First, I feel like I should apologize that my book blog has turned so political lately. I’m not going to, because this is MY site and it’s a Kelocracy, but it’s probably still pretty jarring for those of you who are like, “But…I just want something to READ!”
A friend of mine posted a link to the letter that Boston’s mayor (Thomas Menino) wrote to the president of Chick-Fil-A, explaining his decision to not allow a franchise there. (You can read it here.) It’s a beautiful letter and it did my heart good to read it.
But it’s still wrong.
I support those who are backing away from Chick-Fil-A (including Ed Helms—my beloved Andy Bernard!–and the Jim Henson Company) but this isn’t the same thing.
We all deserve the chance to decide for ourselves where we stand politically and where we choose to spend our money. My values say that I won’t spend money there. Yours may say something different. But the point is that if we are to say that we’re the greatest country in the world*, we need to let people choose for themselves.
In a blog post recently, I talked about my stance on the controversy and one of the things I said was that part of the reason I’m a liberal is the fact that I don’t want other people to be forced to live by my belief system. Would I like to see more Facebook posts condemning CFA for donating to Focus on the Family? Yes. Do I think that the restaurant should be shut down because I find the owner’s value system offensive? No. This is America. We do all have the right to support whatever causes we wish. I don’t want to live here if that changes.**
I believe that gay marriage will be legal nationwide in my lifetime. I know in my heart that I’m on the right side here. But it’s only a victory if we let both sides compete. We can’t bully people into being silent. I don’t like it when it happens to me and I don’t want it to happen to other people. Even if I disagree with them. ESPECIALLY if I disagree with them.
We have to be better than that.
* = you could ALSO say that if we’re to say we’re the greatest country in the world, we need to treat all our citizens equally…you know, like we SAY WE DO. And that’s a whole other argument.
** = or if Michele Bachmann is ever elected president.***
*** = That is a joke.