Chick-fil-A and Facebook

As if politics and religion were not divisive enough, America has a new issue to argue over.
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All the talk about traditional marriage versus same- sex marriage, freedom of speech, etc., ultimately  boiled down to a new argument – will you stop eating at CFA or will you joyfully announce to all your friends that you not only will continue to eat at the fast food chain, but you’ll revel in it, proudly posting pictures on Facebook of the long lines of supporters, expressing that you stand with hoards of people that see the world the same as you?

For myself, I simply stated I would no longer choose to patronize CFA.  It was a decision of conscience.  You’d have thought this somehow put me in the same category of the mayors of Chicago and Boston, or the nuts that called in bomb threats to CFA restaurants, or the moron that berated a CFA employee in the drive through.

Apparently “friends” on Facebook couldn’t understand the difference.

The real fallout from this issue is the ending of friendships.  

Moreover, this issue has forced me to change how I interact on Facebook.

Until this weekend, I’ve kept an “open” profile, allowing anyone at visited my page full access to what I post.

Now, I’m a pretty outspoken person on my views.  I don’t really care if people agree or disagree with my views on politics, religion, same-sex marriage, etc. As long as you  express yourself politely, respectfully, civilly, I’m all for an exchange of opinions. Unfortunately, some of my “friends” apparently could not display the decorum to do so on my Facebook wall.  Not only has it led to the dissolution of long time friendships, I decided I needed to lay out “new rules” for how I interact with friends:

New Rules For Facebook

I’m not the most technically savvy Facebook user – though I’ve changed many settings this morning that will limit who sees my profile.

Facebook, for me, is about keeping up with friends.  I enjoy your updates – I enjoy the pictures of your family that you share, the places you are hanging out at, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.  I think it should be a nice enjoyable experience every time I get on – and that’s not what it has become.

I’m probably as guilty for sharing my opinions on things with my friends as those that I’ve found annoying.  If I’ve offended any of my friends with my views, I’m sorry.

I figure I’ve been blocked out of many a newsfeed — just as I’ve restricted several friends that I find annoying as well – but I’m going to try to be as vanilla as I possibly can be from now on.  I’ll save my opinions for my blog.

That said — if I click “like” on something — that does not mean I endorse it — it’s not an open invitation to comment on.  I’ve disabled my social readers – but if I happen to read a story and you see it in your news feed – I really don’t need the added 2 cents.  If I read and then “share” it – fire away.  I read lots of stuff everyday – it should not be interpreted as though I agree with everything I read.

Lastly – If I see things in my newsfeed that I find deliberately hurtful or even hateful – I will start by disabling that person from my newsfeed.  If you feel compelled to be argumentative on things I post, I will restrict my posts from your newsfeed.  Differing opinions are one thing – being mean or spiteful is a whole different ball game.

If anyone has a problem with this, please feel free to defriend me. 🙂

CFA serves as a microcosm of what divides America today – as though we needed one more thing!

It is an us versus them issue; liberals versus conservatives; evangelical Christians versus “liberal” Christians (with a smattering of atheists on the side); republicans and democrats, tradition versus progressive.  As with every “versus” issue in the country – as Herm Edwards says – “you play to win the game!”

It doesn’t matter what the issue is – the Aurora shootings, Trayvon Martin, gay marriage and CFA – everyone has an opinion and someone help you if you don’t see it their way.

I shared a picture a few weeks ago:

When I shared this picture (it showed up in my newsfeed), I truly had no idea that the woman in the picture was Trayvon Martin’s mother, or that she was holding a picture of Trayvon.  I saw a mother that had lost a child.

This is a highly personal issue for me – having lost a son myself many years ago.  Telling a mourning father that his loss was part of “God’s plan” is not necessarily a smart thing to do either.
However, friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers decided to make this about George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s killer, and implying that I’m a communist for “supporting” Trayvon Martin’s mother.  After deleting several posts, and blocking one friend of a friend, I had to post the following:

Fair warning – do not hijack this thread to display your disdain for Obama, support for George Zimmerman, or disdain for Trayvon Martin. This is an emotional issue for me, so if you’re my “friend” you will respect that line. If you can’t figure out what I’m talking about – read the first f’ing comment in this thread then stfu. Thanks 🙂

Even this was not enough to deter people from their outrage or their agenda.

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While I admit, seeing all the pledges of support for CFA on Facebook, many of these from my friends, felt hurtful – the thought of questioning their motivations never crossed my mind.  I can’t say the same for my posts – many “friends” felt it was open season to tell me how intolerant or anti-religion I was for not buying a spicy chicken sandwich from CFA.

So here’s the deal in a nutshell.  If I somehow offended you, or hurt your feelings because I said I don’t want to support groups funded, in part, by the profits made by CFA I’m truly sorry.  However, whether you realized it or cared to consider it, every time you gleefully announced to your friends and family that you will joyfully continue to support CFA, you hurt someone as well.  Sorry, it’s a simple fact.

If you elect to continue enjoying your waffle fries and chicken sandwiches it is certainly your right – no one is stopping you.  Whatever your motivation for doing so is yours and yours alone.

But when you make your intentions known, you are loudly communicating that you place your priorities well above your friendships or relationships with people who you know and supposedly care for.

I’d like to think I have friends that are better than that; however, it’s become clear that I do not.

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3 Responses to Chick-fil-A and Facebook

  1. Kerry Droll says:

    I’m not perfect but you do have at least one friend who is better than that. Keep on being you!

  2. Susan E says:

    When my sister told me how much I would enjoy your posts, I had no idea how right she was. Unfortunately, it is the norm that a difference of opinion equates to a personal attack in some peoples’ minds. This is sad because healthy debate can only strengthen a society. This concept is lost on so many and it is so frustrating. I’m so sorry you seem to have been in the crosshairs more than fair share recently. Some of us do get it!

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