Changing Times, Chicken, and the Blessings of Constancy

The Dwarf Grill

In 1946, S. Truett Cathy, took out a small loan and opened a restaurant in Hapeville, GA. The humble establishment had four tables and ten counter seats. Cathy named it, aptly, the Dwarf Grill. Full of optimism and ambition, if not experience, Cathy experimented with different ways to make flavorful chicken in short order, and his business steadily grew by serving up quality food in a friendly atmosphere – it wasn’t uncommon to find one of his three children mingling with the customers – 24 hours a day, six days a week.

Cathy refined his culinary skills, and by 1963, he’d developed the recipe for what would later become known as the Chick-fil-A sandwich. Chick-fil-A, Inc., was launched the following year and soon began to pioneer the in-mall fast food market where the Chick-fil-A sandwich became a favorite of hungry shoppers.

The restaurant chain thrived. By the late 1970s, annual sales topped $100 million. Chik-fil-A was a textbook American success story.

Crisis
Then came a crisis. The deep recession of the early 1980s brought a sharp drop in revenue, and that, combined with soaring chicken prices and heavy debt (with interest rates hovering around 21 percent), landed Chick-fil-A in economic dire straits.

In 1982, Cathy took his top managers on a retreat to strategize. At issue: whether to maintain Chick-fil-A’s lifelong practice of closing on Sundays or to consider opening up on Sundays to take advantage of weekend shopping traffic. The move would add an estimated 16 percent to current revenues, quite possibly the difference between corporate survival and bankruptcy. Furthermore, the policy had at times created difficulty securing mall contracts; the change could open up avenues that had previously been closed. As a matter of mere economics, the decision was a no-brainer.

But there had always been more to Cathy’s decision-making than the merely economic. Truett Cathy was a devout Christian. From the day he opened the Dwarf Grill, he had cared for his employees and their needs (and, not coincidentally, enjoyed the lowest turnover rate in the industry). He believed that he honored God by honoring his employees and customers. His commitment to Sunday closure had been instituted in keeping with the principle of honoring God first, both in personal life and in business. And it honored his employees by freeing them up to rest, to be with their families, and to attend worship services if they so chose.

At A Crossroads
Now the company was at a crossroads. Would it adjust to the times, do what most of its competition had been doing for years, and open for business on Sundays to get through the crisis? Or would it maintain the policy Cathy had always believed was the God-honoring course, knowing it very well could end in business failure?

At bottom, Cathy had to decide whether his organization’s culture would be directed by God’s compass or a by gauge of human making. He chose the former and decided to serve God first, letting the remaining chips fall where they may. On that retreat, Cathy rededicated the business to God and, in conjunction with his management team, crafted a new corporate mission statement:

“To Glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The company survived. Through the 1980s and 90s, it added innovative menu items, introduced three delightfully endearing, semi-literate cows that mutely invited us to “Eat Mor Chikin,” and sales grew sufficiently to maintain the Sunday closure and weather the crisis.

There’s an interesting twist at the end of this story too. Not only has Chick-fil-A faithfully served its employees and customers for over half a century now. It also, ironically, served its competitors in the malls during that steep recession. “Some of our competitors in the malls tell me,” Cathy said much later, “that they wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t close on Sundays.”

Well, whaddya know? Faithfulness and honoring God first serves everyone.

I think I’ll Eat Mor Chikin.

7 Comments on “Changing Times, Chicken, and the Blessings of Constancy

  1. Chick-Fil-A’s owners are entitled to their opinions and to give their money to whomever they want. Prejudice disguised as religion is still bigotry and hate. In fact, it’s probably the worse kind since saying that it “comes from God” ends all rational arguments. Spreading misinformation about others is still lying.

    Chick-Fil-A’s Charitable Arm Gave Nearly $2 Million To Anti-Gay Groups In 2009

    The WinShape Foundation is Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984. WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2009 alone, WinShape received $7,814,788 from Chick-fil-A Inc. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]

    WinShape Gave Over $1.7 Million To Anti-Gay Groups. In 2009 alone, WinShape donated $1,733,699 to multiple anti-gay groups:

    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

    [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Marriage And Family Legacy Fund (MFLF)

    Chick-Fil-A Vice President Launched Marriage And Family Legacy Fund. Donald “Bubba” Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president, helped launched the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), which “pool[s] funds for a national marriage media campaign and provide start-up grants for local initiatives to promote stable, lasting marriages.” [Philanthropy Roundtable, October 2007]

    MFLF Is A Project Of The Anti-Gay Marriage CoMission. The MFLF was created to be the “implementation and funding arm” for the Marriage CoMission, a coalition of groups formed in response to the “downward spiral of marriage and the traditional family in America.” [MFLF Executive Summary, accessed 10/28/11, Marriage CoMission, accessed 10/28/11]

    Marriage CoMission Is Supported By Prominent Anti-Gay Activists. Since its inception, the CoMission has been supported by anti-gay activists such as Exodus International’s Alan Chambers and Citizens for Community Values’ Barry Sheets. [Marriage CoMission, accessed 10/28/11]

    Click here to learn more about the Marriage CoMission and its ties to anti-gay groups

    WinShape Donated $994,199 To Marriage And Family Legacy Fund. WinShape donated $994,199 in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Fellowship Of Christian Athletes (FCA)

    Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Conference Has “Freed” People From Homosexuality. Every year, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) holds a National College Conference that Danny Burns, the conference Program Director, described as one in which “God freed some people from homosexuality, sexual sins, addictions and even ushered newcomers into His Kingdom.” Burns’ comment has since been edited on FCA’s website. [Equality Matters, 3/22/11, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, accessed 10/28/11]

    Fellowship of Christian Athletes Website Highlights Coach Who Was “Delivered From Homosexuality. [Fellowship of Christian Athletes, accessed 10/28/11]

    FCA Ministry Leader Application Condemns “Impure Lifestyle” of Gays. The application to become an FCA Ministry Leader requires applicants to agree with the FCA’s Sexual Purity Statement, which condemns gays as engaging in an “impure lifestyle”:

    God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternate lifestyle acceptable to God.

    While upholding God’s standard of holiness, FCA strongly affirms God’s love and redemptive power in the individual who chooses to follow Him. FCA’s desire is to encourage individuals to trust in Jesus and turn away from any impure lifestyle. [FCA Application, accessed 10/28/11]

    WinShape Donated $480,000 To Fellowship of Christian Athletes. WinShape donated $480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    National Christian Foundation (NCF)

    National Christian Foundation Donates To Anti-Gay Groups. The National Christian Foundation (NCF) is a grant-making foundation that has made “hundreds of grants” to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, Family Life, and the Family Research Council, according to the Philanthropy Roundtable’s publication “Reviving Marriage In America: Strategies for Donors.” NCF allows donors to direct their donations and has experienced a surge in interest among donors in funding marriage-related giving. [Philanthropy Roundtable, accessed 2/8/11]

    WinShape Donated $240,000 To National Christian Foundation. WinShape donated $240,000 to the National Christian Foundation in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Focus On The Family (FOF)

    Focus On The Family Is An Anti-Gay Group. Focus on the Family (FOF) has been listed as an anti-gay group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In 2005, SPLC wrote:

    Among the scores of anti-gay commentaries, stories and products on FOF’s Web site is a [FOF Founder James] Dobson essay that strikes a typical note: “Moms and Dads, are you listening? This movement is the greatest threat to your children. It is of particular danger to your wide-eyed boys, who have no idea what demoralization is planned for them.” Another article claims that “the homosexual agenda is a beast. It wants our kids.” [SPLC, Spring 2005]

    WinShape Donated $12,500 To Focus On The Family. WinShape donated $12,500 to Focus on the Family in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Eagle Forum

    Eagle Forum Is An Extreme Right-Wing Anti-Gay Group. Phyllis Schafly’s Eagle Forum consistently promotes disparaging claims about LGBT people. The group opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality in 2003 and has railed against courts for promoting a “gay agenda” in schools. [Eagle Forum, 7/18/03, August 2006]

    WinShape Donated $5,000 To Eagle Forum. WinShape donated $5,000 to Eagle Forum in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Exodus International

    Exodus International Promotes “Ex-Gay” Therapy. Exodus International is one of the world’s largest promoters of “ex-gay” therapy, the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. The organization refers to being LGBT as “perverse” and a form of “sexual brokenness.” [Truth Wins Out, accessed 10/28/11]

    WinShape Donated $1,000 To Exodus International. WinShape donated $1,000 to Exodus International in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]
    Family Research Council

    Family Research Council Is Designated As An Anti-Gay Hate Group By the SPLC. The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its propagation of known falsehoods about the LGBT community. For example, president Tony Perkins has a long history of false and inflammatory attacks, such as claiming that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem.” [The Washington Times, 11/24/10; SPLC, accessed 3/14/11]

    WinShape Donated $1,000 To Family Research Council. WinShape donated $1,000 to the Family Research Council in 2009. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]

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  2. Oh, Les … You’re an intelligent man with much drive and passion. You and I could enjoy some interesting discussions.

    But there is still the open issue of your past blatant failure to show regard for truth and good faith in dialogue. Click here: Ground Rules if you need to refresh your memory about that. You have not identified any moral and ethical grounding underpinning your opinions, therefore we remain stalled at that point. I allow you to comment, air your opinion, copy and paste articles on here at will, but I will not respond to the content of your responses until you do so.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  3. Mr. Clemmons,

    I don’t think Les was offering ‘opinion’; I think he simply posted some facts that remind your readers of how Chic-fil-a’s pre-tax profit dollars are spent.

    I think each of you has accurately portrayed the facts of this unfortunate controversy. Or perhaps, as has been attributed to P.T. Barnum, all publicity is good publicity (as long as the name is spelled correctly).

    Thank you both for your postings.

    James Niel

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  4. You’re right, James. This particular comment isn’t ‘opinion.’ Les is my most frequent commenter, so my response to him took into account some history that isn’t reflected in this one thread.

    Thank you for your diplomatic and calming comment.

    Terrell Clemmons

    PS: btw, I’m a ‘she,’ not a ‘he.’

    Like

  5. BTW, just to be clear, I disagree with the any government (eg, Boston or Chicago) prohibiting a company from doing business in their city because of their political or religious beliefs. Of course, the company must obey relevant laws (eg, employment antidiscrimination policies, etc.). Even bigots have a right to their opinion. Hopefully, fair-minded and non-prejudiced people won’t do business with them, but that to is a right.

    Like

  6. What a surprise! Another radical Christian hypocrite.

    Evangelical author Jonathan Merritt reveals he had homosexual encounter

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  7. Great article!

    The Prideful, Arrogant President of Chick-fil-A
    Why ignorance of human sexuality is dangerous.

    By Jesse Bering|Posted Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at 2:00 PM ET

    For several tense weeks, our nation has been broiling unpleasantly in the cultural equivalent of polyunsaturated fat. And despite any profits or political points made during this Chick-fil-A debacle, I think we’ve all gotten a bit burned. As everyone now knows, this entire ordeal—from the Mike Huckabee-orchestrated “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” to the “Same-Sex Kiss Day” that came after, the talking heads, the relentless stream of articles and opinion pieces on the controversy, the thousands upon thousands of online comments, the vitriolic tweets, impulsive Facebook statuses, and equally tart replies, the strained friendships, heated arguments with family members, all of it—began when Chick-fil-A’s president*, Dan Cathy, said in an interview with the Baptist Press that the company was “guilty as charged” when it came to endorsing the biblical view of traditional marriage. Several days later, on the Ken Coleman show, Cathy clarified that when it comes to legalizing same-sex marriage, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

    When I first read about this story, it was actually mildly amusing to me. At least, it was amusing in the same way that the Crouches, that dazzlingly peculiar televangelist couple on TBN, unexpectedly paralyze my index finger while channel surfing. You may know the Crouches: She with Pomeranian on her lap, a towering pink wig on her skull, and tarantula lashes affixed to her face; he, slim, mustachioed, in a white suit, capped by a bounty of salt-and-pepper hair; both perched atop gilded thrones and cackling about sweet Baby Jesus while fleecing arthritic widows in Alabama whose most meaningful daily interactions are with expressionless, alabaster-faced dolls. As with these anomalous Crouches, with Cathy there was something so, what’s the word, absurd; something about this truculent, evangelical, Southern fried-chicken magnate getting so red in the face about an issue so completely innocuous as the gender of love. There’s nothing particularly new under the sun about Cathy’s religious beliefs concerning homosexuality, of course, but for him to be such a perfect caricature of scornful, Americanized Christianity, was a welcome diversion from whatever it was I was writing at the time. Imagine if Elmer Fudd had a love child with Jesse Helms’ mother, and there, I thought to myself, you have Dan Cathy.

    But then the story became more worrisome than comical. It turns out that Dan Cathy, along with his father, Truett, oversees a “charitable endeavor” called the WinShape Foundation. This decades-old private foundation is fueled by Chick-fil-A revenue and—distressingly so for those in the LGBT community—it’s been promiscuously using high-profit margins from the sale of all those slaughtered cocks to further anti-gay causes, funding notorious groups such as Exodus International and Focus on the Family. “So what’s the problem?” replied Cathy supporters once these facts became widely known. (I’ll paraphrase en masse for both sides what I understand to be the central points of each.) “Free speech is still legal in this country, right? And gosh darn it, a man can do with his well-earned money whatever it is he wants to do with it in the U.S. of A., so long as it’s legal.” “But don’t you understand?” countered the other side. “This isn’t about a business owner’s religious freedom, or his right to voice his opinion and invest in political causes that he favors. It’s about our troubling willingness to patronize a company that so brazenly sinks its funds into hate campaigns and whose president genuinely believes that God will seek terrible vengeance on us for our country’s growing tolerance of homosexuals.”

    If it’s not already perfectly clear, I’m firmly on the side of the latter. That is to say, on the side of good and the side of sanity. Sure, fine, technically, Cathy and his compatriots at Chick-fil-A aren’t violating anyone’s civil rights. To the contrary, as many Democrats and Republicans alike have explained, Cathy runs his Chick-fil-A enterprise in the quintessential American spirit. But Cathy’s business sense isn’t the problem. Rather, the problem is that he’s being a real American in another sense, one that is not a compliment to our nation.

    There was a time, not so very long ago, when business owners in Southern states proudly poured their riches into segregationist causes. These investment strategies (and the political fruits they bore) helped keep “Negroes” in their place as second-class citizens. And just as we’ve been seeing with the enthusiastic support for Chick-fil-A by the “moral majority,” the racist business models of those segregationists rallied local social conservatives. Like the WinShape Foundation’s shameless use of Chick-fil-A proceeds to support the efforts of the Family Research Council, as well as many other anti-gay outlets designated as official hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a wealthy white citizen’s public segregationist stance back in, say, 1960 Mississippi or Tennessee, and his decision to put his company’s proceeds into racist political causes, was not only perfectly legal but hailed by most of his customer base. After all, just as same-sex marriage is today, the rights of blacks were a “political issue.” People spoke of “personal beliefs” about whether blacks should vote, marry outside their race, drink at public water fountains, swim in public pools, attend schools with white students, or sit in the front of the bus. Those whose “personal belief” was that blacks should be socially quarantined from whites felt absolutely no reason to apologize. People were “entitled to their opinions.”

    Fortunately for African-Americans, the U.S. government, which grows sluggishly, if incrementally, in its social conscience, eventually joined them and threw its weight into their tireless crusade against bigotry and prejudice. Federal civil rights laws effectively obviated the “personal beliefs” of those who continued to view blacks as lesser beings, making these people’s “opinions” completely irrelevant as to what African-Americans should or shouldn’t do in our society. In other words, the racists were stripped of their democratic voices—and a very good thing that was, too, as it’s clear even today that many white Americans remain of the opinion that blacks are inherently inferior to them. Racism persists, but at least racists have been formally politically defanged. Homophobes, meanwhile, have not. (Before I get complaints about the semantic misfit of the label homophobe, pointing out that one is not “afraid” of gays but rather disagrees with the “gay lifestyle,” feel free to replace it with “bigoted asshole.”)

    There is, of course, the little problem of God, so often the common denominator in human conflicts. Cathy’s thunderous sermon about the hazards of upsetting this irritable arbiter of our souls resonated with the religious right. So let us deconstruct Cathy’s words to see if we might better understand their seduction:

    I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist
    at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’
    and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant
    attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

    Cathy does at least preface this by saying, “I think,” but otherwise this to me is the hoary language of a man who has little familiarity with texts that were not [ahem] dictated by the Almighty and who has therefore missed out on so many infinitely more talented and intelligent authors, those who were more godly than God. On opposing sides of that yawning moral crevasse dividing liberals and conservatives, a gap that has widened several new inches by this surprise Chick-fil-A quake, the rhetorical turns of phrase we find in Cathy’s Armageddon script tend to mean very different things. For instance, for liberals, “prideful” would be read in this context as “scientifically literate,” “arrogant attitude” is perhaps best translated as “open-minded,” and “audacity” means simply, “the courage to think for oneself.”

    In my first book, The Belief Instinct, I explain how scientific studies are revealing how the human brain conjures up the subjective feeling of a morally concerned God that “communicates” his displeasure to us through natural disasters and other misfortunes. (Notice that in cases such as Cathy’s warning of God’s wrath, the believer never asks exactly how God causes such natural events, but only why he does so.) God may seem real, but he is almost certainly all in our heads—a complex cognitive illusion melded by mindless evolutionary forces. At the very least, the chances of there being a God disproportionately focused on the sexual behaviors of one particular creature, a depilated primate, out of the billions of distinct species that have ever walked, flown, crawled, slithered or hopped upon his earth, is so minuscule that the idea requires a prodigious degree of egocentrism to entertain. Actually, that, Mr. Cathy—this frail assumption of yours that human beings are the epicenter of life on this planet—is where most liberals apply the word “arrogance.”

    My other book, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human, is a collection of essays dealing mainly with the science of human sexuality. In it, I play tour guide through a number of research areas that are especially relevant to Cathy’s rumblings about marriage equality. These include the developmental origins of sexual orientation, the mental processes thought to underlie homophobia, and the startlingly high rates of depression and suicide in gay youth.

    One of the great frustrations faced by science writers is that, more often than not, we’re preaching to the choir. People who really need to be exposed to critical scientific information regarding homosexuality are, frankly, either too unintelligent to understand the research or—more unforgivably—they’re perfectly smart enough, it’s just that they’re too incurious about the deep complexities of human psychology to bother to learn. Now, for many subject areas in science, such cognitive dullards and intellectual sloths are easy to ignore, even when they display remarkable naivete. To be unaware of the chemical composition of water, for instance, is certainly sad, but such ignorance is usually pretty harmless. But with a basic scientific understanding of sexual orientation, ignorance can be sinister. Knowledge may not trump hatred in all cases, but for most reasonable individuals, it tends to facilitate humanity.

    If you’re doubtful of the danger of stupidity, consider a sampling of public tweets I’ve dredged up by combining gay epithets with “Chick-fil-A.” (Try your own search on Twitter; the concentrated hate goes on for miles. Or more here.) I should warn you in advance that this list is chilling, especially if you or someone you love, perhaps your child, is gay or lesbian. But for those of us normally surrounded by at least moderately bright and kind people, it is too easy to lose sight of the animus that gays and lesbians face in American society. I also think it’s important to be aware of just how Cathy’s religious statements—no matter his “love the sinner, hate the sin” jargon, no matter the issue of free speech—actually translates for a populace that is always ready to pounce on an opportunity to dehumanize its most vulnerable. In implying that God sees homosexuals as evil, Cathy declared open season on us.

    Going to Chick-fil-A cause I hate fags ‪#Merica
    dont bring your children to chick fil a tonight. all the fags are gonna be there making out
    You ignorant dykes need to shut the fuck up about this Chick fil a shit! IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT…DON’T EAT IT! Simple!
    Lol at all the fags protrsting chick-fil-a. Its a fucking fast food resturant calm down #hahaha
    who the FUCK cares that Chick-Fil-A’s owner doesnt support gay rights? its called freedom of speech, so take the ‪#cock out of your ‪#ass fags
    And a child will suffer: a carpet muncher holdin a child in front of a disappoint showin at Chick-fil-A this should make all Fags proud
    Protesting against chick fil a is goin to get you nowhere its his own beliefs he has the freedom of speech freedom of religion shut up dikes
    Relax you fags. Chick-fil-a is only trying to save you the torture of marriage, you can still butt fuck and spread aids all you want
    Hell no all this fags talking about walking in to chick-fil-a and kissing each other… Hell no whos down to shoot the place up?? Lmao
    yall faggots n dikes can serve n the military openly now yaw wanna take chick-fil-a from us. smh
    Oh, I BEG you to go. Please, please, PLEASE go to Chick-fil-A and try to beat up some faggots. ‪#rudeawakening
    All these faggots at chick fil a bout to catch a bat to the head I’m against this shit go get you some pussy
    Real shit if I see some faggots kissing at Chick-fil-A its going down I’m hittin they mf ass with rocks
    If I go eat chick- fil- a anytime soon and there are faggots on protest making out in there I will throw up all over them I promise.
    Everybody needs to eat chick-fil a. Down with the faggots!! ‪#queerspolutingthiscountry
    Dad wouldn’t go to Chick fil a cuz he said he didn’t wanna see all the faggots. LOL ‪#ILoveYouDAD
    The only ‪#hate is towards ‪#Chick-Fil-A from ‪#faggots and ‪#dikes
    I love chick Fil a even more , now that they hate queers.

    It is society that is sick, not the sexual minorities. Yet the most tragic thing about this admittedly odd cultural flare-up involving a chicken chain and gay rights is that there are countless—and I mean that quite literally, since I suspect many will be inspired to retreat permanently into their closets after an incident so vile as this—gay teenagers and young adults who have been watching in silent terror as it has all unfolded. For them, every single body on proud display at the “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” not to mention those leaning out of their car windows to scream “faggots!” and “dykes!” at gay couples milling about or kissing, was a tangible reminder of just how much they really do have to fear in this country. (Meanwhile, we’re trying to convince them that “It Gets Better.”) So know this: From the unspoken perspective of all the petrified, closeted 15-year-olds out there (I used to be one myself, after all), it makes absolutely no difference, none whatsoever, what your motives are in rallying behind Chick-fil-A. All they see is your raw hate.

    Let Aug. 1, 2012, go down as a day of infamy and national disgrace. On that day, at-risk gay youth all over this country watched as an endless, self-righteous trail of Americans wrapped itself round and round Chick-fil-A franchises across the land. And in this rare agglutination of the moral majority, they glimpsed the living, breathing presence of a brutal force whose sole aim it is to bully them into one of three equally disastrous directions: that of sham heterosexual marriage (and the deception of an opposite-sex spouse); the repressed life of a hypocritical moralizer, or that of virginal, social reclusion. My message to any young LGBT people who’ve been understandably rattled by this depressing affair is this: If these kinds of “lifestyles” are preferable for the religious right over the “alternative lifestyle” of living honestly and openly with the person you love, in matrimony, then fuck them. Oh, and by the way, fuck you, if you’re one of them.

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