Thursday, August 02, 2012

(The Predictable) Fast food Firestorm: Chick-fil-A'd

Yesterday the fast food chain Chick-fil-A was the site of counter protests to the protests that erupted in the wake of remarks made recently by company president Dan Cathy regarding his strict views on traditional marriage, which was leapt upon by activists and then by politicians claiming the chain would be unwelcome, and then that leapt upon by opposing pundits who made Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

So, in short, it's the standard backlash-and-then-backlash-to-the-backlash sequence for just about anything these days where anyone could have a strong opinion one way or the other, with the typical surfeit of media outlets turning it into a kerfuffle because that's what they do.

We're never happier than when we're up in arms about something.

I imagine it was not any secret that Chick-fil-A donated to groups that opposed same-sex marriage prior to this "incident" for those who keep track of such things, such as presumably those who would be very pro-same-sex marriage or very pro-traditional marriage. And so when the Chick-fil-A president stated his belief that marriages other than between a man and a woman are inviting God's wrath (as is his constitutional right) the activists who support marriage equality saw an opportunity to promote their side while the topic was hot in the media (as is their constitutional right). And other companies exercised their option not to participate in promotions with Chick-fil-A (as is their right—I'm not sure whether that's explicitly constitutional). Then some dumbshit politicians chimed in with assertions that Chick-fil-A would not be welcome in their districts (which, I'm pretty sure, is not their constitutional right).

It's not that politicians cannot express their personal opinions, of course, but to imply they could exert the power of the government to exclude a restaurant chain from doing what other restaurants get to do clearly goes beyond the bounds of their offices, in the same way that the groups to whom the Chick-fil-A president donates money to try to get politicians to prevent same-sex couples from being able to get married the same as heterosexual couples can is beyond the bounds of what those politicians can do (even though they keep trying and having ostensible victories toward that goal that inevitably will be overturned as—you guessed it—unconstitutional).

Anyway, on the topic of inevitability, when politicians on the left make what could be construed as threats against the family values sector, that rallied those troops to come out and support the chicken sandwich chain, giving it record sales rather than making its president and others who believe only in traditional marriage to reconsider their position.

Perhaps there's no avoiding getting people riled up about such things these days. Whether either side is achieving its goals I'm not sure, but whether we're moving toward a situation where both sides can get along or at least respectfully disagree seems doubtful.

Wouldn't it be funny if what drew God's judgment was this bickering and failing to find a way to embrace loving thy neighbor in the general sense? And quibbling over the interpretation of specific passages in the Bible (while overlooking so many other passages) was pretty much missing the point of what God really wanted for us?

Maybe doing the Lord's work involves one side figuring out a way to be okay with any two people finding love in this crazy world, and the other side allowing those who don't agree with that being the Lord's work to have their own opinions without having equally intolerant rhetoric.

We Americans are allowed the pursuit of happiness. These days we seem to choose pursuits that get us worked into a lather. It is our right.

Which should be a surprise to no one.


I imagine it's likely those who are in both camps on the marriage debate may read the above and think, Oh, get off your high horse, Mr. Curse-on-both-your-houses. Take a side or shut up.

That would suggest these days one should never express an opinion unless it's polarizing. And I'd argue that I succeeded: I took members of groups who utterly disagree on the topic at hand and united them in their disgust of my take on the subject.

That I won't pretend even ironically is the Lord's work. I have enough grief in my life without bringing more hell down on myself.


p.s. Of course, long-time readers know I have an opinion on the marriage debate, but that's beside the point in what's happening with this situation.

p.p.s. Yesterday I ate at La Salsa. I imagine someone will tell me they're doing something hideous eventually.

1 comment:

  1. I'm all for leaving people alone. But when they get in my faces and demand that I recognize whatever they're doing as right, good, and normal, I rebel, no matter whether it's right/good/normal or not. I leave them alone. They had better leave me alone. Or else.

    America is about thirty years overdue for another civil war, I think. People need to be forcibly reminded what democracy is about. ;-)


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