In my last post, I wrote about “possibility” in terms of quantum mechanics, but at the back of my mind I was really thinking about possibility in general. I was thinking about how we live in a society where virtually anything is within our reach, where every human being has a right to go after whatever dreams he or she hold dear. I’ve seen lots of evidence that this sentiment is growing. And, then again, for every step forward, we seem to take two steps back.
A few weeks ago, when Meg I were painting Hubby’s store windows, there was a group of picketers at the 7-11 next door. I couldn’t hear everything they were saying, but at one point I did hear the words “abomination in the eyes of God” and I had a pretty good guess. Last week’s anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A president, Dan Cathy, seem to echo what I heard on the corner that day and, while the LGBT community is furious and boycotting Chick-fil-A, the company reported record sales on August 1 (declared “Chick-fil-A Day” by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, as a token of support for Cathy’s comments).
Some are saying Cathy has a right to his opinion and a right to voice it out loud under the first amendment. I honestly can’t disagree with that – he certainly can say or think whatever he wants. The thing is, when a respected business leader like Cathy makes such comments, it tends to fuel the hatred that’s already brewing and make it okay for everyone to start spouting preposterous hate-filled things.
It’s no secret that I fall on the side of LGBT rights, but to be honest that’s not really even what upsets me about the whole controversy – it’s the fact that so many people are rallying behind it so vocally – everything from religious leaders pounding the pulpit about the ‘morale threat to our children’, to teenagers beating the hell out of a gay neighbor, to fundamental Christians lining up to buy chicken sandwiches and waffle fries in the name of hate.
I can’t help but think the whole thing springs from close-mindedness – the inability to accept anything different and going on the attack the moment we see something that differs from our own experience. It’s actually kind of interesting to note what Cathy actually said…
“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 want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”
Seems Mr. Cathy isn’t too big on any kind of family beyond the traditional kind.
Someone asked me once if I felt “guilty” about my daughter’s sexual orientation. Infuriated as I was by the question, I basically told the woman that I am completely and totally supportive of my daughter and her lifestyle. I wish she had an easier path and I sometimes worry for her and her partner’s safety (especially lately), but the fact that she has found love and a deep and lasting friendship with someone she’s committed to, why on earth would I feel guilty about that?! I’m proud that I was able to raise my daughter in such a way that she could openly embrace her feelings in a world that would prefer she hid them until a “cure” could be found. I’m proud to have a daughter who has the courage to be with the person she loves in spite of what the fundamentalist community in our state believes. And I’m grateful that my own world view has expanded in such a way that I can actively participate in the civil rights battle ahead of us. Because that’s exactly what this is – it’s the human rights issue of our time and I truly want to believe that love will prevail.