Celebrating and commemorating our veterans. United States military veterans and their families.

Freedom of Speech – Gig Line #20


By Marsha M. Brown

“When it comes to those who have served our country, it’s just not possible to say “thank you” too often.”

Because GIG LINE is dedicated to veterans and promoting them, the subject of my columns is just that or at least for the most part. But as I’ve said before, I also write about what God inspires me to write so here goes…sit tight.

This week for the first time, I’ve struggled with preparing my GIG LINE article. It’s been strange because writing comes so easy for me. As usual I’ve considered many things to talk about but this time my mind has come back, time and time again to the news of the day which has been dominated by the controversy around Chick-fil-A.

I’m one of these people who can look at both sides of everything, gather the facts presented, consider and weigh them out and then come to a conclusion or to a ‘Marsha opinion’. That will get you about a half a cup of coffee on a good day, but that’s OK, “opinions are like noses”, as they say, “we all have one”. But my opinion is pretty important to me because its mine, I guess because I want my ‘opinion’ to count based on truth. I can honestly look at both sides of a situation fairly before I take a stand.  You have to. You have to be able to consider everything and move on from there.

This past week, the newspapers, TV and radio have all been focused on one side or the other, featuring interviews with people who fully support the stand Mr. Sam Cathy, COO of Chick-fil-A made as well as interviews with folks who have criticized him and expressions of their stand against him. We’ve seen a difference of opinion or beliefs come to the surface maybe as never before. The circumstance accentuates even more clearly that life in fact has changed.

My first impression and opinion of the matter was that this outrage was a shame. Isn’t there enough controversy in the world? Enough conflict? Initially, I felt bad that someone who has operated his business and who reportedly honors God was being attacked for his statement in protest of same sex marriage. Then, I considered other aspects of this controversy for a reason that no one, at least that I’ve heard of, has acknowledged.

It’s important to consider the elements of a topic and as always I thought about it, prayed about it and it finally became clear.

First, I love and care about everyone…everyone and without exception. I don’t understand what makes people be affectionate over their same sex. I’m not a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist but I am a person who believes that God loves all of us and that He wants us all to love each other.

It’s not up to me to judge anyone for their preferences but one way or the other, I’ll be held accountable before God for what I do and don’t do in this world and not loving someone for their lifestyle is not what I want to have to make excuses to God for. Personally, I believe in marriage as we’ve always known it – between a man and a woman, period. That’s my opinion, my two cents worth and nothing or nobody will change that in my mind or in my heart. But I also believe that love is unconditional. And speaking of that, I thank God that He has loved me…unconditionally too. 

This GIG LINE article is not to persuade you one way or the other or to convince you to protest for or against anyone. To be honest, if I had been in the vicinity of a Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, I would have been one of the first in line to get a meal. It would have been my way of saying thank you for courage, and for being true to conviction. But, I wasn’t close to one and again my stand is for veterans and their families. So, you’re probably thinking…well then, what’s your point? My point is this:

It’s my understanding that the COO for Chick-fil-A merely voiced his opinion. Unless I’m sadly mistaken, our Constitution has protected and ensured our right to be able to do that. From what I gather, the issue wasn’t about ‘gay’ in general, it was an opinion expressed about same sex marriage. It does make me sad that standing on principal and his Biblical beliefs irritated some who believe differently to the point of media frenzy and national scrutiny. But things happen for a reason and maybe good things will come out of this before it’s over.

If what I read in my ‘joined at the hip’ source Wikipedia, Mr. Cathy served in the U.S. Army in World War II. What that represents to me is that he along with countless others fought for freedom of suppression. The right to entitlements we have under our Constitution, one being: the right to free speech is the direct opposite of communism or control and domination by others. If Mr. Cathy is a veteran, he has a vested interest ‘up front and personal’ in people being able to say what they think which is what he did. What’s really wrong with this situation is that he’s been chastised for it while his battle in WWII defended the right to do so. 

In essence, we aren’t ever going to agree on everything – no matter who we are or the subject matter. We’ll have different approaches, policies, practices, procedures, beliefs and our actions will be a direct result of our constitution. And that in turn will dictate how we individually treat, help or harm our fellow man. When we believe as we do, we are responsible and accountable for the impression we make on others from this day forward. 

When it comes to those who have served our country, it’s just not possible to say “thank you” too often. For those who appreciate our military but aren’t directly involved or related to someone who is, there are plenty of ways to express gratitude or to find ways to help. In next Sunday’s GIG LINE, I’ll list easy ways to help and the sources to contact.

I appreciate hearing from you at editor@giglineheroes.com . Please write whenever you have a chance. Your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Until next time, be safe, be happy, be proud and stay tuned…

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