Sarah Palin Visits Chick-Fil-A in The Woodlands, Presumably to Hate On the Gays

Categories: News

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Whether or not you agree with her politics, you have to agree that Sarah Palin has the bougie housewife look down pat.
Mike Huckabee did it. Rick Santorum did it (I don't mean having his last name irreversibly associated with a rather disgusting by-product of certain sexual acts). And now Sarah Palin has done it...in Texas.

All three politicians have recently gone out of their way to promote Chick-Fil-A, in what some news organizations have called a not-so-subtle move to speak out against gay rights without actually saying anything.

"These are gentle jabs of hatred, ways of being completely cowardly about offensiveness," writes Rich Juzwiak at Gawker. "Palin's pictures are perfect relics of the modern bigot: the kind of person who bristles at being called a bigot while spouting bigotry, who expresses her shame alongside the outward expression of shamelessness because she knows, deep down, that subjugation of human life is fucked up."

Palin documented her recent visit to a Chick-Fil-A in The Woodlands with the Tweet: "Stopped by Chick-fil-A in The Woodlands to support a great business." The status update linked to her Facebook page, where it was accompanied by a picture of Palin and her husband, Todd. It received more than 2,000 re-Tweets.

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Dan Cathy, pictured, is the current COO of Chick-Fil-A. His father, S. Truett Cathy, founded Chick-Fil-A. He also once gave me a stuffed cow and seemed like a pretty nice guy.
But the update also received replies such as: "You check for gays first?" and "You get extra homophobe sauce on your sandwich?" These were some of the more innocuous replies, as most people -- like Gawker -- saw the visit and the Tweet as needless jabs against gay people and responded in kind. Palin has indicated in the past that she believes gay folks "choose" to be gay -- which is not a choice she has made for herself, she was quick to point out in an interview with Katie Couric. (Lesbians across America undoubtedly breathed a collective sigh of relief at Palin's "decision.")

This latest show of support for Chick-Fil-A comes a couple of weeks after the fast-food chicken chain came under a barrage of fire when COO Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that he supported "the biblical definition of the family unit," as opposed to same-sex unions or marriage rights. This statement led people to decry Chick-Fil-A as being anti-gay, although individual franchise operators have been quick to distance themselves from Cathy's own personal statement on the issue.

Whether Cathy's personal sentiment on gay rights is reflective of the chain's views as a whole, the entire fast-food chain has become a polarizing topic and a synonym for homophobia since Cathy's interview with the Baptist Press. Less than ten days after Cathy's interview went nationwide, Chick-Fil-A had already lost both a tremendous amount of public support as well as its head spokesman, Don Perry, who worked for the chain for 29 years and reportedly died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

For politicians like Palin, aligning themselves with a cause under the auspices of simply enjoying a restaurant's food is perhaps the most insipid way to campaign for or against a cause. And whether you're in Chick-Fil-A's camp or not, this transparent shilling is incredibly insulting to the restaurant, too -- although that's still primarily Cathy's fault for turning his father's business (and the businesses of hundreds of hardworking, independent franchise owners) into an inflammatory political stance in the course of one dumb interview.

No one can argue that these three politicians -- Huckabee, Santorum and Palin -- aren't firmly anti-gay rights; it's a position that the three of them have well established throughout their careers. So why be a smarmy jerk on top of being a bigot, posing for silly Twitpics at Chick-Fil-A -- especially a Chick-Fil-A in a strongly conservative enclave such as The Woodlands -- and pretending that announcing your visit on Twitter isn't a thinly veiled attack on gay rights? It's this passive-aggressive attitude which adds insult to injury, and which seems to be why everyone was so aggrieved by Palin's Tweet.

There's always the possibility, however, that Todd and Sarah are just enormous fans of waffle fries and carrot salad. But somehow I doubt it.



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51 comments
bodl
bodl

I stopped eating at Chick two years ago because of Cathy's views. I'm not gay, but know that his views are offensive. I am a dye-in-the-wool Republican that voted for Obama in 2008 because of the complete idiocy of having Palin as a running mate. My local Chick was very slow this week - I hope that Cathy realizes that his views are not mainstream (but that won't happen - zealots are zealots).

Patricia Goncalves Strohl-Hernandez
Patricia Goncalves Strohl-Hernandez

Scott, please stop with the tired free speech argument. Of course he is allowed to have and express his opinions. The problem I have (and a lot of people have) is that this company takes action on those opinions by donating (to date) $5 million of their profits to organizations with agendas I don't agree with...which is when I stop giving them my dollars!

DoBianchi
DoBianchi

"bougie housewife look down pat"... GREAT post Katharine... food is political... always! this is why I love this blog so much... great! 

paval
paval topcommenter

CFA COO Cathy's stand on gay marriage is in my opinion his right, if he speaks for himself or for his company, a company that is known to be conservative through and through and that was founded by his father. Even more so if he is speaking to a conservative media outlet such as the Baptist Press. it is to be seen if gay people are being harassed or discriminated against by the company, in which case anti-discriminatory laws would come into play. But as long as that does not happen, employees are free to work there or not.

I believe it is good that people like him express such opinions for two reasons:

- the polarization a statement like this causes, creates a discussion on this issue and in the years I live in Texas, I see that the public opinion is starting to turn towards more openness. But discussion led in a civil way is also a big part of a democratic culture, so as long as the discussion parties can somehow hold on to their manners, discussion is good

- mainstream opinions need opposing opinions because otherwise the world would be boring, and if there were not in history mainstream opposing opinions, there would have not been a Mozart, Columbus, von Stauffenberg, Einstein, Martin luther king, Schindler, to name a few.

 

What is deplorable, but expected, is the jump on the bandwagon by people like Palin, Huckabee and all the other flag bearers of a conservatism. In my opinion this kind of conservatism will soon subside, when even the last follower of these people will understand, that their political position consists only of empty phrases, contradiction between speech and action and positions that would not withstand two intelligent questions of real journalists. This country needs intelligent politicians, be they conservative or liberal and not such "profiteroles" filled with hot air and no substance, to solve problems much bigger, than a COO of a conservative company professing his stand on gay marriage.

 

Jesus_H_Christ-esq
Jesus_H_Christ-esq

People are born gay. Christianity is just a perverse lifestyle choice.

Chickens know this.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

There are FAR too many sections in The Houston Press that deal with politics, damnit.  Leave the Eating Our Words blog out of it.

mj1988
mj1988

Your Christian-phobic rantings are offensive to me.  Should I, and all my friends with similar viewpoints, bombard your employer with emails, telephone calls, and hand written letters demanding your dismissal for viewpoints that differ from ours and we consider offensive?  Grow up. You sounds like a spoiled brat.

Anse
Anse

I read a comment somewhere by a fella who declared that anybody who boycotted Chick-Fil-A is not a "real American". So the eating of chicken sandwiches has now become a signifier of one's patriotism.

 

Tell you what. When this member of the Executive Class decides to shut up about political issues and go back to making chicken sandwiches, then I'll shut up about his bigotry. 

Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert

She was defending free speech!! This idiot has the right to his opinion but where was he in 2008 to 2011 when obama opposed gay marriage???????

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

This is America, Katharine, home of the First Amendment.  Palin can like any company or viewpoint she likes.  Your outrage is outrageous in this instance.  Stick with what you do best.

Jeff_in_Seabrook
Jeff_in_Seabrook

Why post political stuff here?  All it does is piss off half your audience and cost you readers.  Get back to the stuff we all come here for:  I could care less what you think of Palin; tell me more about what you think are the top 5 Asian root vegetables.

TequePas
TequePas

Chik-Fil-A just isn't that good to be an asshole over.

Brandy Alexander
Brandy Alexander

"Presumably to hate on the guys"? That's ridiculous... Don't share slander on FB, talk about morally wrong...

BrittanieShey
BrittanieShey moderator

Duuuuude. She's totally had work done.

Melissa
Melissa

I think a lot of people are also supporting Chick-Fil-A in the sense that they are supporting the first amendment. I definitely do not agree with Cathy's views. I do, however, believe he has the right to voice his opinion in an interview. Chick-Fil-A is fairly transparent about their views. They are closed on Sunday, and have never hidden the fact that they are a "Christian" company (whatever that entails). I honestly think that because Cathy has not apologized, Chick-Fil-A will see an increase in sales. Not only do they have the support of the anti-Gay groups, but now there's this whole other group that are simply supporting his right to have an opinion.This is all just free advertising for them, and it's certainly not hurting. The more we all talk about it, the better their sales will be.

TimP
TimP

Let's face it, in another time and place these are the same people who would've been preening in front of Ollie's Barbecue.

Gayisachoice
Gayisachoice

LOL Haters.  Go watch the fkn kardatians 

Dipping_Sauce
Dipping_Sauce

Ms. Palin then proudly screamed, "It's trailer trash Thanksgiving up in this bitch!"

SirRon
SirRon

Maybe she was just trolling the liberal media :)

KING
KING

Palin is a moron, but this headline is still a bit of a reach.

Bubba
Bubba

Speaking of hatred, you seem to have an ample supply of it yourself. 

Matthew
Matthew

it's the hate that makes it taste so delicious. and msg.

Fiorello
Fiorello

 @jparzen Not sure I disagree, Jeremy, but for someone who writes endlessly about appreciating nuance, this statement seems a little too facile. Food is always political? Always? Have you thought this through?

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

So that is why the chickens are being summarily executed by Cathay...I'm beginning to get it.

Patrick225
Patrick225

@mj1988 I think you would be free to do that, if you wish.

Anse
Anse

 @mj1988 One dude expresses his political opinion. A bunch of other folks express their opinion of his opinion. Sounds like a winner for the 1st Amendment all around. Who needs to grow up? The people who think their opinion should be above criticism.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @mj1988 At no point did I ever say that anyone should have acted that way towards Chick-Fil-A. In fact, I think that boycotting the chain is pointless (as I pointed out below). And I'm a Christian. With church membership and errythang.

chef_tx
chef_tx

 @Anse did you feel the same way when Hollyweird folks spout theitrpolitical views, or when the Ditzi chicks decided to diss Pres. Bush? Or is this a newfound type of anti freedom of speech, since in comes from someone who disagrees with your views?

Patrick225
Patrick225

@Jalapeno So is your point that the First Amendment allows Ms. Palin to express her support for a company whose executives have taken a controversial postition, but Ms. Shilcutt should not comment on said public statement and stick to "what (she) does best"? T'would seem the same amendment would apply to both. That's perhaps the greatest thing about the First Amendment. It gives people the right to hold forth publicly with their opinions and simulataneously protects those who wish to point and laugh at those opinions. Deal with it. It's the other half of that glorious sword.

ChokeOnYourChicken
ChokeOnYourChicken

This is America, Jalapeno. The First Amendment, had you ever read it, simply states that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech." Clearly Congress has made no law prevent Sarah Palin from acting like a jerk, nor have they made any law preventing the rest of us from calling her on her disgusting behavior.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 @Jalapeno Anybody say she shouldn't be allowed to like any company or viewpoint she wants? And writers are allowed to comment on how it's fucking stupid. You understand?

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @Jeff_in_Seabrook I guess the point, for me at least, is that your choice of restaurant shouldn't define your politics and that it sucks that Dan Cathy and the people lining up on either side of the issue have made it that way.

 

I want to be able to eat at Chick-Fil-A as usual and get my damn breakfast chicken biscuits without it being a political stance one way or the other. Boycotting Chick-Fil-A -- for as dumb and misguided as I think Cathy's viewpoints are -- does no one any good. Not to mention the fact that there are dozens of other companies (Target, for example) which have the same stance on gay rights and aren't actively boycotted because it's not the trendy media topic du jour.

 

Boycotting Chick-Fil-A as empty and pointless a profession of politics as Sarah Palin Tweeting a picture of herself from Chick-Fil-A is.

stolifun
stolifun

@Melissa This has nothing to do with the first amendment.  

lefthandedisachoice
lefthandedisachoice

If you honestly feel like "gay is a choice," er... um... then I've got some news for ya that you're probably not going to want to hear, Mary...

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @Bubba Saying that I hate Sarah Palin is a huge stretch. I think she's silly and vacuous and a general embarrassment to both female politicians and Alaskans. But I certainly don't hate her.

atomiclauren
atomiclauren

 @Matthew Unfortunately true.  If I did eat Chick-Fil-Antigay sandwiches I'd get massive headaches afterward. 

DoBianchi
DoBianchi

 @Fiorello No matter how aware of it we are (or are not), all food is an expression of ideology, whether an extreme case like this or innocuous like someone describing panzanella as a "peasant dish." Food is personal and personal is political (you know the quote). :)

Houstess
Houstess

 @kshilcutt  Betcha if you asked your fellow congregants if they "hate" gays, narry a one would say yay and most all would welcome them into the church and their homes as easily as they do all other members.  Many of those same folks probably are opposed to gay marriage, however.  There's the faulty logic, that opponents of gay marriage (and I restrict that here to church marriage) "hate gays."

Houstess
Houstess

 @Patrick225  

 I do like that you said "T'would."  Does that help? :)  I care about what KS thinks about enchiladas.  I do not care about what she thinks about Sara Palin, Barak Obama, sister wives, gay people, global warming OR cooling, pants on the ground, the war on drugs, Reagan's legacy or socialism.  "Food Blog"

chef_tx
chef_tx

 @ChokeOnYourChicken Yeah, but also, there isnt any law against the rest of us commenting our feelings about your disgusting behavior

KHorn
KHorn

@kshilcutt @Bubba

Your reply says otherwise, as does this posting.  Cathay's comments were not national news, outside the LGBT activist community, until the idiot mayor of Boston and the idiot mayor and alderman in Chicago dicided the First Amendment doesn't apply in their towns.  So Palin's visit is equally plausible as support for Cathay's right to speak his mind.  You don't like it, don't buy his product, but you can't use the power of the state to coerce people's thoughts. 

fiorello
fiorello

 @DoBianchi little like saying all bike riding is political, as it stems from a particular ideology. in fact, what isn't political using this definition?

KHorn
KHorn

@kshilcutt @KHorn Shorter Shilcutt, I want to censor other people's speech so leave me be. Just because a majority wants it doesn't change the fact that when a government official says I won't let your business open here becuase of what the owner said it is a violation of the First Amendment. Where is there any evidence Chick Fil A has discriminated against anyone? Have they refused to hire or serve people because they're gay, no. So it really is just about Cathay's comments. It isn't any more complicated than that, your anguished whinging to the contrary not withstanding.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @KHorn  @kshilcutt I hear arguments like this a lot - the power of the state, for example, coercing peoples' thoughts - and what I see instead is something entirely different. I see an overwhelming majority of people who have previously been a silent majority finally starting to voice their opinions on an issue, which overwhelms the vocal majority who - because they're the vocal ones all the time - have always just considered themselves to represent everyone else's viewpoints on the matter.

 

Saying that we as a society shouldn't actively discriminate against human beings is in no way saying that you, as a fellow human being, are explicitly endorsing what you see as "their lifestyle." For example: I don't agree with the lifestyle of a family friend who has been married nine times and plans on getting married a 10th; to me, that's a repulsive way to live your life. But I'm not trying to actively interfere with the dude nor would I discriminate against him (except in the dating arena); his lifestyle is between him and the crazy ladies who keep wanting to shack up with him.

 

Instead, it just means that your fellow adult human beings are trying to live their adult human being lives without breaking any laws, and therefore shouldn't be subject to discrimination or legal complications. You disagreeing with whom they decide to live their life shouldn't infringe upon their right to live it. That's really all there is to it; it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.

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