Standing on the sidelines of controversy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are just really  busy — which sometimes makes you feel you DO live under a rock), you probably know the big topic in the news besides the Olympics is the Chick-fil-A controversy.

Apparently, the CEO of Chick-fil-A came out with anti-gay statements. For those who missed them, let me share those statements now:

“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.”

By the way, the entire original article is worth reading.

Taking a deep breath here, because I rarely comment on controversy. Why? Because for one thing I hate confrontations. I hate being flamed for things that are just my opinion (which last I checked opinions aren’t right or wrong, they just ARE). But beyond that, I tend to sit on the edge of controversy and go, “Oh I see your side.” and then turn to the other side and go, “Oh I see your side, too.”

But this is one that has SO MANY ANGLES that my head is spinning! Following Twitter yesterday was like trying to read a choose your own adventure book. Everyone had their own opinion, and everyone stood strong on that opinion.

And you know what?

THAT’S WAY FREAKING AWESOME!

It’s nice to see people stand for their beliefs! It’s nice to see people be passionate about their beliefs!

What’s not nice is when someone can’t stand strong without slamming someone with a differing opinion.

Like I said, yesterday’s opinions were far and wide. Everything from, “I refuse to support a company that doesn’t support gay/lesbian marriage.” to, “Intolerance is what is wrong with this country,” to, “I believe like they do so I am going to show that by eating there!’ to, “I just appreciate a company standing for their beliefs.” to, “I don’t agree with a company being told to get out of a city just because they stood by their beliefs.” to, “What’s the big deal, anyway? If you don’t like their beliefs, just eat somewhere else.”

And some had a mixture of several of those opinions.

The only opinions that upset me were the ones that (a) attacked the other side with a vengeance and with deep spite, and the ones that (b) based their opinion strictly on the picture painted by others (i.e. the media or rumors).

And therein lies where I tend to sit on the edge of controversy. I want to know the facts of the matter — not just what the media tells me I need to know.

For example, I did not see a single news article about the original article that included the quote, “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.” Perhaps other people heard that quote, but I never did. Almost every article I heard lead viewers/readers to believe the company was strictly, “If you don’t agree with us, shame on you. We hate you.” When I read the article I read, “Hey, we know people disagree with us. But thank God its a free country to believe and run our business as we want to.”

And you know what? THAT’S the side I want to sit on… the side that says, “One of our rights is to believe as we want to as individuals.”

It takes a lot of courage to state your beliefs, whatever they may be. Especially because we live in a world where its becoming less and less okay to stand by your beliefs. It seems people are inclined to conclude that if someone believes in  X, they obviously hate Y, even if they never say anything negative about Y. But sometimes, it is truly as simple as, “This is how I feel. It doesn’t mean I hate you.”

I am in no way affiliated with Chick-fil-A. I can’t speak for them. I have never worked there, etc. But I do know that we live in a country where we are all free to believe what we believe… and I just wish we could all respect our differing beliefs without assuming anyone who thinks differently from you is automatically the enemy.

Assumptions

Last night, my husband and I went to see friends. I did a photoshoot for them, so I had my gear with me, which meant we took our truck instead of riding the motorcycle. My husband, however, wanted our friends to see the new bike so he put it on the trailer and we hauled it along with us.

On our way home, we stopped to grab something to drink. As my husband walked out, he got hit up by a man asking for money.

“You look like you’re doing pretty well off,” he said, gesturing to our truck and bike on the trailer behind it. Probably didn’t help that I was looking at Twitter on my smartphone at that moment as well. Heh.

My husband gave him a little money, and tried to walk away. The man kept asking for MORE money until someone else walked out of the store and he started to chase that made down.

We’ve worked hard to have what we have. We work hard to keep what we have. And it takes almost all of our income to do so. Assuming we have lots of liquid funds to just give someone just made me shake my head and sigh in frustration.

I told my husband that it reminded me of the time someone commented to me that they didn’t understand why a woman who was thin was going to run at the track.

“Look how tiny she is! She doesn’t need to go run!” they said.

All I could think was, “She’s thin BECAUSE she runs.” It absolutely baffled me that someone would assume because a person is thin, they didn’t need to work out. How do you think they got to be thin? How do you think they STAY thin? Its due to being diligent in their working out regularly.

Almost every day we all make assumptions. I know I do! I think its part of human nature. Sometimes, though, those assumptions should really be thought through a little better.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves if they are truly based in fact, or if they are based in jealousy or spite. Its something to think about, at least. It sure has gotten ME thinking…

Weekly Winners (July 22 – 29)

Started by the lovely Lotus, Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week.

Visit Lotus’ site and check out her various entries, and find other participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

 

Photos taken using my Droid Razr or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.

♥♥♥

I’m on the fence about continuing to do Weekly Winners, but I like having a way to showcase some of my more random photos. So… here goes…

256: Gas tank reflections
Gas tank reflections

257: Pink nose
Pink nose

Beer Mason Jar
Beer Mason Jar

261: Wall Lettering
Wall Lettering

Who needs a bow?
Who needs a bow?

263: Colorful straws
Colorful straws

Shower food
Shower food

♥♥♥

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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