So, today I finally figured out why the chicken crossed the road. To get away from the religious zealotry, bigotry, and hatred on the other side. Yes, I am going to go there and talk about the Chik-Fil-A scandal, which I know everyone else is talking about too, but I just need to articulate my few cents.
I am a Southerner by birth, I was born and raised in Tennessee, in a smallish town, in the belt loop of the Bible belt. Growing up, I didn’t go to church on the regular, but I did have a nice hodge podge of experiences within the church. I have visited every house of the Lord, under every denomination: Catholic, Baptist, Southern Baptist (There IS a difference!!) Church of Christ, Methodist, hell my mom even threw in Synagogue for good measure!! You name it, though I have been to a service, with the exceptions of Amish/Mennonite and Pentecostal. Snakes? Not no, but hell no!! In my 20s, I dated a Catholic, and was preparing myself for a lifetime of Catechism, self loathing, and moral debates about contraception and the good Mother. I suppose Catholicism is the doctrine that I feel most at home in, if only for my longer experiences with the group. After giving my background, I feel as though I should preface my upcoming statements with the truth of the matter, I don’t go to church now. This is something that I have found lacking in my life, and do feel a loss of my spirituality.
However, not all of my experiences with Christianity, regardless of flavor, have been that positive. In elementary school, I went to a private Christian school, and enjoyed my time playing games, and singing songs about Joshua and the Battle of Jericho, Noah’s Ark, and the like. I was enthralled by the stories, and thought it was all simply that, stories. Of course, what does a second grader with learning disabilities know about religion and what not? Moving along to high school, I did the unthinkable, at the start of my Sophomore year I moved to a different state, 30 minutes away, and went to a new school. My first day there, a girl approached me, asked me if I went to church and when I said no, she said that I simply must attend hers, and only hers else I am destined to an eternity of utter damnation in the fiery pits of hell. Yay to being the new girl!! Mind you, this was a small town, and small towns being what they are.. I chalked it up to just that, and eventually ended up being good friends with my judgmental friend.
A couple of years ago, I was invited to visit church with my half brother, which was interesting in that we were just learning to know one another, but I went, and I enjoyed until the guy on the pulpit decided to condemn the female population of his congregation by explaining to the men present that all of their faults throughout their lives were a product of the women sitting beside them. What complete, utter bollocks! I was positively livid! Great intro brother!
Over the years, I have discovered that the fault isn’t in the religion itself, but rather with the people who choose to peddle said doctrine to the masses. I found the proof in that statement last year when I went to Atlanta with a friend and ended up visiting the Trinity Anglican Mission. I wish that I had made the time to re-visit this church over the last year. I had just lost my mom a few months prior to my visit, and much of my life for the last couple of years have been full of questions, comments, concerns, and even an interpretive dance or two. Trinity, I felt, was a place where I could find acceptance, where I could have my questions met with knowledge, wonder, debate, and I could learn. In that singular visit on that September Sunday, I felt like I’d come the closest to coming home that I’d felt in a long time. The minster, he wasn’t so much of a minister, but more of just a regular guy who was having a conversation with a bunch of other regular people about something that he believes in, rather passionately. Not once did I feel belittled, ignorant, or that I was being sold something. It was an eye opening experience, which has changed my thoughts and perceptions of Christianity in general, but there is still a long way to go!
So, why did I spend the last several paragraphs volunteering my religious background? I felt the preamble necessary, as I have to freely admit that I don’t read the Bible, despite having an app, and several copies of the King James on my shelves. Hey, the Gideon’s lived for trolling my neighborhood when I was a kid. This doesn’t mean that I am illiterate to the word of God, I’m not. I get the gist, and up until recently, that has been good enough for me.
To bring up another conversation that I am not well versed in, politics, I have to mention that the Republican party has been T-Bagged (pun intended) by the Tea Party, trying to align their idiot dogma with the well meaning regular Right Wing. The only reason I have the ability to skim the surface of the Tea Party, is because I have HBO, and watch The Newsroom. (Don’t judge me dammit! It has been an education!!)
I align myself with the left, I am a registered Democrat. I am White, I am straight. I believe that women have the right to choose. I believe that health care should be readily available for all, and that anyone and everyone should have the right to marry whomever they damn well please. I believe that everyone should have to pay taxes, and those of you who make more money, and live in a higher tax bracket should have to pay higher taxes. I also think that if you wish to own a gun, more power to you, and finally, I believe in a separation of church and state.
Obviously, the owners of a privately owned company (not sure if it is public or private, but going with private) like Chik-Fil-A has the right to believe and do as they please. Last time I checked, this was a free country. We have those inalienable rights to free speech, free religion, press, etc. It shouldn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that the CFA brand is more on the conservative side. Hello, they are based in Atlanta. Georgia is one of the most conservative states in the Union. Every election year, the poor Dems get the stuffing kicked out of them. It has been a conservative state since hell, when it became a state. Obviously the definitions of conservatives and liberals, or rather Republicans and Democrats have changed since the Civil War, but the sentiments are the same. Also, the company, as a whole is closed on Sunday. There is nothing more trying to one’s soul than waking up on a Sunday morning and craving the tasty sandwich and forgetting that the damn place is closed! Still, I can respect that. Actually, I think that it is admirable that the CFA company as a whole are trying to maintain, in a way, family values; something sorely lacking in today’s society. However, from personal standpoint, I disagree with COO Cathy.
As a whole, I think that it is wrong of him to bring his company, and the poor beleaguered Chicken Sandwich into the national conversation with his beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Do not use your company, and align the beliefs of it’s people with those of the Right, or Mr. Cathy. It isn’t fair, and it is far from right. Who is it for Mr. Cathy, or anyone else for that matter, to judge the members of the gay community? Doesn’t God, the Bible, and Jesus teach us to love everyone? Isn’t that the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice? It is His job, and His will to judge everyone here. No one else.
My sister asked me if I would stop eating at Chik Fil A after the whole controversy broke. Nah, I won’t. Just like it isn’t the fault of the server if the kitchen messes up the order, it isn’t the fault of the poor chicken that I don’t align myself with the beliefs of Mr. Cathy, the Tea Party, or the Conservative groups in general. Besides, that $6 I spend there every now and then, isn’t going to make a bit of difference.
There are so many other pressing issues in our world.