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Since this editorial is about chickens, let’s begin by recalling the “Seinfeld” episode in which George’s father, Frank Costanza, brought up a question about poultry.
At a dinner, Frank Costanza expressed his confusion about the sexual orientation of chickens, roosters and hens.
His host replied, “They’re all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.”
His response was “That’s perverse!”
Apparently, Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy threw in with Frank Costanza on perversity, saying he does not approve of same sex marriages (perhaps not even with his chickens) according to news reports last week.
When that announcement was made, there was an immediate outpouring of protest not only from the LBGT community, but from a wide variety of ordinary people who don’t have any objection to that particular lifestyle.
The objections extended to calls for boycotts and suggestions that customers change their preferences to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
As a corporate president who deals in food products, Mr. Cathy put his foot in his mouth by expressing what sounded like a company policy against a specific segment of the population. He probably did some damage to his company’s popularity nationwide as well.
We hope that someday Mr. Cathy will see things differently and realize that it’s none of his business who people choose to share their lives and love with.
With that said, however, we respect his right to express his opinion. It’s a first amendment right.
He didn’t say he was refusing service to people who were gay. He didn’t say he was refusing to hire people who were gay. He just said what was on his mind. He wasn’t using obscenities, and he wasn’t making terroristic threats. He was partaking of the same speech protection that civil rights protestors have had for years.
That right must endure.
A person could get worn out from exhaustion getting involved in vigorous protests against things that are wrong in this world.
The Civil Rights protestors of the 1960s were doing a job that had to be done, but it took lots of their time, killed some of them, and overtook their spirits.
The point is, unless you are a professional protestor, it is wise not to get eaten alive by the wrongs of a group or individual unless you intend to invest much of your life in it.
Sure, we would like to see the Boy Scouts make room for gay members and leaders, but we are not going to take out our anger against every kid who performs a service project, earns an Eagle or helps direct traffic at an event on behalf of his troop.
We’re shocked to find that there is pedophilia among some Catholic priests. That doesn’t mean we will abandon our Catholic friends or even protest the good services of the local parishes.
We’ll eat food that we know in the back of our minds that was picked by underpaid workers and cast our votes for those who would help them.
And, on occasion, we’ll eat veal cutlet, even though we have heard about the conditions under which calves are raised for that meat.
The world is full of injustices. We are called upon to live ethically with some degree of character. We must not endorse those who discriminate against minorities or take advantage of weaker beings.
But we are also called upon to embrace the good in individuals, seek joy, live optimistically and not to get possessed by anger. To succumb to anger would be to become a Frank Costanza, whose only apparent reaction to life is outrage. And that’s no way to live.