It's not surprising that the USA could be so fiercely divided over the right of a greasy fried chicken franchise to have a president who thinks he knows what God is thinking -- and that He has little love for non-traditional marriage.
We know Americans are split over modernity-traditional, tax cut-tax hike, punishment-treatment, religion-humanism, North-South, Republican-Democrat, and on and on and on. But crispy chicken breasts? We need to take a deep breath.
Two weeks after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said his company opposes same-sex marriage, the heated national debate over his words still rages -- thanks mostly to conservative talk show hosts like Mike Huckabee, gay activist groups and the usual rapid dissemination of a farce issue throughout the Internet.
What launched this latest national rage-out was a statement by Mr. Cathy about how his company supported family values, specifically "the biblical definition of the family unit." Many would consider this fellow hopelessly out of touch with the 21st century, but then, he is cooking chicken, not running for president of the U.S. A pizza guy did that a while back and was appropriately rejected as unfit for the office.
Anti-bias groups reacted to the statement, and the protests sprouted, and this week a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was organized with Mr. Huckabee's help as promoter. But the statement itself still doesn't rise to the level of anything serious -- and never did. That would change if it were accompanied by discrimination against same-sex couples or gays in general, but no one is saying that.
If gays boycott the franchise, chances are it will remain in business anyway, and gays might be healthier on average -- if they were to choose a less-greasy alternative. Otherwise, not much is likely to change.
We should also point out that when Starbucks and other companies proclaimed a pro-gay attitude, they were criticized, if not boycotted, by some conservatives. In both cases, boycotts were a fair and acceptable approach to expressing a view -- even when the rhetoric surrounding it was over the top.
Usually, these quick and nasty national flame-out debates lead nowhere, except to the next raging "debate," actively sought out and promoted by what some call "the media." But there are times when most Americans do, after an emotional first reaction, take time to reflect on the opinions of those on the other side. As this issue seems lighter than chicken feathers, that may be the case here.
Sometimes most people are even capable of assuming -- just for the sake of argument, of course -- that everyone involved is of the human species, and worth at least a smile.