional part only refers to the fact that the manager is reported to have said “the only thing he required was…” The prayer element and how you describe it is beautiful, and is not cancelled out by the fact that participating in it was stipulated as a condition of receiving a full meal (nor does its beauty obviate the condition).

Nate J: “I don’t think that at any point did the manager see this as an opportunity to get something for himself, but just another gift that could be added.”

But the manager did get something for himself: the man joining him in prayer (even though the manager would understand a larger benefit going to the man). He was giving the man a gift, but clearly received something in the form of the man joining in the prayer act.

I think I see a possible answer to my question (I may be wrong) when you write that the prayer served to “introduc[e] that connection to God [which} would be of great value.” If part of the prayer act is an introduction, then yes, the man had to be part of the prayer act for the introduction to take place.

The manager could have chosen to provide the meal, and then ask if the man wanted to join in prayer which would serve as an introduction to a more lasting gift than one meal. In this way, no requirement would have been stipulated.

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 14, 2018 @ 3:07 pm

I know Rod doesn’t have time to vet every video offered here, but I really thought he’d like the one I offered last night. It’s A Southern Thing.

#22 Comment By VikingLS On June 14, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

cka2nd

First of all if I say something about liberals and progressives I don’t mean the entire left. I might not like the answers of old school Marxists for example, but I like their questions. Were it possible I would be an old school union Democrat myself. Where I think liberals and many new school pseudo-Marxists have gone wrong is that they focus on gender and race rather than class.

I know there genuinely ARE liberal progressives here that come here because the genuinely really do want an intelligent dialogue across partisan lines.

However, there really are also a lot of liberal commenters here who really are just trolling. That’s who I would call hostiles.

#23 Comment By VikingLS On June 14, 2018 @ 6:47 pm

“grumpy realist says:
June 14, 2018 at 5:15 pm
So what is the acceptable “traditional” response the father should have demonstrated?

I get the feeling from some of the commentators here the only response they would have been comfortable with would have involved righteous anger and a horsewhip.”

@cka2nd

That’s from the Frozen thread up above. Does this sound like the comment of a person that’s here because she’s looking for a thoughtful conversation? She’s been posting here for years.

#24 Comment By MKW On June 14, 2018 @ 8:59 pm

Besides, is it really that onerous to let someone pray with you?

Yes, because it is demeaning and degrading, and the definition of shoving your faith down my throat.

[NFR: What a pitiful thing to believe. — RD]

#25 Comment By creekmama On June 14, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

“Yes, exactly. I understand that. But here we are, non-Christians, out here in public amidst a lot of what could be termed “compulsory performative Christianity”, even if it is well-meaning. There isn’t any way for those of us who are non-Christian to graciously abstain without being regarded by our Christian neighbors as hostile. A simple “no thank you” doesn’t suffice. “Happy Holidays!” is regarded as an opening salvo to culture war.”

A lot of compulsory Christian activity? Really? I live in the rural South, and there isn’t even much of that here. Haven’t you said recently that you live in a large urban area? I lived in urban areas for much of my life, including ten years in Dallas, which back in the day was much more conservative and Christian. I cannot recall any compulsory Christian activity. In fact, I knew very few Christians. I, too, was raised a religious none.

That “Happy Holidays” nonsense is the stuff of Facebook memes. Those folks just want to be angry about something.

Look, most people experience being the odd one out in some area of their lives. My husband is orthodox in his faith, conservative in his politics, and a Southerner. He is also a theater practitioner and an academic. Think that’s always comfortable for him? No way. Theater folk are as tribal and narrow-minded as anyone else. But you know what? He genuinely likes his colleagues and is interested in what they think. And at the end of the day, if they misunderstand or dislike him, he just isn’t all that bothered by it because he is secure in who he is.

I’m sorry you are uncomfortable in your situation, but taking all of your posts together, I have to believe that at least some of your discomfort is due to exaggerating negative experiences you’ve had and projecting your own negative attitudes onto people you dislike.

#26 Comment By mrscracker On June 15, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

Siarlys Jenkins says:

I know Rod doesn’t have time to vet every video offered here, but I really thought he’d like the one I offered last night. It’s A Southern Thing.”
*************
Was that the funny one where they advertise a Chick Fil A craving “patch”, like a nicotine patch,for Sundays when the restaurant’s closed?

One son said his wife needs one of those.
🙂

#27 Comment By Anondustrious On June 15, 2018 @ 1:48 pm

Freebirds leaves Chipotle in the dust.

Gringas over Torchy’s!!!

#28 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 15, 2018 @ 8:21 pm

Was that the funny one where they advertise a Chick Fil A craving “patch”, like a nicotine patch,for Sundays when the restaurant’s closed?

It was! I thought Rod would really like it, but it never appeared, so I assume it fell under the announced rule that Rod just doesn’t have time to watch every video and has been embarrassed by some he let through in the past. The product was called “Chick-o-derm.” Apparently even in the South, people get cravings for Chick Fil A and drive over to pick some up only to remember “It’s Sunday.”

Does this sound like the comment of a person that’s here because she’s looking for a thoughtful conversation? She’s been posting here for years.

Oh, grumpy has her good days and her bad days. Don’t most people here?

Where I think liberals and many new school pseudo-Marxists have gone wrong is that they focus on gender and race rather than class.

Hear! Hear! Marxist and anti-imperialist conservatives unite! We have nothing to lose but the liberals! (And the neo-cons of course).

#29 Comment By La Lubu On June 15, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

Haven’t you said recently that you live in a large urban area?

Medium-sized. (my daughter attended a large public high school, I think that’s where you got the impression. Here in the rust belt, the tax base is declining, so our public schools tend to be more crowded than the city size would normally indicate. Smaller budget=fewer schools.)

There is still “compulsory Christianity” around here, but the rise of the Millenial generation and its much larger cohort of religious nones is changing that—and I consider that a good thing. For example: we no longer have a prayer before union meetings.

There are no shortage of right-wing Christian culture warriors, though. I wasn’t kidding about the “Happy Holidays”. Neutral prayers that invoke a nameless, genderless Creator are another good way to identify oneself as an anti-American godless communist, LOL! Eventually, all this will blow over, and I’m sure I’ll field questions from curious future grandchildren on “did people really do that?!” And like my grandparents before me, I’ll have to sigh and say, yeah….they really did.

#30 Comment By Joel M Mathis On June 15, 2018 @ 10:49 pm

Think of it as gay people taking “The Benedict Option” to shield themselves from a company whose ownership has been hostile to their legal rights.

#31 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 15, 2018 @ 11:03 pm

Think of it as gay people taking “The Benedict Option” to shield themselves from a company whose ownership has been hostile to their legal rights.

Good. Then the rest of us have no obligation to pay any attention to what those funny gay monks in their compound are saying.

#32 Comment By Rick On June 16, 2018 @ 12:44 am

HuffPost? Really? Who cares?

Do you know how many gay people go to Chick Fil A every day?

A lot. Especially in the south.

Huffpost is the ring on the toilet bowl of what passes as journalism.

Chik-fil-a is gonna do just fine. Liberals like myself?

If we keep focusing on minutiae we’re going to get our ass handed to us again.

Most gay people I know are just trying to live a quiet life in peace.

Preferably with a big chicken sandwich in their hands.

We live in a soul crushing plutocracy. Only morons at Huffpost and hyper reactionaries care about Chik Fil A.

#33 Comment By dave On June 16, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

Late to the thread, but it made me think it is quite difficult to find a secular equivalent to grace. Well coordinated doesn’t convey the same idea, really. Jung had synchronicity, which again is a little different. Which is not to say atheists and agnostics have no grace or anything like that, it is to say there is not reallly an equivalent way to explain it in secular terms. So the prayer is seen as transactional or as a function of power.

I think these sorts of public displays of piety are also the easiest to fake but in the Christian tradition, in my understanding, the root is back at the start. There was always a laying on of hands before the disciples went out on a journey, and I don’t know that there is any way to apprehend the meaning of the ritual without an appreciation of the term grace, as understood in that tradition. I have always thought it one of the more caring acts of the early church.

#34 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 16, 2018 @ 9:30 pm

Late to the thread, but it made me think it is quite difficult to find a secular equivalent to grace.

Good point. I don’t think there is one. Which is perhaps one reason I believe in God the father almighty, the maker of heaven and earth.