On August 1, 2012, 9:46 AM by Savannah Cox
In a fast-food, fast-outrage culture, the Chick-Fil-A controversy represents little more than an election season snack.
To some, if you consume a single chicken nugget fried within the bowels of a Chick-fil-A restaurant today, you might as well be warming a seat within the bigoted pews of the Westboro Baptist Church. And if you don’t, you’re intolerant of one man’s right to express his personal beliefs or potentially even worse: you support the degradation of the traditional Christian family as we know it.
Like most over-dramatized controversies that find themselves on the front pages of the Huffington Post or in the reactionary noise of Fox News, regardless of which position you take on any overly-politicized election season issue, it’s a lose-lose. Both sides of the political aisle continue to pick at each other for being intolerant or close-minded or whatever adjective it is they believe will grant them the most air time on that particular day; and so both parties continue to chew on the same, tired fat until the next schmuck whose imprudent actions present a possibility for momentary political reward inevitably comes along.
Thus the cycle continues. Sure, the implications of one man’s donations to anti-gay causes certainly merit concern and even personal condemnation, but at the end of the day, aren’t there issues more worthy of individual outrage? Furthermore, why must it take the rather unscrupulous actions and declarations of a chicken sandwich enterprise CEO to stir the seemingly comatose social and moral consciousness of the masses?
First, a couple caveats. Certain social issues, particularly ones concerning the politically-trending topic of gay rights, are regrettably contentious and serve as ratings-boosting fodder for major news networks throughout the country, which by effect increases the size and scope of their subsequent dissemination. (Gays? Abortion? Wait, even Bill O’Reilly is talking about contraception? Sure, I’ll tune in.) Second, skipping a chicken sandwich is easier than an all-out hunger strike. And finally, unlike the LIBOR scandal, the looming fiscal cliff or the increasingly dire circumstances in Syria, most social issues are, frankly, of general concern, which means that they are much easier topics on which to form—or rather have—an opinion. That is not to say that social issues aren’t important; rather it simply means that there are fewer barriers to understanding them—or for that matter, manipulating them for political or media ratings gain.
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