Tag Archive | Politics

Free Speech or Financial Gain

“ I realize how depraved it was to instill false guilt in an innocent child’s conscience, causing a distorted image of life, God, & self, leaving little if any feeling of personal worth.”
Mary Griffith

I think much of the current problem regarding the Chik-fil-a controversy is that Dan Cathy is using a business to promote his personal religious/political stance. I use the term “political” because this declaration comes on the heels of the president’s public acknowledgement not to discriminate against gays. Of all the “attaboy” posts I have seen on Facebook, only one commends Cathy on exercising his right to free speech. However, he is not exercising free speech as an individual; he is exercising free speech as the spokesperson for a 2 billion dollar business. When we try to insert religion into government, the result is many people arguing about God and what the Bible states, rather than individuals researching the spoon-fed political propaganda they are consuming. We will be witnessing many politicians jumping on the big Chik-fil-a controversy bandwagon to help promote a political agenda. Appealing to self-professed Christians to cash in on their religious convictions is an excellent tactic for political sparring. In the meantime, a war is brewing between those who support gay marriage and those opposed to the concept.

I commend Dan Cathy, but not for the same reason as most. Personally, I think the manner in which he declared his opposition to gay unions is unethical, but I will spare you that rant. I commend him because he just wittingly managed to persuade many people to support his business, along with all the organizations to which he currently contributes funds and they do not even realize it. I am curious about what else his “biblical” perspective includes. He is treading on a minefield of prejudices and judgment that threatens the fabric of society. This is precisely how cults originate. He just gained a massive following by asserting his religious stance on gay lifestyles and promoting those beliefs as those of his business. I wonder which political party he supports and how much money he contributes to that party.

Cathy created an even larger platform for those seeking to make abortion illegal and countless other ideas, which I shudder to consider. The problem is that the majority of those jumping on the Chik-fil-a bandwagon, believing they are supporting a Christian idea will have no idea of exactly what else they are promoting. They may fail to recognize that they are practicing discrimination at its ultimate, which eventually leads to war. Few people are supporting Cathy from a stance of protecting free speech; the majority is only doing so because of the biblical stance of condemning those who practice homosexuality. They just are not realizing that they are also opposing many other things, including sexual equality. I have never before considered a restaurant owner’s religious or political stance as I ate there because I did not think it was relevant, but this whole debate may make me reconsider my choices of where I eat.

I emphasize that this is merely my personal opinion and I am not promoting a political agenda. I am a concerned individual because I fail to see how Cathy’s revelation contributes anything positive to societal woes. We are all stuck on this planet together and divisions such as these threaten our security. These divisions rarely “work themselves out.” Diversity is a wonderful thing, but when it reaches a boiling point and civility gets lost in the madness, warfare looms dangerously close.

©Relinda R.


“Life is Accomplishment”

If you are on Facebook at all, you cannot miss all the jokes about the president’s “you didn’t build that” comment taken out-of-context for the Romney campaign. It really makes me feel bad. Allow me to explain why. I received an Associate of Arts degree in May 2010. Since I was the president of the Beta Beta Omega Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the “Cossatot Chronicle” editor, I was asked to write and deliver a speech on behalf of the graduates and I did so. My speech centered on a motto that I suggested for my high school senior class. The motto represents an idea that life is much more than just existing, it is about growing, learning and achieving dreams. It was also my Dad’s senior class motto in 1951 and I thought it best expressed an idea for those of us who were graduating. The motto reads, “Life is accomplishment, not mere existence.”

Considering that one idea, I built an entire speech on the way none of us accomplishes anything alone. I recognized the faculty members, families and friends who helped us along the way. I do not know of anyone who can say, “I did this all alone.” Somewhere along the path, someone helped. I could not have accomplished all that I have in college without the help of others. Each time I do well on a test or submit an outstanding literary analysis, I think of the people who contributed to that accomplishment. It certainly is not my achievement alone. If I make it to point in which I earn a B.S. degree and further, even to the point of PhD, I will not be thinking, “I did this alone,” I will be thinking, “Thank you to everyone who stood by my side and helped me reach this point.” I will especially be thinking of my husband because were it not for his encouragement and sacrifices, I would never have even given college a shot.

Perhaps it is amusing to some and downright infuriating to others that President Obama used this idea to make a point, but I completely understand what he was trying to say because I tried to make the same point in 2010, a little differently, but same concept. Seeing all the jokes makes me feel somewhat foolish and perhaps many believed my speech to be stupid, but it was a proud moment for me. Perhaps some people do believe that when he or she does something or builds something, it is solely his or her accomplishment, I do not. I think it takes many people to build a dream and I will always be willing to recognize that. I have not accomplished anything alone, have you?

Image©Relinda R.