July 11, 2008

Don Wildmon and the AFA: More Songs About Religion and Food

With the Crackertholic Crusade going on yesterday, I almost forgot about a second incident of a raving religious reichsfuhrer dictating dietary do's and don'ts. While Bill Donohue was fretting about the failure to swallow Jesus, Don Wildmon was spreading the word that McDonald's is eeeeeeeeevil. You guessed it, I've gotten another Dear Manmeat letter from Donny, and he is ever so righteously furious at McDonald's for failing to roll over and capitulate to his edicts.

Dear Manmeat,

Throwing out any pretense of being neutral in the culture war, McDonald's has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate.
I kind of see why Wildmon is upset here. McDonald's is putting far too much emphasis on hate. They've left out the fear and ignorance that Wildmon has worked so long and hard to cultivate. Shame on you, McDonald's. Give credit where credit is due.
AFA has asked for a boycott of McDonald's restaurants because of the company’s promotion of the gay agenda. AFA asked McDonald’s to remain neutral in the culture war. McDonald’s refused.
And McDonald's did the right thing by refusing to obey your nonsense. Oh, that horrible gay agenda... demanding equal protection and recognition under the law. The humanities! When will McDonald's adopt the Fundamentalist agenda and declare Don Wildmon the fearless leader he knows himself to be? They should name a hamburger after him.... you know, the Mississippi Meat Mound or something. Or better yet, they could team him up with Bill Donohue and make a hamburger with Jesus stamped on the bun. They could make it the only item on their menu not available for take-out orders and then beat anyone who tries to smuggle it out of the restaurant. And they could certify it "100% gay-free" and attach a cute little slogan to it. Something like "Put a Mississippi Meat Mound in your mouth and swallow... but it's not gay." I dunno, something like that. What am I, a marketing consultant?
In response to the boycott, McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman suggested to the Washington Post that those who oppose SSM are motivated by hate, saying "...hatred has no place in our culture." McDonald's has decided to adopt the "hate" theme used by gay activist groups for years.
Hey, maybe gay activists use the hate theme (why the quotes?) because you... you know... hate them? Just a guess here, but perhaps the videos the AFA sells about hordes of homosexuals raping and pillaging quaint little towns that never left the 1950's has something to do with it.
Whitman went on to say, "We stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment." Mr. Whitman has intentionally avoided addressing the reason for the boycott. This boycott is not about hiring gays or how gay employees are treated. It is about McDonald's choosing to put the full weight of their corporation behind promoting their agenda.
I think Whitman addressed the issue a lot better than that weasely bit of sleight-of-mind that this note attempts to foist off upon the hateful, fearful and ignorant. I didn't notice Whitman saying anything about employing gay people. He's talking about "a society free of discrimination and harassment," not "a restaurant free of discrimination and harassment." Whitman was being as honest as a PR person can be expected to be. Wildmon is simply attempting to twist the minds of his followers a little bit more than they were already twisted.
McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership and a seat on the group’s board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress in support of same-sex marriage.
$20,000 is the full weight of the corporation? This is McDonald's we're talking about; they could have easily given $20,000,000 if they wanted. That's pocket change to them. In fact, in the first quarter of 2008 alone McDonald's reported earnings in excess of $945,000,000, a sizable increase over the same period from the previous year (so much for the AFA's boycott). In light of this, $20,000 is hardly the "full weight" of the corporation! In fact, I don't think they're doing enough. They ought to give at least $1,000,000 to the NGLCC next time around. $20,000 barely even qualifies as a token gesture.
McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner said the company will promote issues they approve. "Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world...and we do."
Good for Jim Skinner. Let's see McDonald's do more next time. After all, their contribution to NGLCC represented 0.0002% of their profits. That means that the Quarter Pounder combo meal that I bought for dinner last night after receiving Wildmon's latest "Dear Manmeat" epistle, which cost $5.66, contributed about a hundredth of a penny to combating the fear, hatred and ignorance promulgated by organizations like the AFA. That hardly seems like much in consideration of eating such crummy food for a good cause. I'm not about to eat 100 spongy, flavorless Quarter Pounders to contribute a mere penny. I mean, I could just write a check directly to NGLCC, but then I don't get the pleasure of doing exactly the opposite of what some bunch of fundamentalist is trying to order people to do, and I don't get to take a picture like this:

The AFA can kiss my Quarter Pounder

I can't afford the $100 membership fee for the NGLCC and they don't appear to solicit small contributions of $5.00 at a time, so I guess I'll just have to choke down a bad burger every so often and take a photo to show my support for the outlandish notion that gay people deserve equal treatment under the law. Or I can preferentially patronize the numerous other companies that support them, including UPS, Capital One (hey Don Wildmon... what's in your closet?), Albertson's Supermarkets, Merck, Century 21, Johnson and Johnson, Continental Airlines, Burger King, IBM, American Express, Motorola (I already have a Motorola cell phone), American Airlines, Coors Brewing, Avis, OfficeMax, Xerox, Shaws (I already shop there), Cisco... well, the list just goes on and on.

In fact, looking at this list of companies that NGLCC counts among its corporate partners, I'd be willing to bet that at least a few of them contribute more than McDonald's does with its measly $20,000. I'd also bet that Wildmon and his Wild Bunch/AFA are contributing much more than I am to the NGLCC with my purchase of a Quarter Pounder. Good for you, AFA members!

Next time, I'm getting a Whopper.

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