This one is going to be short and sweet (I don't think that has ever happened before here at 50 Weeks...), so you can all heave a collective sigh of verbose-less relief.
I've had some people asking me for a little while now what I think about the Chick Fil-A debacle that occurred earlier last month, but it took me the better part of July to process the information and decide where it is that I stand. Even now, I'm not all that sure.
I understand and empathize with both sides.
Side A: I have a belief system that I stand by and am unafraid to speak my beliefs due to the fact that, as an American, I am free to express said beliefs.
Side B: My lifestyle choice may not fit with your belief system, but that is no reason to publicly denounce my way of life simply because you do not agree with it.
Those are gross generalizations, of course, but I feel that both statements get to the root of the tension here.
Like I said, I get both view points, but I find myself leaning more toward the support of Side A. This may come as a shock to some of my readers because I have always been an extremely outspoken advocate of gay rights, but honestly... gay rights are not the issue here.
Does Chick Fil-A have any effect whatsoever on whether or not homosexuals can marry? Nope.
I may not agree with their stance on what the family unit should be, but I absolutely support their right to express their beliefs. Why should the President of Chick Fil-A feel it necessary to censor himself?
At the end of the day, it's all about the same thing: SELF EXPRESSION.
Homosexuals should be free to express their love for one another in a government sanctioned and recognized union just like everyone else without fear of ridicule or hate.
Chick Fil-A should be free to express their beliefs, be it publicly or behind closed doors, without fear of ridicule or hate.
You are more than welcome to boycott Chick Fil-A if you do not support their stance, but you're also more than welcome to enjoy their sandwiches.
I won't judge you... Those suckers are tasty.
After all is said and done, I implore you to consider the following:
Why is it that Side B, so desperate to gain tolerance from Side A, is so intolerant of opinions that go against their own. In order to receive tolerance, you must first practice it.
Not only that, but everyone is translating Dan Cathy's statement as being full of hate. Simply saying that you don't support something doesn't equate to hating it. I don't support illegal marijuana use (just legalize it already, ok??) and have no issue telling someone that I disagree with their choice to smoke pot without a medical necessity, but I don't hate that person for doing so.
Let me end this post with a lovely little quote from Mr. Albert Einstein:
"Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population."