During the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded in the midst of the crowd at the finish line. Three people were killed, several people lost limbs, and more than 100 were injured is what is assumed to be an act of terror.
It’s easy to ask questions like why or how could something like this happen.
As I’ve watched my Facebook friends react to this tragedy, there are two specific quotes I am watching go viral. The first is from Mr. Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
The second is from one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Patton Oswalt, which he posted as his Facebook status:
“If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out… This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation…
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’”
While my heart is heavy as I think about and pray for all those affected by this tragedy, I strangely find comfort in the words and wisdom of both a children’s television host and a stand-up comedian:
Look for the helpers… like white blood cells attacking a virus.
My question is, “Why can’t those one million moms be in control of what their kids watch in their own house?”
Coincidentally, Jim Henson, Co. and the mayor of Boston, as well as at least 4,000 people so far have signed a petition to boycott Chick-fil-A, after President Dan Cathy made a remark in an interview confirming his stance on the traditional model of marriage: one man and one woman.
(For many, that apparently translates as “our entire restaurant chain disapproves of gay marriage and homosexuals in general.”)
That’s right. Sorry, Elmo. No more Chick-fil-A for you.
These similar and yet opposite news stories remind me of a quote by Henry Steele Commager:
“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”
I’ve never been a fan of censorship or boycotting anything. I’d rather let the free market decide. Because it does.
It lasted 6 episodes. No one had to ban the show because mainstream America decided on their own not to watch it; whether deliberately or subconsciously, we’ll never know.
I curiously think about the best case scenarios for the boycotts endorsed by both One Million Moms and those who oppose Chick-fil-A.
If The New Normal ended up being cancelled because enough people didn’t watch it, would it change the fact that homosexuals are still raising children in the real world, whether those gay couples are “legally married” or not?
And if Chick-fil-A suffers greatly as a business because its President opposes gay marriage, will he suddenly change his religious beliefs, even going as far as to open his restaurants on Sunday in honor of same-sex parents?
Imagine the great responsibility of only being able to consume the products and receive the services of the companies and organizations who share and reflect your exact belief system in every way.
So let the people watch The New Normal. If it’s a good show that happens to feature gay parents, like Modern Family, then it will last because people will naturally watch it on their own.
And let the people eat at Chick-fil-A. I personally won’t be participating, but that’s only because I’m a vegetarian.