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Chick-fil-A

Just so I'm not misunderstood or misrepresented on this issue, I thought I'd write it out in a full-length article rather than be limited to a "pithy" Facebook status.

I fully support the legal right of anyone to say almost anything, so when the CEO of Chick-fil-A says or believes something I disagree with, I don't wish to censor him.

I fully support the right of tax-paying organizations and individuals to use their money as they see fit. So when the CEO of Chick-fil-A gives millions to organizations that hope to "pray away the gay" and prevent gay marriage from being legalized, I grumble, but I understand it's their right.

Like the ACLU, I do not support legally banning Chick-fil-A because of the actions and words of its CEO, like the mayors of Chicago and Boston did (and quickly backed off). (However, just for a minute image if the CEO contributed money to organizations that worked to discriminate against blacks. Many more mayors would think of banning, me thinks.)

That last one was the only possible "free speech infringement", and it was a dead issue nearly instantly. I know it's being spun the other way to supporters: that giant government and "liberal" forces are working to prevent him from speaking his mind, but it's simply not happening.


For me, calling out this guy for his public words and contributions and calling for boycotts in no way constitutes "attacking his religious rights" or "attacking religion" or infringing his "free speech" etc. It is merely exercising my freedom of speech and freedom of religion to say "Hey, the guy's a douche. Don't go to Chick-fil-A because he sends tons of money to organizations which promote things I severely disagree with."

When a company chooses to express their religious or political views, especially with actions and cash, I can and will use that information to guide my spending decisions. Since Chick-fil-A is using their religion and politics as a business promotion, they should be prepared for the responses, both favorable and unfavorable.

I'm sure there are many other CEOs and many restaurant owners who hold similar repugnant views and donate to their churches or political candidates in the hopes of changing laws in ways I don't agree with, but they wisely do not to publicize those views or use their religion to promote their business.

Of course, for me, this is somewhat of a non-issue, because I have never once eaten at Chick-fil-A: I really don't like fast food that much and I've never wanted to try yet another crappy white-bread-ensconced breaded-fried-chicken sandwich, especially with the Jesus-flavored spices. However, it is quite funny watching everyone lose their minds over how this guy is supposedly being oppressed.

So, in conclusion: Freedom of speech is not just one layer deep: Donating money to organizations that hope to enact legislation and supporting outdated views is free speech… and calling for boycotts of the business which speaks it is as well.



(Please see part 2.)

2012-08-02
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