My mother always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut.”
Too bad I never listened to her.
I think I still have the welts from the wooden spoon to prove it.
One of the great things about living in America (in case you’re struggling to find one) is the freedom to express your thoughts, opinions and beliefs without ending up on the wrong end of a gun.
No greater example of this is happening right now as we’re weeks away from the presidential election. Republicans, Democrats, gays, lesbians, abortion supporters, pro-lifers, dermatologists and grandmothers are all sharing thoughts on “their” candidate, regardless if those thoughts make sense or not.
At the same time, the heat is still on for the chicken chain people love to hate – Chick-Fil-A. In case your mind got caught in the under-swell of Obama-this and Romney-that, here’s the quick recap. Several months ago, the fast food chain who applies “biblically-based principles to managing [the] business” and closes shop on Sunday, came out and made a statement against gay-marriage. Since then groups have banded together to either boycott or support the chicken chain for its founder’s beliefs.
Now, I like Chick-Fil-A. They serve a good product, offer great service and their stores are always packed like a Baptist Church on Sunday. Whatever they stand for, good or bad, they have good chicken. A little protest here and there, a few twinks kissing in front of a store or a bunch of breeders wearing signs isn’t going to persuade me to nosh or hit KFC instead.
It’s just chicken.
The right to express yourself has never been more evident than now with Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites giving everyone the bully pulpit they always wanted. But there comes a time when you just have to say, “enough is enough.”
Today is one of those times.
I had to “Un-Like” Chick-Fil-A on Facebook.
It seems no matter what the company posts on their Facebook wall, the critics come out and bash one group of society or another. Whether it’s a photo promoting a tray of chicken nuggets or a plug for their iPhone app, the haters come out in full force – on both sides. Whether it’s someone pushing gay rights issues or a Republican agenda, there’s fighting with each post. And it doesn’t stop.
We can debate the issue of whether the fried chicken they serve is healthy, but there is no doubt that the hate displayed on their Facebook wall isn’t.
Would the company be doing themselves a favor by moderating the comments and pulling ones that are hateful or off-topic? Probably not, as their detractors would immediately launch a campaign against it. Are they doing themselves a favor by leaving the comments there? No, but they do get points for not censoring. I hate to invoke overused phrases, but this is a classic Catch-22 situation.
As I clicked the button to bid Adios, I stopped for a moment, reflected on the freedom I have to turn-off the free speech I don’t want to hear and said to myself, “it’s just chicken.”