Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day???

The President of the fast food chain Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, says he doesn’t believe in gay marriage. Against the comments of Chick-fil-A chain president, is the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, who says his city doesn’t want any Chick-fil-A’s in Chicago because Cathy’s values are not Chicago’s values. Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, doesn’t want any discriminating Chick-fil-A’s in his city either. The Jim Henson company, which embraces diversity, is pulling it’s toys out of Chick-fil-A’s children’s meals. Among those who rallied to support Chick-fil-A is Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, who says he supports company executives for taking a stand for God’s values. Add Senator Rick Santorum and religious leaders to the mix. And now, from one’s man’s opinion, we are discussing freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Yesterday was declared Chick-fil-A appreciation day by Mike Huckabee. People came from everywhere to buy chicken sandwiches, even if they had to wait an hour on line, to support this four billion dollar money making business. One church even cancelled services and hired buses to go buy chicken sandwiches. God must be looking down very pleased to see that He takes second place to Chick-fil-A.

I had never heard about Chick-fil-A before. I have been trying to wrap my mind around this topic long enough to make some sense of it and blog it. It’s not easy because this whole thing is just so ridiculous there are no words or logic to explain how this whole situation got blown out of proportion. First of all, Dan Cathy is entitled to his opinion, whatever it is, whether I or others agree with him or not. Second of all, no mayor has the right to decline a business from opening in their city based on the religious beliefs of it’s president. It’s not legal and neither Chicago nor Boston would have been legally able to follow through on their blocking the business from opening in their city. That might have been the end of it, but no. Too simple.

Instead, the situation gets more ridiculous. A Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day? Really? Is that necessary? Don’t we have other things, more important things, that we can set a day aside to appreciate besides a chicken sandwich chain? What about the different branches of our military, police officers, firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses, EMT’s? I never heard an all out effort to give them an appreciation day. How about researchers who are looking for a cure for cancer? Maybe they deserve some appreciation? Or, how about we all donate the money we would have spent on all fast food, for a day or a week, to let’s say St. Jude’s Hospital? Maybe they deserve some appreciation for saving children’s lives from cancer? But no, instead we have thousands of people, dropping what they are doing, to go out and buy chicken sandwiches from a thriving multibillion dollar business. Does this even make sense? 

The whole issue exploded because everyone is giving one man’s opinion more attention than it deserved and it has started a division among so many people. A political division and a religious division. At a time when we should be coming together and working together to help our country through a financial crisis, we are further divided by a chicken sandwich. Everyone has an agenda. The politicians want to use this as an excuse to further their cause for or against gay marriage. Religious institutions wants to jump on this opportunity to rally support for traditional marriage. Everyone who thinks this is about freedom of speech is misguided. Dan Cathy said what he said, and would have suffered no repercussions for it at all. Now, he is profiting even more from all the free publicity and all the extra chicken sandwich sales. Maybe he’ll run for President of the United States next? This country is just plain crazy if you ask me. 

Not too long ago, JCPenney hired Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson. Some people went nuts over that. Why? Because Ellen is gay and JCPenney’s customers believe in traditional values. How dare they pick such a sweet and loving person as their spokesperson? Maybe they should have picked Angelina Jolie, who has been living out of wedlock for years? At least she is not gay. How about Jennifer Lopez? She loves traditional marriage so much she has done it three times already and now has her own boytoy maybe looking to make him a fourth husband. Is that ridiculous or what?

Why can’t we live and let live? Why can’t we discuss anything intelligently? We don’t all have to agree on everything. It’s not a personal attack if someone has a different opinion than ours. We can respect each other’s opinions while still having our own. That’s all this is about. People not respecting other’s people’s rights to their own opinions. And what good has been accomplished with all this back and forth banter? A very rich man is getting richer by the minute. 

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