As a general rule, I don’t post my opinions about fad issues. I consider fad issues as subjects that have a shortened news life: no longer than a week at most. If they last longer than a week, it’s because pundits and extremists force the topic long after the general public has forgotten it.
So I don’t bother forming opinions or even writing about fad issues because their relevancies don’t last long enough for me to care. Not to mention, they usually have no bearing on anything of immediate or even long-term importance.
But in the case of this whole Chick-Fil-A debacle — I just can’t. I can’t not write about this. It’s just pissing me off so much that I have to say something to relieve my frustration.
For those of you who don’t know, CEO of Chick-Fil-A Dan Cathy made some remarks about gay marriage. Cathy subscribes to the “traditional” views of marriage, and defines it as a holy union between one man and one woman. He went further.
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Cathy’s opinions aren’t news. He’s always presented himself and Chick-Fil-A as a Christian company. It’s also not news that he’s donated huge sums of money to political advocacy groups dedicated to lobbying politicians to fight for “traditional” marriage.
Regardless of the fact that none of this is any surprise to anyone, Cathy’s remarks sparked a huge public relations clusterfuck for his company. The gay community pretty much immediately started boycotting the restaurants, and other companies and even government officials joined in. Most notably, the Jim Henson Company decided to cut off business ties with Chick-Fil-A, and the mayors of Chicago and Boston condemned Cathy for his remarks.
As you can imagine, Christian groups were outraged at the LGBT community’s outrage and formed a counterstrike to the boycott. Mike Huckabee dubbed today “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day,” where Christians and Chick-Fil-A supporters alike were encouraged to eat at the restaurant to support Christian values, freedom of speech, freedom of business practices, blah blah blah.
For those of you who know me personally, you know that I vehemently disagree with Cathy and mainstream Christianity. Love is LOVE. The oft-quoted-to-the-point-of-cliche verse of 1 Corinthians 13 begins with “Love is patient. Love is kind.”
I just cannot believe that love in any form, whether it be platonic love between friends or romantic love between partners, could ever be considered wrong. If God is love, then God is in all relationships. And yes, I fully believe that God is in relationships between two men or two women. And if God has a strong presence in the relationship between two men or two women, then I fully believe that they should commit themselves to one another.
So now that we’ve gotten my personal beliefs out of the way, let me go on to say this: We live in AMERICA. We have a FIRST AMENDMENT. And since Cathy is an American citizen, he is allowed to say WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS. Even if I think he’s a big, stupid bigot who probably should have kept his mouth shut in the first place, he didn’t. And he’s allowed. He’s allowed to have his bigot opinions and he’s allowed to voice them as loudly and as stupidly as he wants.
Because here’s the thing: Our Founding Fathers didn’t throw the First Amendment in there to protect the speech that everyone agrees on. They threw the First Amendment in there to protect the minority. The problem with being ruled by a winner-take-all democracy is that 51 percent of the public can overrule the other 49 percent because of that measly, 1 percent difference. To prevent the dissenting minority from being swept up in the “tyranny of the masses,” the Founding Fathers threw in the First Amendment to allow the minority some sort of reprieve.
And here’s another point: Cathy’s free speech isn’t infringing on YOUR right to disagree with him. As far as I can tell, the boycott is going just fine, and the Internet has exploded with people condemning him and his company, if my Twitter and Facebook accounts are any indication.
Now, I personally will no longer eat there because I don’t want the money I spend at Chick-Fil-A to be funneled into political action groups whose sole purposes are to prevent gay couples from getting married. And if you feel the same way, then I applaud you. We’re on the same side, sister suffragette. But that’s a PERSONAL decision. Don’t turn my decision to avoid Chick-Fil-A into some sort of huge, political statement because it’s not.
Also, you don’t get the right to make other people feel like assholes just because they don’t want to boycott Chick-Fil-A. You don’t get to use a fucking FAST FOOD RESTAURANT as some sort of symbol for gay rights. That’s not how this works. What goes in a stupid Chick-Fil-A sandwich? Bread, chicken and a damn pickle. You don’t get to turn that into some sort of symbol for bigotry and hate. It’s not the same as someone saying “faggot.” You don’t get to equate it as such.
That argument swings both ways, too. Conservatives and Christians, you don’t get to turn Chick-Fil-A into a symbol of freedom and Jesus. It’s not a crucifix, it’s not a bible, and it’s not the Bill of Rights. It’s a fucking SANDWICH. I can make one at home for myself, and it wouldn’t mean a damn thing to anyone else but me.
The fact that this fad issue has turned into a symbol of intolerance for one side and a symbol of freedom for the other just pisses me off. It’s issues like these that rile up the extremists on BOTH sides to the point of infuriation, and exasperate the people, like me, who straddle the line.
Bottom line: Quit trying to make people feel like assholes for eating or not eating a sandwich. IT’S A SANDWICH.
Ugh…I hate this. I hate this so fucking much. I hate that this is an issue, I hate that this is in the news, and I hate that people are talking about this. I hate that I’M fucking talking about this. And I absolutely HATE that I had to defend Dan Cathy.