Batman & Chicken

August 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Chick-Fil-A set sales records yesterday. They won’t release exact figures, but over 620,000 facebook users told the world they were eating fried chicken yesterday in order to demonstrate support for Dan Cathy’s personal views on same-sex marriage. I don’t care to write about this topic today specifically, there has already been far too much press given to the controversy, but I would like to use it

to raise a question or two about truth. I overheard a radio announcer suggest yesterday that if someone did not eat at Chick-Fil-A yesterday they were in support of same-sex marriage. There just wasn’t any other way to see it. The issue was that black and white. I don’t personally care much for fast food of any variety, but I felt especially strange about using chicken and french fries as a means to make a public statement about something as personal and sacred as marriage. Still, the entire issue exposed for me the growing cultural confusion about authority and truth. Let me explain. Because of his recent comments, Dan Cathy is being considered “evil” by many. To others he is being called a “saint.” How does one decide whether Cathy is a hero or a villain? Does it boil down to however I feel personally about the issue? If so, what makes my opinion more valid than yours, what makes yours more valid than Cathy’s? If same sex unions are simply a matter of personal opinion, why boycott or buy from any particular business to reinforce the point, as if, somehow, majority opinion determines legitimacy. That is how many people have responded to the drama. As a society who has given up on the possibility of knowing truth it appears that many people have decided that if Chick-Fil-A sales can be greater than the amount of damage done by boycotts, then same sex unions must be bad, and vice-versa. It is very unwise for a society to decide truth democratically. Let me press the issue a little deeper. When James Holmes opened fire at the cinema a couple weeks ago in Aurora Colorado, was it evil? I have yet to see a single news source or internet site combat the universal feeling that firing a gun into an unarmed crowd should be considered by everyone to be an act of horrific evil. Not one. Is that because we all simply share the same personal opinion about murder? Or is it possible that there is a moral code written on the heart of humanity that suggests that ending a person’s life is fundamentally wrong. These stories about Dan Cathy and James Holmes, though admittedly worlds apart in their significance, both unearth a similar cultural bent towards “wanting our cake and eating it to.” If we believe we can determine what is right and wrong, evil and good, on our own than we need to consistently apply the principle. We are not afforded the luxury of standing on some grand, objective, external, authority when we speak about murder being evil, and then disregard the existence of that same source of authority when talking about something like same-sex union. We want to determine truth in the manner that benefits us most in the moment. If an external source of authority supports my view, than I might use it, but if that same source of external, objective authority betrays the way I “feel” or contradicts my “personal experience”, than many people have no problem tossing it out. I have no problem with people disagreeing with each other, but I am convinced that our beliefs need to be anchored to something deeper than the face in the mirror.