Thursday, August 02, 2012

Would you like fries with that hate?

I understand that there is some hoopla about some chicken guy saying something and some people getting upset by it and causing a big stink. And the big stink upset some other people who decided that stuffing their faces with chicken would really stick it to the originally upset people.

I stayed home. I figured it would be a better use of my money and my voice if I donated what I would have spent buying my family a chicken dinner to a local food bank. Plus, I really, really, really dislike crowds.

I also understand that some of you ate there to show your solidarity with that guy and either with what he said or with the idea that supporting his establishment would better ensure that you can have faith in something and be allowed to talk about your faith and act on your convictions without being punished. Others of you may have eaten there because their waffle fries are tasty and it’s so nice to be told ‘My pleasure’ when you ask for something. I need to teach my kids that!

Some of you didn't eat there as a sign of solidarity with another group of people who felt like their support of this establishment would have resulted in supporting something that aims to strip them of the freedom to act on their own convictions.
Our beliefs either directly or indirectly effect how we act and speak. We want to have the freedom to act in accordance with our beliefs. Apparently that’s what everyone wants. Duh.

But people love to make a stink when someone else’s beliefs seem like they might keep you from having the freedom to act on your own beliefs.

So, some people claimed that because this one guy spoke out about one of his personal beliefs, which doesn’t effect the way he runs his business (except that he stays closed on Sundays to let the employees attend church, if they choose), that they were going to boycott. Actually, they said much worse than this too. And then for some ridiculous reason, some cities got scared or something and said that they were going to use their own power to keep this particular business out of their cities. As if that’s gonna fix the problem.

By boycotting and protesting and screaming ‘hate,’ do these people not see that they are saying that beliefs are fine and all, as long as I agree with them too? I mean, it’s no secret that the founders of this particular business are Christian and have values and beliefs that align with the Christian faith. No one’s raised a stink before. And it’s not like anyone was denied services or told they couldn’t work there or anything. This guy just mentioned in passing that he has a particular belief and people went ape shit.

But woe to anyone who goes ape shit when YOU share what you believe in and expect to have the freedom to act on those convictions! No, everyone else needs to stifle their faith. Hide it. Just be nice and smile and act like everything is fine. But I want to frolic on your face and scream about my rights to act on my beliefs from the rooftops and if you try to stop me, I will cry ‘HATE.’

This drives me bonkers. and I hear from it all sides of this issue.
Somewhat related, and please correct me if I'm wrong. But don't businesses have the right to refuse services if, in fulfilling those requested services, they personally feel like they’d be going against their convictions. We have protections in place for these people right? From what I can tell, no one is being denied a chicken sandwich, but all this talk about freedoms got me thinking...

So if you go somewhere and request a service and are turned down because the service provider feels strongly that they shouldn’t serve you, move on! There are probably at least a half dozen other service providers in your area who wouldn’t bat an eye at your request. Just go find one of those instead of trying to make life hell for that one person (and all his/her employees who may or may not share the same convictions as their boss) who acted on his/her convictions. You wanna be allowed to act on your convictions without retribution, right? Then do the decent thing, and move on. Understand that by being decent, you are being what you beg of everyone else to be towards you. You can't force someone to agree with you. Especially if you bully them into it. But you can act in such a way that they might reconsider the way they treat or think about people like you. 
If you want to be taken seriously, if you want people to listen to you, you gotta stop yelling hate every time you hit a roadblock. How many times have people struggled to get where they are? Think that through. The ones who people took notice of, the ones who broke our hearts and showed us there can be a better way to treat people, weren’t the ones yelling and spitting and gorging themselves on chicken. They were the ones just acting the way they themselves wanted to be treated.

And if you don’t want to support a business that you disagree with, you can totally do that! But you don’t need to call all the news stations and create a Facebook army of people to do it with you. Same goes with if you want to support a business that you agree with. I mean, come on, people! Mob mentality shit is freaky stuff!

Ah, to be young and outraged again! (I read that on another blog about this same subject. Cracked me up!)

Yes, there are some hateful people from all walks of life out there who would like nothing more than to squish you all like bugs. They are gross and obnoxious and not helpful. Some are even actually dangerous. They have done some very hurtful things. People have been deeply offended, terrorized and some have been killed because of these kinds of actions. Let’s not align ourselves with this kind of hate.

Most fires go out if you quit poking them. Others can devour before you can register that there was even a spark. Be careful what you say and do. Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.

One of the cooler things I'm seeing come out of all this mess is that some more people are having conversations about what is freedom of religion and what is freedom of speech. Who hae these freedoms and who doesn’t? Which acts based on religious faith are permissible and which should be snuffed out? What speech is permissible and what is considered so wrong that the one who spoke it and anyone connected to him has to be punished? These are some good questions. I’m glad we’re having these conversations. We just need to make sure we come up with really good answers.

1 comment:

jennifer anderson said...

everyone but christians are allowed to express their relogion these days. but actually both sides of the protest are boring.