Friday, August 3, 2012
Trying to come to terms with Chick-fil-A controversy
I hate politics and I normally steer completely clear of all political discussion, but this whole Chick-fil-A mess has me thinking a lot about my faith, family and friends and I feel like I sort of need to vent. While I was raised to be Christian, I was also taught by my parents to be tolerant and respectful of all other beliefs.
I have friends who are Christian, Muslim, Baha'i, atheists and agnostics. I have members of my family who are gay and quite a few gay friends. My friends and family also span the political spectrum from the very staunchly conservative Republicans all the way to the extremely liberal Democrats. Despite all of the differences, I can get along with all of these people. There is always common ground and I very much respect all of their beliefs and care about them deeply as fellow human beings. I don't judge any of them for how they live their lives.
So, I'm very torn about Chick-fil-A. I understand how Dan Cathy feels and although I don't agree with him, I don't feel like his comments alone should have much of an effect on his business. He didn't say that he was going to discriminate against homosexuals. He just stated his beliefs about marriage. The thing I take issue with, if it is true, is if Chick-fil-A really put money into an organization that spent $25,000 lobbying against a bill condemning a Ugandan law that would enforce the death penalty for those caught engaging in homosexual acts.
Yes, that is horrifying. I'd like to give Mr. Cathy the benefit of the doubt in assuming that he wasn't aware of all of the acts of all of the organizations in which he chose to donate funds, but I have no way to know what he knew. As a corporation, I seriously doubt that all of the individual owner/operators of the chain feel the same way Dan Cathy feels and I also doubt their awareness of the acts of that particular organization. Chick-fil-A is a great success story for Christians as well as non-Christians. It is sad that a company that has done so much good for its community is now looked at like a haven for radical Christian zealots hellbent on hating a sect of society that happen to be born a little different from the majority.
I also don't like that non-Christian people feel like all Christians are bigoted, extremist fools. A lot of the Christians I know are actually more caring and open minded than the media and/or social networks would have you think. Yes, the extremists are out there (on both sides of the spectrum) but I really wish that people would be more accepting, more tolerant and more open to alternative ideas and thoughts.
Honestly, if I feel like eating a chicken sandwich, I might go to Chick-fil-A. I'm not doing it because I hate anyone though. I'm doing it because I'm fat and I might have a craving for Chick-fil-A sandwich. Please don't hate me for it.
-- Elizabeth Jones