The Chick-Fil‑A Fiasco

speech bubblesThe ques­tion must be asked: What is Amer­i­ca com­ing to? A pri­vate cit­i­zen who owns his own busi­ness, albeit a large one, makes a state­ment about his per­son­al opin­ion on a hot-but­ton issue, and those who hold a dif­fer­ing point of view respond by orga­niz­ing a move­ment to put said cit­i­zen out of busi­ness. Real­ly? Seriously?

Cor­rect me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we buried thou­sands of young men and woman who gave their lives to secure the rights and free­doms all Amer­i­cans are blessed to enjoy? And don’t those rights and free­doms include the free­dom of speech? And, unless some­one altered the Con­sti­tu­tion and all its amend­ments when I was­n’t look­ing, that free­dom applies to all Amer­i­cans, not just those with whom we hap­pen to agree. Trust me, I’m none too fond of state­ments by, say, mem­bers of the KKK, with regard to their opin­ions of Black folk. How­ev­er, as hate­ful as I might find their speech, I acknowl­edge their con­sti­tu­tion­al right to it.

The sim­ple fact that we dis­agree with some­one’s stat­ed opin­ion, no mat­ter how vocif­er­ous­ly, does not give us some sort of moral high ground to threat­en their liveli­hood. And, do keep in mind, we’re talk­ing about a pri­vate cit­i­zen, here, not some­one hold­ing pub­lic office, serv­ing at the fed­er­al, state, or even city lev­el. Nor are we talk­ing about some­one in a posi­tion to leg­is­late pub­lic pol­i­cy. The brouha­ha might make a bit more sense if we were. As it is, what this sit­u­a­tion boils down to, in my hum­ble opin­ion, is one set of Amer­i­cans ham­mer­ing anoth­er Amer­i­can for hav­ing the audac­i­ty to express a per­son­al opin­ion con­trary to their own. If we keep down this road, we won’t have to wor­ry about ene­mies from with­out. We’ll be doing a pret­ty bang-up job of sab­o­tag­ing our­selves from within.

If you don’t like the opin­ion of Chick-Fil-A’s CEO, or any­one else, for that mat­ter, feel free to say so—even loud­ly, if you must. But once you’ve made your point of view clear, for good­ness sake, move on. This is Amer­i­ca, after all, remem­ber? Every­body gets to have his say.

5 Responses

  1. Per­fect. I’m also wor­ried about the sup­port for Boston’s may­or’s attempts to block a new Chick-Fil‑A from open­ing. If it’s okay for the gov­ern­ment to block a busi­ness because the CEO is against gay mar­riage, then it’s okay for the gov­ern­ment to block a busi­ness becuase the CEO is pro gay mar­riage. Why are Amer­i­cans so quick to give up our free­doms because we have dif­fer­ent opinions?

  2. I have read a num­ber of blog posts, pro and con, and the issue is rarely about his right to free speech. The crux of the argu­ment is that he gives to orga­ni­za­tions that work to deny gay peo­ple equal­i­ty. They sup­port the sta­tus quo. While you and I both respect the right of the KKK to spew their intol­er­ance, I doubt that you would sup­port a busi­ness that proud­ly and pub­licly donat­ed mon­ey so the Klan could con­tin­ue to work against your rights. The dif­fer­ence here is that the Klan has no real pow­er, while social con­ser­v­a­tives work­ing to deny gay peo­ple full rights (in more than half the states they can be fired for being gay, on top of many oth­er injus­tices) DO have pow­er and clout and are mak­ing head­way. For many, they see Chick-fil-a’s dona­tions as work­ing against their OWN liveliehood, and in some cas­es, lives. It IS that serious!

  3. I do agree whole­heart­ed­ly with you. I sense the pain of gays who feel a wall of hate was built, but if we can’t speak, we can’t exist together. 

    One thing required no mat­ter what we express, is that we love like Jesus loves. That’s the bench­mark I’m look­ing for.

  4. Thank you for sim­ply and con­cise­ly explain­ing this. I find it puz­zling that so often the ones who are so against ban­ning books (I read your next post, too) don’t see that this is basi­cal­ly the same principle.

  5. Can­di Pierce Gar­ry thanks for pre­sent­ing the point that the com­pa­ny donat­ing to orga­ni­za­tions that work to deny gay and les­bian peo­ple equality. 

    As, Chris­tians we need to walk in the light and make noise for change to reform the world. Advo­cat­ing for oth­ers is the best way we can demon­strate our Chris­t­ian love. 

    Oth­er impor­tant issues politi­cians who are block­ing peo­ple of col­or from vot­ing, the tax breaks for the extreme­ly rich, and immi­gra­tion reform.

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