Take one part art in any form, add a dash of emotion and allow to marinate a living, breathing human for any length of time...remove human from mix and place on open flame of opinion, preferably fresh and raw. Handle with care as dish could be combustible. The result? Uncertain. You could get intriguing, mind-opening discussion and sharing, and be tempted to judge the recipe a keeper. Or the dish could explode in your face, drenching you in bitterness and vitriol.
It really shouldn't be surprising that people hold their opinions dear; whether political or about music or art or theatre...or other people. What we think is rarely a product only of our brain matter; it's blended with heart and emotion and other sensations we can't really explain. This explains why, when people are confronted with evidence that their opinions may be based on a fact or assumption that's flawed, they grip even more tightly and find another place to stand that yields the same result.
People who know me have often heard me quote a favorite American Government teacher of mine regarding a general rule about living in community and making a society work: "your right to swing your fist stops where the other guy's nose begins." I always took that to mean that I had the right to any opinion I chose, but the decision to express and/or act on that opinion had to be tempered by the potential impact on all those nice people with whom I share the planet. This principle has proven to be an eminently reasonable and effective guide for my life.
Recently, there have been some controversies of expression that have involved the theatre community; both those working in the industry and those who love the theatre as audience members. In one, an actor expressed a very negative personal opinion in a public forum about a show she'd seen on its very first preview performance. In others, you have actors or creative team members of shows expressing what would be considered a political opinion; specifically, being against marriage equality. The intensity of emotion in the reactions on all sides of these situations appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of consideration the original speakers gave to the way in which they expressed themselves. In other words, the more thoughtless those folks are about "where the other guy's nose begins," the more likely they are to cause a painful hit on the other guy...who is then going to hit back.
If you really examine the reaction to the actor who expressed a negative opinion about the show they'd seen, you'd see that the responses were almost never saying "you don't have a right to dislike the show." Instead they were saying: consider the time, place and manner in which you expressed that opinion. In that case, it was a preview performance of a challenging show that had faced technical issues. Perhaps it would have behooved the actor to make her "of the moment" expression a private one; or kinder and more understanding. I saw the Twitter post that ignited the firestorm as it was posted and I will say that its wording was what caused my jaw to drop~not the fact that the actress didn't like the show. As I could see it, the feeling was that it was a harshly-worded, ill-timed expression that would best have been held or softened if it was going to be made public.
I do find that I have to steel myself to hear opinions of theatre about which I'm passionate. If the person agrees, we can have a sweet, decadent dessert of conversation. If they don't agree, I may have to swallow a bitter-tasting mouthful. In the end, I'm probably not going to convince someone that their creative, emotional reaction to art should be changed. It is what it is. I just have to accept that I won't get to eat that dessert I really wanted.
In the case of actors or others supporting the denial of marriage equality in a community with a substantial population of gay people, again you have a case of the swinging fist hitting the nose~the reason you're being criticized for your public and in-your-face support of Chick-Fil-A is because your opinion is not just a personally held, religious belief that you hold dear; you're using it to hit the other guy's nose by supporting discrimination and persecution against that other guy. I may disagree with you about whether there is anything "wrong" with being gay, but our difference of opinion on its own does not create an inequality. It isn't until you swing that opinion and hit my nose by denying me a right that you have, that makes this a problem. Instead of taking the time to tweet a photo of your lunch that you know is going to upset people with whom you work every day, perhaps you could go have lunch with one of your gay co-workers and try to understand their life. You'll be a lot more satisfied than you were with that chicken sandwich, I promise.
See, this is where that recipe can go bad. You have to mix emotion and society carefully. Otherwise what you get will be inedible and possibly poisonous. So think about what you say, how you say it and what impact your words or actions may have. If your neighbor is not hurting you with their opinions, try not to hurt them with yours.
As Black Stache says in "Peter and the Starcatcher,": "No man is an archipelago" :).