It was a defensive strategy, a collaborative act of popular protective custody.
Yesterday in my hometown, Boone, North Carolina, hundreds, possibly thousands of people ate chicken at Chick Fil-A.
We gathered and ate there in defense of:
~Dan Cathy's constitutional right to exercise freedom of speech by expressing his opinions
~Marriage, a sacred right and institutional rite acknowledged since the dawn of civilization as a union between one man and one woman.
~Children, lots of children, and their privilege to receive moral instruction from their own God-given parents
~The reasonable privilege of a private company to prosper by marketing a popular product in a free country
~The constitutional right of the people to peaceably assemble.
And peaceable it was. I noticed this while enjoying lunch there yesterday, August 1, 2012.
The gregarious crowd reminded me a herd of cows-- contented, spotted cows. Moving patiently in long lines, we spoke amicably. I think I even heard a moo or two. We waited with hungry expectation and shared tasty food. A jovial ambiance of procreative celebration prevailed in the order lines, the packed dining room, the crowded parking lot and drive-through outside, and the half-mile or so of stopped traffic on the highway. The place was about the same later in the day when Pat and had dinner there after work, but without the stacked traffic.
This collective mood was quite different than I had experienced at Occupy Seattle and Occupy Vancouver last fall. The Occupiers, as an identifiable group, are not like cows at all; they are more like hawks, with an edgy, confrontational air about them that demands social justice, and yearns for enforced equality.
My belief is that it takes both kinds to occupy and sustain a healthy, free nation. To each his own, as the sage hath said. And to each identity group their own way of expressing what they believe to be necessary and true, as long as they are peaceably assembled.
I suppose the ambient difference between these two movements is like the difference between being well-fed and happy, or forever carrying (as Shakespeare's Cassius) the lean and hungry look, which pleads for enforced equality and demands social justice.
Now for the Chick Fil-A set, the statement is: let us marry, have children, and eat chicken joyously.
And let the LGBTQs have their civil unions.
Don't mess with marriage. That's the message.