I’m sure that by now everyone’s heard of the recent fire storm over the comments made by the owner of the Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant. The ever controversial issue he commented on; gay marriage.
So, would you support or boycott a restaurant based on the political views of the owner? Many Americans would, including politicians. The mayors of several cities have called for a ban on the restaurant being built in their cities, because they feel that the remarks of the owner go against American values, like tolerance.
But then, where is the tolerance for this man’s beliefs? He is certainly entitled to state his opinions.
What’s so interesting about this issue is how it has split the nation. People are either extremely supportive of the restaurant, going as far as standing in line for hours to purchase food, or extremely against, calling for a boycott. But it begs the question; why would you express your political views through something as petty as fast food?
I think part of the reason is that there is very little room now a days in America to speak against homosexuality. Because the idea of gay rights has become so important, and has been compared to other struggles like the African American civil rights movement, that holding contrary opinions makes one look intolerant and small-minded. Supporting the restaurant of a man who shares your views is one of the few ways to express your opinion on the subject.
I personally believe that likening an anti-gay marriage position to racism is false. Homosexuality is a much deeper issue, and the stance that people take against it is not based on a shallow concept like skin colour.
The issue surrounding the Chick-fil-A restaurant is, I believe, a reflection of a much deeper problem in the USA. Freedom of speech is only permissible if it’s speech that supports the latest advocacy fad. Debates have become more parroting what one side says than actual substantial arguments on personal beliefs, because people no longer want to think.
I’m going to leave it here because my thoughts are beginning to scatter, but I think that much can be inferred from this event.