It’s a conflagration of hypocrisy, extremism and greed. We have corporate America and its influence on political agendas. We have the narrow scope of religion and its place in civil rights. Perhaps most hilariously and what will be addressed here, are the Christian, black people – emphasis on black – rushing to eat fried chicken to show how righteously they stand against homosexuality and the persecution of poor, misunderstood Dan Cathy.
When Mary J. Blige sang her heart out about “crispy chicken,” some black people rushed to call it “coonery.” Yesterday, some of those same people sprinted to get fried chicken from Chick-fil-A and were proud of it. In fact, Facebook was adorned with black folks loving that “chikin,” all to support a man who has no problem employing and serving the LGBT community, as long as he can take their dollars to financially support conservative politicians who view them as second-class citizens.
Even more interesting, and this is where things get real, black support for the Democratic Party, specifically President Barack Obama, has never dropped below 85%. But to gain some heavenly cool points, many of these same people flocked to fatten the pockets of an organization that funnels funds to Republican candidates.
Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
For some reason that I have yet to discern, it makes some black evangelicals feel better to pretend that this is a matter of free speech, a call-to-arms to protect Christian values, when it’s really nothing more than a study in financial and political gullibility, and religious elitism – or even more simply, cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
According to EqualityMatters.org, the fast food company donated nearly $2 million in 2009 to conservative groups that have anti-gay agendas.
IRS 990 forms show that WinShape, the restaurant chain’s charitable foundation which was founded by Chick-Fil-A’s chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1994, gave to the following groups in 2009:
• Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
• Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
• National Christian Foundation: $240,000
• Focus On The Family: $12,500
• Eagle Forum: $5,000
• Exodus International: $1,000
• Family Research Council: $1,000
Some of these organizations, including but not limited to Eagle Forum and Family Research Council, support GOP candidates, and also hold the belief that supporters of universal healthcare side with Satan.
Would you like Polynesian sauce with that?
It is true that there are many Blue-Dog Democrats whose evangelical ideology do not align with their official Party platform, instead mimicking all things conservative unless it pertains to economic equality — or as their fellow GOP’ers prefer to call it: handouts for welfare queens and thugs. In that case, though I’m sure the cognitive dissonance is deafening, please by all means stand by your beliefs – and pray that the proceeds from that large Arnold Palmer don’t go to the campaign coffers of an anti-Obamacare conservative. If the racial group most likely to suffer from hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, actually feel that it makes sense to change their Facebook profiles pictures to encourage black people to go “eat more [fried] chikin,” all in some misguided attempt to prove they’re up with G-O-D and down with homosexuality, then I have become convinced that the Twilight Zone in fact does exist and sanity is a subjective term.
And then there is the slight matter of “with liberty and justice for all,” that we Americans like to say with hands over hearts — unless all are different from us.
At a press conference in Washington D.C., Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors said, “Some people are saying that because of the position that Chick-fil-A is taking, they don’t want them in their cities. It is a disgrace. It is the same thing that happened when I was marching for civil rights, when they didn’t want a black to come into their restaurant.”
So now, apparently, it’s perfectly acceptable to equate the Civil Rights Movement to the LGBT movement. I’ve always thought so, but the opposition to the equivalency has been extremely loud. But since the good Reverend wants to run with it, let’s shall we?
There was a time, when based on religious interpretation, black people were not allowed to marry — not among ourselves and most certainly not to white people. According to crafty, self-serving interpretations of the Bible, black people carried the Mark of Cain, and as such, should remain slaves. As time progressed, we still, by United States standards, carried the mark of slaves and by legislation and society were treated as such. The Civil Rights Movement was to protest blatant discrimination that had both societal and political implications. It was to show the world that we would no longer be tolerant of intolerance, but demand civil liberties that were ours by mere virtue of our existence.
That is all the LGBT community is doing.
When religious doctrine influences business practices in a way that is discriminatory to a certain faction of society, that is a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act prohibits discrimination based on religious minority status; and yes, aggressively — through a business entity — funding politicians who believe that homosexuality is against Christian God’s plans is discrimination. This battle is not rooted in religion at all, rather steeped in the necessity of pure civil equality and separation of church and state. I know some of us like to think we hold the patent on suffering, but the LGBT community is no more pushing a “Gay Agenda” than we were pushing a “Black Agenda.”
I support Chick-fil-A’s — and Dan Cathy’s –right to free speech, completely and in its entirety. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and what I cannot and will not support is bigotry in the form of legislation. Especially from a regional fried-chicken peddling company whose ideas simply mirror the Bible Belt area in which it predominantly resides.
If you are a black evangelical who ran out yesterday to support Chick-fil-A, you were not alone. Rep. Allen West, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin all applaud your efforts. I’m quite sure they all appreciate the funds you donated that will potentially empower their colleagues’ push for more initiatives that could have a detrimental impact on the black community at-large. If that was your goal, congratulations.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Swarming to Chick-fil-A to spend money on unhealthy food that will not be re-invested in the black community — all to show support for anti-gay statements — makes about as much sense as sending Skittles to Sanford Police Department to show support for Trayvon Martin. Of course, I would never call anyone stupid; I’m merely saying think before you “eat more chikin.”