After yesterday's Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day drew hundreds of thousands of people clogging drive-thrus and arteries across the country, the media had a chance to put the whole controversy over Dan Cathy's comments supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit" through an especially maddening spin cycle.
First, we go to Bill O'Reilly, who quickly found someone to come on his show last night and get yelled at. O'Reilly's point here (as much as O'Reilly can ever be said to have a point), is that the mayors of Chicago, Boston and San Francisco are overstepping their bounds by declaring Chick-Fil-A unwelcome in their cities. While most folks would recognize this as a somewhat hollow and morally sound stance for a couple of upwardly mobile politicians to take, for Mr. O'Reilly this is akin to having Joe Stalin or Mao Tse Tung as your mayor:
"Fascism" might be a strong word for Mayor Lee's declaration that Chick-Fil-A is unwelcome in San Francisco, especially since it's nothing more than that: an ornamental declaration (made on twitter, no less) in the face of a legislated ban on equal rights for same-sex couples. But "fascism" is actually a real word that can be found in real dictionaries. Unlike "Christophobia", which is a totally made up thing Gospel Coalition columnist Trevin Wax just came up with to describe the "anti-Christian sentiment" one gives off when one chooses not to eat a particular chain's self-righteous chicken sandwich. (Seriously with those pickles.)
Meanwhile, deep in the belly of the Chick-Fil-A's Bible Belt: one closeted lesbian employee of the chain, writing anonymously for The Daily Beast, spoke out about the confounding experience of the boycotts and the sudden surge of conservative support. On Monday, when her restaurant was slow, she was against a Chick-Fil-A boycott. After all, the chain hires LGBT workers too and, according to her, no one has ever been fired for coming out. A boycott, on the other hand, leads to fewer shifts and shrinking paychecks for all employees — including those LGBT workers who need to eat.
After working through yesterday's overwhelming display of "family values," however, she says her mind was changed:
Customers sang 'God Bless America' in the dining room. They vocalized their support for 'family values' in a way that made me want to vomit. We had two protestors outside, and I took five minutes to run out, hug them, and tell them: if I weren’t working here now, I’d be out here with you.
But what really got to her was not the customers in the front of the house who went through the entire supply of chicken nuggets. (Although she does mention she did her best to "make the salads and wraps extra-gay," which: wonderful.) Rather, it was the attitudes of her self-righteous Chick-Fil-A co-workers that got to her [emphasis ours]:
No one really stopped talking about the reasons why today was as busy as it was. The people I work alongside kept going on and on about how powerful it was to be part of such a righteous movement, and how encouraged they were to know that there were so many people who agree with Dan Cathy. They went on at great length about how it was wrong not just for gays to marry, but to exist. One kid, age 19, said 'I hope the gays go hungry.'
Finally, leaving politics and rhetoric aside, one proponent of organic foods (which: grain of fine, natural sea salt here) thinks he might have found an explanation for the behavior of those diners. Chick-Fil-A's recipe, as one might expect from any fast food chain, contains a fair amount of MSG. That oh-so-delicious flavoring agent, notes Natural News' Mike Adams, has been known to promote neurological damage and "you seriously have to wonder if some people who eat at Chick-fil-A on a regular basis are, technically, suffering the brain-damaging effects of regular MSG consumption."
Previously: All Chick-Fil-A coverage on SFist