Life has been a bit crazy for my family, and not a little stressful. So, I took a break from earlgreygirl. I am jumping back into the fray on an uncomfortable topic. I don't really like controversy, but as my writing professor used to say, "To be a good writer, you have to stick your neck out." I write this out of love and concern for all of us who are together on this crazy, spinning planet.
It amazes me how intelligent people can jump on a bandwagon of hatred so quickly. Bloggers, reporters, politicians et al are ready to burn Chik-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy at the stake for his opposition to gay marriage...oh, wait, Cathy DID NOT say one word about gays and gay marriage in the interview.
He simply stated some facts about his business and family: "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."
Bloggers are making wild assumptions about Cathy’s beliefs from those three sentences. One blogger wrote, “On the simplest level, I wish that Chick-Fil-A's President Dan Cathy had someone like (my friend) James in his life, because if he did he’d easily see that a person’s sexuality does not determine his or her character. He’d see that people who are gay deserve to have the same rights as everyone else.”
This is a woman who blogs for the Chicago Tribune. Where in the interview with Dan Cathy does he say anything about his views on a person’s character, or that he does not believe gays have rights? He simply makes a personal value statement about family.
Another piece for the Chicago Tribune stated, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed Moreno’s ideological viewpoint (an alderman who says he will prevent Chik-Fil-A from opening another restaurant in Chicago), saying the city does not share the values espoused by Dan Cathy, president of the family-owned Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant chain.”
Really? An entire city is opposed to the kind of family unit Cathy talks about? An entire city does not support the idea of a family-owned business? How on earth does Emanuel have access to every heart and mind in Chicago? Before you take me to task for exaggerating, understand that I am repeating the essence of what Mayor Emanuel stated. Just because someone states he is living out a certain way of life and a belief system, does not mean he or she is opposed to your right to a certain way of living and belief system.
Someone, somewhere will interpret what I say here as “homophobic” even though I have not voiced a single word that can be truthfully interpreted as such. My point is to ask that people stop knee-jerk reactions based on assumptions and media hysteria.
I am a believer in Christ. I am a registered Republican. I am a woman married to a man. My husband is a pastor. Because of these four sentences, four statements of fact, people--be they Christian, Buddhist, atheist, conservative or liberal--will make certain assumptions about my character, my beliefs, who I love and who I supposedly hate, and I guarantee that most of the assumptions would be wrong.
If there is something I hate, it is hatred. Hatred caused the tragedy in Aurora; hatred caused 9/11; hatred propels people like the pastor of Westboro Baptist---which, by the way, simply because he calls himself a pastor and his church “Baptist”, does not mean he is a believer in Jesus. He in no way reflects the Jesus I love and know from the Word, nor does he reflect the character of any believer I know.
When we lambaste someone for holding a different opinion (especially without truly knowing what that opinion is--like reading a headline and thinking that is the full story), our reaction is not only ignorant, it is hateful. If we are not operating out of love and respect for another’s opinion, whether they be that “crazy” neighbor, the president of the United States, a CEO, a co-worker who is also a lesbian, a teen working out his faith, we will fear and hate what we don’t understand.