From the First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Last month, Chick-Fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy, decided to put his foot in it on the issue of same sex marriage. In an interview that appeared in The Baptist Press, Cathy said that his company was “guilty as charged” in response to a question on whether it opposed the concept same-sex marriage.
"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."Now it’s not really a surprise that Chick-Fil-A donates millions of dollars to anti-Gay causes, or that the company is run by a bunch of right-wing Christian ideologues. And frankly, as a Gay man who can count the number of times he’s eaten at Chick-Fil-A in the past 10 years on one hand, I really don’t see the fuss. But apparently the Muppets do, as they’ve decided to end their partnership with the company. Boston, MA as well, which has no Chick-Fil-A restaurants, and never will if Mayor Thomas Menino has anything to say about it.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”All of this, along with the various calls for boycotts, has lead one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his friends at FOX News to send up the bat-signal to their viewers and call for a National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day. And this past Wednesday millions of right-wing faux-Christian nut-jobs spent millions of their hard-earned dollars in support of Dan Cathy’s First Amendment right to free speech.
Here’s the thing. Right-wingers love to trot out the “First Amendment” when they say something stupid. They did it for Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comment. They did it for Don Imus’ “nappy headed hoes” comment. They do it whenever someone disagrees with whatever stupid, ignorant, bigoted, dumb-assed thing they allow to fall out of their mouths. They claim that the left is infringing on their freedom of speech, that they’re the victims of some left-wing conspiracy to silence conservatives. This is because their leaders have convinced them somehow that freedom of speech means they can say whatever they want with impunity. The news-flash, folks, is that it doesn’t. The First Amendment protects our speech from the government. It doesn’t protect us from each other. It doesn’t protect us from an employer who decides to fire us because of something we write in a blog. It doesn’t protect sports personalities from the press whenever they make some off-color nasty joke on Twitter. It doesn’t protect radio personalities from having their advertisers leave them, or stop radio stations from dropping them because of something they said. And it doesn’t protect corporations from boycotts when they support unpopular or bigoted positions.
The whole “First Amendment” thing is a smokescreen, and the right-wing cowards who were lining up outside of their local Chick-Fil-A drive-thru know this. They’re hiding behind the “freedom of speech” argument because they’re too, if you’ll pardon the pun, chicken-shit to admit that the real reason they rushed on over to gorge themselves on chicken sandwiches is because they actually believe in Cathy’s hate-filled ideology of bigotry, homophobia, and discrimination. If you think they feel otherwise, then ask them where they were when Bill Maher lost his show on ABC when he said something nasty about President Bush after 9/11. Ask them where they were when hate-groups wanted everyone to boycott JC Penny’s for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Ask where they were when Slim-Fast dropped Whoppi Goldberg for making jokes about Bush, or when country music stations dropped the Dixie Chicks from their rotations because one of them said she was ashamed of Bush. This Chick-Fil-A thing has nothing to do with free-speech to them, and everything to do with their pointless futile fight against same-sex marriage.
Homophobes in this country are fighting a losing battle. Same-sex marriage is going to happen. It’s as inevitable as the changing of the seasons. A majority of the country is all for it, and the country is trending in that direction. And from the pictures I saw of the people lining up for their Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, I believe those of us on the right side of this issue can afford a little patience. Think about it. Most of the people lined up at Chick-Fil-A were overweight, probably suffering from high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and a variety of other health issues. Many of them probably haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years. And they’ve spent all day Wednesday sucking down thousands of calories in salt, fat, and grease in support of their backwards thinking ideology. Not that I’m wishing bad on anyone, but I’ll bet that most of those people will be dead from heart-attacks or strokes within the next ten years. So for all you haters out there, rush on over to Chick-Fil-A. Grab yourself a sandwich or two, or three. Support Dan Cathy’s homophobia under the guise of “free speech”. Display your bigotry and ignorance to the world. Bon-appétit. We can wait.