Friday, 3 August 2012

It's Time I Said Something About This

I know I'm late to the party, but when something concerns gay rights, and freedom of speech, I should be all over it. So I'm going to write/rant about Chick-Fil-A and that whole debacle. Warning, this could get long and I may give myself carpel tunnel syndrome. Also, you could heavily disagree with me here.

If you've not heard about it, basically there's a fast food chain called Chick-Fil-A, who will now be known as CFA because I really hate typing that. Anyway, they're very very Christian. Everyone has known this for some time now. They even stay closed on Sunday. Though personally I think they should hold sermons in the restaurant, rather than close. So, the head honcho of this place is having an interview, and he basically says that he, as a Christian in charge of a very Christian company, does not support gay marriage, and that he has also donated money to organisations that are opposed to it. Shortly after this the Jim Henson company (yay Muppets) flip the fuck out, and decide that they will never do business with them again, and donated the money they got from them to pro-gay organisations. Things have since really spiraled out of control since then. You had people having sit ins to show their support of CFA. Political candidates like Mitt Romney, or just that crazy bastard actually, tweeted about being in and enjoying CFA so much someone actually said to him "We get it, you hate gays. Shut up." and you also have gay people saying they're going to go to CFA and get their freak on in a "protest". There was even someone saying that CFA couldn't open a restaurant there. That is way too far. Way too far.

Look, people are disagreeing with what CFA said, and people are agreeing with it too. In this day and age there are still people who don't support gay marriage, and potentially never will. You can't force them to accept it either. You can't punish them for having an opinion. If they openly banned gay people from their restaurants, THEN you can kick off. If this turned in to black segregation, with gays, then yes, you can punish them. The man stated an opinion and the people who work for him do not deserve this. I'm all for gay rights, I'm all for freedom of speech, and I'm all for "I don't agree with what you said but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Freedom of speech is, honestly, a flawed concept. It is damn near impossible to have fully. People are always going to disagree, and say that someone shouldn't be allowed to say something. In a world where there is true freedom of speech I could walk up to a group of black people and say "What's up n*ggers? (I hate censorship but even I'm not going to get away with that), those trees aren't going to pick themselves. How about you get off your porch, and get up that tree?" If I tried to say that, I would probably get killed, and people wouldn't care. If you want to promote freedom of speech then you can't go saying someone isn't allowed to say something. You should be saying "Well they can say that, but we can still call them cunts for it." There are people who can not be forced to accept something. I've talked about that before. Trying to get someone to accept a minority, be it racial group or sexuality, is impossible. It just breeds hatred towards that group. Freedom of speech relies on a person's moralistic integrity and ability to not say something incredibly flawed or stupid. People are always going to be like that. There are people who don't watch what they say, and people who are too sensitive about what they say, and would rather not voice an opinion in case someone disagrees.

If you can't change their mind, then ignore them. Talk to the people you can change the minds of. Educate the young and make sure the next generation is better. Get them to make their next generation better, and soon, you have what you wanted. I do think that one day we will have equality for every race, gender, and "minority", but I don't think it's possible in this life time. If that is the case, then invest in the future. Teach your kids that there's nothing wrong with being gay. Encourage people to come out. Accept that it's possible for two people of the same gender to love eachother. Don't punish people for having an opinion you don't like. Engage them in conversation, debate, and try and change their mind. If you really can't, then don't give them a position of prominence. Don't give them attention, and they'll go away, and their misguided views and opinions will die with them.

The guy who runs CFA might be a bit of a dick, but so are the people who are going so far to punish him for something he said. When he starts kicking people out of his restaurants, when he interrupts a gay wedding, when he patently encourages his customers to stand against gay marriage and he's influencing children to hate gays (okay if he's done that or not is debatable) THEN you can attack him. Attack his arguments, not the man himself. When you attack the person you're debating, that's an ad hominem, and you've already lost the debate.

You could at least attack them for their poor grammar. Or terrible food. I hear it's bad anyway

18 comments:

  1. Well he is entitled to his own opinion, but he has a responsibility too, and he's got to keep his own fanbase from revolting.

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  2. At least when I was a little baby boy, in an American school they taught all of us, the whole purpose of freedom of speech was that even the most heinous of opinions would be protected from censorship, because when you censor any opinion, it starts a slippery slope where any disagreement is silenced. I think the idea of punishing CFA for expressing an opinion is just scaring people that America is turning into a country where any time you say something that the majority doesn't agree with, you will be punished. And some of the protesters have been going after the employees, which is horrible. What are people going to have to do...start quitting their jobs every time someone from their company says something that pisses off people? Yeah, wow... I agree with you. Things have gotten out of hand.

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  3. I've never even considered eating chicken from there when in America because their food just doesn't look one bit appealing to me and I find their poor spelling campaign tacky. At the same time Mark these places are born and raised to have their opinions no matter how bullish and ignorant they are and in my eyes that's nothing different to how a gay person is gay, really they can't help growing up that way so I think that while a gay person should be allowed the same kind of rights as a straight person, CFA should be able to do what they want with their money, that's just my opinion though, I get it's a little skewed.

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  4. Yeah I noticed the ruckus around it. While I do agree he's a major asshole, people need to just "ugh" and then walk away. It doesn't help if you throw gas into the fire.

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  5. Excellent post Mark. As we dont have that company here it has been hard for me to follow the debate although I have friends who do support a boycott.
    In the end, we should all be able to choose for ourselves how to react

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  6. I thought it was Sarah Palin who was the recipient of that, "We get it, you hate gays" comment? Not that I would doubt Romney would say that as well.

    Anyway, I agree with you. It's sad that this issue got media coverage. Other restaurant chains have voiced their opinions about sensitive matter and didn't get nearly as much coverage. I work in Boston where the governor had released a letter saying that CFA was not aloud to build an establishment here. It's sad that so many people have not seen this as a publicity stunt. Our governor was in unfavorable terms with the populace, but as soon as this letter (that his secretary most likely wrote) was released, all of a sudden he's the greatest governor ever. All injustices he's done in the past has been swept under the rug. Also, no one seemed to notice it had more to do with zoning issues than beliefs.

    But, it is the right of these people to believe what they want. It's no like the voice of a restaurant CEO holds any influence over gay rights. It's the people who actual take action to prevent the marriage of same-sex couples that we need to unite against. Bah, people sometimes...

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  7. It's his opinion, we can object to the opinion, but not his right to voice it out, I think.

    The leaders of my country are currently all out to prove how anti-LGBT they are. Even terrorists get better treatment.

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  8. People just need to get over themselves. Why does everything have to be a debate? Just accept the fact that people and their opinions will be always different and move on!

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  9. I'm gonna be a very lazy s.o.b. and copy my comment on Adorably Dead's post about CFA:

    I don't watch the paper or read the news and I'm sick of it, too. Probably why I didn't know how much $$$ they contributed to anti-gay causes. I hadn't heard from any of my friends -- gay, straight, bi, what have you -- about how bigoted Chick-Fil-A was until the gay marriage issue came to the forefront. It's a free country and we're all free to be as hateful and narrow-minded as we wish. And if Dan Cathy only wants homophobic rednecks buying his chicken, that's cool. Makes no fucking business sense at all, but whatever. He ain't gettin' a dime of my money. Will it make a difference? Probably not. But he's got his principles and I've got mine.

    Popeye's is 1,000x better anyway. :)

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  10. I agree with Dan on this one. Free speech is free speech. Not everything needs to be a debate. I don't like when Westboro Baptist Church comes to our town to protest against our fallen soldiers at their funerals and they carry their anti-gay signs with them, but I'm told it's their "right" to protest. I think they are a bunch of insensitive jerks who have found a way to manipulate our system to make money. If the owner of CFA isn't for gay marriage, so be it. He has a right to his opinion and if I don't like it, it's up to me not to contribute towards the owner's profits.

    My thing is - why is it such a big deal? If two people love each other, why shouldn't they be allowed to get married? Seems pretty damn simple to me and I'm a Republican - go figure.

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  11. If we shut down companies because of the opinions of the owners or employees, we will have to shut them all down. There will be companies with owners who support gay marriage and companies with owners who don't. If I disagree with their beliefs, all I have to do is find another company to do business with and go about my life.

    For me to protest a company out of business they would have to be causing harm... aka hurting people or animals in a physical way or a deeply psychological way. If a company hired people from a particular category (women/men, gays/heterosexuals, married/single, etc) and did so in order to degrade them behind closed doors, that would cause me to make noise. But not for an opinion.

    And quite honestly, when people go out of their way to shut down a company or go around destroying property because the owners aren't "on their side", that makes me wonder just how right their side really is.

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  12. Hay. I just don't understand other people, why can't they just be happy with other people's choice? Gays are awesome. They're witty. They think fast and very funny. I have two close friends that are gay and have a cousin too. Also, most of my co-trainees (guys) are gays and if it's not for them our class will be one of those boring classes.

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  13. Eh, they're going to remain bigots. Nothing we say or do is really going to change that. Though maybe the massive dip in profits will help show how wrong they are.

    Not that I can do much, I don't think they have any chains in Canada.

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  14. It kind of reminds me of Mel Gibson. Should we stop watching Mel Gibson's movies because he's anti-semitic? Maybe not, but I can't help but be turned off from it. And this CFA guy isn't just stating his opinion; he's giving money to anti-gay esatablishments, right?

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  15. I mostly agree with everything you say, but when the man is donating millions of dollars to organizations that goes as far as promoting the death penalty for homosexuality in some backwards countries, I think he deserves any and all non-violent legal attacks that can be thrown at him or his company. He has a shitty opinion, fine. When he's actually influencing the legislative process around the world with money to inflict his opinion on others, punishment is deserved.

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  16. I think it's annoying how people expect the whole world to share the exact sam beliefs. Everyone in the world is different, face it!

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  17. Oh wow, I had no idea about all this. Maybe because I live in malaysia and we don't have CFA here.

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