So everyone has their "things", their "issues", their lines in the sand and you all know this is one of mine. So you won't be shocked at all by this blog. But it doesn't mean I don't feel the need to write it. You can skip ahead to the end if you want, since you know where I stand, but this saves me from going on a rampage on Facebook and pissing off a lot of people in little doses. I will piss them off in one fell swoop this way instead. We're going to start this blog out with few definitions because it seems to me that people use words and phrases without understanding what it is they are saying so we are going to clear things up right at the start.
1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc. that one does not really posses.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
3. an act or instance of hypocrisy
1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.
I wanted to start with those two because they are the ones that are starting to make the rounds right now. For those of you living under a rock you know that this past week the debate in social media has been about Chick-Fil-A's president's public statements that he is against gay marriage. He believes that it is arrogant of this generation to try to redefine the biblical definition of marriage. So then the shit storm started. People that were unaware of his opinion (though I'm not sure how you could be) were made aware. People that felt passionately about what he said made plans to either 1. Boycott the restaurant or 2. Eat there more often. And now we have moved on to the part of the debate where people start calling each other names.
My stance on this is really solid. Has been for years. I don't care that Mr. Cathy believes what he believes. I think he's wrong, he thinks I'm wrong. Don't care. What I care about is if I am someplace with a Chick-Fil-A and I stop in for a chicken biscuit and some waffle fries part of the dollars I spend there end up in his pocket and he donates to support legislation blocking things like gay marriage rights. He does it personally and according to reports the company also does it. Because well companies are people too, don't you know. So for me the choice is crystal clear. I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A. And I am vocal about why I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A.
Same stance I took on the Boy Scouts of America years ago and has been reinforced just recently. BSA promotes that old nugget of an idea that homosexuality is not only a sin but is equal to pedophilia. So when C reached the age where they were recruiting I told him that he could not join. Then I told him why. Explained how they don't line up with our values or beliefs and exactly why they don't. He understood and that was the end of the discussion. Why join a group that preaches a message you don't believe in? I also don't buy their popcorn, Christmas trees, or anything else that financially supports the organization. And this is where I get in trouble with friends. "Oh the BSA do so much good! They help make sure boys are raised with strong morals and skills! How can you deny a boy over something like this?" Over something small like saying that people I love are child molesters because they are gay? That's not really small. Over something small like saying that because they are gay (and thus potential child molesters) they aren't welcome to join this organization? This isn't small to me. It's insulting. You call that raising a boy with strong morals? I call it teaching them that institutionalized prejudice is okay.
You will notice on both of these fronts though what I am really clear on is that these are my opinions and my choices. I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A. I don't contribute to the BSA. What you do is up to you and your choices. But people get really upset about these sorts of stands. And then they start getting insulting. And calling names. And getting irate. And calling people who hold the beliefs I do hypocrites because we are intolerant of intolerance. Well let me make this really clear for you. I'm no hypocrite. I'm not intolerant of intolerance. I'm intolerant of you forcing your intolerance on me. I'm intolerant of people preaching hate and couching it as a religious belief and then telling me that makes it okay. I'm very consistent in my intolerance.
If I said NOBODY SHOULD EVER BE INTOLERANT OF ANYTHING! Then have at it. But I think we should all be intolerant of things that go against what we believe. That's not hypocrisy, that's conviction. If I said that I was anti-gay rights while at the same time soliciting sex from a woman, that would make me a hypocrite (see Ted Haggard). Hypocrisy is stating one belief while practicing another. Or even stating a belief because you think it's what the people around you want to hear while you believe something else. Mr. Cathy from Chick-Fil-A isn't a hypocrite, he believes that gay people don't have the same rights as straight people and he will do what he can to make sure that stays that way. He's an idiot (in my opinion) but in that area he's not a hypocrite.
Now, his idea that the biblical definition of marriage is clear makes him like most Christians, and that is woefully uneducated about the book they base their own religion on. The bible has a lot of things in it that we don't follow now. Including marriage definitions, you hear these a lot during these sorts of arguments, polygamy, marrying your brother-in-law if your husband dies before you have had a son, how much a man needs to pay the father of the woman he raped to make the marriage then binding. There is also the talk about homosexuality being an abomination. Well so is wearing cloth of two different fibers and eating shellfish. So if Mr. Cathy eats lobster and wears a cotton/poly blend then we could probably call him out for a touch of hypocrisy considering he is taking his views on homosexuality from the same passage as the shellfish and fabric.
But we don't. We say that it's silly to hold people to these odd passages. And really we should all be grateful for these touches of hypocrisy because the bible also states that disrespectful and disobedient children should be taken out to the city limits and stoned to death. How many of us would have made it out of our teen years if we had a truly biblical upbringing? Not me, that's for sure.
Now here is the thing, keep your faith. Keep the parts of it that make sense. I don't have an issue with you doing so. I don't even have an issue with you raising your children to believe what you believe. But when you start to try to actively legislate your beliefs I have issue. I have issue with the fact that you pick and choose which of your "sins" you decide should be laws. You think homosexuality is a sin so you say no gay marriage. Well, buddy, adultery makes your top ten list of sins yet it's legal. Those bible verses you like to quote about a man leaves his parents and clings to his wife, but you say it's about man and woman marriage. Know what? They are about divorce. SIN. Big one. Unless one of you is an adulterer (remember top ten list) you don't get a divorce because it's a sin. But still legal. So why aren't you out there proposing that divorce should be stricken from the books? Or that adulterers should go to jail? Why? Because that would affect too many of YOU. It's easy to say it's a sin and it should be illegal if it doesn't affect you personally.
So Mr. Cathy speaks out against gay marriage. I speak out against Mr. Cathy and also stop going to his restaurants. Mike Huckabee speaks in favor of Mr. Cathy and urges other people to go to his restaurants. J.C. Penney hires a gay spokesperson and Million Moms call for a boycott. J.C. Penney hires a gay spokesperson and I go shopping there as often as I used to. This is what living in freedom is. It's not hypocrisy to say I don't agree with you so I am making my opinion known, that's freedom. It's not hypocrisy to say I find your stance intolerable to me just because their stance is intolerance of someone else. Again, I'm not saying it's wrong to be intolerant of everything, I am saying I don't agree with who you are being intolerant of. It's a definite distinction and one people would do well to pay attention to or else they just look stupid.
And while we are on the subject other things that make you look stupid are bringing other religion's beliefs in to the argument, "Why is it that Christians are the ones getting blasted for the anti-gay message when Muslims believe the same thing? And you know that they want us all living under Sharia law!" I don't care what your religion is, keep it to yourself and out of my law books. Why is it that people who are the most paranoid about Sharia law coming to the States are also the ones who want to legislate based off of their religious beliefs?
Heard one today about stopping driving my car because the Leaders of OPEC kill homosexuals. Really? Which ones? Or is it that you are stating that some of the people in some of the countries that are members of OPEC hold a religious belief that says that they should? Because you really don't want to wade in to the waters of what Mr. Cathy's religious beliefs have led people to do in his god's name. Or even what is a kill-able offense in the bible (remember that disrespectful children part).
Here's the deal. Mr. Cathy made his personal religious beliefs publicly known. People reacted. They either agreed or disagreed or didn't care. From those reactions to what he said and what he does with his money people were left with other decisions that they made. Either they changed their behavior (no more CFA, more CFA) or they didn't. As much as anything he gave a lesson to other companies, be very careful in today's day and age of instant media sharing what you say. If you don't want your company involved in hot topic political discussions then keep your private opinions just that. If you want to take a stand for your beliefs, then feel free. But don't expect everyone to agree with you. And it could affect your bottom line.
My friends, this is not what hypocrisy looks like.
This is what freedom looks like.
(puts soap box back in closet until next time)