So there’s trouble boiling over in the world of noodles.
The chairman of Barilla Group said there’s no plans for the company to have same-sex family pasta ads. His comments are attracting lots of negative attention, and his apology is viewed as hollow and insincere by some.
To which I ask, do we need same-sex family pasta ads? I understand debate on marriage rights, on legal benefits, on laws that discriminate. I understand frustration with how the LGBT community is treated in certain places and certain circles, and outcries against violence. I am outspoken among my Christian friends about the vitriolic and disproportional manner in which the church in general responds to homosexuality. I even argue with folks like the Southern Baptist Convention concerning their policies for chaplains in the military, delineating which service members defending our country can receive ministry and care from a chaplain and which cannot. So while I am probably considered no friend to the homosexual community due to my faith, I still fight for them in several ways.
But this one I just don’t get.
Is there gay pasta and straight pasta? Wait, don’t answer that. Yes, there is straight pasta.
But is pasta the battlefield on which issues concerning homosexuality should be fought?
Is there an activist watching TV somewhere, checking off companies that include a same-sex couple in at least one ad? Is one ad enough? Or do you need two?
In a minute, I’m going to drive my Ford minivan to band practice. I’m going to play a Korg piano. The whole time, I will be paralyzed with fear, because I just don’t know if Ford or Korg have ads that show non-traditional families and same-sex piano playing!
I mean, I look around the room and wonder what other bastions of advertising prejudice I might be supporting. I have a Logitech mouse and I’m typing this on an Alienware laptop. Do they have same-sex ads showing a couple using their Logitech products? Are there ads for homosexuals using Alienware computers?
Do there need to be?
Come on. This is Chik-fil-A all over again. And we know how that turned out: a tidy profit for the “purveyors of hate.”
I’ve eaten at Chik-fil-A. I’ve eaten Barilla pasta. I’ve tried other places and similar products. At no point did I find myself exposed to hatred, nor have I been motivated to look down upon the differences of others.
Sometimes a product is just a product.
Fight the battles worth fighting.