All of this discrimination business over the past couple of weeks regarding Chick-fil-A and the Boy Scouts really has me thinking. Obviously, everyone has the right to their own opinion, and everyone has reasons why they hold these opinions. I’ve noticed that many of my friends hold differing views than I do, which often surprises me on human rights issues. However, I just want to point out (to those who have not considered it) that the anti-gay-rights rhetoric being used sounds suspiciously like the same arguments used in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.
People have stated that they support Chick-fil-A’s right to have an opinion and to stick to “traditional family values”. Totally correct. Chick-fil-A is free to discriminate against gay people. But what if it was black people? Would you be so quick to defend their right to discriminate? It’s still their right. And 50 or 100 years ago, many people would have been fine with that. Because as a society, we were (and are) still evolving and still learning not to fear the unfamiliar.
Let’s look at the KKK: they have always claimed that they’re not anti-black; they’re just pro-white. Chick-fil-A, the Boys Scouts and countless other organizations are currently saying they’re not anti-gay; they’re just pro-straight. This is just hedging. (And NO, I’m not saying these entities are anywhere near the same level of hatred as the KKK.)
Many people are using the Bible to defend this discrimination. And as we know, the Bible also says it’s a sin to wear a poly-cotton blend. Or to come in contact with a woman while she is having her period. Or to do work of any kind on Sundays. A good friend in college quoted Bible verses to me to demonstrate his belief that inter-racial marriage is a sin. But sometimes, shouldn’t we just use our own common sense? What about “Love your neighbor as yourself”? What about “Judge not, lest you be judged”? We don’t know exactly what God thinks, and we never will while we’re here on Earth, but from what I believe, he did not intend his Word to be used to promote intolerance.
And even if homosexuality is a sin, is it worse than bigotry or discrimination? Is it worse than a 3-day marriage? Is it worse than Chick-fil-A lying about their aborted deal with the Muppets? Is it worse than cursing, or getting drunk, or lying to your boss, or cheating on your spouse? How is being born differently and being honest about yourself worse than all these other sins, when it is the only one that isn’t a voluntary choice?
And lastly, let’s remember that (for the most part) gay people don’t create other gay people; straight people do. Gay people don’t destroy straight marriages; straight people do. So how about everyone quits worrying how homosexuals might destroy humanity and let’s all show some love and respect for each other. Jesus loves me and wants me to be happy. How about you?
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.