Lately, I have read many different opinions on the Chick-fil-A controversy. Some of them have been factual and reflected accurately what the owner of Chick-fil-A actually said. Mr. Cathy did say that he supported traditional marriage; he did not condemn anyone for their lifestyle. Mr. Cathy is a Christian and made it very plain that the comments he made were his. He opened his comments by saying “I believe”. The Chick-fil-A franchise did not say anything about being a Christian. Nor did they condemn anyone who believes in same sex marriage. Chick-fil-A serves anyone who comes through the door and employs anyone who applies and meets basic universal employment criteria. You do not have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A. You do, however, have to treat all your customers courteously and with respect.
It is not surprising that many people are confused about what the real issue is. It is not about the homosexual lifestyle or same sex marriage. It is about Freedom of Speech, as outlined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. If I disagree with your point of view, that is my right under the United States Constitution. I have the right to express my point of view, as do you if you believe differently. Discussion and debate are healthy for ensuring Free Speech. Unfortunately, there are times when some take it upon themselves to interpret our rights to suit their own personal or political agenda. Such is the case in this instance. Municipal officers have interjected themselves into the debate in a way that violates the Free Speech statute in the Constitution. No political figure has the right to forbid a legal enterprise from operating as long as all the operating criteria has been satisfied. The Mayors of Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles chose to put their political beliefs before the rights guaranteed to each individual under the Constitution. If I don’t agree with a particular business’ point of view, I don’t have to buy from them. That is my right. If enough people decide not to frequent a business, it will probably have to close up shop. However, if people like your product and the company platform, then they will buy from you and make you successful regardless of what your detractors say and do.
Just the suggestion of trampling on our rights was enough to generate enthusiasm among average citizens to show their support for free speech. Last Wednesday was “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”, and thousands of people waited patiently in line to show their support. Many people bought one of everything, and others offered to pay for people and children waiting in line. There were no fights or cross words from anyone waiting to be served. Chick-fil-A had their biggest day in history. The next day, the mayors in question had to backtrack, and one even acknowledged the chain’s right to open a business and thanked them for hiring local citizens.
The “buy-cott” was such a success that even the liberal media outlets had to grudgingly admit that the mayors were wrong, and the support shown by conservatives was overwhelming. The next day, the counter-demonstrations for same sex marriage was covered by the media, but sadly, they were very disappointed to see such pitiful numbers of protestors. And they tried not to show the despicable things people were saying and the blasphemous wording on their posters.
The quiet and dignified “buy-cott” participants trounced the boisterous and disrespectful people who would crush Free Speech.
It is not about how much chicken you eat, but rather your right to say what you think is right and not be vilified for doing so.
Photo credit: euthman (Creative Commons)