Over the last few weeks words such as Chick-fil-A, hate speech, & bigotry have all filled tv, radio, and blogs alike. This controversal topic of Chick-fil-A’s view on same-sex marriage has a lot of people talking. Although many arguments can be made from this topic, I want to talk about opposing values. When will having an opposing value cross the line of freedom to that of discrimination?
First, let’s all get caught up on the facts. This all started two and half weeks ago when Chick-fil-A president, Dan Cathy, made the following statement concerning same-sex marriage:
“I think we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, you know, we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would – the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”
Since than Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other elected official across the US have gotten involved in the controversy. Mayor Emanuel was quoted by NPR saying:
“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members.”
This has become a heated debate. With words being thrown out such as “bigotry”, “homophobia”, and “haters”. I believe the only way to cut through all the emotional comments and hate is to find out what the real issue behind the controversy is. The issue is not homosexual, Christianity, or chicken sandwiches. The real issue is people.
People demand that everyone has to think, act, and talk the same before we can connect.
This view has the potential to harm, as we have seen in the last few weeks. But what would happen if we stopped looking at what is different about other people and focus on what we have in common? This has the potential to not only stop the hating from both sides of this debate, but keep such issues from being a debate to start with.
So to answer my original question of when does having an opposing value cross the line of freedom to that of discrimination? I think that line is crossed when those values focus solely on the differences of people, and forget about what people have in common.
Something I value is perspective. Especially the perspective of others who have differing values then I do. Being friends with people of differing values will challenge and examine your values. This will either strengthen them or adjust them to your new-found perspective.
That being said, what is your perspective? Do you think Dan Cathy showed discrimination with his statement? What about Mayor Rahm Emanuel?