Thursday, August 02, 2012

The new religious symbol: Chick-Fil-A

I've long had a beef with Chick-Fil-A. It wasn't based on any knowledge of their corporate beliefs, other than the fact that they were no good to me if I had a chicken craving on a Sunday.  My beef was simply caused by a food poisoning episode from eating one of their tasty chicken sandwiches.  Now, every time I think about eating Chick-Fil-A, my stomach curls up in horror and pleads for me to choose something else instead.

Honestly, when I read what the company CEO said, I thought it was pretty idiotic of him to disrespect a segment of his customers and his employees. As a public relations professional, I personally live in fear of the day an employee at a company I work for says something offensive like that.  Especially in today's 24-hour news cycle where stupid comments live forever. And when I heard what he said, I thought it was good my stomach already hated Chick-Fil-A because the CEO didn't have beliefs I wanted to support.

I see hatred of gay marriage as identical to hatred of interracial marriages.  It's basically people trying to dictate to other people who they can love. Not so long ago, companies and people would have been up in arms about my own interracial marriage.  (My husband is Hispanic; I am white.)  In fact, when my husband and I were dating, one of my "friends" even told me she disapproved of interracial relationships (this was in 2008).  When I looked at her oddly, she said mine didn't count as interracial because my husband didn't look Mexican. (This is one of many reasons we are no longer friends.)

I honestly don't think it's anyone's business who marries who.  If you don't believe in gay marriage, don't marry a person of the same sex.  But, you don't have the right to determine someone else's beliefs. You may say "God doesn't believe in gay marriage."  And, that's fine if you believe that. But gay people still exist and many Christian denominations and religions support gay marriage.  The beauty of this country is that you can practice any religion you want and no one will bat an eye.  Just don't impose your religious beliefs on someone else.  

I wasn't going to write about this topic because I've been trying to stick to lighter fare.  However, my Facebook feed has blown up with my friends proudly posting their Chick-Fil-A pictures.  I've never seen a group of  people more filled with hatred and disrespect. Pretty soon, evangelical Christians are going to stop wearing crosses around their necks and start wearing fried chicken sandwiches.

At the same time I see all this hatred, I see pictures my gay and lesbian friends have posted of their loving relationships with their partners/spouses and children.  They aren't spending their time telling my evangelical Christians friends who they should marry.  And, when I look at their pictures, I see nothing but love, not hatred. I don't see how love can ever be considered a bad thing.

No comments: