Setting Cheerios On Fire Outside General Mills Office Is Maybe Not The Best Way To Voice Opinion On Same-Sex Marriage

Whatever your opinion on same-sex marriage (and the companies whose executives may oppose or support it), you certainly have the right to express your beliefs. However, we are pretty sure that only bad things can happen if your protest involves an attempt to ignite a bowl of Cheerios in public.

“One out of every eight boxes of cereal in this country is Cheerios,” says a man standing outside a General Mills office with a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in one hand and a torch in the other. “This is really the treat now for the homosexuals. And this is our protest of General Mills advocating same-sex marriages.”

The man then attempts to light the cereal on fire, and not with much success.

Not that the cereal doesn’t eventually go up in flames, but so does the plastic bag inside the box. That flaming bag then falls to the grass and lots of stomping ensues.

Much like the Arizona man on the opposite side of this debate — who lost his job after he posted a video of himself harassing a Chick fil-A drive-thru worker over the beliefs of that company’s president — we’re at a loss to figure out what the cereal flamer had hoped to achieve, other than becoming the butt of Internet jokes.

[via Buzzfeed]


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  1. who? says:

    Damn. Now they’re going to have to put warning labels on cereal boxes. “Contents may be flammable. Keep away from open flame.”

  2. Coffee says:

    I wholeheartedly encourage people who are against gay marriage to keep on fighting the good fight, but only if they all promise to almost set themselves on fire and post the results online. Flaming, indeed.

  3. Marlin says:

    Theres a right way and wrong way.

    Screaming at a low level employee that has nothing to do with it is just as wrong as setting the lawn of the company you hate on fire.

    Not buying their product and telling others not to is the correct way.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      How about just pulling your head out of your ass not not being a hateful, bigoted moron?

      • AcctbyDay says:

        He was calm, advocated minding your own business and being respectful of others opinion. Who is being hateful and bigoted here? Also, he did not state an opinion of his own, only how he felt would be the proper way to express an opinion. Jump to conclusions much?

      • Chuft-Captain says:

        We’re sorry, the logic you have appealed to is not available. Please check your audience, and try your appeal again later.

      • Jawaka says:

        Just because one doesn’t support same sex marriage doesn’t mean that the person HATES anyone. This is a term that the same sex backers use often to sensationalize the issue.

        • PunditGuy says:

          Sure. And people who didn’t (and don’t) support interracial marriages aren’t racist, either. Such a notion.

        • Coffee says:

          I think this is something that’s difficult for liberals to wrap their minds around. My girlfriend comes from a conservative christian background, and her family is, for the most part, against same-sex marriage. But they don’t see themselves as anti-gay, but rather “pro-marriage”. In their minds, there is nothing hateful about wanting to preserve the integrity of what they see as a christian institution.

          I understand the sentiment, but I still strenuously disagree with it, as I don’t feel that: 1) Marriage is a christian invention, so their attempts to “safeguard and preserve its sanctity” is ill-founded because it’s not their to protect and 2) because the “pro-marriage” values are christian ones, making it illegal for gays to marry violates the separation of church and state.

          • PunditGuy says:

            Where’s the marriage amendment to keep adulterers from getting married? As soon as Christians stop picking and choosing the sins they want to be upset about, I’ll believe that this isn’t hate.

            • Coffee says:

              I’m not trying to debate the merits of the argument, as I personally do not agree with it. Cherry picking which parts of the biblical morality you want to legislate has always seemed, to me, self-serving and hypocritical. I just wanted to point out that in some ways, liberals create a false dichotomy when they say “Either you support same-sex marriage or you hate gays.”

              • PunditGuy says:

                I wasn’t accusing you of advocating the position. I get what they say, but from their actions it’s plainly obvious that they’re lying to us and only possibly lying to themselves. Doesn’t seem like an obviously false dichotomy at all.

              • Golfer Bob says:

                OK. So you don’t hate gay people, but you just don’t want them to have the same civil rights as everyone else. Let’s run with that and help us understand you. Please list your reasons other than your biblical / religious ones.

                • Golfer Bob says:

                  Just read your comment above, I see your position clarified. However, I would still like to the see the rational justification from the pro marriage side that isn’t biblical or religiously based.

                • Jawaka says:

                  I’m completely fine with giving them the exact same benefits as married couples (benefits, insurance, etc…) just don’t call it marriage. Marriage always has been defined as an institution between a man and a woman.

                  People seem to like to put down religious ideals but the idea of marriage itself is a religious ideal. Its like saying that you want to have a Bar Mitzvah but you don’t want to be Jewish.

                  • PunditGuy says:

                    There is no religious requirement to get married in this country. You can stand in front of a justice of the peace, sign some forms, and it’s done.

                    100 years ago, there were pockets of the country in which Catholics and protestants weren’t allowed to marry each other. 50 years ago, there were pockets of the country in which people of different races weren’t allowed to marry each other. Don’t talk to me about what it’s “always” been.

                  • Golfer Bob says:

                    Them. >_<

          • Kuri says:

            Plus, well, I imagine Kim’s 72 hours marriage does more damage than two dudes hooking up

            Plus, saying you’re not anti gay but for traditional marriage is like saying “Well I’m not against black, just for separate schools”

          • Costner says:

            But here is the rub… the same people up in arms over the “sanctity of marriage” don’t seem to be fighting to get divorce outlawed, nor are they protesting to prevent people from marrying their third, fourth, or fifth spouse. They are also not protesting against people from other religions being married, nor are they protesting against people of other races being married (at least not anymore).

            So if you boil it down – it really isn’t about marriage, and it really isn’t about religion… it is about “the gays”. They can wrap it in pretty paper and glue a bow to the top, but it is still nothing more than bigotry. Now grant you I believe some people have followed this line of thinking for so long that they may fail to grasp the bigotry blended within it, but it is still bigotry is it not?

            The thing is – gay marriage has never been about wanting a specific religion or a specific church to honor their marriages… it is about the state (ie the government) to honor them. Thus a religious argument has no bearing on the entire debate, and should be excluded.

            Plus, and I know this is a tired cliche, but I’ve yet to hear from any anti-gay marriage groups on how exactly two gay people being married somewhat harms non-gay marriages? Tom Cruise being divorced for the third time doesn’t really impact Mr. and Mrs. Christian down the street, so why would the marriage of Bob and Mike have any different impact?

            Plainly – those protesting against gay marriage will eventually find themselves on the wrong side of history just as those who protested against interracial marriage. I should probably pity these people for how history will judge them… but I just can’t grasp how someone can be so disconnected with basic logic.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          It’s a declaration that you’re worth less, somehow, as a human and therefore not valuable enough to be granted the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

          Which is a hateful thing to do. But, there you have the very foundation of religion to start with, so…

        • Golfer Bob says:

          Right. Because arson has always been known to be such a warm, and loving protest tool.

          • Kate Blue says:

            True, the boy is outing you all. He obviously is so incensed at idea of loving gay people that he’s burning things.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          You keep telling yourself that. In 20 years you can look back and either be appropriately ashamed of yourself or that old, drunk uncle at family functions who won’t shut the hell up about how the gays have ruined everything and that’s why the country is so fucked up.

          I also object to your hackneyed term “same sex backers.” It’s “equal rights for everyone backers” thank you very much.

        • Kate Blue says:

          Sorry, if this was just about a religious rule, you would follow it yourself and that would be it. I’m sure you don’t try to legally force everyone to go to church on Sunday’s or to wear a Yarmulke.

          And ‘protecting traditional marriage’ makes absolutely no sense at all since gay marriage wouldn’t damage traditional marriages anymore than having trucks available to the public would damage cars – so the rest of us have two choices – either you all are mentally deranged, or more likely, you are simply homophobic and abusive to gay people.

          • Golfer Bob says:

            No rational basis exists that supports denying gay people the same civil rights as everyone else or says they are somehow inferior to other people. So yes, if you think otherwise, then you are either homophobic or bigoted or at the very lease closed minded. If you take it the level of violence and hatred, then you are deranged.

    • MarkFL says:

      Did anyone at General Mills even express an opinion on the matter?

      • Auron says:

        “We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy — and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it,” General Mills said Thursday, June 14.

  4. PragmaticGuy says:

    I’m sure General Mills will find this clown and bill him for the amount needed to replace the grass he burned. What a dope. Frankly, I hope NO ONE married this clown because I’d hate to know he raised kids. Although maybe it was them laughing.

  5. AtlantaCPA says:

    “This is really the treat now for the homosexuals.” What in tarnation does that mean?

    • Coffee says:

      I have no idea…I mean, they’re even shaped like little vaginas…I would think that homosexuals would prefer a cereal that doesn’t elicit Freudian nightmares about their mothers (which, as we all know, is what causes a person to become gay to begin with).

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        Maybe he’s thinking of the studies that put homosexuals at about 10% of the population. And since cheerios are one in 8 boxes of cereal it’s like a proxy for the homosexual in the cereal population? That’s why he wanted them flaming? I’m reaching here…

      • Chuft-Captain says:

        I’m not sure vaginas are the orifice I would link to the shape of a Cheerio…especially if we’re going to be discussing them in relation to homosexuals… :3

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        Does’nt look like any vagina I’ve ever seen.

    • jacobs cows says:

      I dont get the connection either.People have become lunatics for causes,which may not directly affect them.Verbally abusing people and vandalizing property is over the top.

      • Auron says:

        The connection is that General Mills has made a public statement that they are against the constitutional amendment vote on the ballot here this fall that would define marriage as one man and one woman, even though MN state law already says that.

        • MarkFL says:

          That info would have made the article a lot clearer, as well as Firestarter’s motives — whether one agrees with him or not.

    • nishioka says:

      Cheerios… where the O stands for OHHH MYYYY.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I’m confused. Honestly, I have no idea what General Mills supports, doesn’t support, etc. OK, I’m not socially conscience, I just buy cereal if I’m hungry for it. I also don’t care what my fellow human beings do, as long as they’re treating each other decently. I don’t care what color they are, what religion they practice or don’t practice, or if they’re gay, straight, bi, or whatever…it’s really none of my business. You could be a little green martian, and as long as you’re cool, I’m cool.

      OMG I just want a box of cereal. Now is this going to turn into some sort of daily soul wrenching struggle too?

    • Auron says:

      Because General Mills has made public statements that they do no support the constitutional amendment that is on the Nov ballot that would further cement MN law about marriage being only for heterosexuals.

    • Applekid says:

      Great, as a straight Hispanic man now I’m going to feel the same way eating and enjoying Cheerios as I do when I eat and enjoy watermelon.

      At least there’s no chance to take Arepas from me.

  6. eccsame says:

    It’s the unsinkable taste of Cheerios. Not a lot of sugar to weigh down those…Cheerios. Just look at them float, no keeping them down. No, he can’t, she can’t sink the unsinkable taste of Cheerios. Cheerios.

  7. bsh0544 says:

    That’s impressive flammability for a breakfast cereal. I may have to try this sometime.

  8. Shadowman615 says:

    So the “We” in this protest consisted of the flaming cereal guy and his two kids? That oughta show ’em!

    • crispyduck13 says:

      That is some delicious irony that the guy protesting gay marriage will forever have the adjective “flaming” attached to him.

  9. Auron says:

    I say kudos to General Mills. I submitted a story about their comments over a month ago, but apparently any stories that come from the Pioneer Press aren’t worthy to be posted here. General Mills is one of very few large companies to have come out and say that legally discriminating against 1 group of people isn’t right and is against their corporate atmosphere.

    • SirWired says:

      Such declarations of non-discrimination are more common than you’d think. Most of the Fortune 100 not run by cretins have such policies, and most provide benefits to domestic partners also.

      It’s simply good business sense not to discriminate against people for reasons which have nothing whatsoever to do with accomplishing whatever it is needs doing. Not hiring, say, a highly-skilled engineer for reasons not relevant to the performance of their duties just means the highly-skilled engineer will be earning profits for the competition instead. Business leaders with more than two brain cells to rub together realize that that’s a fast path to lost profits.

      • Auron says:

        But it’s very rare for the CEO of a company to make a public statement like that. Only 2 (GM and St. Judes) of the 21 Fortune 500 companies located here in MN have had their CEO make a public statement about their stance, even though most if not all are inclusive.

        The CEO of a wealth management company here has been working behind the scenes to urge other CEO’s of companies that are inclusive to make public statements about their stance.

      • suezahn says:

        Not to mention the loss in profit by instantly polarizing your customer base and effectively eliminating at least half of them. That’s just stupid business. It’s the sort of bone-headed “mistake” that PR firms are hired to AVOID or FIX.

  10. Kuri says:

    I wonder why those on that side of the debate are always willing to risk jail time over something that wouldn’t effect them much if at all to being with.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Irrational views beget irrational actions. And the more irrational the view, the more irrational the behavior.

      • eccsame says:

        Something you don’t agree with = irrational view?

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Depends. I don’t agree with people who still think the world is flat, which is an irrational view. I also don’t agree with people who think the term and action of “marriage” is somehow trademarked by Christianity, which is an irrational view.

          Views are views, no one will really care until you throw your hat into the ring of people trying to control other (harmless) people based on opinion.

          • eccsame says:

            outside of a few straw men, are there people who think the world is flat? While I don’t personally agree with the guy, I don’t think I can call a viewpoint that is backed by the majority of the religious world as irrational. Misguided, perhaps, old-fashioned, definitely – but we have a long tradition of setting things on fire as a form of protest in this country flags, effigies of presidents, effigies of kings, bowls of cold cereal. I don’t see this as any more irrational than burning the flag.

        • Kuri says:

          No, it gets irrational when a guy does something like in the article, or threatens violence.

        • MarkFL says:

          Having thought on it a bit more, setting fire to a bowl of cereal seems a bit irrational considering that he would have had an easier time, and communicated his point more clearly, if he had tried burning the BOX of cereal.

    • MarkFL says:

      They have this fear that if same-sex marriages are allowed, this will somehow lead to people marrying turtles or ice cream. (I didn’t pick those examples at random; they were actually used by a gay-marriage opponent.)

      I guess this makes sense — provided you have turtles or ice cream that has somehow developed the mental and emotional capability to give informed consent and enter into a legally binding contract. Personally, if turtles or ice cream acquire that ability, having them get married is not what I would be most worried about.

      GAMERA LIVES!!!!!!

      • HalOfBorg says:

        They’re worried more about the next group who want to get recognized and legalized. What happens when the pedophiles get organized and start demanding their rights as another sexual orientation?

        Anyone who argues against it will be branded as a bigot and a hater – just like happens now.

        • Kuri says:

          Except no one agrees with pedophilia, and it’s ACTUALLY illegal

        • SlowRider says:

          Pedophilia, like beastiality, involves non-consensual parties. So it is not on the table. What we are talking about are consensual adult humans who want the ability to have their love documented and validated in the same fashion as straight people. I am a straight person who agrees with this sentiment and I support them 100% in this endeavor.

        • Golfer Bob says:

          Restricting pedophiles will require restricting heterosexuals since this is the demographic responsible for those crimes.

          • CheritaChen says:

            Come on now! Facts, rational thought and logic have no place in this discussion.

            Shame on you for trying to get in the way of good old-fashioned bigoted fun.

        • MarkFL says:

          First, those opposed to gay marriage tend to cite the examples I gave rather than pedophiles. You, sir, make a more valid point than they do.

          However, my point still applies. Children are not considered capable of giving informed consent or entering into a legally binding agreement, therefore they can no more get married than a turtle or ice cream. (Well, maybe in Georgia.) Or, for that matter have sex with an adult human — just as sexual relations between a man and a turtle would bring a charge of bestiality in most states. One is presumably free to have sex with ice cream, but this doesn’t cause any real harm to the ice cream, other than to render it extremely unappetizing.

  11. BorkBorkBork says:


  12. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    Anyone else notice the striking resemblance to Cam from Modern Family?

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Yep, the goatee is his disguise. Which kind of is funny since it makes him seem like he’s trying to have a “beard.”

  13. Pete the Geek says:

    Well good on General Mills and thanks to the flamer guy for letting me know that the company leadership shares my liberal values.

  14. Jenny8675309 says:

    So I take it this protestor isn’t coming to Massachusetts any time soon…

  15. cthulhu says:

    “One out of every eight boxes of cereal in this country is Cheerios,” says a man standing outside a General Mills office with a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in one hand and a torch in the other.”

    best sentence ever.

  16. MTinVT says:

    Someone needs some latent sexual therapy.

  17. Jane_Gage says:

    Moar like a flame retard, amIrite?

  18. Golfer Bob says:
  19. Rob says:

    Sadly, marriage, as defined by the bible, was the transfer of ownership of a woman from her parents to the husband. They want to preserve that?

  20. mrbucket says:

    He obviously missed the episode of Mr.Wizard which explained clearly that if you want cereal to burn, you need to dust it with powdered oxygen and then squirt water at it.

  21. PunditGuy says:

    Wikipedia, on the U.S. definition of domestic terrorism. Enjoy Guantanamo, Christian terrorist.

    Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: “(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”[3]

  22. Press1forDialTone says:

    Observations following LMAO:

    1) He is doing this on General Mills property and they should charge him with trespass.
    2) Trespass while expressing 1st Amendment rights wasn’t okay last time I looked.
    3) Female camera person(?) laughing after he (paraphrase) “Guys get outta here”
    Now what could she be laughing at?
    4) It truly looked like God was going to set this moron on fire when it flared onto his
    left leg.
    5) Let me show you the lovely closets in the bedroom….errr sir what are you doing
    in there with that enormous pink shirt on!

  23. Golfer Bob says:

    Just now seeing blog posts that he’s been fired…

  24. kobresia says:

    I see how this works. It’s apparently shameful for executives in a corporation to espouse their views when they disagree with you, and you should set their corporate lawn on fire (I suspect the problem was not so much in the cereal burning, as the plastic bag melting as it burned, spreading fire everywhere). However, if you do like their views but other people disagree & wish to boycott, those people are evil sinners who are discriminating against the company and Christianity as a whole on the basis of the executive’s personal views.

    I love how inept many conservatives are when it comes to protests. This story was almost as entertaining as the would-be book-burners at some midwest church, who couldn’t get a burn permit to torch Harry Potter books, so they cut the books up with scissors.

    Nevermind that it makes no sense to patronize a business by buying their product, and then destroying it. But I think it would be great for god-fearing, homosexual-hatin’ Christian in the country to buy a box of Cheerios in order to torch it. That would definitely teach General Mills a lesson. Heck, those folks should buy _ALL_ of the products they can lay their hands on from companies whose executives support equality so they can destroy them.