So, yeah — today, I had a grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and our free-standing restaurant here in Woodbridge (VA) was packed to the gills. Was this merely a local phenomenon? Apparently not:
Here’s the thing: If I were to use one word to describe my attitude regarding gay marriage, I think that word would be “ambivalent.” On the one hand, I have quite a few gay friends and consequently feel sympathy for their position. Personally, I don’t see why, for example, we can’t allow a gay man to visit his life partner in the ICU; said gay man’s feelings are real and should be respected. And let’s face it — if Kim Kardashian can divorce her latest husband after a mere 72 days of marriage without becoming the target of near universal condemnation, it’s no wonder the “sanctity of marriage!” argument is now failing to pass muster. In truth, the straight majority has already done quite enough to radically undermine the marriage sacrament. Will our tiny gay minority really make the situation worse?
On the other hand, I am a faithful Catholic and therefore obligated to take the Church’s teaching on homosexuality seriously. 2000-plus years of Christian tradition is not something to casually dismiss — especially given the overwhelming vindication of that tradition on the issues of contraception and abortion. Are we really happier now that we’ve completely removed the procreative function from the sexual act? Thanks to the supposed “liberation” of the sixties and seventies, poverty has been feminized, families are crumbling, and our children are getting the short end of the stick. How can we trust that gay marriage won’t be as destructive as that first “revolution” in sexual mores?
Bottom line, when it comes to gay marriage, I’m a true moderate. I can see the merits of both sides of the debate and am willing to consider a compromise solution of some sort — one that gives a gay union some secular legal heft without mandating social or religious acceptance. Because I gotta tell ya: If you’re looking for outright approval, you’re going to be waiting a ridiculously long time. Every time gay marriage has been put up to a popular vote, it has lost. Every time. It doesn’t matter if the vote is held in a “blue” state, a “red” state, or a purplish swing state; the results are always the same. And no — that doesn’t mean your fellow Americans are all bigoted yokels. It means they haven’t found your argument persuasive.
Left wing gay marriage advocates have basically convinced themselves that the entire Christian right looks like this:
… when in reality, Christians who oppose gay marriage look more like my neighbors, my unassuming Korean boss, my relatives, and my priests — i.e., folks who would never dream of hurting anyone and generally aren’t hateful or “phobic.” I mean, really: Does this guy sound like he’s seething with rage? Does this woman sound like she’s itching to string gay men up by their toenails? Please, leftists — be honest in your dealings with people who disagree with you. Cartoonifying your opposition only hurts you in the long run.
And thus, I come back to Chick-Fil-A. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t agree 100% with Dan Cathy were I to have an in-depth conversation with him about gay marriage. But after a week of watching the Two Minutes Hate unfold on Facebook over Cathy’s remarks in re: marriage, I evolved into a firm supporter of the beleaguered CEO. I just don’t like deceitfulness, hypocrisy, or bullying, and the whole Chick-Fil-A affair has featured generous helpings of all three. The deceit came in every time a gay marriage booster conflated Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage with an outright hatred of gays. The hypocrisy and bullying, meanwhile, came in when certain high-profile politicians – who, by the way, wouldn’t dream of challenging a black mega-church or a mosque on this same issue – threatened to block Chick-Fil-A’s expansion into their territories. Are these men aware of this thing we have called the First Amendment? I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to use government force to shut someone up. Oh — and who exactly died and made you the boss of your constituents’ consumer choices, Rahm? Perhaps you should let people make up their own damned minds whether they wish to patronize Cathy’s chicken joint or not.
I’m betting a poll of Chick-Fil-A’s customers today would reveal attitudes very much like my own. The huge backlash against the anti-Chick-Fil-A rhetoric, I feel, reflects the average American’s impatience with moral busybodies who seek to dictate to us how we should live our everyday lives. As one of my Facebook friends remarked today, “Can’t I just order a chicken sandwich without it becoming a huge political affair?” Amen to that, brother! If you wish to personally boycott Chick-Fil-A over Cathy’s position on gay marriage, that’s your prerogative — but don’t attempt to force your opinions on the rest of us.