By Kevin G. O’Leary
That was quite an amusing controversy a couple of weeks back in the USA over the comments made by the CEO of Chick-Fil-A regarding traditional marriage. What was really ironic is that he never mentioned gay people at all. But that did not stop ill-informed mayors from getting their panties all in a twist over it. “Chik-Fil-A is not welcome here, ” they proclaimed as if it was really a decision they had the authority to make. I was pleased when the situation calmed down and the mayors were dining on crow instead of chicken. Dan Cathy came out in support of traditional marriage. A marriage between a man and a woman. Dan Cathy believes this with all his heart and believes that the traditional family unit is core element of Christian beliefs. I was not the slightest bit offended by his comments. I was more offended by the self-appointed champions of the gay folks who caused all the uproar. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has demonstrated he will attempt to abuse his power by hook or crook for political gain.
America has come a long way and matured as a society of tolerance. But our politically correct society has become intolerant of Christianity unless it has been sanitized to meet today’s liberal worldly views. More and more genuine Christian beliefs of some of our citizens are wrongly equated with hate and intolerance. It is perfectly acceptable to be in support of gay marriage and it is equally acceptable to oppose gay marriage and believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and only that. What the hell is wrong with people nowadays? Your own parents and grandparents likely held beliefs no different from Mr. Cathy. Differences of passionately held opinions and peaceful and respectful discourse are at the center of a civilized society. How each one of us selects the denomination of our places of worship and interprets the scriptures is as diverse as you can get.
In the 1980s, I myself believed that homosexuality was personal choice that people made and a very poor choice at that. I believed that homosexuals were objectively disordered and thus I could be accurately categorized as vehemently anti-gay at that time. It was my belief and it was shared by people around and the military I served in at the time. It was a belief of the charismatic evangelical assembly I attended at the time. Yet, being anti-gay at that time did not make me a bigot in my opinion. If it did, I guess I would have to be classified as a recovering bigot today. If you meet an authentic bigot, do not shower him with reciprocal hate. Allow some time and patience for growth and understanding. Today’s bigot may become tomorrow’s fiercest defender of individual rights for all.
Today, after many years, reason and sensibility has altered my way of thinking. In the past 30 years, I was able to develop many friendships with people from all over the world. Many of my friends are gay although I only befriend gays with a sense of humor as a strict policy. I had to stop and think at one point that this does not make sense. Why would my intelligent friends decide one day that they wanted to become gay and lead a very inconvenient lifestyle? Why would they be going with the flow one day and the next, say their life is so boring so they need a little hate directed toward them. That would be preposterous. I now subscribe to theory that one awakens to their orientation at a certain point in their life when they can take a self-inventory and understand how it defines who they really are. Thus, it is not a choice and I do not condone discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any form.
As an American with libertarian leanings, I say it is no one’s business what the sexual orientation of their neighbors are. Every citizen in this country is entitled to same basic individual rights. Isn’t smallest minority group in the United States the individual. It sure is, by golly. I support legal unions between same-sex couples just like those between opposite sexes. Where we got ourselves into trouble was when we introduced the word, “marriage” into out legal system hundreds of years ago. Up until the 21st century, it was only recognized union. It is natural that not every person is ready for it. It is not hatred or bigotry. The heterosexual traditional marriage model fails in 52 percent of unions. As much as a quarter of newborn babies are born to unwed mothers. People are not even bothering with the marriage route.
What fools we are in the shape our country and economy is to bully a self-made successful American company like Chick-Fil-A. Is it good judgement to selfishly attempt to prevent the introduction of 90 wage earning jobs into a community because Dan Cathy is not on the side of supporting gay marriage? He has earned tons of cash as a successful entrepreneur. Good for him and with this cash on hand, he is free to contribute to any legal charity he wishes. Any American is free to dine elsewhere and choose not to spend their money at Chick-Fil-A. Vote with your pocketbooks.
Ironically, the liberal leaning ACLU came out against the threatened actions of the mayors. Even openly gay former congressman Barney Frank said the mayors were not acting in their authority to threaten to ban and prevent approval of applications from Chick-Fil-A. In response to the bullying tactics by several city mayors, Fox News Commentator Mike Huckabee suggested August 1 as a day of support for Chick-Fil-A. Their restaurants from coast to coast were filled. Those who opposed the Cathy family and the chain attempted to organize a counter protest the following Friday. But the counter protest did not follow sensible displays of support like Governor Huckabee’s protest did. Instead the counter-protesters organized a “kiss-in” spectacle. It failed. Very few kissers were seen.
Where were all the kissers? Well, for one thing, it’s pretty darn hard to convince a straight dude to go find another dude and make out to make a political point. So, what about all those gay men? I think if the gay population has any similarity to the gay friends I have, they would not want to participate in something so crude and inappropriate as a public kiss in. The gay people I know long to be accepted and assimilate into society and be treated like anyone else. Homosexuals have long been branded unfairly as being promiscuous and being associated with pedophilia. Public displays of affection like making out are not acceptable whether it is between a straight couple, two dudes, two chicks whatever. Sensible gay people will be sensitive to presence of children and will want to show the public they are dignified people worthy of respect. Promiscuous misbehavior and lack of regard for young children on the premises would perpetuate those negative homophobic reactions from the public that are the catalyst for non-acceptance in mainstream society. I tip my hat to the great American Gay. I offer a one pinkie salute to the members of the gay community that showed they were dignified and respectable members of society.
It was a victory for conservative Christians who demonstrated they will push back and push back hard when their beliefs are marginalized by elected officials. It was a victory for homosexuals who deserve to have their concerns heard and considered. They are deserving because they are productive responsible members of our society. It was a colossal failure for the likes of Rahm Emmanuel who is now wishing for a fudge nut brownie and a large sweet tea to go with crow combo.
Gays are OK. Christians are OK. Both are part of who represents the values of what Chicago should be. Rahm on the other hand is a fruitcake.