09/26/2012 03:02 pm ET Updated Nov 26, 2012

Chick-fil-A Sure Cooks Up a Good Discussion

I've been fascinated watching the backlash against Chick-fil-A's president's public comments lately. And I think that regardless of which side you're on, the discussion is healthy.

Initially, Chick-fil-A was criticized for donating money to organizations that support marriage and families because some also supported anti-gay programs. My question is this: Can someone be pro-marriage or pro-family and yet not anti-gay?

I'm a white, male, heterosexual, married, Christian father, so if I'm to be bluntly honest, I tend to be pro-white-male-heterosexual-married-Christian-fathers, primarily because those are the people I understand the best and relate to the most. I'm also pro-Appalachian-professional-speaker-writer-humorist-balding-Harley-owner-social-worker-Mac-enthusiasts, again because that's what I know.

But does that mean I'm necessarily anti-everybody-else? Absolutely not. Well, except maybe the people who created Jersey Shore. (OK, that's a joke, so don't get excited.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that Sunday morning was the most segregated time in the country, because all the churchgoers were hanging out with their own. But, again, that does not mean that they're necessarily anti-everybody-else.  Coincidentally, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists tend to hang out with their own, too.

Back in 1989 I worked in the Southeast community of Washington, D.C. I was one of the only white people I saw all day. The area was predominately populated by African Americans. I remember one of my African-American colleagues telling me that if she had the choice, she would patronize an African-American-owned business before any other. Did that mean she was necessarily anti-white or any other culture, for that matter?  I don't believe so. She was just pro-African-American and supporting the success of people like her.

While I am acutely aware that there are a lot of people out there who are anti-this and anti-that, and there is a lot of ugly, angry discrimination all over the world, I don't think that being pro-one-thing necessarily means being anti-something-else.

You may have a strong opinion about Chick-fil-A's position. I'm glad we live in a country where we are free to express those opinions. I'm also glad we're having the conversation. My hope is that we keep it civil and keep it focused on gaining a greater understanding of others' opinions.

Perhaps that means I'm really pro-discussionnation (I made that word up).