When I was 8 years old I found out that Disneyland supported something I didn’t agree with. I, in the holier than thou attitude that often accompanies Christian kids…scratch that…its an attitude that often accompanies all kids, was horrified. My best friend and I promptly wrote Disney a letter telling them how disappointed we were and vowing to never participate in anything Disney related ever again.
The letter never got sent, probably because we got distracted by an Ace of Base song.
Also, our ban on all things Disney lasted maybe a day. Maybe. After that we were back to playing with our Lion King figurines and singing “Part of Your World” at the top of our lungs. As an adult, I still love Disney and no longer care about their stance on that issue I didn’t agree with. I’m honestly more offended by the fact that Disney has raised their prices to such high amounts I can no longer afford a pass. Plus, I now realize that boycotting every company that had different beliefs than I did would force me to live an Amish lifestyle. This is America, a country based on the freedom of expression and the freedom to have different beliefs. You hear some else’s’ belief, agree or disagree, maybe debate about it for a while, then shake hands and move on. At least, that’s how it should work.
Fast forward to present day and this whole Chick-Fil-A hates gays scandal. Now, I’m going to admit to you right now that I haven’t read much on the topic, but from what I gather the basic gist is that the President of Chick Fil A spoke out against gay marriage. Some people are pissed and boycotting it. Others are supporting it. Others are banning Chick Fil A from their cities. Sound about right?
Here’s the thing. I don’t care who supports, boycotts, agrees or disagrees with Mr. Cathy. None of that will affect my ability to enjoy delicious chicken. Just like Disneyland’s corporate views don’t affect my ability to have a wonderful time every time I visit (although the prices sure do. have I mentioned how angry I am about that price hike?)
What makes me sad is that 18 years ago I lived in a world where I didn’t think twice about sharing my opinion. I lived in a country that taught me I had freedom of speech. Even at the young age of 8 I knew that I had a right to my beliefs and to share them with others. Now, I’m actually afraid to share some of my opinions. Afraid that I’ll loose friends, afraid I’ll be labeled as hateful, close minded and stupid. Afraid that people will right me off as “one of those crazy Christians” without really listening to what I have to say. Afraid that I, like Dan Cathy, will be shunned simply for sharing a belief. Afraid that my entire humanity will be judged by one belief that I have instead of by my complete human expression.
Notice in this entire post I haven’t told you what MY stance on homosexuality it is.
And that my friends, is a real tragedy.