Friday, August 3, 2012

Disagreement Does Not Equal Hate

Traditional, Conservative, and Christian, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his popularity in those circles and publicly called for Americans who support traditional marriage to get out to their local Chick-fil-A restaurant this past Wednesday.

On his Facebook page, Huckabee posted the following statement: "Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

This led to an uprising of support among those, such as myself and my wife, who agree with Huckabee's position on marriage as intended by God to be between one man and one woman. We ate dinner on Wednesday late afternoon at the Chick-fil-a restaurant at 2301 E. Butler Street, just off Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The place was packed, and had to bring extra help on to serve all those who, like us, heeded Huckabee's call and came out in support.

The controversy began when leaders within the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) had discovered that Chick-fil-a takes public stances on behalf of, and supports charitable organizations that benefit, traditional marriage as biblically defined. As the company's President, Dan Cathy, said when confronted on the issues this week: "Guilty as charged!"


The leaders within LGBT then did what the overwhelming majority of liberals begin to do when they realize that not only does someone disagree with them, but is willing to do so publicly, including putting their money where their mouths are - they began to express hatred. They did so in the usual fashion, by accusing those towards whom they felt hatred of hating them.

It is the oldest trick in the liberal book. If you do not support gay marriage, then you are not only against it, but you hate us. The old "either you are with us, or you are against us" mentality is put into play with aggression. The immediate use of this type of accusation can be found on page one in the liberal handbook. Immediately following on page two comes demonization of the person, company or group that is against your position.

No consideration was paid to a company statement that read "The Chick-fil-a culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."

The company went on to explain that it has a history of applying biblically-based principles to its business practices, such as remaining closed on Sundays, and that it intends to "leave any policy debates over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

In an interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy stated that "We are a family-owned business, family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

The most recent Gallup Poll on this issue shows that a full 74% of Republicans say that same-sex marriage should not be legal, and 67% of all Americans who attend weekly religious services feel the same way. In an October 2011 poll by the Pew Forum, 74% of white Evangelicals and 62% of black Protestants are opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

But what will not be revealed in poll figures are the feelings behind those religious, moral, cultural and political opinions. The fact of the matter, which I can reveal from my own personal feelings, those of people close to me who feel the same as I, and every single person that I have ever spoken to on this issue who shares my values is that hate is nowhere in the equation.

We don't hate gays. We don't wish anyone damned to eternal hell. We don't want anyone served differently in restaurants. We don't want anyone treated differently by the police or fire departments. We don't want anyone beaten or killed or even completely shunned.

What we do want is the hatred to stop - from the liberals. If you find that some business supports your social, political, moral position on some issue, then by all means, support that business. In fact, the Starbucks coffee company has apparently come out in support of gay marriage. Perfect opportunity to show your support by frequenting their business with your dollars. Just don't tell us how to spend ours when we disagree with you.

On this past Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 the Chick-fil-A company set a one-day sales record. This record was set thanks to the support of the huge number of people in this country who believe as they do, that traditional marriage is the way to go. There were no signs demanding death to gays, there were no feelings of hatred towards gays.

Fundamental disagreement on this or any other issue does not equate to hate. I have known a number of gay individuals in my lifetime, none of whom I hated even though I completely disagreed with the choices they were making and/or the ways in which they were choosing to publicly express themselves sexually.

I pray that as we move forward both as a nation and as a species, that we can all find a way here on God's beautiful creation of a planet to live together in peace. That we can all find love and compassion for one another. And that those who accuse others of hate perhaps take the time to listen to their own words, and into the feelings in their own hearts. It is there that they are more likely to find any true hate.

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