Chick-fil-A and Me

My Humble Viewpoint on that one
chicken restaurant I don't eat at anymore.

I'm typing this out mostly because the boycotting, humorous somecard *memes, debates and also my (mostly) well meaning Christian friends are blowing up my Facebook news feed.  I don't want to debate and spend all day liking, disliking or commenting my viewpoint over and over.  There are many more pressing things in the world for me to focus and learn more about.  Now I can just insert this blog link with all my thoughts in a nutshell.

A meme is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture and acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

(in other words...funny sh*t people make up that goes viral)

What I think.
I think not supporting a company because I differ with their beliefs and agenda is my free will (just as it is theirs) and perfectly legitimate.  We ALL agree on that right?  Let's take the Freedom and Speech issue and especially that overused word "intolerant" and just cut it out of trying to prove a point.  Oh, and the passive agressiveness.  The poking.  The annoying sarcasm.  I love sarcasm in an everyday conversation or picture, but not a political or religious discussion.  Example:  "It's so funny to me when everyone...yadda yadda."  No, it's obviously not funny to you, so don't say it.  Please!  Move away from that and get on with the nitty gritty folks.  Quit peppering your discussions with sarcasm and just get on with proving your point. 

The sort of things that make me sad. 
Numerous radical groups and churches that protest military funerals or parades with vulgar, hateful signs.  My most recent personal example:  This year at a major college basketball stadium for the NCAA games, there were hordes of Christians with megaphones telling us passerby's that we were all sinners and going to hell.  Not quietly passing out flyers or actually engaging people on a human level, but trying to scare us with God's wrath.  I felt sorry for all the kids.  One man standing on a planter happened to see me slowly and silently mouthing the words, "Oh my God."  You know, because it honestly was an overwhelming scene to be in the midst of that day.  There were thousands of people in the area and the Christians were hollering at us.  I must have struck a nerve because he pointed me out of the crowd, turned up his volume and let us really have it.  It was quite humorous after I realized he wasn't going to bull charge me.  I realize not all Christians are that vocal and I try not to group them all in one bundle with a bow.  That wouldn't be fair.  I take each experience as it is seperately.  This reminds me of another time not long ago when Christians boycotted JCPenny pretty aggressively because Ellen was the spokesperson.  I support their right to do that as well...and counteract by loving Ellen dearly and supporting the positive energy she pours out into our world.  A world that desperately needs it right now. 
Even in politics people express their distaste of a viewpoint by voting against it.  In commerce you do the same by spending your money elsewhere.  Who I give my money to is important, particularly when it’s used to forward an agenda that’s in conflict with my beliefs.  Mega franchises, corporations and private citizens donate to campaign funds.  That in turn pressures politicians in ways that influence how they protect or restrict our rights.  I don't think many people really give much thought to that!  And if you quit giving it thought for long enough guess what?  You open your eyes one day and say, "What the hell?  Where did my rights go?"  (whoops...too late.)
Boycotting a company for having different views than mine doesn’t mean I don't believe in God.  It doesn't mean I despise radical Christians.  Doesn’t mean it makes me a hypocrite.  It also doesn't mean I'm going to hell for not believing the strict word of the bible.  It very simply means I believe in equal rights, gay marriage, a person’s human right to love and marry anyone they please.   
I also try and appreciate someone's literal belief and translation of the bible, but personally my brain just doesn't work that way.  I'm more of a free thinker and open-minded to a fault.  I treasure that as one of my best attributes while some Christians shake their head and wish me the best when I have to meet my maker.  This open-minded attitude had made me a lot of friends in life and taught me many, many things I wouldn't have learned if I wasn't able to digest other viewpoints.  I think the bible is subjective, written by over 40 authors over a couple thousand years and most importantly written by humans.  We're flawed.  Of course some more seriously than others too.  Our society is entirely different now.  Isn't this called evolving?  We see the error of our ways and push forward to better ourselves as a society against wrong beliefs that were once accepted e.g. dictatorships, slavery, women's suffrage, etc.  I guess this wouldn't be a good time to bring Charles Darwin into the conversation.  Forget I said anything. 
Some Christians claim this is a political debate regarding Freedom of Speech.  Others claim it's a religious argument and quote scripture on the meaning of "traditional marriage."  Sometimes it might be both.  It's so confusing.  In the end, everyone is going to believe whatever gets them through the day and helps them sleep at night.  I just pray for the children in this day and age who are influenced and faced with such conflicting beliefs.  I thought this Paradox below was interesting.
The Paradox of Freedom of Speech (taken from The New World Encyclopedia)  "When individuals assert their right to freedom of speech without considering the needs the larger community, tensions are created tempting the community to repress the freedom of speech of those individuals. This creates a paradox in which greater degrees of freedom of speech result in increasing social tensions and pressure to pass laws limiting speech which society deems irresponsible. At the same time, another paradox is created by the fact that unbridled freedom of speech can at times harm the rights of others, and thus needs to be balanced against those rights."
Personally I’m happy when this subject is talked about and it doesn’t really matter to me that a food chain is involved.  I’m happy the discussion is out there.  Something else that bothers me is how generalized some comments are.  "EVERYONE this" and "EVERYONE that."  If you are debating with someone, just try focusing on their opinion versus yours and not the whole entire population.  Really, how do you know exactly how each person feels?  You don't.  But it kind of makes your argument sound better so I can see how it would be hard to resist.

Maybe some minds will be changed about what marriage means and become a little more open-minded.  We need to realize that religion and government should have no say in how someone loves and lives.  It seems that rights in the 21st century concerning gay marriage should be much further along and supported.  It's a confusing year to me (and quite irritating at times) because of politics, the state of affairs and now this debate in the limelight.  What happened to the discussion of a recent shooter in a theatre charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder?  How soon it switches to Chicken.  We live in a social media boom and there are 900 million users with circulated shared opinions.  There are so many more pressing issues like public safety from random shootings and bombings, gun rights, toxic food / medicines, the homeless, government involvement in our lives, etc.  What a difference we could make if EVERYONE was on the same side of a cause for the BETTER? 
I try not to read too many comments on FB or take offense if I disagree.  The one thing we should all be proud of and hold dear is our right to opinion and being a diverse society.  Si?

And that's all I have to say about that. *in my best Forrest Gump voice* 


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