Cathy’s comments sparked a political firestorm across the country, but Chick-fil-A’s political activities and beliefs are no secret to anyone. It was only a matter of time before they erupted, and now they are embroiled in a controversy that shows no signs of ebbing.
The controversy began when Cathy expanded on prior comments about the fast food chain’s prominent social beliefs in a recent interview on an Atlanta radio program.
“I think we are 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.’”
Whether or not you agree with its stance, the fast food chain has brought this controversy on itself. Chick-fil-A has had a longstanding opposition to LGBT rights, and over the years the Cathy family, its WinShape Foundation and other associates have donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups such as Exodus International, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Yes, that’s right, Exodus International, which is “Proclaiming Freedom from Homosexuality since 1976.”
Isn’t it nice to know that a portion of the money you’re spending on waffle fries is going to fund efforts to “pray the gay away?”
Emotions are running high in this ongoing story of bigotry, homophobia and regressive thinking, but here’s where the story gets sticky. I applaud the Jim Henson Company for severing its ties with the fast food giant complete with a healthy dose of embarrassment, and I support those who are actively protesting and boycotting Chick-fil-A. But when city officials in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco attempt to actively bar the chain from opening stores, I can’t agree.
From foxnews.com: “The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “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. What the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words.”
Chick-fil-A may be a deep-fried hate group disguised as a restaurant financed by the dollars of unsuspecting lunch-goers, but the ACLU is correct. It’s not the government’s place to intervene in this manner.
It’s improper, and if anything, it lessens the impact of Chick-fil-A’s opponents. Let the free market do its job. If you feel that strongly about the restaurant chain’s actions and beliefs, then get up, get organized and get active. Organize protests, or pass out fliers. Should you really be eating fast food anyway? Forget the chicken sandwiches and French fries, go to the market and buy this weird thing called a fresh vegetable.
Once upon a time, dinner came on a plate and not in a bag. Do you truly want to strengthen the family unit here in America? Shut off the television, put away the iPad and actually cook dinner with your children. Bring them into the kitchen and interact with them. Sit across the table and have a conversation with your spouse and your loved ones and stop worrying about the lesbians who live two streets over. I can almost guarantee you they are spending less time worrying about your marriage then you are about theirs.
Chick-fil-A deserves to be maligned, and I hope it doesn’t stop until its owners stop funding hate. Yes, they have the same freedom of speech we all enjoy, and their supporters are right when they point this out. But, I suspect if Chick-fil-A was giving money to the American Socialist Party or the Earth Liberation Front, windbags such as Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee wouldn’t be championing their constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Chick-fil-A may work to deny the LGBT community the rights they deserve, but do not sink to their trans-fatty level. No matter how repellant, the Cathy family has the right to be bigoted hatemongers, but they also have the right to operate restaurants. What they don’t have the right to is success at the expense of others’ freedom. It’s time to start voting with your dollars, folks. They won’t listen to anything else.
Sean Cary is a local business owner, freelance writer, host of Nevada Matters heard on Fox News Radio (www.nevadamatters.us) and pundit on the television show “Nevada Newsmakers.” Contact him at email@example.com and read his blog at www.seancary.com.