Saturday, August 4, 2012

Facebook Fights and Chik Fil A


I generally try to stay out of Facebook arguments. I really, really do. If I see a controversial thread with more than ten comments on it, I just keep scrolling. That's the beauty about social media. It's so easy to just ignore whatever new, ignorant comment the people of my generation have thought up and felt the need to share with the world.

But this time, I just couldn't.

Of course, the topic of this controversial argument had to do with gay marriage. Chik Fil A has had a lot to do with this, of course. First of all, I feel the need to directly quote what was originally said by CEO Dan Cathy in the Baptist Press' article 'Guilty as Charged,' Cathy says of Chick-fil-a's stand on biblical and family values. I suggest you take the time to read at least this excerpt and not rely solely on the media's stories.
The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation ( The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

"That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added. 

Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
 Nothing that awful. And you know, finding the original source material was rather difficult, surprisingly so. But this article has once again brought gay marriage to the forefront of discussion and it has encouraged every Tom, Dick and Harry in Facebookland to express their heinously bigoted opinion about the subject.

It makes me sick. I think of the gay marriage issue as a basic human rights issue. For as long as humans have existed, there have been people trying to limit the rights of others. People claim that marriage between a man and a woman is what God "proclaims," but have an inability to provide solid proof that this is God's plan. They say that homosexuality is unnatural, yet feign deafness when confronted with the fact that homosexuality occurs in nature. Generally, the comments range from ignorance to just plain acerbic and bigoted.

I can't help but compare this issue to other human rights issues throughout history - after all, that's why we learn history, isn't it? So we can learn not to repeat our mistakes? Well, I think about the 1950s, when African Americans weren't allowed their basic rights under U.S. law. I always wonder what kind of person I would be when confronted with the issue at the time, and not with the benefit of hindsight. Would I be an advocate? Would I sit silently? Or would I be one of the people actively, sometimes violently, showing my opinion? I know I would hope to be an advocate.

So I can't stay silent. I need to stand up for my gay friends as an ally. I need to debate this issue respectfully and hope to open minds through academic discussion. I need to sacrifice my rights for those who don't have that luxury. We are making history now. When it comes time to teach these times in history, are you going to be an advocate, silent, or worse?

**I'm disallowing comments on this post because this is my stand. This is not an academic discussion and I'm not going to argue the validity of my argument because I can't stand to lose respect for any more of my family or friends today.