Thursday, October 01, 2009

First from our friends at TEP, then we have to determine if it's time to give up the Jesus Chicken

From Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project:

It's time to promote equality and fairness this weekend in Memphis

Dear Friends,

It’s time to make your voice heard this Sunday afternoon in Memphis (Oct. 4). Startling vandalism of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s billboard campaign caught the attention of the nation and the world this week. Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community CenterHere are two ways that you can confront hateful bias toward GLBT citizens and their allies this weekend:

  1. Attend MGLCC’s Raise Your Voice rally at 1 p.m. on Sunday on the steps of First Congregational Church (1000 So. Cooper St) to respond to the malicious destruction of the National Coming Out Day billboard featuring former marine Tim Smith. It’s time to unite our community in the face of hatred and intolerance. Let’s show Memphis and the world that we are proud and unafraid.
  2. Later in the afternoon, join your friends at the Wine & Cheese Party at the T. Joseph Clifton Gallery benefiting TEP on October 4 from 4-6 pm at 2571 Broad Avenue in Memphis. Make a commitment to fairness and equality for LGBT citizens at the local and state level with a $25-$50 contribution to TEP at the party and celebrate our community’s work to advance inclusive workplace protections in Memphis.

Let’s overcome the obstacles we face in our community and show the world that Memphis is moving forward.

Warm regards,

Jonathan Cole
Board Secretary & Shelby County Committee Chair

Support the Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance by making a contribution to TEP here. The Tennessee Equality Project is a 501(c)(4) organization. Gifts to TEP are not deductible for purposes of federal income tax.


I will send a check, but I can't make it. I hope you can, though.

Now, to the other business. I have always had mixed emotions about Chick-Fil-A, because, on the one hand, they do have the best chicken sandwich I have ever tasted, bar none. However, there is a reason that one of my dear friends has dubbed them "Jesus Chicken". True to their beliefs, they close on Sundays so their employees can attend the church of their choice.

However, it appears that one of the groups to whom they give money is....

Focus on the Family. You remember them, don't you? James Dobson and all those crazy homophobes?

It's privately owned, IIRC, and they have the right to do as they wish, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I have to support them with my money, even if they do have incredible chicken.

It's time to seriously think about where we spend our money, folks. Jesus Chicken, I'll miss you, and if you ever change your mind about supporting FOTF, I'll come back.

But it's up to you.


callmeishmael said...

When you have a choice, do you shop at other businesses that do not conform to your politics? Have you ever bought anything from a business that you know is owned by a Republican? Isn't your Big Boss, one Fred Smith, a Republican? How about the owner of the Grizzlies whose games you have attended over the years? Is not also your rhetorical placing of the obscene vandalism against the GLBT Community Center vis a vis a critique of Chick-Fil-A a less than subtle condemnation of Christian faith and those of us who profess it? Aren't you, in essence, saying that you do not believe that we profess God in Christ can't reconcile our kerygma with GLBT's being created by God as GLBT's?
If you're going to stop eating at Chick-Fil-A because they accept money from Dobson's fools, is it not further logical to ask that you demand Fed-Ex to stop accepting business from any right wing group who wants its packages to arrive "absolutely, positively there overnight?" Your argument is not based upon some inevitable response of practicality. You are making a moral claim in the midst of a under-informed rhetorical condemnation. Unless you are willing to be consistent in your practicing as well as your preaching, maybe you need to reconsider what you are personally doing and what you politically espouse.

Steve Steffens said...

To steal a line from Walt Whitman, do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I contain multitudes.

Let's take this up a notch. Are you saying, then, that FOTF is a reflection of YOUR Christian faith, when I know for a fact most of those folks would say you were a liberal heretic? Why do you self-identify with these people when they do not share your worldview?

By suggesting that my opposition to homophobia and fundamentalists beliefs are somehow an attack on all of Christendom, are you not saying that they speak for all of it, when they most certainly do not?

And by implying that by opposing them, I somehow am anti-Christian, are you not in the end attempting to do the same thing you are accusing me of doing?

Ok then.

callmeishmael said...

I am asking what proportion there is in your boycotting of Chick-Fil-A vis a vis their political beliefs. I don't boycott worship in reference to some of my fellow Christians believing in different--in this case, wrong--ways than I do. I will worship with these people, for example, when I visit my mother's church. I will break bread with them even as I find theit theology, ecclesiology, and soteriology to be intellectually deficient and their view of God to fall short of what we have come to know about her in the last 2,000 years.
I do not know what exactly you mean by "anti-Christian," to be perfectly honest about it. In as much as we have had discussions about these matters for more than 20 years and I have yet to hear you openly admit that we who are Christians have a intellectually worthwhile, emotionally meaningful and, if you will, "spiritually" redemptive approach to the human condition, I have often wondered just what you do think of us. I have no direct evidence that you are "anti-Christian" as you might define it. I am not so insecure to worry about it if you are (again whatever that term means to you).
I am not furthermore, as you well know, "self-identifying" with FOTF or any other Christian Right group. I am asking a question about how you can equate a chicken sandwich with Dobson's theology. It is a accordingly a non sequitor to link my "liberal heresy" with my criticisms of your stated principles.
If, on the other hand, you maintain such vociferous opposition to the evils of corporate America or the interconnections between Chick-Fil-A and FOTF, I wonder why you just don't quit Fed-EX, cash in your IRA and 401k, and spend the rest of your active years working for the "socialism" you have often advocated? You have never, to my knowledge, expressed the notion that we "must change the system from within" or some other left-wing brohmide that resembles it. I salute you for not being so weak-kneed and insipid about what you believe. Instead, you have railed about conservatives as being not human, corporations being Satanic and Republicans being just this side of evil. If that's the case, I ask again why are you friends with more than a few conservatives, work for a corporation, and break bread on occasion with Republicans? Doesn't that make you what you suggest that I am?

Frank said...

Seems like arguement for arguement sake. The give money to FOTF (not accept) and that I think changes the direction of the arguement. If the chicken sanwich that I purchase puts money in the pockets of a company that would financially support such a group then it is my choice to no long support that company. I fail to see the problem with that...or perhaps this is just part of a deeper arguement between the two of you....

Jonathan in Memphis said...

Thanks for the post Steve!

callmeishmael said...

Franks is both right and not right. The Cracker and I have substantive disagreements on a wide range of issues. Most of the time, however, we engage in good fun.