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Chick-fil-A Debate About Economics, Not Gay Marriage
[box_light]Ed. note: Today we have a guest post from Debbie G. McKay. Enjoy the article and let us know your thoughts in the comments.[/box_light]
After Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy said his company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family,” ordering a grilled chicken sandwich has become a political act.
Cathy unintentionally ignited a media firestorm across the country after espousing his Biblical worldview to the Baptist Press.
Media giant CNN was the first to pick up the interview and twist the original transcript to fit their agenda that painted Cathy into a corner as an intolerant, Christian bigot who was hurling anti-homosexual epithets around like waffle fries.
On the heels of CNN, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the rallying cry against Chick-fil-A saying that he intends to block the chain from opening a second location in Chicago. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also waded into the controversy, issuing a letter deriding Cathy for his recent “prejudiced statements,” and urging the fast food titan to “back out” of Boston.
Menino argued that it would be an insult to gay couples who came to Boston City Hall to get married if there was a Chick-fil-A across the street from that spot.
To Mayor Menino I say this: what’s insulting is your assault on free market capitalism and your emotional manipulation of the people you serve.
Through heated, demonstrative rhetoric that preys on the sensitivities of the people of Boston, Menino, Emanuel, and others who have jumped on the anti-Chick-Fil-a bandwagon have unwittingly fostered the very hate speech that they condemned Cathy for.
And it’s easy. My closest friend of twenty years is a lesbian. A kind, hardworking, introspective thinker who has always been there for me selflessly. A sensitive soul who works in a field that is devoted to helping the most helpless of people. The thought of her being denied any legal right that I am afforded or being looked down upon, shunned, judged, or forced to listen to someone’s anti-homosexual rant makes my stomach do somersaults and offends me to my core. (I can feel the bile now).
But when you take a step back from the heated emotions that surround any argument about gay marriage or traditional values you see the truth: Cathy was merely defending his worldview and exercising his First Amendment right. In fact, he wasn’t even deriding anyone!
The government does not have the power to punish someone for their words. Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois broke it down into simple terms: “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination.”
The ACLU “strongly supports” same-sex marriage, Schwartz said, but astutely noted that if a government can exclude a business for being against same-sex marriage, it can also exclude a business for being in support of same-sex marriage – and that is the core of the issue.
The arrogant, misguided calls of two Mayors and their backers threaten the very framework of our constitution as set down by the Founding Fathers.
If a state starts a precedent of punishing companies for the views of their executives, what’s to say that a company that supports same sex marriage, or a company with an executive that is pro-choice, won’t be added to this exclusionary list?
The Chick-fil-A debate isn’t about gay marriage – not even close. And the longer that politicians and people in power can keep us thinking that it is, the more latitude they have to trample on our First Amendment freedoms.
If we are free only to say that which others want to hear, we are living in servitude.
[box_help]Sound Off: Do you agree with our writer? Will you eat at Chick-fil-A? Are our First Amendment freedoms in jeopardy… or is this just a case of righting inequality? Let us know in the comments.[/box_help]
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)