Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A’s thousands of fans are joining with “Duck Dynasty” die-hards today for National Chick-Phil-A Day to pay tribute to one of their favorite spokespersons — Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the TV reality show clan who was briefly suspended from the show by A&E after his crude and rude comments about gay people and black people were printed in GQ magazine last month.

Yes, today is National Chick-Phil-A Day with its own Facebook page and nearly 40,000 “likes” that encourages people to “Stand for free speech. Sit for good food.” Basically, the grassroots movement not affiliated with either Chick-fil-A or “Duck Dynasty,” wants supporters of both to eat at the fast-food chain to show support for, honestly, jerks. And that’s being kind.

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Hmmm. But not sure why Evander Holyfield of Atlanta isn’t included in this national day of honor.

And the anti-gay “Duck Commanders” are starting early.

Here’s one post to the Facebook page today from a David Bailey: “See you there! Remember, this is to raise awareness of the rights of Christians to share their beliefs without fear of retaliation from employers. The trolls will try to convince you that you’re inaccurately protesting some government freedom of speech issue, but we know that’s baloney. Ask yourself this question- if some prominent GLBTX stood up and said “I think Christianity is wrong. I just don’t understand the Jesus thing.” Would they be in fear of losing their job? That’s what happened to Phil when he said that he believed homosexuality was wrong.”

And an example of some of the tweets:

supporting freedom of religious speech tomorrow #chickphila

— Matthew DiPaula (@MattDiPaula) January 21, 2014

Oy, vey.

The Facebook page supporting Robertson, a self-professed Bible-thumper, and Chick-fil-A, whose president is outspoken against gay marriage (and whose fast-food chain was kicked off Emory’s campus because of the discrimination), was created shortly before Christmas, when Robertson’s controversial interview with GQ  lit the internet on fire and included these doozies from the man who became rich, very rich, by making duck calls:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

And this on growing up in the pre-civil rights movement in Louisiana:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

And this about what is sinful behavior:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

The Blaze, an online website that is the “exclusive home of The Glenn Beck Program” talked to the founder of the Facebook page as well as other websites to show support of Robertson.

The guy’s name is Eric Odom and he is a strong supporter of both Robertson and Chick-fil-A. From The Blaze:

[Odum] compared the Robertson controversy to what happened to Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy after he commented on gay marriage in 2012.

“I see them [the comments made by Robertson and Cathy] as similar, not discriminating. They are just expressing their opinions” said Odom. He recalled the huge outpouring of public support for Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1 of 2012 when thousands of people visited Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country.

In Atlanta, LGBT activists countered the pro-Chick-fil-A supporters with kiss-ins at local restaurants, although the numbers were much smaller than those who turned out to support Cathy and his restaurant.

I’m now sure how we can express to these kinds of people that yes, their idols and favorite restaurant owners are expressing their own opinions, but these opinions are indeed discriminatory, and really, in today’s society, just plain backward.

It might be easier if we ignore these yahoos, but the truth is they will not go away. So we have to answer them. There are plenty of gay-owned and LGBT friendly restaurants in metro Atlanta. Today is probably a good day to eat at one of them. Actually, here’s a good LGBT-friendly event to grab a bite and help a good cause — Dine-OUT for FSHD Muscular Dystrophy at Yeah Burger. 

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