The Great Chik-Fil-A Debate
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an activist, I’m a pacifist, and I believe firmly in the concept of “live and let live”. I’ll be me, you be you, and hopefully—not as Republicans or Democrats, not as Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, Wiccans, Agnostics, or Atheists, not as men or women—but as human beings, we’ll find a common ground on which to meet and to celebrate our individuality. It’s not that I don’t have strong opinions about certain subjects, but more a case of believing that my opinions are my own and really shouldn’t matter to anyone else because what you think counts just as much, if not more so, than what I think. But it’s this sense of self-importance and self-righteousness and the grandiose belief that what some people believe is more legitimate than what others do that seems to be getting in the way of us behaving compassionately toward one another, and honestly, it makes me worry about the state of the human condition.
Let me be the first to acknowledge that I, in no way, claim to be without more than a few character blemishes. I sometimes forget the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” rule, but I also grew up believing in the idea of treating others the way that I want to be treated, judging not lest I be judged, casting the first stone only if I myself be without sin, and that since we ALL are supposedly made in His image but fall short in His sight that none of us is without sin. That makes perfect sense to me because none of us is perfect, so when Dan Cathy says, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,” it makes me wonder if he is as sinless as he’d like us to believe, and if so, then why should he be so fearful of that judgment? Aren’t Christians supposed to welcome judgment day as their recognition and reward for living a spotless life? I would think it would behoove him to be more fearful of his bigotry than of a man and woman’s right to marry whom they love, because God’s judgment is a blanket judgment, and I don’t know if He would appreciate Dan Cathy taking a single edict from a book written by mortal men to discriminate while at the same time completely disregarding the biblical principle of loving thy neighbor as thyself. Perhaps Mr. Cathy should reread the Old Testament definition of marriage and see how “non-traditionally” God viewed marriage in the beginning. Hm…maybe that’s called evolution, and if that’s so, isn’t it possible the definition of marriage is yet again evolving?
Perhaps Mr. Cathy should also familiarize himself with the Bible’s thoughts on divorce, then examine why nearly half of all first marriages, nearly two-thirds of second marriages, and nearly three-fourths of third marriages end. Then maybe he should research how many petitions for divorce cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. Nowhere in the Bible does it say “we grew apart” is a valid excuse for divorce. Hm…maybe divorce has evolved too. It certainly seems to have departed from “God’s plan” for marriage between a man and a woman. Maybe we need to give someone else the opportunity to get it right.
I don’t deny Mr. Cathy’s right to speak his mind. If the First Amendment didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to post this rebuttal. But what I do deny is his right to hide behind that amendment and to be outraged that he’s receiving backlash for his inflammatory and prejudicial remarks. What he said is no more politically or socially correct than if he’d come out and said he was against interracial marriage. Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of where that belief stems from and regardless of how much he couches it in his righteousness. His remarks may be based in the belief in his God, but it also stands firmly in the disregard of the fact that his remarks have marginalized an entire segment of His children who reportedly were made in His image.
If Mr. Cathy is truly living a moral and upstanding life based on God’s word, then he cannot be a hypocrite and use parts and parcels of that word to support his homophobia while ignoring the rest of it because it contradicts and invalidates that intolerance. It doesn’t work that way. Or at least it’s not supposed to.
This has become quite a divisive subject within a very devout segment of my own family, and to them I say this: I’ve been married for twenty-one years, have three children, and fail miserably to see how who someone else loves and wants to spend the rest of their lives with will undermine my own marriage or my family’s values. The only person with the power to destroy what I’ve spent almost half my life building is me, and the day that anyone tries to tell me that I will be condemned to hell because I show others compassion is the day that I say you keep to your God and I’ll keep to mine, and I’ll just continue to love you in spite of how ashamed you are of me and my beliefs.