Slapshot

Slapshot

What’s all the fuss about? The difference between a fast food tycoon and a street-side soapbox preacher

By Shane Cohn 08/09/2012

My office is in Downtown Ventura, so I often see people who feel compelled to yell out some eccentric ideas from street corners, or distribute interesting literature.


But that’s OK.


For whatever reason, they think people want to listen to them rant about gays, Jesus, Obama, the apocalypse or about gays and Obama causing the apocalypse and second coming of Christ. Usually, however, people don’t want to listen and just walk past them. Other times, folks will stop and listen or simply offer a casual “fuck off” and continue on their merry way.


But we’re all allowed to do this, says the First Amendment, and people go on with their lives; the local soapbox preacher soon fades away.


In this country, though, when somebody with a great deal of money expresses a controversial opinion about an issue, there is a knee-jerk reaction by the media and the masses to publicize the matter and make fools of humankind.


Recently, a guy named Dan Cathy said he doesn’t support same-sex marriage. And this guy Cathy apparently knows how God thinks and feels because he said the U.S. was “inviting God’s judgment” by legalizing gay unions.


Even though this is no different than the banter we’re occasionally privy to in front of post offices, grocery stores and on popular street corners, because Cathy, president of the fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A and heir to a $1 billion fortune, came out against gay marriage, we’re all supposed to care.


The liberal mayors of Chicago and Boston flipped out and said his restaurants weren’t welcome in their cities.

 
And on Aug. 1, newfound supporters of Cathy flocked to Chick-fil-As around the country, as did hundreds of people locally at the Oxnard location, to stand in solidarity against gay marriage. They wore shirts that said things like “proud heterosexual,” while supporters of gay marriage encouraged couples of the same sex to go kiss each other in front of Chick-fil-A locations.


And again, apparently, because of mainstream media coverage, we’re supposed to care about this.


Why?


Why let your blood boil when somebody isn’t cheering for your team? Is your world so fragile that a man who owns fast food restaurants offends you by what he thinks about gay marriage? Why are we flying off the handle here? Why are we wearing T-shirts about being heterosexual? And why, why, why are we seeking out sweaty Chick-fil-A strip mall locations to kiss in front of when we can be at home making love?


Look, if you consistently eat the processed junk at Chick-fil-A, for whatever reason, and you’re offended by Cathy’s statements, I’m sure Jared at Subway will take you in.  

Slapshot is a monthly column/op-ed piece on various issues around Ventura County.

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