Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Maybe We've Forgotten How to Be Nice

We're in Columbus, Georgia this week for Caleb's graduation from OCS at Ft. Benning. While here I wanted to visit Chick-fil-A as I've heard great stories of their amazing chicken sandwiches, and in Georgia there appears to be a Chick-fil-A on every other corner.

Problem is, many people are angry at Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's statement in which he said he supports, "the biblical definition of the family unit." I wanted to post a Facebook status about this fun venture into southern living. Like the fact that the store was crowded to overflowing because unbeknownst to us an "anti protest" was taking place at Chick-fil-A restaurants across America. But I hesitated to say anything for fear of offending someone with my chicken eating ways. I just wanted a sandwich and was uncomfortable that it seemed I was making a political statement.

Later in the day we visited the Infantry Museum, a moving tribute to our soldiers. As a kindly volunteer described the various exhibits to us, she inquired where we lived and asked why we were at the fort. We replied our son is graduating tomorrow from OCS. After congratulating us enthusiastically her parting words were, "Tell your son thank you for his service." Several people have said this to me since Caleb joined the Army, and it always brings tears to my eyes. I don't think of the enormity of this life my son has chosen until someone thanks me for his service. But it is a big deal.

So here's the thing. My son chooses to serve his country, to defend our freedom so all of us, you, me, Mr. Cathy, Ellen DeGeneres, etc., etc., can believe whatever we like. It's my responsibility to live each day respectful of your beliefs, whether I agree with them or not. I don't know if boycotting an establishment because of its CEO's personal beliefs is the answer to our disagreements about life, but I do know being unkind is not the answer.

By the way the spicy chicken deluxe sandwich was fantastic.  Maybe I'll head on over to JC Penny later and show my support for Ellen (don't get me started on the mean-spirited boycott of JC Penny by Christians), who ends each of her shows with these words, "Be kind to one another."