The debate over Chick-Fil-A and it’s president’s comments threatens our basic liberties.
Because I am allergic to chicken, it would be meaningless for me try to indicate support for the business with a purchase, and it would be a mute point for me to refuse to do business with them. The premise of this post does not regard opposition or support of Chick-Fil-A, but rather the way opinions on the issue of same sex marriage are being voiced.
Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are topics that are highly controversial and widely debated. Reports are that the issue will be a plank in the Democrat party platform. Certainly it is fair game to discuss the issue regardless of one’s opinion.
Tradition here in the United States is that everyone is free to express their opinion, even when that opinion is unpopular. In the spirit of that tradition, the Bill of Rights guarantees Americans freedom of speech. This includes the freedom to talk or write about points of view that are unpopular and even those that are politically incorrect.
Suddenly it has become a popular tactic to attack the other party as though they were a criminal. In a “clean” debate both sides are free to point out why they think the other party is wrong. In the absence of one party persuading the other, the two parties then agree to disagree. As part of this debate, either party is free to stage a boycott, but this is not what is happening.
Mr. Cathy voiced his opinion. He and his company have not refused to serve any class of people. He and his company have not discriminated. Mr. Cathy has simply stated his views, yet those favoring homosexuality have censured Mr. Cathy as though he had physically attacked someone or had personally blocked someone’s rights. We have mayors of major cities threatening to block expansion of the Chick-fil-A franchise into their cities because they think Mr. Cathy is intolerant. Wouldn’t it be intolerant to deny a business license on the basis of one’s beliefs?
No matter how unpopular or even untrue Mr. Cathy’s beliefs are, he has the right to express them without prejudice. That is a guarantee of the Constitution. Now a boycott is one thing, because a boycott boils down to one’s personal choice of where to do business, but when critics of Mr. Cathy demand sanctions against Chick-Fil-A, they have stepped over the line from boycott to intimidation.
As a country, we need to return to a full implementation of the Bill of Rights. We need to honor freedom of speech on a personal level. I wish we could return to the days when people frequently said, “I disagree with you, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say what you said.”
Heretofore I have withheld my opinion because I did not want my opinion to cloud the basic issue of freedom of speech. We need to allow people to express their opinions without sanctions.
While I do not advocate persecution of homosexuals, I believe homosexual behavior is a sin just like adultery, rape or incest. The book of Leviticus clearly tells us to avoid those activities because they displease God. In fact, homosexual behavior must displease God more than other sexual sin because the Bible calls homosexual behavior an abomination. My homosexual friends know I love them as friends, but they also know not to expect me to back their lifestyles.
I am not sure I would patronize Chick-Fil-A even if I could eat chicken, but my decision would not be based on the remarks of one of its officers. In this election, we face important decisions on a variety of issues that are more important than Mr. Cathy’s point of view. We, as a nation, need to learn to debate issues with clarity and without issuing threats or intimidation.
Keep the debate “clean”.