The Chik-Fil-A Debacle And The Case For Tuning Out The Media
I can’t believe that the American public accepts this as news. For those of you who are fortunate enough to not know what I’m talking about, let me recap the story:
A devout Christian guy who owns a fast food chain made a milquetoast statement that more or less said that he doesn’t support gay marriage. The media makes a big deal out of it prompting outrage from people who support gay marriage. Things get posted all over social media about how evil these Christians are and a good portion of the country seems to foam at the mouth with hatred towards Christians. This portion of society decides to take a meaningful stand against bigotry and intolerance by posting memes on Facebook and calling for a boycott of this restaurant. This prompts some Christians/conservatives to lash back and call for coming out and showing support for the restaurant. Conservative talking heads whip up a frenzy and the turnout is largely successful. People posted pictures of them eating Chik-Fil-A on Facebook and felt like they took some meaningful stance for traditional values. The other segment of society raged with anger at the ignorant hate-mongers who supported Chik-Fil-A. In response, they organized a same-sex kiss-in at Chik-Fil-A. I have no idea how that turned out.
So basically the media and talking heads took the fact that a guy had an opinion (one that was already public, btw) and turned it into a huge debacle that apparently merited the impassioned attention of the American public. Meanwhile, the federal government was $17 trillion in debt, many states, counties and cities across the country are facing fiscal doom, 42 million Americans are on food stamps, we’re bogged down in a couple of wars and no less than 10% of the country is actually unemployed.
As far as gay marriage goes, I’m ok with it. I’m not “for” it, but I’m ok with it. The sanctity of my marriage is based on the relationship between my wife and myself. Government mandates or the actions of others do not affect that. If put to a yes or no vote I’d vote “yes” and when they had the issue about throwing out the judges in Iowa that made gay marriage legal, I abstained from voting yes or no on retaining them – I did this because I didn’t feel that just because they gave gay marriage the thumbs up that they merited their seats and I didn’t want to partake in the recall. I really didn’t know enough to know if they were good judges or not.
With that said, I think the gay marriage thing is more of a smoke-and-mirrors job designed to whip up discontent and distract from some pressing issues. The media and the people who would like to see the world as little more than producers, consumers and voters in a center right/center left paradigm have managed to make two large segments of society really hate each other over this one. One side calls the other bigots and lashes out at them in the name of tolerance and all of that. The other side feels attacked and lashes out, sometimes getting way beyond the bounds of good tastes and Christlike behavior. I don’t believe that there’s some sinister agenda out there from homosexuals to subvert America’s youth and I know that most Christians aren’t really filled with hatred towards gays. In fact, the issue of homosexuality and Christianity didn’t seem to be much of an issue until it was recently whipped up into one. I do think that there’s a sinister agenda to subvert some of the things that stand between the previously-mentioned people and their desire to turn the world into mindless producers and consumers though. While Christianity has certainly been used in the past as a method of control by governments, it has also been a powerful force that teaches that all men, including kings, are ultimately accountable for their actions – the religious overtones of the American Revolution is a good example of this. I also think that sometimes the media’s motivation behind these kind of stories isn’t some plot schemed up in dark rooms, but sometimes just out of the desire to create some buzz and boost their profits.
The issue of whether or not gays should be allowed to get married is a valid question, but there doesn’t need to be the kind of friction we’re seeing over it and this is largely the fault of the media fanning the flames. There are certainly assholes on both sides of the equation, but they wouldn’t have the same sort of effect if the media wasn’t there to goad them on and give them a voice.
When something like this comes up, I think the appropriate response from both or any “side” on the issue is to simply ridicule and tune out the mainstream media for attempting to cause discontent. Don’t play into their games and give them the power to shape our society. When dealing with the other “side” in these debates, realize that you’re probably dealing with people who aren’t that much different from your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. and have it out in a civilized manner. That’s usually more affective than name calling and all of that.
We’re starting to see some real cracks in American society based on politics, race and economics. Playing into the hands of people who want juicy headlines doesn’t do any of us any good.