Ray Hanania analyzes Middle East & American issues for Creators Syndicate. Nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for a series on the Palestinian Intifada. Winner of 4 SPJ Lisagor Awards for Column Writing; Best Ethnic American Columnist by the New America Media ('07). Sigma Delta Chi Nat'l Award for column writing ('10). This is Hanania's personal blog, writing on everything under the sun. Visit www.TheArabDailyNews.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The Chik Fil A controversy is all Bull-Fil-A
We do live in America, don't we? This is a country where free speech is not only tolerated but it is encouraged. The idea that two people can argue differing views on controversial topics is what makes this country so great.
Dan Cathy, the owner and founder of Chik Fil A told an interviewer recently that he opposes same-sex marriage. I disagree with him but I don't hate him. He cited his religious beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
As a Christian, myself, I think religious views sometimes overshadow reality but we tolerate them. I'm not against Gays living together or being recognized as "married" not because of religious views but because it makes sense. Two people who care about each other -- love is a word with a lot of meanings and nuance -- should be able to share their property and rights without hassles in the event of one or the other's death. And they should be allowed to live their life together.
On the other hand, my personal view in my life is that I don't embrace that lifestyle and frankly I honestly don't care about the debate over whether it is genetic or a choice. It exists and if people don't bother me or force me to accept their views, I'm fine with everyone.
What I am not fine with, though, is people like Chicago Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno who disagrees with Chik Fil A owner Dan Cathy but has taken his disagreement beyond tolerance, vowing to prevent Chik Fil A from opening a restaurant in Chicago.
That violates the same Constitutional Rights that allow two people of the same sex to be "married." It's just wrong. It is also a denial of free speech.
Dan Cathy did not say he would refuse to hire anyone who is Gay. He simply said he doesn't believe in Gay Marriage. That's his right. Ald. Moreno should be defending him, not punishing him. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the biggest hypocrite of all, shouldn't be wasting his time engaging this debate when Chicago has so many more important problems like the unacceptable level of gun-related violence and street gang shootings and murders.
Those are things we should work against, not punishing someone who has a view that differs with our own.
What Ald. Moreno is basically doing is saying that if enough people in this country hate Gays, they should use that power to prevent Gays from actively pushing for equal rights.
Does that mean cities that oppose Gay Rights should ban businesses that recognize Gay Rights? When we talk about about hate crimes, that is exactly
I haven't eaten at a Chik Fil A ever. Not because of this issue or other political issues. But because I heard the place was expensive.