Freedom of Speech…as long as you only say what I want you to say.

I find it ironic that people who fight so hard to uphold and exercise their right to believe and say what they want will refuse others the right to do the same.

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said his chain was “guilty as charged” of supporting the “biblical definition of the family unit.” (In mid-July, according to a CNN chronology of the controversy, Cathy gave an interview to an online Baptist journal in North Carolina that was picked up by the Baptist Press. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the publication. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”)

As word spread, mostly on social media, protests began.

The Jim Henson Co., creator of the Muppets, announced it would sever a deal it had with Chick-fil-Ato make toys for children’s meals. Local politicians in a few blue-state cities said Chick-fil-A was not welcome. Nearly 6,000 people signed an online petition vowing to boycott Chick-fil-A for its stance on gay marriage (and its financial support of some groups opposed to the practice). The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has urged its supporters to make their feelings known in a same-sex kiss-in at Chick-fil-A’s across the country on Friday.

A counter-protest took shape: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has urged people to make Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

I guess GLAAD and all the other anti-1st Amendment groups will find out on Wednesday if it was such a good idea to blow up some innocuous comments made by a Baptist in an interview to a little-read Baptist periodical, which most of the nation would never have heard or read about otherwise…

Not that I’m complaining. They’re free to boycott and complain about others’ beliefs as far as I’m concerned. They just seem to be shooting themselves in the foot.

It looks like there are two groups here. One group tries to change the way other people live by talking to people. The other group tries to change the way other people live by legislating behavior. One is called “liberal” and the other is not.

And before you start to hate me for saying that, or package me neatly into one of those two boxes, please consider two things: there are more than two boxes; and, yes, I understand that Chick-Fil-A has been justly accused of attempting to influence legislation through donations too. But when you look at the record of what happens when states or the District of Columbia legalize same sex unions, it’s easy to see how preventing it could be considered self-defense.

Don’t let’s forget who picked the fight in the first place.

It’s too bad the two sides can’t get together and work out legislation which guarantees the rights of both. After all, it’s not at all outside the realm of logical possibility for the aims of both groups to be achieved given the legal propositions in play. All you have to do is permit same-sex marriage as a privilege (as marriage is now permitted as a privilege and not “guaranteed”) without “guaranteeing” it. This way, a legal “guarantee” could not be used as a club to beat up those who don’t do enough to help same-sexers get what they’re entitled to.

What it would take is for people who feel persecuted not to try to take revenge as soon as they feel they have the upper hand. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t usually happen.

Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for reading garbage news with me every once in a while…

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About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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