Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mor Chikin Trouble: Are gay protesters above criticism?

What is this? Fast food week on this blog? I'm trying to figure out a way to round out the week with controversial comments on Wendy's, MacDonald's, and maybe Arby's. Surely they've all done something wicked in the eyes of the PC Patrol.

In any case, there's quite a rollicking discussion in the comments sections of my post on the gay rights boycott of Chick-fil-A. Many of the commenters criticize my criticism of these efforts.

Of course, one wonders why, if they think I shouldn't criticize these criticisms, they feel as if they should be able to criticize my criticism of these criticisms. All of which puts me in the curious position of having to criticize the criticisms of my criticisms of their criticisms.

Such is the fate of a blogger devoted to defending the obvious.

Now I have combed the comments section of this post and plucked out several arguments that make absolutely no sense to me.

Several of the commenters have squawked that I should have nothing to say about these protests. I still have not figured out the exact argument. One commenter argues that unless there is some kind of physical violence, then people who disagree with the people who disagree with Chick-fil-A should remain mum.

If it's okay for them to criticize Chick-fil-A, then why do the get their hackles up when I criticize them?

One commenter seems to think that unless the protesters have "firebombed" a Chick-fil-A store or "physically threatened" Chick-fil-A employees, that they should be able to engage in their protest without any protest from me.

If actual physical violence is the only thing I'm allowed to criticize, then why isn't it the only thing the protesters are allowed to criticize? As far as I know, no one is even charging that Chick-fil-A physically assaulted anybody.

In fact, why is this commenter criticizing me? Did I do him any physical harm?

I would say that the double standard here is astounding, but I have seen it so many times that it no longer sticks in my gizzard.

If you want to say that it is somehow illegitimate to criticize gay rights protesters, fine. Then don't criticize the people who criticize them.


KyCobb said...


I'll post here part of what I posted below:

We should all be free to criticize each other. A person who values diversity is not being hypocritical for criticizing those who oppose diversity. In this case, the diversity that is valued is sexual orientation, the right of all people, gay or straight, to live their lives as they see fit without persecution or harassment. Rhetoric that suggests that homosexuals are bad people threatens that value, thus it is not hypocritical to criticize such rhetoric. So perhaps comparing them to fascists for criticizing Osteen isn't the best way to engage them.

Tualha said...

Wow, I think you inspired a Jesus and Mo cartoon :)


Steve Billingsley said...

Here is my position. I am politically and theologically conservative. For years, the Left has taken great delight in comparing conservatives to Nazis, Fascists, Brown Shirts, etc. (If you want chapter and verse, I can give that to you but if you don't already know that then I wonder what world you have been living in for the past 30+ years). And I think that the political philosophy of the Left has much, much more in common with Fascism than anything on the Right (again, I am talking about as a philosophy, and again if you don't already understand that then you are willfully ignoring much of the history of politics of the first 40 years of the 20th century).

But the solution to me is not to start calling political, cultural and theological opponents the same kinds of names.

Do I agree with the point of view of the people protesting Chick-Fil-A? No, not at all. But calling them Brown Shirts or the like isn't helpful.

Pointing out hypocrisy can easily be done without rhetorical bomb throwing.

There's my two cents, for what it's worth.

Martin Cothran said...


I did not say "Brown Shirts"; I said "Brown Shorts". The Brown Shorts were characters in P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster novels who, headed by the blustering Roderick Spode, were comical characters with grandiose pretensions to power but who ultimately were a greater danger to themselves than others.

Although I think I will follow your and Singring's advice and retire the term "Health Nazis," a term coined by another humorist, P.J. O'Roarke. Sometimes you intend obvious hyperbole but some people just don't get it.

But I'm keeping "Brown Shorts."

Steve Billingsley said...

Brown Shorts...

Perhaps I need to get my eyes checked.

Thanks for the clarification, Martin.