In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a bit of a squabble (good poultry term) over Chic-Fil-A, one of the nation’s top fast food franchises. The impetus for the squabble lies in the voluntary comments of Dan Cathy, Chic-Fil-A’s chief executive, who said the following in a recent interview:
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Note that there has been zero evidence of discrimination on Chic-Fil-A’s part. The outrage entirely revolves around the viewpoint expressed by the executive.
Each of us has the right to agree or disagree with Cathy’s viewpoint. In fact, as consumers, we have the prerogative not to shop there. We can shop wherever we want… just as some African-Americans are known to support African-American owned businesses… just as some veterans are known to support veteran owned businesses. Shop where you want. Shop ’til you drop. Shop for whatever reasons you want. Feel free not to shop nor drop.
But that consumer freedom is for some reason not enough for all – especially politicians seemingly more mindful of populist voting than of constitutional legality. Specifically, the mayors of Boston and Chicago have now vowed to block the business from future expansion in their cities. “How dare they,” they infer… (sorry, an Intramuralist paraphrase). But to quote the mayor of Chicago, in reference to Cathy’s comments, “It’s not what the people of Chicago believe.” Last I knew, we didn’t all believe the same thing.
In fact, how have those mayors – officials who serve in a representative democracy – dealt with the following viewpoints?
“If I was a woman in Russia I would be a lesbian, as the men are very ugly. There are a few handsome ones, like Naomi Campbell’s boyfriend, but there you see the most beautiful women and the most horrible men.”
“They’re like leeches…I’m so tired of it… They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars and everything. End up penniless. It is a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.”
“Woman is the Nigger of the World.”
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian – for me – for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
Funny… but those cities have been silent about the above words from the mastermind behind popular fashion brands, Chanel and Fendi, the sale of CD’s by Michael Jackson and John Lennon, and the stated stance of then Sen. Barack Obama. The above quotes are attributed to each.
My point is this…
Outrage is selective. Outrage is emotional. Please feel free to agree or disagree with Dan Cathy’s comments. That is the beauty of this county. That is the freedom of this country.
When the mayors of Boston and Chicago practice viewpoint discrimination, unfortunately, they are being inconsistent and selective.
And let me add one other word: hypocritical.
Understand, friends, this post says nothing about the legitimacy nor purity of gay marriage. We can choose how to react. We can choose what to believe. If any of us are ever puppeteered or coerced into what we must believe, then we are being intolerant and not adhering to the constitutional U.S. of A. The problem with the Boston and Chicago mayors is that they are extracting our freedom of choice; they’re taking away our freedom to believe. They are thus attacking the legitimacy of opposing viewpoint, and that, frighteningly, is inconsistent with tolerance, democracy, and individual liberty.
Hence, I say once more – “how dare they…”