I have never eaten at a Chick-fil-A, and likely never will – even without the negative influence of its owner – not because of the vitriol, but because of the oil and grease and other dangerous fats. My arteries harden at the mere thought of it. While my heart goes out to the many employees of this corporation who must rely on a paycheck and do not necessarily agree with the judgment and views of the owner, frankly Mr. Cathy, I don’t give a damn.
However, since the controversy is now coming to Montana to roost (okay, who can resist a few chicken puns here), courtesy of the Montana Family Foundation, this old hen has got a few things to cluck about.
Jeff Laszloffy, President/CEO of the Montana Family Foundation said, “A majority of the citizens of Montana share the same conservative values as Dan Cathy and solidified them as the law in 2004 when Montana voted to amend its Constitution to define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman in this state.”
(Taken from: Chick-fil-A Brings Hate To Montana (For A Day) Filed By D Gregory Smith, Bilerico Project, September 04, 2012).
Even though Montana adopted a constitutional amendment eight years ago which defines the legal term, “marriage,” as between one man and one woman, a majority of Montanans (64%) now support “some form of legal recognition for gay couples- either gay marriage or civil unions.” (May 2012 Public Policy Polling: “Schweitzers Future.”) At the risk of proving my guilt of the same judgements and intolerance against which I rail, me thinks the Christian Right is yet again demonstrating an oxymoron – it is neither.
The facts simply do not bear out the claim that a majority of Montanans share the same values as the Chick-fil-A owner, Dan Cathy. And that has in fact been my experience. Montanans traditionally are a pragmatic lot, and would much sooner judge a person by what they accomplish while the sun still shines, rather than who they go home to once it has set. Hence the popular phrase, “daylights-a-burnin!” In my experience, who you love, is not nearly as significant to others as what you do, what you “pack into the stream of life,” as I have learned from one great book.
A friend of mine, Greg Smith, a master blogger (“From Eternity to Hear” http://dgsmith.org/) and regular contributor to Bilerico wrote on Tuesday: “This Christian ‘smacking of the gays’ is not cool, it’s not Christian, and we’re not going to take it – even in out of the way places like Montana.” As a Vatican trained, former Catholic priest, Greg speaks with some authority.
So, what are we going to do? Are we going to get a megaphone and scream vitriolic epithets? Are we going to hurl angry insults in equal measure to our castigation? Are we going to wildly gesticulate as we express our fear and victimization? Nope.
We are going to talk about family values, like love and fairness. (Let me see, who else talked about such things). We are going to live, love and laugh. We are going to frolic with food, families and fun. Come join us. Your stomach and heart will love you for it.
Fairness For ALL Families- Full Details! by D Gregory Smith
Details for a counter celebration to counter The Montana Family Foundation’s Chick-fil-A discrimination fundraiser:
When: Saturday September 8 from 1:00pm until 3:00pm
Where: 4342 Montana Sapphire Ln. (Just past Shiloh on King Ave W – across the lot from Manny’s Sports Bar)
Fairness for ALL families is important in Montana. If you would like to show your support for equality and fair treatment for ALL Montana families and declare that LOVE is the most traditional family value, please join us in Billings for an Fairness Rally on Saturday, September 8.
Schedule of events:
1:00 pm: Sign making and Photos
1:30 pm: Rally
2:00 pm: Family fun, food and fairness for all! Kite making, face painting, hula hooping, arts and crafts, music and more!
Pita Pit of Billings will be selling “Equality Chicken Pita” – a fresh, healthy alternative to fried chicken provided by a Montana owned business who will donate 75% of the proceeds to LGBT work in the state. This is a collaborative celebration of ALL families by the ACLU of Montana, Fair is Fair Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, Pride Foundation, and TAP 365. We have generous donations (so far) by Pita Pit of Billings, Signed Sealed and Delivered, and Schenk Construction.
If you cannot join us, please consider donating to the following organizations that work every day to support all families and protect them from discrimination:
You can sign a statement of support with Fair is Fair Montana at: http://www.fairisfairmontana.org/statement-of-support-for-fairness-...
or DONATE to our LGBT work at: https://www.aclu.org/secure/support-aclu-montana
Support TAP 365: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TAP-365/111582937230
You can donate to the Montana Human Rights Network’s Equality Project at: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=mthrn...
You can donate to the Pride Foundation at: https://www.pridefoundation.org/giving/give-online/
You can donate to Not In Our Town Billings at: http://www.niotbillings.org/donatetoniot.htm