Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick Fil A: A Few Thoughts

As Abraham Lincoln said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” 

I told myself that I wasn’t going to address the Chick-Fil-A issues, but the more I thought about it, the more I could not ignore it.  I find that as I get older, the more I am willing to stand up for what I believe in.  As a teenager and woman in my 20’s, I was still in the process of discovering who I was and how to reconcile that with the person I was expected to be.  I didn’t have the courage to say, “yes I am”, or wear my rainbow gear without fear of nasty looks and whispered ill remarks.

Before I go any farther, let me say that I respect everyone’s right to their opinion.  No one has the right to tell anyone what they should think or feel.  That’s not what this post is about or about their right to believe in their view of the bible, it’s about their small-mindedness.

By now it’s old news that anti-gay marriage supporters flocked to Chick-Fil-A, in droves yesterday in a show of solidarity for Dan Cathy and his stance.  Here in my small, southern town, traffic was backed up on the highway as people lined up to buy food from the restaurant.  I say bravo for people standing up for what they believe in.  But when you pick a cause to champion, make sure it’s a worthy one and one that isn’t based on fear and hate.  People aren’t suggesting boycotts of the restaurant because it’s CEO believes in the Bible, they’re suggesting boycotts because he’s spreading hate.  You can’t pick and choose verses to advocate.  If you believe in the teachings of Christ, embrace them as a whole.

I drove by Chick Fil A yesterday and saw a woman standing there waiting in line with her small children.  What lesson was she teaching them, that according to the Bible, marriage is only between a man and a woman?  No, she what she showed her children was that it’s ok to ignore Jesus’s lessons of love and acceptance for all.  He urged us not to judge our fellow man, but instead, love thy neighbor as thy love thyself and love God.

Aside from that, there are also other issues affecting our county that I believe are far more important than who someone like me, falls in love with (which personally does not affect anyone but me and my immediate family, by the way).

As my sister, LeAnna said yesterday on her Facebook page, “Mass killings, bad economy, overcrowded prisons, underfunded schools yet, your reason for rallying is in support of a billion dollar company & its prejudice...single minded owner…WTF?? How many parking lots & highways have been filled this year to show love, support & respect to Lancaster’s 22 murder victims?? Damn shame if u ask me!!!!”

There are so many other worthy causes that need support and attention; priorities anyone?  What about the children who are gunned down in the street by people who shouldn’t even be in possession of gun in the first place?  Where are the advocates for better gun control laws?  I know you’re out there, but where is the media’s attention focused.

The US spends more per student than any other nation, but still we fall short when it comes to competing with them academically.  Why?  Where are the lines of people crying for change in our education system?
Thousands of people work every day yet can’t afford to go to the doctor, or afford their medicine, when they get sick. There are people who are suffering at home and subsequently dying, because they either don’t have insurance at all or insufficient coverage.  But we’re still squabbling about Health Care Reform.

Children and teenagers are being bullied to the point of suicide.  LGBT youths and individuals are being targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed, just because they are who they are.  But instead of taking a stand against hate and bigotry, people are perpetuating the problem with their intolerance.

Hate and intolerance are learned traits.  The same kids that stood in line with their parent’s, could be the same children that taunt and terrorize an LGBT youth, five or ten years from now.  Our words and actions have power, and can affect a situation, or in this case, a group of people, for years to come.

Chick Fil A, yesterday your supporters made a strong statement, but the business you are going to lose will have a lasting affect and in the long run, speak louder volumes.

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