Chicken Wars

Note..my own views on gay marriage are somewhere near the bottom of the post

Not too long ago, a certain individual defended on religious grounds his conviction that marriage was defined as a union between one man and one woman. Surely this vile Neanderthal was ostracized for his hateful beliefs. Certainly the career he built tanked because of such hateful and bigoted views, after which he was banished from polite and civilized society.

Not exactly. He was elected to the Senate from Illinois in 2004 and then we made him president in 2008.

During a debate against Alan Keyes in 2004, Barack Obama was asked about his views on gay marriage. He answered, “Well, I … what I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman… What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married are performing something before God and it’s not something that is between the two persons who are meeting.”

When interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Church during the 2008 campaign, then Senator Obama was more specific, proclaiming: “I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman … For me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union … God is in the mix.”

Where was the outrage? What’s the difference between what Barack Obama said during those two campaigns and what Chick-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy said a few weeks back? Cathy stated that he very much supported the biblical definition of the family unit and that he thought many of America’s ills were caused by the weakening of the traditional family.

For his troubles, Cathy has been demonized personally as a purveyor of hate. The company his father founded has been threatened by boycotts and municipal sanctions of dubious legality.

The reaction of liberals, especially those in the LGBT community, smacks of hypocrisy. Obviously, the fact that Obama got a pass for stating his views means that his opinion on same sex marriage (i.e. marriage, in the eyes of God, is between a man and a woman) is not all that odious. If Cathy and Obama agreed on the definition of marriage, why is Cathy being pilloried? If that definition of marriage is offensive, then surely Obama’s offense was the greatest. After all, he was running for a position of ultimate power, whereas Dan Cathy is a guy who sells chicken sandwiches. If opposing gay marriage is reason enough not to eat at Chick-fil-a, then it’s certainly reason enough not to vote for Barack Obama, yes?

As an aside…if any LGBT voter thinks that President Obama came out in favor of same sex marriage on principle…well..look at the calendar and the president’s poll numbers. You’re being played.

Maybe liberals and the LGBT lobby believe they have free reign to destroy anyone who veers from their orthodoxy on the subject now that the president has come out in favor of same sex marriage. It’s time to let loose the dogs of war, say they, on those medieval minds who don’t toe the line on what is and isn’t marriage.

Uh…no.

Rev. William Owens, the founder and president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (3700 plus strong), has launched a campaign opposing gay marriage. The good reverend believes that President Obama is taking the black vote for granted by condoning same sex marriage and equates Obama’s support of gay marriage to supporting child molestation.

A quick search of Twitter and Facebook finds no evidence of outrage against Reverend Owens nor calls for boycotting churches pastored by members of his organization. I wonder why?

A clue might be found in the post of a gay friend of mine on Facebook highlighting “Republican hate.” AHH HAA!!! All is illuminated. So, if you’re a member of a key Democratic fellow constituency, well, you can say pretty much anything you want about same sex marriage and get a free pass. If you’re a Republican (and worse, white) and stand on principle, well, you’re nothing but a knuckle dragging asshole. Apparently, Barack Obama and William Owens are entitled to their opinions, but Dan Cathy is not.

I’m much more concerned about this hypocrisy (and quite frankly, this bigotry) than I am about whatever Barack Obama, William Owens or Dan Cathy has to say about same sex marriage. I’m very much concerned over mayors in Boston and Chicago trying to use their government’s power to shut down a business because the owner of that business said something they didn’t like.

As for my stance on gay marriage, my opinion has evolved (even though I’m white and usually pull the Republican lever, I hope I’m granted the same tolerance as the Great Evolver himself). I most certainly do not agree with Reverend Owens’ vile assertion that support of gay marriage is tantamount to supporting pederasty and I don’t buy Cathy’s assertion that the apocalypse is upon LGBT folks want to get married. My own concept of marriage leans toward the traditional definition…that marriage is between one man and one woman.

That said, I have gay friends. And at the end of the day, who am I to deny someone I know and care about the happiness that I take for granted? Allowing LGBT folks to marry has no more effect on my than mildly wounding my sense of tradition. I think I’ll get over it. I do not think that the fabric of the universe will be torn asunder or the Founding Fathers will roll over in their graves. How can I look a gay friend in the face and say “No, not for you.”

On the flip side, I don’t consider this issue the civil rights struggle of our time and I abhor some of the tactics the same sex marriage lobby uses to further their cause. Some of the things I’ve heard from that side of the issue, some of the things I’ve seen on Facebook, are a lot more bigoted and hateful than anything Dan Cathy has said. I think if the same sex marriage lobby would give a nod toward the fact that this issue is enormously complex and sensitive to most people (Barack Obama being one), they’d see their agenda fulfilled much more quickly. I think it’s pretty obvious the way fence sitters are going to fall if they are attacked as hate filled simpletons if they don’t wholeheartedly embrace the concept of marriage between the members of the same sex.

I’ve been thinking a lot about inclusion of late, as it pertains to this issue and issues like immigration. We were all, at some point “the Other” in this country. It’s a cliché, but this country was truly created by melting together many different ingredients. So I do think that we should err on the side of inclusion versus exclusion. And that inclusion should extend past different types of people to the opinions of others.

And while I think Dan Cathy’s predictions of doom are a bit farfetched, I applaud his right to speak his mind, even though I might not agree completely with everything he says. If I boycotted every product produced by someone whose opinion’s I disagreed with, I’d probably never see another movie or listen to another Beatles song. If you oppose Dan Cathy’s utterances to the point where you can’t see your way to doing any more business with him, well then I support your right to do so.
If it’s on the ballet, I’m pretty sure I’ll pull the lever in favor of same sex marriage, then I’ll run down and enjoy a Chick-fil-a sammy.

3 thoughts on “Chicken Wars”

  1. False equivalency.

    The statement: “we’re 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” suggesting that the nation will be punished for allowing gay marriage is very different than simply stating a personal belief about what marriage is.

    1. You’re being disingenuous. The furor at Cathy was directed at his opposition to gay marriage, not what he believes are its consequences. Walk up to an advocate of same sex marriage and state you believe marriage is strictly between a man and a woman and you’ll be called a bigot, among other things.

      Besides, Obama stated the source of his opposition were his religious beliefs. That implies that he believed that same sex marriage was somehow an affront to God.

  2. From a contextual perspective the President was asked a question and tackled it honestly, perhaps with reservation and so yes that implication can be reached. Dan Cathy’s statements however require no leap of implication, he stated a distaste for change in marriage law and sends millions of dollars to Family Foundation to fight against it. This is well within his right, but so too is it within the rights of other citizens to protest against him for it.

    Regardless of the President’s own beliefs he made no stand against gay marriage in this way. Perhaps this is because liberals gave him a pass on his implications, but they might have done the same for Dan Cathy had he not directly invoked the vision of God’s wrath for America and brought his finances to bear in opposition of gay marriage.

    Still, like you, I believe I would stand in line to vote for same sex marriage while chewing on some waffle fries, glad that potatoes have no political affiliation.

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