Customers gather by the hundreds outside the Gilbert, Arizona, Chick-fil-A restaurant, Wednesday, August 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt York)
I’d never have guessed Christians have it so hard in America until yesterday, when two incidents reminded us of how put upon our nation’s worshipful majority is.
The first came when, at the behest of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, thousands upon thousands of people turned out for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. After Chick-fil-A’s COO said recently that same-sex marriage brings “God’s judgment on our nation,” the fast-food chain with deep roots in the South has become a target of ire for Americans who support gay unions. Some people, myself included, have said they intend to boycott Chick-fil-A, while politicians in Chicago and Boston say they want to block Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their cities.
In response to the Chick-fil-A backlash, Huckabee teamed up with other right-wing pundits like Glenn Beck to make August 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a day for conservatives around the country to show their admiration for a company that heralds Christian ideals. The ad hoc holiday worked, and many Chick-fil-A locations saw standing-room-only crowds.
“It’s extremely encouraging to see this massive push back and support from prominent political figures,” wrote conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. “But before and after today, many small businesses and lesser-known companies will be battling government officials and progressive shakedown artists because of their religious beliefs and principles. They deserve your support and attention, too.”
Echoing Malkin’s assertions that Christianity is under fire from the godless hordes is Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA). Yesterday, while conservatives were winning in Chick-fil-A drive-thrus everywhere, their fellow ideologues on the Hill were losing a protest against President Obama’s requirement that private insurers cover birth control. The contraceptive mandate went into effect Wednesday, and, in dissent, Kelly and some of his GOP colleagues held a press conference, where Kelly said the following:
I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.
Though the congressman’s words differ slightly in depth and tenor from Malkin’s, their ultimate points are the same: Christians in America are in a sort of wartime in which they are fighting for their religion and, if Kelly’s terrorist bombing analogies are to be believed, maybe even their lives.