Thursday, August 02, 2012

Chicken sandwiches and change

Over the years, I have noticed that the congregation here at Pug Life Ministries is a politically diverse group. When I look at the news feed on my Facebook wall, I see screeds against President Obama's "socialist" policies alongside banners advocating universal healthcare, flag-filled messages of patriotism alongside accusations of U.S. war crimes. I also see photos of pug puppies and bulldogs in swimming pools; perhaps this is what gives me the strength to keep returning. 

I enjoy having humans from varied backgrounds in the congregation, and I believe it's good to be exposed to different ideas and viewpoints (and potential donors). The reason the ministry has emerged as perhaps the last bit of common ground in this starkly divided country is, of course, my immense charisma and charm. But I think it may also have something to do with the fact that I run an apolitical group, with the obvious exception of my unyielding stances on canine suffrage and universal access to rawhide. 

It is not that I have no core beliefs, like one of our major presidential candidates, or set my core beliefs aside in the interest of political expediency, like the other. I simply do not consider myself a member of either of the dominant political parties in this country, and I cannot bring myself to exhibit public enthusiasm for any politician whom I know will ultimately most likely prove to be a disappointment. You can call that cynical if you like, but remember that no cynic ever fought so hard to implement a canine theocracy -- our last best hope. So, in truth, I am a patriot of the highest order. 

These people must have really wanted some chicken.
I understand. I, too, want some chicken.
As a top executive at Chick-fil-A recently learned, it can be dicey to weigh in on political matters. Sometimes, it is best to tread lightly. And so I will try to keep my pawprints shallow as I address what is, apparently, one of the most important political matters of our time: Eating mor chikin. 

Religious conservatives flocked to Chick-fil-A restaurants Wednesday, waiting in long lines for the pleasure of buying mediocre chicken sandwiches. Some might mock this practice, but I can understand waiting for a meal. I often camp out at my food bowl starting at 3 p.m. so that I'm certain to be there when dinner arrives. 

At the heart of the matter is the debate over same-sex marriage. Given the political and religious diversity in the Pug Life congregation, I suspect that some of you have a certain degree of unease over the idea of two people of the same sex marrying. I confess that I, too, am uneasy with regard to certain aspects of gay marriage. Such is my discomfort that I can say, unequivocally, that I will never wed another man. I simply would not be comfortable doing so. As far as others marrying, I find that letting people pursue happiness in whatever way they please, so long as it doesn't harm others, is generally a good policy. Plus, as an imam who performs wedding ceremonies, I've learned that it is good for business. 

But I will not condemn those in the congregation who do possess misgivings about same-sex marriage. We cannot force these things, and it is best to be honest with oneself. Some of you may be uncomfortable with the idea of marrying someone of another race or religious background, and this is perfectly fine. I, personally, have never been attracted to German shepherds and so have not invited any into my harem. And no, I will not be swayed by the voices of political correctness.

But as a public service, I feel it is necessary to share with you a simple fact. In 30 years, same-sex marriage will be widely accepted in this country, and people will look back on those who impeded its progress in the same light as society at large now looks back on those who fought against interracial marriage or integration of schools or suffrage for black or female voters. Progress trudges along, my flock, and I'd hate for you to find yourselves on the wrong side of history, with nothing to show for it but a wasted lunch hour and the memories of a mediocre chicken sandwich. 


Marie said...

You are very wise, Your Holiness

dw said...

While same sex marriage may be commonplace 30 years in the future, it is unwise to have our government 'leaders' talk about now allowing a store in certain places because of the beliefs of the owner. I've had a Chik-fil-a sandwich only once and it was...meh. Their shakes are pretty good though. And whether I agree or disagree with the opinion of the owner, I will defend to the death his right to express his opinion.