Okay, internet people. I’m here to talk about something potentially controversial yet again, with the hopes of managing to stay neutral enough not to incur any significant wrath. I mean no offense, I’m merely stating my opinions, etc. Here we go…
Today (in Ohio, at least) is being called “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.” A massive hoard of people flocked to the Chick-Fil-A across the parking lot from where I work, and naturally it forced me to think once again about this whole “Chick-Fil-A is a Christian organization which supports traditional marriage and that most definitely offends some people” thing.
My gut reaction seeing all those people, I will admit, was to think “Man, there are a LOT of anti-gay people here today.” I confess I felt a little offended at the thought of them, holding their signs and shouting about hating gays. Except that that wasn’t even remotely what was happening. People were just flocking in huge groups to eat (admittedly delicious) chicken.
My issue is this: what, exactly, are we trying to say here? Are people flocking to the restaurant in support of free speech (as I’ve heard it told)? Or are they, as I suspect some people are, happy to give their money to a business that supports the same cause that they do (“traditional marriage” to put it in the positive light)? And, I will repeat my earlier question, WHEN DID THE RESTAURANT AT WHICH YOU PICK UP LUNCH BECOME A RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL, AND MORAL ISSUE?
I understand (and, if I may say so, sympathize with) the outrage in the gay community that a business owner would actually take a stance (yes, ANY stance) on the personal choices of people who should be free to do as they choose (withing reasonable limits). But I also think the statement that was actually made is being exaggerated by the internet and other media outlets. It isn’t as if the man said “I f****** hate f***” or anything. Stupid business decision? Yes. Offensive? Yes. Purposely hateful? I suspect not. Like anyone, he is just one man who believes in what he believes in. He just made the (can I say stupid?) decision to let that personal opinion blend with his business’ image.
But the hateful things that are being said about people who simply choose to continue eating somewhere they’ve always eaten is NOT the solution to this problem. The fact that people keep responding to perceived hate (real or not) with more hate is just beyond my understanding. If you want to boycott Chick-Fil-A because they agree with the denial of your (or your close friends) basic human rights, that’s perfectly acceptable. Good for you. But those who choose NOT to do that don’t deserve to die a painful death, and you shouldn’t wish it on them. Isn’t there enough hate and anger in the world without us assuming that someone who just decides to have a chicken sandwich is automatically a bigot?
Live and let live. It’s a pretty simple philosophy. There shouldn’t be a need for things like protests for and against a RESTAURANT. Food should never have become a moral issue, not in this sense. And yes, Chick-Fil-A brought this upon themselves. But I hate that I have to think about the moral, political and social implications whenever I get a craving for my formerly favorite chicken restaurant. Have I eaten there since they “came out” against gay marriage? No. Will I? Maybe, once this all blows over. Maybe not. My inner jury (so to speak) is still out on the issue. But I miss the days when what I got for lunch was completely unrelated to my political leanings. I don’t want to take sides. I just want to get some food. So thanks a lot totally-unrelated-to-marriage-in-any-way businesses, for deciding that politics, morality, and business needed to go together. As if we needed another thing to argue about.
(I recommend reading in conjunction with my earlier post, titled “Oreos and Chick-Fil-A…” if you need a further understanding of my views on the matter as a whole.)