I am the most ridiculed, despised, ridiculously mis-labeled person in America. Why is that? I’m a white male, in my late 30′s who owns his own fledgling business and doesn’t subscribe to organized religion. If I was religious, I would be somehow worse.
The only person you can safely pick on and dump your anger upon is the white man. Don’t talk about African Americans, Latinos, Women, Gays or Lesbians though, that’s insensitive, racist, sexist, bigoted, discriminatory and just flat wrong. These people have rights. They’ve been oppressed. And I won’t argue that fact. These people HAVE been and in some cases often still ARE oppressed in some way, shape or form. I feel for them all, I truly do. But you know what? No matter what you think of me and my beliefs, I have the same rights you do.
I believe that you have the right to be who you are without worrying who’s going to try to make you feel miserable. I believe you have the right to marry whomever you want to, and be happy. I believe you have the right to choose where you shop and where you eat and what you watch on television and what foods you consume. I also believe you have the right to disagree with me 100% on any or all things I believe in.
What I don’t believe in, however, is that you have the right to make me change to suit you. In as much as I don’t have the right to change you to suit my beliefs. I think we can all agree on that one, tiny, often overlooked point.
Chick Fil A has been under fire ever since their Septagenarian CEO made his comments against the LBGT community. There have been protests, there have been boycotts, demonstrations and lots and lots of rage directed towards this company. That’s your right if you choose to participate. You are absolutely welcome to feel the way you do, and I don’t necessarily think you’re wrong for feeling the way you do.
I also think, you should step back for just a minute and realize that while you have your rights to feel the way you do, that this old man has the right to feel the way he does. That doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it more palatable, it just states that he has the right to his beliefs. Nothing more, nothing less.
I’ve heard the argument that the LBGT community shouldn’t have to endure ridicule for standing up for their beliefs. Well, in a perfect world, they shouldn’t. But this is FAR FAR FAR from a perfect world that we live in. And when everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe, to subscribe to a set of religious teachings (or not) and to have free will to make their own decisions, there is bound to be conflicting sides.
Should the LBGT community suck it up and shut up? No. Our African American community protested and demonstrated and fought for their equal rights in this country. And it was a long, brutal, often bloody battle for them. It was sickening, to say the very least. But they didn’t give up their fight, and I don’t expect anyone else to either.
To that end, however, I also believe that it’s up to you to keep your fight going. You cannot expect or demand of another human being to change their long held, often in-born beliefs just because you think they should. It will take a long time to win your fight, and if you keep at it sensibly and with determination, you will win this fight. I support you, even if I don’t always agree with you. You simply cannot expect someone who was born into a society and religion that is dead-set against your lifestyle (I’m sorry if that’s the wrong word here) to up and change his mind because you don’t like it.
It seems to me that whenever someone is the underdog, they feel everyone else is closed-minded and not open to new ideas, new ways of thinking or simply hearing your side. You’re also at fault. You’re not willing to understand that these people who are against you, aren’t against you out of spite, it goes against EVERYTHING THEY’VE EVER KNOWN TO BE RIGHT. True change takes a long time, and many of us out here are trying to change as fast as we can, many more have changed and even more didn’t need to change because they were with you the entire time.
That small, or not so small, section of society that’s against you will eventually lose their fight. It’s inevitable. But to lambaste each and every one of them that continues to oppose you, merely brings you down to their level. Try acceptance, you know, that thing you’re fighting so hard for? Accept the fact that some people simply WILL NEVER change for you, it’s just how life works.
Keep fighting for your rights through legal and moral channels. Don’t rush into Chick Fil A and start berating the employees for working there, they might have no other option to support their families and themselves. Sometimes you have to take a job because you need to earn an income. Instead, direct your ire towards the CEO and those like him. Organize yourselves and be smart about your attacks.
Boycotting Chick Fil A will never, EVER change that CEO’s opinions or beliefs. Even if you put him completely out of business, he’s not going to wake up one day and say to himself “Hey, you know what? I was wrong.” Instead, he’s going to wake up and say “I was wrong to say it, but now I hate those people even more.”
You don’t win by ruining his business, at least not in any meaningful and long-lasting way. You hurt the guy who’s hurting your feelings. You’re not changing the way society and our politicians view you at all.
Simply put, you have a right to be happy and believe what you want to believe. You have a right to live your life the way that feels natural to you. So does everyone else, even if their point of view is 180 degrees the opposite of yours.