Why I “Do Not” (with Apologies to Buddha)

The “recent”* flap about Chick-Fil-A owner Dan Cathy’s views on Same-Sex Marriage has ruffled the feathers of some who oppose his spending some of his own hard-earned money on groups who share his views, placing Mr. Cathy in a bit of hot water. And this week detractors and supporters of his views are expected to visit one or more of Chick-Fil-A’s over 1600 locations to express their sentiments – which for supporters involves ordering some (tasty!) food tomorrow, August 1st, and for detractors involves staging a “kiss-in” on Friday, August 3rd.

Now, I could write about this from a religious angle (Did you know that in the New Testament Jesus never spoke about homosexuals, but rather that we should love one another as he loves us?), or perhaps an “individual freedoms” angle (Mr. Cathy can do anything he wants with his money… just like anyone else.), or maybe a political angle (Is it proper for Mayors who could influence licensing & permitting to speak so publicly about a business?). But I figured there would be plenty of people talking up those memes on the interwebs and in the press.

So, after some thought I figured I’d take the philosophical route by remembering a quote from Buddha – who was neither a Christian nor homosexual, so I figure I’m fairly safe from protests:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

- Gautama Siddharta, aka: Buddha, 563-483 B.C.

Cognizant of that quote, I contemplated some of my “Do nots”:

I do not eat Chick-fil-A chicken because their owner’s a deeply religious family man …I eat it because their chicken is tender and delicious, the coleslaw is excellent, and they provide fantastic customer service.
I do not wear New Balance sneakers because they’re “Made in the USA“… …I wear them because they make quality sneakers that fit my feet.
I do not shun coffee at places like Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, or Dunkin’ Donuts because their profit margin on coffee is “Grande”… …it’s because I don’t drink coffee. Period.
I do not dislike the New York Yankees because management doesn’t put the players names on their jerseys …I dislike them because I grew up New England – my team is the Boston Red Sox.
I do not use Apple products because I’m “Anti-Microsoft“… …I use them because they’re thoughtfully designed, easy to use, virus free, and elegant.
I don’t criticize President Obama because of his ethnicity, religious education, or penchant for recreational golf …I criticize him because of his actions and policies as President of the United States.
I do not avoid
Disney because of their facial hair restrictions
…it’s because I live a lot closer to other large amusement parks.
I do not enjoy The Three Stooges because their boss was possessive, Jim Morrison for using illegal drugs, or Joan Crawford because of her rumored promiscuity …I enjoy those people
for the singing or acting talents they possessed

* Apparently, this issue has been simmering since January, 2011, after Chick-fil-A made some contributions during 2010. (and, that’s enough of the cooking references)

Thanks for reading!

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