Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A, Not Gay... But that's Okay


I feel like I have to say something concerning the whole Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A fiasco going on, and I’ll apologize ahead of time if this turns into a complete rant.

Apparently, at some point, Dan Cathy, the owner of fast food chicken restaurant, Chick-fil-A, made some comments opposing same-sex marriage, lacing his comment with certain religious contexts or basis. He also, reportedly, contributed money to certain organizations who speak out against same sex marriage. Since doing so, those opposing his beliefs (those in favor of same-sex marriage) have created an all out fire storm against this guy. Big city mayors, such as Rham Emanuel, and other politicians, have supported boycotting his company, and even resorted to personal attacks against him. Some citizens have even verbally harassed his employees, including those gay employees whom Mr. Cathy apparently had no problem hiring to work for him.

To begin with, as a gay man, I have no problem whatsoever with Dan Cathy having his own opinion, being vocal about it, and spending his own money to promote those with similar ideas (Exodus International supposedly being one of those groups, and a group that actually does, believe it or not, help many gay men and women every year—myself being one such person, even though I disagree with some of their stances). So he believes marriage should only be between one man and one woman. So what? Who didn’t believe that twenty years ago? Most Christians, as Dan Cathy is, still believe this. Most Americans still believe this.

AND IT IS HIS RIGHT TO BELIEVE AS HE CHOOSES!!! IT IS ALSO HIS RIGHT TO SPEEK FREELY ABOUT HIS BELIEFS ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!!!

I get so annoyed by the hypocrisy of others in situations like this. I can’t stand it when people want free speech to assert their positions/beliefs, but will then do everything in their power to shut up the opposition. I’m sorry liberals, but in this case, I think you are wrong. Mr. Cathy should have every right to say what he thinks and to spend his money as he sees fit. That doesn’t mean that you have to like it. It also doesn’t mean that you have to support him or his business; you don’t have to buy his food! And, as a politician, if you are publicly speaking out against him, sorry, but that means you are crossing the line of your beloved separation of church and state, by discriminating against him and his beliefs. Furthermore, WE THE PEOPLE do have in this country a little thing called free speech. And as long as we have this right, Mr. Cathy is right, so far as in his actions and beliefs in this matter. Sorry, but that’s just how it is. Get over it and move on.

Now, concerning the whole thing, I personally believe that we should allow same-sex marriages in this country. I believe that because we also allow religious freedom in this country and because I recognize that there are already two separate kinds of marriages that we allow. One is marriage with religious contexts, and the other is a purely secular marriage. We do allow nonreligious people in this country to get married. That being the case, it seems as though we would also allow same-sex couples to marry. We should not impose our religious beliefs on others. In this case, Mr. Cathy may be somewhat wrong, by his funding groups that do work to prohibit same-sex marriages.

However, religion does play a role in the whole controversy surrounding Mr. Cathy. I really do not believe he did what he did because he hates gays. On the contrary, I think he did it because he loves his faith, and wanted to stand up for what he thinks is right according to that faith. It is the same reason why I have opposed certain gay friendly measures before. As a Christian, traditional teaching opposes homosexual relationships. It also opposes marriage as being anything other than a one man, one woman relationship. So, as I see it, Mr. Cathy was simply expressing his religious beliefs. And, again, so long as we have religious freedom in this country, Mr. Cathy is in the right.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I feel as if I’ll end up getting a fire storm myself for not being ultra-politically correct on my wording of things here. I’m not saying that freedom of religion and speech make Mr. Cathy’s viewpoints right. What I’m saying is that, whether he is right or wrong about his beliefs, he does have a right, and is in the right, to be vocal about his beliefs.

Sorry liberals, but the Constitution has not yet been thrown out the window. Until you’ve had your way with that, you’ll just have to accept that if you get the right to be heard, then so do those who oppose you.

15 comments:

naturgesetz said...

I agree with you that Mr. Cathy has a right to his opinion and to support organizations he agrees with and that public officials shouldn't discriminate against his business because of his personal views.

Where I disagree with you is on your support for legalizing gay "marriage" on the grounds that, "We should not impose our religious beliefs on others." While it is true that many people's opposition to it is based on or reinforced by their religious beliefs, that is not necessarily the case. As you point out, "So he believes marriage should only be between one man and one woman. So what? Who didn’t believe that twenty years ago? Most Christians, as Dan Cathy is, still believe this. Most Americans still believe this." What people believed twenty years ago is what people believed around the world throughout human history. It is not a matter solely of religious belief but of universal human experience that the union of man and woman is where babies, and hence the family, come from. IOW, the belief that marriage is something between a man and a woman, i.e., that no other human relationship is the same thing, is not a religious belief, but common sense.

Brandon said...

I see what you're saying, but I don't think that's a very good excuse for not allowing something. Just because something has always been a certain way, doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be another. Throughout history women traditionally haven't been allowed to engage in politics, but we've done a good job of changing that and things are okay. What I fail to see is what is so harmful allowing two men, in a loving, committed relationship with each other to call their relationship a marriage? If what they have is like marriage to them, what is so wrong with letting them call it marriage, and even recognizing what they have as marriage?

naturgesetz said...

Well, for one thing, it falsifies the meaning of marriage by implying that there is no connection between procreation and marriage.

Brandon said...

I'm not so sure about that. For one, many married people choose not to have kids or just simply can't have kids. By your argument, if they cannot or do not have kids, if they do not procreate, then does that make the relationship they have something less than marriage? I don't mean to offend or anything, but this just seems like a false argument. Not everyone's idea of marriage is the same anyway. And here is the point that I raise concerning all of this: if two men want to call their relationship marriage, what does that hurt? Anyone who disagrees with them can still disagree and can still teach their kids and others what they think marriage should be. But, just to reverse the table a bit, I for one would not want gay people telling me that marriage is only between two people of the same sex and prohibiting straight people to get married, while all the while getting tax benefits that they won't allow anyone else to get in recognition of their relationship. Look at the situation from the viewpoint of the gay couple, is what I'm saying. They just want to be able to honor their relationship as straight people can/do. I see nothing wrong with that.

naturgesetz said...

If I have a motorcycle and I call it a bicycle, it may not hurt anybody. If I think it's a bicycle, I'm mistaken. If I insist that because it's a bicycle, the state has to treat it as a bicycle (with respect to licensing of drivers, vehicle registration, etc.) that has consequences. The problem isn't that gay couples want to call their relationship marriage. The problem is that they want the state to pretend that it is.

Your point that, "Not everyone's idea of marriage is the same anyway," is part of the problem. And it's a problem which goes far beyond gay "marriage." It includes both the "contraceptive mentality," in which couples do not accept the fact that children are a gift from God and firmly decide not to have children — every bit as much an assault on the natural reality of marriage as gay "marriage" — and no-fault divorce, which turns marriage from a permanent commitment into an arrangement of convenience.

naturgesetz said...

I hope you don't mind my continuiing this discussion, but since my previous comment, I've had a couple more thoughts.

You write,"And here is the point that I raise concerning all of this: if two men want to call their relationship marriage, what does that hurt?" But nothing prevents them from doing so today in any state in the U.S.A. So clearly, that is not what they are looking for.

"Anyone who disagrees with them can still disagree and can still teach their kids and others what they think marriage should be." True, but now, in most states, the state isn't telling the children that their parents are wrong.

Brandon said...

N,

I understand where you're coming from. However, you have to accept that our government was created to cater not only to one religious viewpoint, but to be for the people of all backgrounds, including to those with no religious views. That being the case, our government cannot discriminate against one in favor of another.

Let me ask you something. If a black man and a white woman begin a relationship with each other, get married, and call their relationship a marriage, would you not agree that they are married? Yet, years ago, most of the southern United States would not have allowed them to get married, and certainly wouldn't have called their relationship a marriage. They called it something else. Were they right?

I agree with you concerning the loose standards of marriage these days. But, there again, my thoughts on this come back to my religious views of marriage. Not everyone views marriage from that context though. And it is a bit bewildering to use this as a model when Christians make up the largest number of divorced people in the US today. If in this country we are going to allow non-Christians to marry, then we must also allow them to marry even if their definition of marriage is not completely the same as our own. This doesn't mean we should allow marriages that could hurt people, as in forced marriages or child marriages though. It just means that our government should not endorse only one religions viewpoints of marriage within the law.

You mention that nothing prevents gay couples from calling their relationship a marriage, but you are wrong about that. Legally speaking, what they have in most states is not called marriage. So, yes, that is what they're fighting for. They want their relationship honored as a marriage, as they believe that it truly is, and from a legal standpoint.

And as for the state, the state doesn't have to endorse any such view of marriage. That's how I think it should be. Currently, however, they do endorse marriage as being only between a man and a woman. By that, they do tell children that their parents are wrong--children of gay parents, that is. And so, in that light, they do discriminate.

Again, I'm not saying gay marriages are right or wrong. What I am saying is that if two men wish to be married, that is their business, and I don't think the government should discriminate against them.

I favor this viewpoint because I recognize that Christianity may not always be the model for which so many of our laws are based, and I wouldn't want to reach a point in this country where atheists run the show and disallow anything honored through Christianity, such as marriage. And that could happen. So, my thought is that we should allow for all backgrounds. Christians can still promote what they think to be true even if gay marriage is allowed.

naturgesetz said...

Unfortunately, you are back to thinking that the natural definition of marriage, which the pagan Greek philosopher Aristotle recognized, along with every society in human history, is just a Christian view. I thought I had clarified in an earlier response that the natural view of marriage is not merely a Christian view. Therefore, when we insist on the truth of marriage, we are most definitely not imposing our religious beliefs on society.

The church did not create marriage. Neither did the state. It is a relationship between man and women which exists by nature and preexists both. While they may have some rights to regulate it, neither has the right to remake it. If marriage were something which the state created, then we would not have a right to impose a merely religious view; but the state did not create marriage, and we have a perfect right to try to prevent it from adopting a position contrary to human nature.

"What I am saying is that if two men wish to be married, that is their business, and I don't think the government should discriminate against them." What I am saying is that if two men want to be married to each other, they want something which is impossible.

"I favor this viewpoint because I recognize that Christianity may not always be the model for which so many of our laws are based, and I wouldn't want to reach a point in this country where atheists run the show and disallow anything honored through Christianity, such as marriage. And that could happen. So, my thought is that we should allow for all backgrounds. Christians can still promote what they think to be true even if gay marriage is allowed." If the atheists run the show, a concession on this point will not help us one iota.

I wish you could understand that the defense of true marriage against this phony, mislabeled "marriage" is not an imposition of religious belief, any more than a prohibition of stealing, which is against our religion, is an imposition of religious belief. But if you can't see this, then I guess there is nothing more to discuss at this point.

Brandon said...

N,

Have words never taken on new meanings throughout human history? Just because cool used to mean cold, that didn’t stop people from adding another meaning to the word so that it could also mean awesome. If some people want to change the meaning of marriage to include same sex couples, what is so wrong with that? It is a meaning that wouldn’t even have to imply to everyone. If you or anyone else didn’t want to consider gay marriage as marriage, you wouldn’t have to. But you are working to prevent gay couples from being married as they’d like to be from a legal standpoint. And if you don’t call what they have as marriage, then what do you call it? Furthermore, who are you or anyone else to define their relationship for them? It’s no one’s place outside of those directly involved. That is what I’m trying to get at. You can have your thoughts and definitions and everything else. Why can’t they have theirs, and both coexist?

As for nature, it has only ever been natural for me to want to be with another man. If marriage is defined by nature, then wouldn’t me being with another man be okay by that standard? Furthermore, whatever in nature ever called out and told us what marriage was supposed to be? If marriage is not defined by religion or the state, it is still defined nonetheless by people. And if it is just a natural process, then what makes the nature, or natural feelings, of two gay men to want to be together wrong? I mean, if you’re talking about a focus on nature only then what the hell are we doing? If it all comes down to nature then why on earth shouldn’t two gay men be together? Even the animals display homosexual behaviors. On some level, we as a society, people, have to decide what marriage is. Just because it’s traditionally only been one way, that doesn’t mean that we can’t adopt a new meaning, or even additional meanings for it, hence marriage between two gay men being called “gay marriage” and not just “marriage”.

As for this whole thing, as far as I’m concerned we’re just having a discussion, so please don’t get mad or offended. If I sound heated, it is only because of my frustration, and I’ll apologize for that. I respect your thoughts on the matter.

Brandon said...

N,

Just one more thought and I'll drop it for tonight. Even if everything you say is right, that is still just your opinion. Right? Aren't there others who disagree? If they do, what makes their opinion less valid than yours? And why should they have to believe and live their lives according to your opinions? Can't they be allowed to live with their beliefs in freedom just as you do?

naturgesetz said...

Brandon,

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you on this. You've been careful to reassure me that you intend no offense, and I want to assure you that I haven't been at all offended by what you've written. Similarly, I haven't intended to offend you or be angry, even if my combative side has been evident from time to time.

"Even if everything you say is right, that is still just your opinion. Right? Aren't there others who disagree? If they do, what makes their opinion less valid than yours? And why should they have to believe and live their lives according to your opinions? Can't they be allowed to live with their beliefs in freedom just as you do?" We all believe that some things are true, even if it is just that truth is unknowable. The fact that people disagree does not mean that neither is right. But they can't both be right about the thing they disagree about. So we try to persuade others that we are right. It's not a question of how they live their lives; it's a question of what the state and country of which I'm a citizen say about it on my behalf.

naturgesetz said...

"Have words never taken on new meanings throughout human history? Just because cool used to mean cold, that didn’t stop people from adding another meaning to the word so that it could also mean awesome. If some people want to change the meaning of marriage to include same sex couples, what is so wrong with that?" Of course meanings of words change over time (but abrupt redefinition is something different). And not every society around the world and through the ages has used the English word "marriage" to refer to the committed union of man and woman. But the purpose of words is to represent realities, and whatever word is used, there is a reality in human experience which is the enduring, committed relationship of man and woman. There is also the reality of relationships between individuals of the same sex. There is an objective, real-world difference between these two types of relationships in that it is absolutely impossible, as a matter of biology, for a same-sex couple by themselves to produce a child, whereas opposite-sex couples may be able to produce children. There is no logical necessity that these different relationships should be called by the same name.

I came across an interesting post earlier today. http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=34376 And I thought the following was particularly relevant to the discussion we've been having:
"There’s a reason every civilization has defined marriage the same way.

It isn’t because that state knows that giddy in-love feeling is just a little more special when you report it to a bureaucrat. That’s just weird. It isn’t because the state is benefited by maintaining a list of citizens’ official sex partners. That’s creepy.

The reason states privilege marriage is that it promotes two things the state does have an interest in: Child-bearing and child-rearing . Why does the state care about that? Because families give you something no amount of money can provide: A population that cares more about the future than the present.

To make marriage into a merely romantic gesture – to make it into a state-issued Valentine – will strip it of its meaning."

naturgesetz said...

"And if you don’t call what they have as marriage, then what do you call it? " Friendship, or relationship.

"Furthermore, who are you or anyone else to define their relationship for them? It’s no one’s place outside of those directly involved." But they want the state to define it for them and for me. I've got every bit as much interest as any other citizen in how my state defines things.

"You can have your thoughts and definitions and everything else. Why can’t they have theirs, and both coexist?" Why can't both coexist with them calling it marriage even though the law doesn't? Why shouldn't that be as acceptable to them as you want it to be for me not to call it marriage even if the law does? What makes coexistence impossible is to bring the state into it and try to get it to change the long-standing definition. Then it moves into an area where we can't both have what we want. When it moves out of the zone of private life and speech into the zone of state action, it becomes a zero-sum game. If they win, I lose. If they had been content to have their relationships recognized in law as "civil unions," there could still have been discussion as to how far the benefits accorded to the producers of the next generation should be extended to them, but there would not have been the sort of opposition there is to calling it marriage in law.

Brandon said...

N,

What you are talking about effects the lives of others though. You want something your way which harms individuals who disagree with you, both emotionally and financially. If they had it their way, how would it really hurt you? You'd just feel bad because you didn't get your way? Or, you'd have to live knowing that your country has allowed for something you consider sinful to take place? I mean, you said if they win, you lose. How? In what way do you really lose if they win?

And gay marriages are not just friendships or relationships. When two gay men love each other, decide to spend their lives only with each other, buy a home together, have sex only with each other, wake up every morning next to each other, and even in some cases make a family with each other, that goes well beyond what I'd call a normal friendship, or even a relationship. It's more than that. It is, in my mind at least, VERY much like marriage. Enough so that I would call it that because of its high similarity.

I mean, this would be like me saying that everybody should only wear green shirts, but if anyone dared to wear a blue one, it couldn't be called a shirt. It's still a shirt, just one of a different color. And no one's telling those who liked green first that they should have to wear blue. It's just that those who want to wear a blue shirt should be able to have that option available to them.

As for the state, it tends to do a lot of things I disagree with. But that's okay. I don't like high taxes. Some people are okay with that. I tend to believe that to have more civic responsibility, people should just pay taxes through an honor system. If the government falls apart because it has no money, it is the people to blame. If the government stays afloat because it has enough, well then we've all done our part to see to it. And this would certainly teach the government to spend only within its means and much more responsibly. But I dare say a good deal of people would disagree very strongly with me in this regard.

My point is that there is always going to be something we will disagree with. And it is okay to have an opinion. But on certain issues, we shouldn't force our opinions when it impacts the lives of others negatively. It is too much of a private/personal issue for those who want gay marriage, and I see no reason at all to believe that letting them have their way on this issue would hurt me or anyone else. But I do see that they are being hurt by not being allowed to get married. And I think that's wrong of us to enforce our beliefs onto them when it causes such harm.

Brandon said...

And as for procreation, if we used only the standard which you suggest to approve of marriage, then wouldn't we have to prevent couples unable of having kids from getting married? After all, if they couldn't procreate, what would be the purpose of their marriage? Right? Here is where we disagree some on what the purpose of marriage is all about. I think first comes marriage, then kids. Kids are a blessing/effect/consequence of that union, but not the sole purpose of it. Marriage, to me, is about two people who love and care for each other uniting in body and spirit before God. The state already allows people to get married beyond my definition though. Atheists get married all the time. Should we call them up and tell them the deal is off? See that's what I'm talking about. I have my opinion, you have yours, and others have theirs. If we are truly going to call this the land of the free, however, we have to allow people to decide what their marriage is going to be, so long as they aren't hurting others in the process. But we can't call this a free nation if we allow one group to decide how others should live, hurting them, when the way they wish to live hurts no one else. I mean, there's a reason homosexuality was decriminalized, and it was for this same reason. What two gay men did in their bedroom, and when they called what they did "sex", it didn't hurt anyone else outside of their relationship. So, thank goodness, we as a nation decided to allow this. I think it's the same thing with marriage.