Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chick-Fil-Haaaaay! *snap*

So the media frenzy as of late is shrouded around Dan Cathy, the president & COO of Chick-Fil-A.  Now with any story that makes headlines all over the country, it also sparks all of the mouth-breathers on facebook and twitter to sound off with their views on the subject, with all of their infinite wisdom and intellect.

Before I get into making some of my points, let’s first take a look at exactly what Mr. Cathy said.  In an interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy is quoted as saying, “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 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”.  He further reiterated his stance when he did an interview on “The Ken Coleman Show”, where he remarked, “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about”.  He has also donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups and organizations.

These things that Mr. Cathy said are well within his rights to do so.  That’s one of the perks of living in America…you can say whatever you want (even if it’s completely void of merit and morality, or promotes hatred).  However, even though you are legally allowed to say what you want, there are still consequences…some good, some bad.  In Dan Cathy’s case, it’s both.  As they say, there’s no such thing as bad press.  With the backlash of Cathy’s comments, Chick-Fil-A is at the forefront of newspapers, blogs, radio, and television.  While the gay/lesbian community is outraged, others have flocked to buy chicken sandwiches to show support.  This week, Chick-Fil-A has shown record high sales.  Dan Cathy: religious bigot or marketing genius?  Makes you wonder.

As with any big story making headlines, invariably my facebook and twitter feeds are exploding with people sounding off with their opinions.  I’m always interested to read these opinions, because it gives me a pretty good stranglehold on how the typical American thinks.  And as usual, I’m left disappointed on how far we haven’t come.

Here’s my take on this whole thing.  First let me start by giving my views on homosexuality and gay marriage. I accept it.  I don’t understand it, but I accept it.  I don’t understand how a dude can be attracted to another dude.  That’s unfathomable to me.  If I see two guys being affectionate to one another, I throw up in my mouth a little bit.  Now girls on the other hand…I get it.  Three hot women pillow fighting.  One thing leads to another.  They start caressing each other and kissing, while slowly slipping off their lingerie to the floor.  Mmmmm.  Whoa…sorry about that.  I just wondered into an alternate universe and into the writings of the book series, “Fifty Shades of Gay”.  What was I talking about, now?  Oh yeah. Like I said, I will never understand homosexuality, but I accept it.  They’re people like you and me.  And citizens of the United States of America all have the same rights, regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation (well at least we are supposed to, anyway).  However, in simple-minded America, there are too many people who have this mindset: “If you have different beliefs or opinions as me, or like different things than I like, you’re not allowed to be around anymore”.  And, unfortunately, many of the people with this mindset are in our government, doing their best to ensure that certain Americans aren’t given equal rights.

Now, the basis behind Mr. Cathy’s quotes comes from religion.  He is a Christian, and uses the bible as the foundation of his beliefs. Trust me folks, if you look to the bible for morality and principles, you are barking up the wrong tree.  If you have read my past blog posts, you know that I am an atheist.  Nothing can lead a person to atheism faster than reading the bible.  When you go to church on Sundays, you will no doubt hear your preacher/pastor/priest/whatever read many passages from the bible that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  As well he should…it’s called selling your product.  Here’s what you might not know about the bible:  it condones and promotes murder and slavery.  Are you shocked and appalled that you just read that?  Don’t worry, I wouldn’t say that without giving you examples.  Just in case you think I’m making this stuff up, stop what you’re doing and go get your bible, so that way you can read along.

Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12)

Kill Homosexuals
If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. (Leviticus 20:13)

Death for Adultery
If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)

Death for Fornication
A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9)

Kill Nonbelievers
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
But if this charge is true, and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)

Kill Men, Women, and Children
"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7)

God Kills all the First Born of Egypt
And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died. (Exodus 12:29-30)

Slaves, anyone?
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6)

Selling Your daughter into Slavery
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)

          I think you get the idea.  Like I said, if you’re looking to the bible for morality and principle, look elsewhere.  That book is one contradiction after another.  Having said all of that, I still don’t care if you want to be religious or not.  That’s yet another one of our freedoms…freedom of religion. You can believe what you want to believe.  The problem, however, is when those beliefs affect the lives of others in a negative way.  That’s why religion has no business in government.  We end up with legislation that negates equality for everyone across the board.

          Now I know what else you’re thinking: “But Marcus, what about the ‘traditional marriage’??”  This is another term that I see getting thrown around by you good folks on facebook and twitter.  What exactly does “traditional marriage” mean?  Sure, I know what you think it means: marriage between a man and a woman.  Well let’s examine some statistics about this sanctity of marriage that you all are fighting so hard to protect:

·       Almost 49 percent of the marriages end up in divorces

·       60 percent of all divorces are related to individuals aged 25 to 39

·       Over a 40 year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate in a divorce and 50 percent of these divorces take place within the first 7 years

·       Every year more than 1 million children are affected by divorce

·       The possibility that teenaged girls from single parent homes would give birth to an out-of-wedlock child or would drop out of high school is two times as compared to girls living with both parents

·       The children who are brought up in single parent homes display a lesser possibility to marry and more possibility to divorce

·       50 percent of the children in the country are a witness to the breakup of their parent’s marriage. Almost half of these 50 percent are a witness to the second divorce of a parent

So roughly half of marriages end up in divorce. Most of these divorces involve children (who are privileged enough to witness fighting and verbal abuse on a regular basis).  Then they are dragged through an exhausting and ugly custody battle in court.  Yeah, “traditional marriage” is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? You’d hate for the gays to ruin such a perfect thing, right?  When you say that you are against gay marriage, I present this question to you: So you think it’s perfectly fine for a man and a woman who fight constantly, cheat on each other, and would rather be at the bar than home with their spouse and children have every right to get married….but a gay couple who genuinely love each other and have built a healthy relationship based on mutual respect and trust have no right to be married?  If you answered “yes” to that question, then congratulations…you’re mentality is what’s wrong with the world.

          Now we come back full circle to freedom of speech.  Many of you on the social networks are boasting the term ”freedom of speech” with such American pride.  Here’s the funny thing about freedom of speech: people only support it when they agree with the speech.  When you disagree with it, you’re telling that ignorant person to shut the fuck up.  For those of you that don’t know…that’s called hypocrisy.  Let me present a couple of scenarios to you.  The president of Burger King goes public with his view that black people and white people should not be allowed to get married because it’s not “traditional”.  He has also donated millions to white supremacy groups.  Do you defend him with your freedom of speech routine?  Or how about this: the president of Taco Bell goes public with his view that women should only cook and clean and be their husband’s servant…because that’s their “traditional” role.  Will there be a mile-long line of people waiting to buy tacos to show their support?  When it comes down to it, this whole Chick-Fil-A fiasco is no different than those two examples.  It’s a group of people who are blatantly discriminating against another group of people.

          Look folks, when it comes to homosexuality, I’m not saying you have to like it or even agree with it.  But whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to accept it.  It’s been around since the dawn of mankind, and it always will be.  So they make you uncomfortable?  Well, honestly, in some instances they make me uncomfortable too.  But for every gay person that makes me uncomfortable, there are ten straight people who make me so angry I could strangle them to fucking death.  It’s this giant bouillabaisse we call America.  We are all different people, with different backgrounds, different lifestyles, different interests, different goals, and different opinions.  If we could all just accept each other’s differences without constantly fighting about them, we could start getting on the right track to making this world a better place for everybody.  Even more so, you should spend your efforts tending your own little lot in life, rather than telling others how they should be living theirs.

          Each and every one of us have one thing in common: we want ourselves and our loved ones to lead a happy life.  But discrimination, bigotry, hatred, and fear of those unlike yourself are constantly preventing many people the opportunity for true happiness.  When is it ever going to end?