Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hateful, Ridiculous Things I See on Facebook: Chick-Fil-A, Obama, and Poverty

Before I really get started with my latest rant, let me just say that I promise to make my next post more positive.  I would like to start having one post a month where I highlight some of the positive changes people are making environmentally or in other ways.  If you have made some positive environmental changes, or you are making positive changes in the world in another way and would like to do a guest blog post please send me an e-mail, or let me know in the comments.  Hopefully we can all learn from each other some practical ways to make the world a better place. :) Now on with the ranting!

So, I have to say that I kind of hate Facebook.  Sure there are some good things about it: connecting with old high school friends (and other friends as well), being silly with my wife, being able to keep tabs on my kids, and Texas Hold'em.  Mostly though Facebook is simply a tool of frustration.  I can't really be myself there for fear of people freaking out at me.  The few times when I am really honest, there is always backlash.  I don't really mind backlash so much; I have come to accept that when I post my opinions I should expect people to become upset with me.  So, in those situations I am prepared.  What always gets me though, is the unexpected, ignorant, and often hateful posts of others.  It is a daily occurrence that I have to see posts which are simply mean and very narrow-minded, and often just plain wrong.  I would love to make comments on these posts, but I truly have no desire start any wars with people on Facebook.  If you are my friend on Facebook, it is because I know and love you.  I do not desire to argue with you. I also believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions. So, I hold my tongue (mostly).

But it has been so bad lately that I am busting at the seams.  So, my solution is this blog.  I have decided that once every couple of weeks, I will simply come on here and vent my Facebook frustrations.  This is my venue, and my forum and I have the right to think and say whatever I want here.  While the fact that I have written a new blog post may appear on your Facebook page, just know that you do not have to actually go read the blogs.  This way you do not have to be frustrated with my thoughts.  Lately, there have been many things frustrating me, but I will spare you from having to here my full and complete rant today.  Let me narrow it down to just a few things for you: Chick-Fil-A, Obama, and poverty.

So, unless you have been under a rock somewhere, I guarantee that you have heard about Chick-Fil-A and their defense of traditional marriage.  I actually don't mind Chick-Fil-A having and financially supporting their opinions.*  One of the things I love about our country is the fact that we have the right to believe in and support (or not support) whatever causes we want.  But, please don't get all up in arms when people want to boycott Chick-Fil-A because of their agenda.  Boycott's are a part of society.  If you support Chick-Fil-A's view on marriage, then great; go eat their chicken and be merry.  I have no problem with you having different views than me. There are two things about all this that really get my goat though.  I actually saw people say things on Facebook about how the right does not get all upset and boycott when a company holds views which they don't agree with.  What?  Are you kidding me?   The Christian right boycotts something every week!  Christians have called for boycotts of Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, a plethora of video games, Circle K, Marilyn Manson (and many other musicians), Disney, The Golden Compass, Spongebob Squarepants, Amazon.com, and like a billion other individuals or companies.  "Hello Kettle?  This is Pot, umm your black."  Come on people.  Think before you post.

The other thing I heard people say about Chick-Fil-A which absolutely drove me up the wall is that they were going to go to Chick-Fill-A to eat, not because they supported Chick-Fil-A's views, but because they supported the right to free speech.  You support free speech?  Great, I do as well.  Free speech lets me write my blog and my books. But, I have a question for those who posted such things. Would you go to a gay pride parade to support free speech as well?  Would you go and support free speech at an Eminem concert?  Do you see my point?  Unless you are willing to go to a place where they are saying something you disagree with to support free speech, then you are not really supporting free speech.  You are simply showing support for someone who has the very same opinions as you.  If you would be willing to go to an establishment or art exhibit which you would not normally support or frequent, and which holds different views than you, in order to support free speech, then congratulations.  You truly are a defender of free speech and I applaud you.  If you would not do these things though, then be honest with yourself and everyone else;  you went to Chick-Fil-A because you do not like gay marriage, not because you support free speech.

Moving on to the next topic: Obama.  Poor Obama, this guy cannot catch a break with the American people.  The left has been disappointed with him because he has been too conservative and the right actually think he is the most liberal President we have ever had.  I have seen the absolutely most ridiculous and hateful things posted about our President on Facebook and most of them are simply flat out inaccurate.  The biggest one though is that Barack Obama wants to tax the pants off of everybody and send us all into the poor house.  Please people, stop listening to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or whichever other lying, hate-spewing person you are listening to.  Barack Obama has not raised taxes on a single household in the United States, look it up.  The only things he has placed taxes on are things like tanning booths and cigarettes.

I have actually seen people say that they miss George W. Bush!  Are you kidding me?  Have we forgotten when this recession started?  During W's tenure the Dow dropped from 14,000 points to 8,000 points when he left office.  The dow now stands at 13,179. We are climbing out of a deep hole which the policies of GWB put us in.   Let me offer you a quote from Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic, "On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country's condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton's two terms, often substantially."  Is this really what you want to go back too?

Finally, the thing which I think upsets me the most is the attacks against the poor which I have seen  on Facebook.  There have been so many hateful things said against poor people that I do not really know where to start.  I have seen people say that people should get jobs to pay for their own healthcare and for their children's healthcare. If you can great, but what about the single mother who's daughter is having to undergo chemotherapy a second time because her leukemia has come back.  The mother cannot be at work because she has to stay home with her very sick daughter. What do we do with these people?  I saw this exact thing while I was taking care of Noah (my son) in the hospital (Who was also on Medicaid, by the way;  medicaid which Paul Ryan proposes to cut while giving tax breaks to the rich).  I think people have the impression that there are all these able bodied people out there living off the government tit, but this simply is not true.  I worked for 13 years with poor and homeless people.  In that time I can safely say that I only met about a dozen people who were milking the system.  The rest were people who had severe physical, mental, or psychological disabilities.  They are people who need help and can't make it on their own.  It is easy to say that they should not be taken care of with taxpayer dollars, but what should be done?  Where is your compassion?  Stop judging those whom you do not know and whom you have absolutely no idea what their stories are.

Okay, I feel better now. I am sure I will have more Facebook rants soon though. :)

*After I wrote this a very astute reader pointed out why I was incorrect to state this opinion the way that I did.  She is correct.  I refer you to her comments below. She posted as "Mistress..."

6 comments:

  1. Bravo, I am glad that you can be opened minded about others views and still stick to your guns with yours! I really don't know the difference between the left and the right wings yet but Im learning.., This journey that your on from conservative to leftist,I support you and your opinions. And cant any better than you did in your closing statement "stop judging those whom you do not know anything about"

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  2. If companies are people and people vote with dollars then the destination of the restaurant’s donations are open for public debate. It very well should be an issue as to where peoples’ hard-earned money goes after the chicken goes down their gullet. This issue has made our little feathered friend the modern martyr as Chick-fil-A laughs all the way to the bank. Watch the poultry be nailed to the cross and pierced by the spear of destiny at the hands of those devious cows on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/holy-rollin-poultry-on-cross-chick-fil.html

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  3. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment Jimbo. I hope you and your family are well.

    Brandt, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your art. I loved your take on the Chick-Fil-A situation by the way. I am now following you on Twitter and am subscribed to your blog. Thanks again for sharing.

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  4. I loved this post, as it says everything that my fiancee and I have been trying and failing to say to her super right wing conservative father for the last 3 years we've been together. Though, I will say that while it's nice to let ChickFilA have their own opinion on the gay marriage issue, we'd be having a WHOLLY DIFFERENT conversation as a nation of you took the exact quotes from Dan Cathy and replaced allusions to gays and same sex marriage with allusions to blacks, hispanics, muslims, jews, or catholics. All groups that have been similarly persecuted in the past, and to speak out against them now earns you national consternation. To say that a black man or a muslim or jew can eat your food but you don't think their families should have equal treatment under the law, and then to donate corporate funds to organizations who's leadership has gone on record saying said minority group should be run out of the country or made illegal would destroy a company. But, because it's gays, it's some how ok to have the opinion that they should not have the right to marry the person that they love.

    I know YOU don't have that opinion, but it's just something that's frustrated me when I hear people say 'but they are entitled to their opinion'. Sure, they are, and when people call them a bigot for it, they shouldn't act all surprised.

    And the outright insane propaganda against Obama staggers me. As someone who graduated from college right in the middle of Bush's March to Depression, and as someone who studied the Great Depression at length, I can pretty much tell you that the last thing we need is to reward the banks and companies that got us into this mess in the first place with lower taxes and reduced regulation. If you want to know why unemployment is not at 5%, look no further than the Republicans who have cut government jobs and been responsible for most of the layoffs during the last 4 years. We don't need tax breaks for corporations or less regulation, we need a new Civilian Conservation Corps to hire unemployed, train them into a new skill set, and rebuild our crumbling electric and water infrastructure.

    Anyway, I am LOVING your blog! I wish more Christians would realize that Christ wouldn't give two craps about the government. He'd care about the people suffering.

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    Replies
    1. Mistress,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad that you have enjoyed my thoughts. I totally agree with you that if those statements had been said about any other people group the uproar would have been immense. I think after you shared your thoughts I can see that I was clearly too easy on Chick-Fil-A and Mr. Cathy. My apologies to the GLBTQ community. I think sometimes I still find myself downplaying the truth a bit in order to make my blog just a little bit more palatable to some on the right in the hopes that they will read and think, and possibly be changed (Hey, it happened to me so you never know). In this situation though I think I was probably wrong to do it, and I do apologize. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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    2. Mistress,

      I have added an asterisk and a footnote asking future readers to read your response. It was articulate and accurate, and I did not want to take credit for your work. Thank you again for reading my thoughts and for sharing yours.

      Brent

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