I want affordable health care. And a chicken sandwich.
Over the past several years, I’ve kept the Semicolon blog focused on one thing: life after colon cancer. I’ve covered various topics like eating organic and adopting a baby; however, I’ve steered clear of discussing one topic. Politics. My views are across the board, and even that stance is unpopular. However as a twenty-something, cancer surviving, Jesus-loving, mom of a biracial little girl – I’m still sorting out where I stand on many political issues. So you can imagine the dilemma I’m currently facing:
On August 1, I might just want a chicken sandwich.
I hope that means I’m not denied health care.
Torn between two groups
I have so many friends discussing Chick-fil-A, Facebook is now grouping all of their status updates together just like they do on Halloween when people post about their costumes. I come from a very conservative background and have many relationships with people supporting Chick-fil-A (Group A). On the other hand, I’ve also got several relationships with people who’ve been outspoken health care advocates, yet are unhappy about this restaurant chain’s recent comments and planning to boycott (Group B). I find myself in the middle of these two groups, wondering what it will take for all of us to get along.
In defense of the chicken sandwich…
If this restaurant chain was denying service to certain groups or making people sit in designated areas of the restaurants based on race, lifestyle or any other identifier, I’d certainly not patronize them. I’d probably be with my buddies from Group B. I’ve got a biracial kid so I get the anti-discrimination thing. However this restaurant, I feel, is not acting discriminatory. Sure, they have unpopular viewpoints and their leaders have offended some with their comments – however every group out there who’s passionate about something is likely to offend. Christian principles and Biblical truths are not always very popular; however, I feel like this restaurant delivers a good product, great service and stands by its values. So that’s why I will continue to go, and will most likely be eating a chicken sandwich next week.
However, can I still get health care?
So okay – I support Chick-fil-A. And while this might seem like a win for Group A – I’ve got a dilemma. In the event I buy a chicken sandwich next week – can I still support changes to health care? Many of my buddies in Group B are the ones who seem to understand why I got so excited that the laws are changing. I’m a walking pre-existing condition. I’m denied health care because of choices I did not make, nor have any control over. And the only reason I have health coverage now is because my husband works for a company who, thankfully, can afford a group plan. If that were not the case, we’d be scrambling. And I’d be denied. And I’m not sure what we’d do for health insurance. Owning my own business would probably be out of the picture. We’d have to look at changing jobs to get health insurance. And something about that just doesn’t feel right. Many of the people in Group B have been outspoken advocates for this. Yet if we agree on this issue, is it OK to disagree about Chick-fil-A?
Love covers all
I don’t hate politics, but I very much dislike the type of people we can become when “hot button issues” get involved. It’s not that I feel dialogue is unneeded and that our country doesn’t need run well – it’s that we can’t seem to respectfully disagree with one another.
I think it’s awesome when someone stands up for what they believe in – from both sides of the platforms. However I’d like to think that we can create a culture where people who are standing up will be respected, regardless of the issue. When someone stands up for something we disagree with, we need to respectfully disagree and not sling mud or slander. We’ve become a generation that “takes our ball and goes home” because we’re offended. What we need to do is link arms and sort it out. We might still disagree, however, isn’t there a way to live peacefully with one another?
As the Big Guy put it, “treat others the way you want to be treated” or “love one another; for love covers a multitude of sins.” While it might seem like the easy answer, or that I’m playing Switzerland, I really do feel like focusing on love is what we need to get us through these hard issues, and the upcoming months leading to November. We need to realize that as people from different backgrounds and cultures, we’re going to disagree. On the surface, the debates are about health care plans and a fried chicken combo meal. However what’s under this is much bigger, and I feel like a commitment to loving others first and foremost is the only way to get through. It’s what will make life worth living… and ordering waffle fries a non-political decision.