Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy recently created a controversial firestorm when he said on a radio talk show that, “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”
His comments ignited protests nationwide from gay marriage advocates. Chicago’s and Boston’s mayors even said they would not welcome any additional Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities. But then former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday to be “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” and restaurants around the country had long lines waiting to get in the door.
In many places protesters showed up, some in drag, to counter those turning out to show support of the restaurant chain.
To me, and it seems to be happening more often these days, the basic principle of the Constitution’s First Amendment has all but been forgotten and even trampled upon in the rush to support and or protest Chick-fil-A. Whether I agree or disagree with Cathy’s opinion, his religion, his beliefs or what he said, it doesn’t matter.
Because the bottom line is that Cathy has the right to believe and say what he thinks in regard to same-sex marriage. The Founding Fathers believed so strongly in the free speech principle that’s why it’s first on the Amendment list ranking higher than a free press, the right to bear arms, the right of assembly, and even freedom of religion.
The First Amendment, for many, is the most difficult Amendment to support because it protects everyone. It protects people such as Cathy; it protects those who support same-sex marriages; it even protects the likes of militant brown shirt Nazi’s as well as Fred Phelps‘ Westboro Church clan in Topeka when family members protest soldier funerals with disgusting signs, trampling the American flag, and disgusting speech.
Allowing people such as Phelps to have an uncensored voice is the true test of a nation’s ability to guarantee free speech. You might not agree with what they say but you better fight to the death to defend their right to say it because if that group is censored who is to say your group won’t be next? And despite the color of their skin, despite their religious views, and despite their sexual preferences, hundreds of thousands of people in the past 236 years have died fighting in defense of this nation and the basic principles of its Constitution’s First Amendment.
If Cathy and Chick-Fil-A blatantly discriminated against homosexuals by firing, not hiring or not serving them, then I would understand and support protests and boycotts of the fast-food restaurant chain. Instead of the word homosexuals, substitute it with the words blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women, or even little men and my point should be easily understood.
Discrimination in any form is wrong. Just as wrong as condemning a person and his business for saying what he believes. And, as far as I know, Chick-fil-A has not discriminated against employees or customers in any way.
People need to chill. There are far too many other problems and issues facing this nation that deserve drastic attention from the people than what the president and COO of a fast-food restaurant chain thinks about same-sex marriage.
And until Cathy or Chick-fil-A have been proven guilty of any discrimination charges, well, I’ll continue to eat there now-and-then because I like the sandwiches, I like the lemonade, and they provide good customer service no matter who is behind the counter.