Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Feigning outrage is outrageous

I don't really have any leftovers for lunch today, but I know I won't be going to Chick-Fil-A, even though Mike Huckabee told me to.  The reason is not because I am unsympathetic to the position taken (which isn't nearly as offensive as it seems to have been presented, see the quote below) or approve of the reaction that opponents have taken to Cathy's interview.  I am not joining in Chick-Fil-A Appreciate Day because the whole dust up is stupid.  This is the section of the interview that touched this off (linked here):

Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

I say this is stupid not because of the content of the arguments of the two sides, but because of the non-event that revealed the content.  Chick-Fil-A's ownership is famously and unabashedly outspoken about their Christian positions and Dan Cathy was giving an interview to The Baptist Press for crying out loud about maintaining those Christian positions even in the face of business success.  If this was a surprise to you, then I can only imagine that episodes of Law and Order are shocking and surprising each time, too.  (Hint: if they arrest the guy in the first 10 minutes, it's not him; the moderately famous B-level guest start did it; they're going to get a conviction; and the DA is going to say something somewhat pithy or ironic to close the show.  Dun dun.)

The reactions to the interview -- most famously by Rahm Emanuel (mayor of Chicago) and Thomas Menino (mayor of Boston) -- are terrible and deserve to be ridiculed.  For any government representative to say that a business in unwelcome because of the opinions of that business's owner is outrageous.  Buying from Chick-Fil-A today will do nothing to punish those mayors.

For the people who want to boycott or protest, however, that's their prerogative.  Except the timing is lazy; according to the Washington PostPartisan blog, Chick-Fil-A has been giving money to "anti-gay" charities for like 9 years and obvious about its desire to be seen as a Christian friendly company since its inception -- they did not just start closing on Sundays, you know.

So, my question is, why did this reaction only happen to the interview a week and half ago?  Why today?