August 5, 2012
The Other White MeatBy William L. Gensert
Can an American still speak his mind without having politicians decide he is an enemy of humanity? Do politicians have the right to use the power of government to destroy those they disagree with?
The public is already empowered to reward or punish a business for its president's opinions. But apparently, we can't be trusted to make the right decision. "Right" as defined by our betters, the elite, as represented by our left leaning elected officials.
I never was one for chicken. I know it's supposed to be the healthy meat, but I have a hard time believing any animal is healthy, whose diet includes eating their own excrement. Have you ever handled raw chicken? It's disgusting. It's like shaking hands with a progressive -- you immediately want to take a shower, despite knowing you can never wash off the slime or the stink. Makes one wonder what's in a progressive's diet.
That being said, I could live without Chick-fil-A restaurants. It's not like I would ever go to one anyway. Yet...extra-statutory restrictions placed on a company's ability to do business, because those in power don't like the personal beliefs of the company's president, don't sit right with me. An elected official singling out for public punishment a company because of the personal beliefs of management is unfair and un-American.
I support gay marriage, although I didn't always. Yet, I never actually opposed it either, having never given it much thought. I just was not in favor of having any position or ideology imposed upon me. But, my opinions have evolved -- sorry, I couldn't help it (the snarky comment, not my position...oh, and I'm not sorry either).
I hung out with my friend John for years before he told me he was gay. Who knew? I just thought he was well dressed. We would get together every Sunday for mass and sit in the same pew. In fact, that's where we met, in church.
We often ushered together and once a month would do the shopping and cooking for as many as 250 of Yonkers' homeless population.
On Sundays, after mass at Christ Church Riverdale, we would head over to South Broadway, where a dozen or so Irish bars lined the avenue across from Van Courtland Park, just south of Yonkers, not too far from the Italian/Irish area where I grew up and still live.
We would go to drink pints of beer and talk about our lives. We had become fast friends and no topic was off the table. I knew a lover of his had died a few years earlier -- but I never pressed for details.
One day, a couple of years into our habitual, post-liturgy Sunday excursions, the conversation came around to children, and I asked John.
"Don't you ever want to have kids?"
I knew he had raised his little sister when his mother died -- he's the only person I call for both Mother's Day and Father's Day. It was an innocent question and one I probably wouldn't have asked had we not been a couple pints in to it.
He looked at me, smiled and inquired.
"Bill, you do know that I am gay, don't you?"
I told him that actually, I didn't know. I had never looked at him, considering his sexuality in any way. He was a great guy, who was a great friend to me, at a time when I truly needed one -- which looking back, has been my entire life.
At that point, I had known him for several years and had come to love the man (not that there's anything wrong with that), for who he was and it never occurred to me, one way or the other, which side he was on. My girlfriend at the time -- who herself had dated women exclusively for more than a decade before she met me (I like this part of the story, because, well...you know the way we men are) -- told me I had to be an idiot to have not have known.
In any case, he's with the same man now for more than a decade, despite having the same trials and tribulations inherent in every other relationship on the face of the planet.
My long-time friend V, is a bisexual, African-America woman, living with her lesbian lover for probably 2 decades now. She is a wonderful person, who I met almost 40 years ago. Over the years, I have seen her take in dozens of people when they had nowhere to go. I have seen her give the last food she had in her refrigerator to children who didn't have enough to eat. I have seen her provide shelter to other people's children to keep them out of the system, even though she barely had enough for herself. There are people alive today who would not be, had she not intervened in their lives when they needed it most.
And in the end, it shouldn't matter. If she were a shrew and he was a rapacious plunderer, firmly ensconced in the 1%, would it make any difference? Would they have fewer rights? Could we say that only "nice" gay people have a right to marry?
The same can be said for Dan T. Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A. Because he is a religious conservative and is vocal about it, do we have a right to hurt his livelihood because we disagree with his personal convictions?
In my opinion, if you are lucky enough to find love in this too difficult, too short life -- go for it. Why should we heterosexuals do all the suffering? Just a joke -- nothing to see here -- move along.
What does any of this have to do with chicken...or chickin? The answer is nothing. If the zoning and applicable business rules are adhered to, what right does any local government have to restrict a business's ability to open a store just because they don't like something someone who owns or manages a company believes?
What happened to the First Amendment rights of Mr. Cathy, son of the chain's founder and company President? Does his right under the Constitution of the United States of America to say and believe whatever he wants, apply only if we agree with what he says or believes? If that's the case, then why have the First Amendment at all?
You see, that's the problem with progressives like Obama, Emmanuel, Menino and Moreno. Sounds like a band I once saw at the Garden...I think they opened for Ray, Goodman and Brown, they were great, always in harmony. But then, those on the left always sing the same tune.
Liberals are so convinced they are on the side of what is right and just, that no rule, law, societal convention or sense of fairness and equity is allowed to get in the way of them forcing the rest of us to do as they say.
This is the essence of a progressive; they are always willing to allow those with whom they disagree the option of doing as they are told. When anyone refuses, they are labeled racists, reactionaries or nuts. Liberals actually believe that acting this way is fair and just and will result in a better America.
Sad, isn't it?
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