I realize this is off topic for a reality TV blog, but every once in a while I need to address something that's truly reality. And today, that topic is the homophobic behaviors exhibited by Chick-Fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy.
One of the great things about America is that everyone is entitled to a personal opinion. I respect that. Personally, I'm a pro-choice, a supporter of gay marriage, and believe that as long as people are living their lives in a moral and ethical way, they're good. Not everyone agrees with me, and that's okay, however, I can't support an organization that actively opposes something that I believe in.
There are a few key issues coming into play here. First of all, I have not supported Chick-Fil-A for a long time. Why? Because I can't support a business that I think is being run badly. Chick-Fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays due to the company's Christian beliefs. So, wait - a company pays for valuable retail space in cities, malls and other popular locations, yet voluntarily loses money by closing on Sundays, even though families could theoretically eat at Chick-Fil-A after church? Let's face it - America's about capitalism, and I think this is a silly business decision. (It's similar to the way I feel about Walmart - I don't like that many of their employees aren't being given a proper salary and benefits package.)
I think it's a negative characteristic of America that corporations are able to provide large sums of money to political organizations to influence our politicians' choices. This goes for any company, not just Chick-Fil-A. Many political decisions are based on receiving funding from organizations such as Chick-Fil-A. It would be completely untrue to say that politicians don't shift their stances on issues based on receiving funding from large corporations. I don't support government officials being 'bought' in any case. This case is simply more sensitive because I do not support Chick-Fil-A's stance on gay marriage, or the lack of, in their case.
Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is entitled to his own opinion, however, by speaking on behalf of his corporation, he's harmed many people. First, he harmed his company's reputation, which harms his employees. I've read stories that people now walk by Chick-Fil-A stores and insult the employees because they don't agree with Dan Cathy's beliefs. That's not fair. The employees didn't do anything wrong, and in this economy, quitting a job to find a new one is simply not an option. Even worse is the effect this has had on gay employees. I've read reports of people going to Chick-Fil-A and telling employees (in less nice ways) that they're not fans of homosexuals. That must feel horrible. The employees are forced to remain professional, yet insults are being hurled at them from strangers who don't even know they're insulting that individual.
I hate that people in power try to make decisions for everyone. Live and let live! So what if you don't agree with gay marriage? You're not taking part in it - why harm those that want to do so? There are other cases of this in the news these days. Take New York City, for example, where hospitals may soon have the right to 'strongly encourage' mothers to breastfeed, rather than provide them with formula. Or politicians deciding whether or not I can get an abortion because they don't believe in them. This is not their choice. If they don't believe in abortions, they don't need to get them, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't have the right.
The way I view it is this: think about being a person that you're not. Whether you're a Caucasian person putting yourself in the shoes of a Hispanic person, a Christian putting yourself in the position of a Muslim person, a straight person internalizing the role of a homosexual person, an atheist putting yourself in the position of a religious person or anything else, try to view things from the other person's perspective. Would it hurt if someone hurled insults at you? Took away your fundamental rights? Said you couldn't do something because of who you are? You wouldn't like that, so why do that towards others.
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