Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A, Facebook posts, and staying silent about hate in order to be polite

The internet has been abuzz lately with news about Chik-Fil-A and their anti-gay stance. Everyone has an opinion, and well they should. Everyone should have strong opinions based on their beliefs, and should be proud of standing by them. There's been a lot of talk about how the people supporting Chick-Fil-A have rights under "free speech" to state their beliefs.
And they do- but so does everyone else. So do I. Just because you are entitled to free speech doesn't mean you're right, or just, or smart, or not a prejudiced bastard.
I was extremely proud when I saw the statement below, not just because they took a stance, but because this company influences children, and our best hope for a better world rests in new generations NOT having beliefs based on hate.
While these people have the right to say anything they want, I have some severe issues with the rhetoric being used by people online. One person's statement said that liberals were hypocrites because they claimed to be all inclusive, and then boycotted Chick-Fil-A for standing up for their beliefs. That argument doesn't even make any sense. By this logic, anyone who opposed apartheid was a hypocrite for boycotting South Africa- boycotts that were largely responsible for apartheid not being around anymore. 
I also have a serious issue with people who only follow the parts of the Bible that they like (hello- Leviticus?) and don't seem to take the Bible in any sort of context. I am a screaming liberal- so by this post, I am a hypocrite. Someone I've known for a long time posted this on their Facebook. And then said anyone disagreeing with them need not post a comment, just unfriend if anyone disagreed. So I did. Because the statement is hate speech. And ignorant.
I have a hard time understanding why I'm a hypocrite when I stand up for my beliefs, but you're a saint for standing up for yours.
Here's another example of the ridiculous tripe floating around the internet:

"The recent attacks on Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A over Cathy’s support of “the biblical definition of the family unit” show, once again, that leftwing elites who support a radical homosexual agenda are nothing more than hypocrites and bullies.  As I have followed the developing controversy, I have noticed a tone of desperation in the over-the-top attacks on the Chick-Fil-A organization.  It is as if radical homosexual organizations fear that the pro-family, pro-Christian values of one of America’s fastest growing restaurant chains will, once again, take hold in an America that has forgotten these values."

So I'm a hypocrite and a bully? And did I miss the memo that states how guaranteeing civil rights such as marriage, and equal protection under the law somehow constitutes a "radical homosexual agenda"? If believing that every American citizen is entitled to the same rights as every one else equals a "radical homosexual agenda" then by all means, sign me up.

I know some people are just refusing to engage in political discussions on their Facebook or Twitter. They delete the insane email forwards that insist President Obama is a fundamentalist Muslim with an agenda. But through all of this, one phrase keeps floating through my mind-
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
While  some may believe that they're not making waves, or not upsetting Aunt Sally, or not trying to change a generational viewpoint, it's much simpler than that. You are supporting hate. If you do not agree with people who are racist and prejudiced, then you need to speak up. Otherwise, you are just as guilty as they are. No friend, no family member is so high and mighty that they are worth you giving up your beliefs.
So yes, I will continue to stand up for my beliefs- I believe that EVERY one is entitled to their civil rights and equal protection under the law. I will continue to believe that hate and prejudice is wrong, and that people that hold these beliefs under the ridiculous protection of their religion are still prejudiced. I also happen to think you're ignorant, but that's another matter.
I have lost people as friends because of my beliefs, but I'm okay with that. Because if you think that hating people for who they are is right and just, then I don't want you as my friend anyway.

So the next time you read something you think is wrong, and you think "I'll just let it slide", take a moment and think about what the repercussions of doing that are- because I don't think manners should take precedence over beliefs. Think of where the world would be if we didn't stand up for women's rights, or civil rights, or against apartheid or racism because we didn't want to upset anyone. It is always the little, consistent habits that speak much louder than any one large action. 

If we want the world to be a better place, the least we can do is stand up and say so.

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