Like thousands of other Facebook users, I posted a message of support for Chick-fil-A last week, encouraging my friends to eat at the fast-food restaurant on Aug. 1. Messages of support, and counter messages of protest, erupted on the social network after the company's CEO confirmed his belief in traditional marriage in a recent article in the Baptist Press. Those who agreed with Dan Cathy pledged to show their support by feasting on chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Those who disagree, vowed a boycott.
Not long after I posted my message, I had this exchange with one of my friends, a nephew who works as an actor:
Nephew: or you could save some money and do this http://i.imgur.com/bTGTCh.jpg [The link goes to a recipe for a Chick-fil-A-style sandwich with the heading "all the taste without the hate."]
Mary: It never occurred to me not to buy Starbucks or use my Apple computer because the CEOs are ultra-liberal. There is no hate involved.
Nephew: That's interesting. What would you call supporting the oppression of a group of human beings if not hate? And what would you call making an effort to financially support a company who wants to see the denial of basic human rights to a group of people?
Mary: I doubt you are sincere in wanting my answers...Facebook is not the place for such discussions. If you ARE sincere, then I'm happy to talk to you in a way that doesn't denigrate you or me.
My newphew didn't follow up with me, as I expected. So here is how I would answer his question.
What would I call making an effort to financially support Chick-fil-A? Love.
Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, probably thinks brothers and sisters shouldn't have sex with each other or get married to each other either. Is that hatred for brothers and sisters?
What we are really talking about is a different concept of how best to order society. Billions have followed the concept first written about 5,000 years ago. At that time, women had little value. Men had all the power. Then a monotheistic religion called Judaism leveled the playing field. It declared that a man and a woman had equal value and that men should restrict their sexual appetites to one woman while they raised children together. That arrangement allowed women to (slowly) gain status while the status of those in polygamous societies remained low. The same is true in modern societies where men do not restrain their sexual appetites. Consider Afghanistan, where little boys are used for the sexual entertainment of grown and married men.
Most men do not naturally want to follow the Judaic restrictions, but these rules made Western civilization possible. When the sexual desires of men were channeled, everyone else--women and children--benefited.
You believe in a different system. I don't hate you for preferring it, but I do think you are naïve. The desires of some big city mayors to prevent businesses from operating because they follow the man-woman formula for organizing society is un-American, unconstitutional, and bad for women.
Suppose I believe that soap operas promote the destruction of society and denigration of women by showing sexual promiscuity and child neglect. As mayor of Los Angeles, should I forbid soap operas from being sold to the networks? Do you now see the irony in your question? The idea that politicians can shut down business because of a disagreement over how to define marriage is wrong.
As a soap opera actor, you continue to earn money for doing something I see as destructive to my culture. But I cannot shut you down for thinking the way you do. You would deny the same freedom of thought to Chick-fil-A's CEO. You would not only deny his freedom of thought, but you would forbid him from doing business. That is reminiscent of a certain government in WWII that forbade Jews from having businesses.
The way you use the word "hate" is not its dictionary meaning--extreme dislike or hostility. You mean hate as disagreement. That is dangerous ground in a nation founded on the freedoms listed in the First Amendment.
You want marriage to be based on the feelings of two people, which sounds good. Love as the basis of marriage is what we seek. But to be consistent, a mother who loves her son should be able to marry and have sex with her son. Is it hateful that our civilization has said "no" to this? It is a standard for ordering society. You call it hate, which may be a clever way to obscure the viewpoint, but your definition is still untrue.
If everyone in the world suddenly became blind, blindness would still be an aberration. That's because the eye is designed to see. The analogy to human sexuality is clear. You can say a form without angles is a square. That may be clever, but the truth is the form is still a circle. That's what redefining marriage means to me - taking what it has meant for 5,000 years, and calling it "marriage equality." But it isn't "marriage equality," because we will still have rules that forbid certain marriages.
The Judeo-Christian view of mankind has declined in the West. That view says that man exists to serve a higher purpose and not merely to attain personal wants. Darwin, Freud, Marx and company ushered in hedonism and narcissism. True compassion and altruism clashes with the new order. Those of us who see a mother and a father as equally valuable to a child do not wish to substitute other systems, which have already failed. Heterosexuals have behaved badly, for sure. But this is an argument to bolster traditional families, not add more failed experiments.
So the answer to your question of what else but hate could it be to support Chick-fil-A is this: It is disagreement about how to order society. It is freedom to think. It is, in the end, love.