Saturday, July 28, 2012

You knew it was coming...

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.

hypocrisy- Noun
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

intolerance- Noun
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)


  1. Here are the countries in which they do put people to death because they are homosexual. Notice that 3 of them are part of OPEC. If you are going to protest a Chicken Sandwich shop for being against gay marriage, I would hope that you would protest against Gas Companies that support putting homosexuals to death. If not, you're a hypocrite.

    Saudi Arabia (Part of OPEC)
    United Arab Emirates (Part of OPEC)
    Iran (Part of OPEC)

    supporting links
    LGBT Rights by Country -

    OPEC Countries -

  2. No, Jfackler, I'm not. If the best defense you have for behavior is "they are worse!" then there is a problem.

    Also, here is the other part that you missed. I'm talking about a free country (The USA) and our ways we can react to things we disagree with. If you noticed, those aren't our countries. Do I completely disagree with their laws and attitudes? Absolutely. But I firmly believe before we try and "fix" the world we should take care of our own issues.

  3. And one more point on this subject.

    You are again saying that there are countries in OPEC where it is legal to put homosexuals to death (the point I made in the blog was more specific than that, leaders of not countries in). But if we are talking about protesting entire countries for the laws of the country instead of individual companies for the beliefs of their owners you are opening a whole different can of worms. You are going general and broad where I am talking about specific.

    And again, my point of the entire argument is this is what freedom is. If you disagree with a company or an individual you get to choose what to do about it.

  4. It is totally fine to protest/boycott whatever you want. My only thing is that Mr. Cathy has had this stance on Gay Marriage since before he established his business in 1967. So his stance is not a shocker to anyone. Why now is the homosexual community protesting against a chicken sandwich shop that has no political influence whatsoever? Another thing. He has never refused to serve or employ an individual based on their sexual orientation. There are plenty of people that work for Chick-Fil-A that identify themselves as homosexuals. It does not make sense to protest someone or something that is not going to further the cause. The homosexual community should be protesting against politicians that are in office that affect the outcomes of laws in their respective state. If they actually want to make a difference in the law, and not just a hallow statement that does not affect the change they are needing. The comparison with OPEC was just to prove that the homosexual community is willing to protest against someone that is easy to target, such as Chick-Fil-A. It is not so easy to go up against OPEC that does something much worse than just disagree with gay marriage. It is like saying you are willing to protest a company for disagreeing with gay marriage but not willing to protest against an entity that puts homosexuals to death. Just for one thing, I am for gay marriage. If someone of the same sex wants to get married, it does not affect my marriage one way or the other. I believe that Marriage, even Gay Marriage, should be recognized Federally and not be by the state. Being married should not stop when you cross a state boarder. I just do not get a protest that has no chance of helping out the cause to get things changed politically. Which should be the case. I hope you understand.

    1. If it was only that Mr. Cathy said, "This is what I believe" I would have no problems with him at all. Different people believe different things. But he also donates to organizations that help fund campaigns against against those things. Which is his right as a free American. He gets to put his money towards his beliefs, and so do I.

      It makes no sense for me to give him money that he can then use to fund things that I disagree with. Especially since there are so many other options out there.

      As I stated early in the blog I am not sure how people were surprised by his statement, he has made similar statements before. I'm just glad it's got more people thinking about where they spend their money and that they have choices. You ask why now, why are people protesting him now when he has always held this stance. I think this is where you see the uptick in the use of social media to get a message out. We truly live in an instant age right now. If you are giving an interview (even to what Mr. Cathy would have considered a friendly media outlet)that information is widely accessible and easily distributed now. So people can and will post clips and links and get their base fired up.

      I think two good things will come out of this whole discussion. One is that people will get a reminder that they can choose to support or not support companies based on a variety of reasons. And the second is for the business community. If you want to be part of the political discussion, wade right in (Amazon just did it as well) and if you don't, then you need to keep your personal opinions out of your business discussions.

      And if we didn't protest things just because we knew we had no chance of winning them then change would never happen. Change comes by small degrees usually. It takes time to get a groundswell behind a movement and get a change. So if protesting Chick-Fil-A today means that more people start to understand that there are no such things as gay rights and straight rights, just American's rights then it's a good start.

  5. You had said in your article. "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." Does this also not hold true for the leaders of OPEC. When you buy gas some of those dollars go into their pockets, and they put homosexuals to death. So if you continue to buy gas do you not indirectly support those that put homosexuals to death. (Just playing devils advocate here). The only way to stop supporting that is to buy vehicles that do not run on Gas. (solar, just batteries, hydrogen etc...)

    1. But if you apply that same logic then we have to protest EVERYTHING in the United States as long as we have the silly Defense of Marriage Act in place. Just because a law is on a nation's books doesn't mean the same thing as everyone in that nation believing that. I was speaking directly to the leaders of OPEC putting people to death.

      Do I wish I could make a difference in other countries on getting those laws overturned? Absolutely. Do I wish I could figure out a way to make other people see that it's barbaric and wrong and flat out insane? Absolutely. But I can't fight every battle everywhere. I just can't. But what I can do is make my opinion known in small ways and hope that more and more people start to understand that more rights for other people doesn't mean less rights for you.

      And as far as getting off oil goes? I am with you! I would love to see a huge push towards alternative energy sources as well. Not just for cars but for our entire energy grid. It would be interesting if you could get people to see it as a "screw you" to laws that are barbaric. I just think you would have to untie it from Chick-Fil-A and make it a stand alone issue.

      Make the pitch to colleges, listing out all of the ways we as Americans (and other free societies of the world) disagree with the laws of the countries that OPEC is made up of. Listing all of the ways it's against our belief in free markets (the price manipulation and speculation) and then make it not only a financial boon to come up with another source but a patriotic duty. Now wouldn't that be fantastic? (sorry, went totally off subject there, but I am totally random but...)