Friday, August 3, 2012

True Colors - More Than A Cyndi Lauper Tune...and The Olympics

I have purposely waited, yet again to weigh in on this issue.  As with other issues, I chose not to have a 'knee-jerk' reaction, and to see how people on both sides of the issue acted and responded.  I am amazed.  Amazed, quite honestly, at how we treat each other, especially those that will tell you they are only pushing to 'be accepted for who they are' and are 'all about getting along equally'.  I'm calling bullshit.  Excuse me, but that is how fed up I am with the way people are treating each other and the so-called issue of hate.  Yes, by now you know I am speaking of the Chik-Fil-A situation and the comments made by Founder Dan Cathy.  First, let me clear this up and go on record - I have friends that are gay, both men and women.  I respect them and treat them no differently than others.  I had a cousin that was gay.  He died, not of pneumonia, but of AIDS, I think.  So you know I am not setting this up to be either pro-anything or anti-anything, there is the preface.  Okay...let's set the record straight, AGAIN, for those of you who simply want to push your agenda and twist people's words and actions to benefit your cause.

Dan Cathy was being interviewed by a Baptist magazine when he uttered those now famous words:

Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

So there it is.  I have read those statements, read them again, and read them again.  I have looked everywhere, however cannot seem to find the part where they say they HATE anyone.  The man was speaking of the values of his company and his personal  beliefs.  They are Pro-family.  Please help me understand - I have read the list of organizations to whom they have donated money (their right, I believe) and I am struggling.  They gave money to the Family Research Council who has been controversially labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Okay, let's just suppose for a moment they ARE, in fact, anti-gay.  They may be - I do not know.  HOWEVER, we have to flip the coin to see the other side - gay and lesbian rights groups are upset because this group pushes an anti-gay stance....but wait, THEY'RE allowed to push a gay stance the same way?  Wait...I'm confused.  They are condemned for doing....the SAME THING you are doing?  What me, please.

I have heard that the groups to whom Chik-Fil-A donates are spewing vile, hateful messages.  I have to say, folks, that for the past few days I have heard more hate and vile spewed FROM the gay and lesbian community as they preach their own intolerance.  Again, let me restate - you will not see me being either pro- or against- either side.  I am merely stating observations.  They sell chicken sandwiches, believe they ought to be closed on Sundays, and are religious.  Why can we not accept that?  I hate to overstate the simplicity of this, but...If you don't agree, DON'T eat there!  You see, it isn't about what Dan Cathy said, nor is it about his restaurants.  One of my other observations is that, while certain groups are begging our understanding and our acceptance, they only want to do so with a fight.  There it is.  You have to admit, in the grand scheme of things, the gay and lesbian community has already gained far more acceptance than many wanted to give.  Compare this to 30 years ago.  Hey, compare it to 20 years ago.  Think you haven't made strides?  You have...but it isn't enough, is it?  Will it ever be? Let me ask the million dollar question - what is it you REALLY want?  You want the discussion, let's have it.  What would it take for the parades to stop?  What would it take for you to stop telling me (or us) we are inconsiderate of you?  Marriage?  We're getting there - do you really want me to give you the whole, "Rome wasn't built in a day," speech?  Oddly, the friends I have that are gay or lesbian never seem to be the people that are involved in these protests.  This, like the Pro-Choice/Abortion issue, only ever seems to attract the people that need to grandstand.  Yes, you folks really hurt Chik-Fil-A yesterday, huh?  They had record sales.  Today, however, when you staged your Kiss-A-Thon or whatever it was called, there were about two dozen people that showed up to kiss their significant other.  Know what Dan Cathy did?  Shook his head in he handed over another twenty sandwiches to the public.  Yesterday should have told you something and it goes back to my question - what do you really want?  If tolerance is the answer, then stop pushing your agenda on everyone.  Can you not see by yesterday's sales that there are still MANY people in this country that DO believe with Mr Cathy?  Listen, we are more than willing to be accepting...if you'll agree to stop making everything a fight.  You think you have to, however you might try actually having a conversation first.  Honestly.  Give it a try...then we'll talk.  For now, though, heed the opposite of Nike's words - JUST DON'T DO IT! (eat there, I mean).

While we're at it, I don't want to hammer the gay/lesbian coalition solely.  Next up?  Bob Costas.  Yes, Costas worked his media magic last night when sweet little Gabby won her gold medal.  Costas had to note that Gabby was the first black to win this medal.  As I've said before, I cannot be politically-correct so I will still say 'black' which, as far as I can tell, my black friends that did NOT come from Africa are okay with.  Costas also noted that, "Tomorrow, there will be young African-American girls all over this country wanting to take gymnastics now because they know they, too, can win the gold."  Bob, you're an idiot.  Personally, after three consecutive gold medals for the young women of our gymanstics team in the All-Around portion, I'd say there are scads of young women - white, black, yellow, purple, green - ALL knowing they can do it.  This is not about black or white.  This is about Red, White, and Blue.  I sat on my couch watching a young woman my daughter's age, having left her mother and move half way across country to be with strangers....JUST so she could be the best in representing her country.  As a matter of fact, you could take the entire "Fab Five" and paint them any color you want - I'd still be amazingly proud of the way they represented us.  Let's start with Jordyn Weiber - she got left out of the finals even though she placed in fourth in the preliminaries.  She is the reigning World Champion but the two-finalists-per-country rule (which needs to be changed, by the way) kept her out. Instead, we had a 4-way run at the title while others placing far lower competed.  is THAT the Olympic Spirit?  Jordyn, though, after a few moments of sadness, rose to the occasion and cheered her team on.  Rules, after all, are rules and she abided by them.  When Aly Raisman tied for third and was placed in a tie-breaking fourth position (another NEW rule from earlier this year) she accepted it...and said she was okay with being 4th in the world.  I've seen our swimmers congratulate those whom they've beaten and others do the same.  This is absolutely not a black and white issue, Bob.  This is an American issue.  Sadly, race relations will NEVER get better as long as we have the media continuing their sensationalizing of each and every moment...just for the sake of ratings.

I know this has been somewhat rambling, though I hope it is coherent.  I've jumped around but these issues ALL matter today and I wanted to touch on all of them.  The 'jumping' is what happens when there are too many thoughts...and my fingers cannot type quickly enough.  Please, folks, seriously...can we not treat each other with a little bit more care?  Can we not truly be more understanding and accepting?  I know we have differences - we always will.  Either we learn to accept our differences and get along or it's going to continue to be a bumpy, hateful, unkind road.  I know which I'd prefer...and which would be best for us all.  Let's try, if even for a little while, what do you say?

Until next time..............

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