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Chicken Sandwiches and Marriage

August 2, 2012

Chik-fil-A.

 

And the larger issue of gay marriage.

 

I haven’t really touched on any political issues yet in this blog. There is no premeditated reason for this, but maybe on the spot I could try to think of some. One would be that I feel like the vast majority of people who might read this will have the same opinion on most issues, making me a useless cheerleader. Another reason might be my general aversion to political discussions in a public place, which are typically seen as opportunities to determine who is the smartest person in the room.

 

But what if there was a major issue that was not only political, but religious and social? What if it was in my opinion one of the biggest internal issues the US was facing today? What if it was so big that fast food chains, cookie makers and the legacy company of the guy who made the Muppets were participants? Surely that’s serious business.

 

My social networks have been flooded with (largely copied and pasted) statements either for or against Chik-fil-A’s recent foray into the public discussion regarding their stance against gay marriage. In the interest of full disclosure, I support gay marriage in principle (more on that later), so I agreed with some people who were upset by the decision. But as the vitriol increased and the rhetoric against chicken sandwiches made with evangelical Christian hands became more derisive, I began to wonder if this was really necessary. Wasn’t the company’s founder just exercising his right to free speech? Is he throwing chicken at gay people? Is he unleashing thousands of live chickens into gay marriage ceremonies? No, he’s just a dude who happens to be in charge of a fast food company and also happens to have the same opinion as a lot of people in America.

 

Then last night I realized something. It is necessary, at least now. That’s because there’s a war on. The culture war is here, and it’s going to be a drone-striking, suicide-bombing, throat-slitting, child-napalming, water-boarding, mass grave digging, village-raping, ethnic cleansing, civilian massacring mess.

 

That’s not my opinion, nor is that the way I think it needs to be. But that is the way that people in America on both sides of the political spectrum (though not necessarily the political parties, since Democrats are basically a spineless, message-less husk) view the situation. Political arguments in American society have become reminiscent of arguments between my father and I. You should all take a moment to account for how serious that is: if the analogy I just used is anywhere in the neighborhood of truth, you are all fucked. My father and I have the unique ability to vehemently argue about things we agree on.

 

Both sides accuse each other of doing the same exact things. According to them, both sides want to install a totalitarian police state. Both sides are doing the same things that Hitler did before his rise to power. Both sides have no idea how the economy works. Both sides are out of touch with Joe American.

 

I’m not one of those college student Ron Paul cheerleader types, but I like many things he has to say, and one thing that’s relevant here is his idea that liberty is liberty. Democrats and Republicans make distinctions between social liberty and economic liberty. Republicans tend to want to restrict the former and Democrats the latter. I’m not a libertarian per se, but it’s a bit depressing to see a massive war being waged regarding which set of our liberties will be taken from us. But I’m betting on social liberties being restricted, since Democrats have no discernible policy other than to feebly react to what Republicans do.

 

So is that why I’m hiding out in Japan? God damn it, no, I covered that in the last entry. But my overarching point is, this political polarization can’t continue at the federal level.

 

So here comes the answer to the burning question you’ve all been waiting for, what’s Sean’s stance on gay marriage? Certainly my fan(s) are dying to know.

 

Well, I believe, at least in a normative sense, they should be able to get married. I have no good reason to oppose it. However, I don’t believe the federal government has the grounds to intervene on either side of the debate. This must remain a state issue. We can’t have the federal government forcing a one size fits all solution on all 50 states. Values and morals across the states differ greatly and those differences must be respected. So even though I think gays should be able to get married if they want, they may have to move to another state to do it.

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