Chik-Fil-A, Free Speech and Persecution
August 2nd, 2012 by Sonja

I need to say something about this Chik-fil-a kerfuffle. I’ve been trying to stay quiet on the subject. I’ve read some pros and cons and seen how this whole discussion is painful to many on both sides of the equation.

Here’s the thing …

Chik-fil-a owner, Dan Cathy, acknowledged that it is (or has) given millions in corporate profits to an organization that was formally given the status of “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (which knows about such things).

This has actually been going on for quite some time and we in the Light Family have limited our consumption of Chik-fil-a to just about nothing for well over a year because of it. This, despite the fact there are many menu items that I love.

I recognize that as a privately held company, Mr. Cathy has the right to do whatever he wants with the profits. That’s his free speech right.

I (as an aware shopper) have the right to spend my money in establishments which are at least somewhat values neutral (as much as we can find, in any case). That’s my right to free speech.

And that is where the controversy should begin and end.

To Christians who support Mr. Cathy and Chik-fil-a … my decision about whether or not to have lunch in that establishment is decidedly NOT an infringement of Mr. Cathy’s rights in any way, shape or form. I am exercising my own rights. The same rights that Mr. Cathy exercised when he made his statement.

I think it is intellectually dishonest to stomp and scream about boycotters being bullies and trying to infringe on the rights of others. Especially when, as a community, the Christian sub-culture perfected the fine art of boycotting organizations with which they did not agree. Many times that disagreement was even based on false information (see Johnson & Johnson boycott). That false information was circulated for years, decades, and many Christians are still boycotting Johnson & Johnson … for MORAL reasons. The boycott of CFA has been undertaken for MORAL reasons. The rest of the world continues about their business. If people don’t want to purchase certain items (whether its baby shampoo or a chicken sandwich) because it goes against their standards, those people have that right. They also have the right to publicize their thoughts on the matter. Neither action makes a person a bully or a bigot.

Know this … purchasing chicken sandwiches and those incredibly yummy waffle fries is not going to establish your bona fides as a social conservative OR a Christian.

Not purchasing chicken sandwiches and those incredibly yummy waffle fries is not going to establish your bona fides as a social liberal OR a Christian.

All it says is that you got caught up in a media whirlwind over fried chicken. The question you might want to ask yourself is why does the media keep doing this? What master does it serve to have people arguing over chicken?? Or whatever else is the trivia of the day?

2 Responses  
  • Denise Mann writes:
    August 2nd, 20123:04 pmat

    Thank you. Well written. So true.

  • Linda writes:
    August 3rd, 20128:37 pmat

    Yes, well written Sonja. I agree that Mr. Cathy has every right to do what he wants with his money and his public statements. He also must face the personal and business consequences that result when he exercises this freedom. As you said, customers also have the right to make a choice to buy or not buy his product. Also, business associates of every type may also choose whether or not to do business with his company. The first amendment does not shelter Mr. Cathy from the impact of people disassociating with him.

    Really my biggest problem with this is the smug attitude of the Christians involved because at the end of the day this only proved to demonstrate a defensive arrogance supposedly in the name of Jesus. I really don’t know what the intended benefit was, but this was an epic fail, again, for american evangelical christianity. And they are so dang proud of it!

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