So by now, you all know the story: The president of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, says that he’s against gay people and for “the biblical definition of the family unit.” I didn’t plan to write anything about this, because one, I’ve been quietly not eating at Chick-Fil-A for years, partly because they use a good portion of their profits to support causes with which I fiercely disagree, and partly because they put pickles on their sandwiches and I’m pretty sure that if you order one without pickles, they just take the pickles off one that’s already made and you can still taste the pickle juice and anyone who thinks pickles and chicken belong together is just not right. And two, because what he means is he believes in HIS interpretation of the biblical definition of marriage, and I mean, come on, he’s the president of Chick-Fil-A so who the fuck cares?
But. Sigh. Yeah. I don’t care what the president of Chick-Fil-A thinks. He’s just a bigot who sells crappy pickle sandwiches. What started bugging me was that with this new spate of homo on bible-thumper quasi-violence (a battle fiercely waged on Facebook via clever eCards and forwarded status updates replete with poor grammar and LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS CUZ THESE PPL R SERIOUS ABOUT THERE BELIEFS LOL!!!) I started hearing a lot of professed Christians crying persecution all over the internet.*
At first I just shook my head. Then I sighed. ‘Round about the fifteenth time I saw it, I actually said out loud, “Seriously, people, you’re being persecuted?”
FYI, people: persecute: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of beliefs.
Let’s look at the facts here, okay?
1: You want to deny someone else’s civil rights based on your own religious belief.
Okay yeah, that’s pretty much the only pertinent fact here. YOU’RE NOT THE ONE BEING PERSECUTED. If a bunch of gay people were saying you couldn’t visit your straight spouse in the hospital because they read a book that someone told them contains the words of their savior stating that straight people being married was wrong, then you could say you were being persecuted. If a bunch of people were screaming at you that your love is disgusting and evil and that because of it, you’re destined to go to the “hell” that they believe in, then you could say you were being persecuted. If someone was saying you weren’t qualified to be a parent because of the way you make love with your consenting adult partner within your committed, monogamous relationship, THEN you could say you were being persecuted.
If you are doing all of those things to someone else, and doing those things in the name of your religion, then if someone tells you it’s not nice and to cut it out and quit being a dick, you’re not being persecuted. You’re being called out for being a bigot, and if you are attempting to hide that bigotry under the cloak of religion, you cannot cry persecution when the people you’re persecuting attack the religion on which you are ostensibly basing your hate and unfair judgment. YOU brought your religion to the fight and threw it at the people you’re attacking. Don’t get pissed when they throw it back.
Nobody is saying, “Let only gay couples marry.” Nobody wants to take anything away from straight people and give it to gay people. Nobody’s asking you to share your toys, okay? You don’t lose the right to be who you are by giving that right to someone else.
I don’t make you leave the pickles off your sandwich because I don’t want them on mine. All I ask is that you extend that same kindness to others, and if you can’t do that, at least quit pretending to be the victim in the situation. Own your prejudice.
*I don’t think any of my friends said this.