NEWS BLOG: Chick-fil-A flap isn’t about freedom of speech

BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

The feathers flying over Chick-fil-A president, Dan Cathy, and his opposition to same-sex marriage have nothing to do with freedom of speech. That’s a distraction. Cathy has every right to say what he believes, and he should be able to open his restaurants in whatever city he wants.

What has angered gay and same-sex marriage advocates is Cathy’s financial support for some of the most hateful anti-gay organizations in the country. Cathy has given millions to groups that are among the most extreme, such as the Family Research Council. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists FRC as a hate group. Peter Sprigg, one of the organization’s leaders, says in this video that he advocates exporting homosexuals.

In what universe is it acceptable to call for getting rid of a specific group of American citizens?

Talk like this, though perfectly legal, is what consumers of Chick-fil-A are supporting. And it’s fueled by the likes of Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, celebrity politicians who are beholden to the radical right.

Most of Chick-fil-A’s customers probably had no clue they were funding Cathy’s religious values. And many don’t agree with his views, but they support his right to express it.

But as we’ve learned so many times before, words have consequences.

Who is hurt by this kind of talk and rigid ideology? Surely, no one believes that the pols and religious zealots are the victims here. Cathy is hardly a victim, either.

The people who are hurt by this are often those we are closest to: our children, siblings, neighbors, and co-workers. Real people that we know and love who happen to be gay.

13 comments

  1. You might want to consider reading this…. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-823655

  2. Smearing a fine organization like FRC as a “hate group” is both preposterous and itself an act of extreme bigotry. In doing so the SPLC has seriously undermined whatever good work it may have done in the distant past.

    For better or worse, as long as this country continues to respect and protect the freedom of conscience upon which it was founded, there is no official creed or ideology that may compel Mr. Cathy or any American to violate his conscience on this or any other issue.

    Most Americans believe in the principle of live and let live. And that’s the only way a nation can survive when its citizens have come to such radically irreconcilable philosophies of life.

  3. goodgov · · Reply

    j.a.m- The FRC has advocated the “Exportation” of gays and lesbians and has supported extreme anti-gay messures in both the US and Africa (including Uganda where it is a crime to be gay). How is this not a hate group?

    1. jay rodriguez · · Reply

      The Huffington post (or any other George Soros sponsored propaganda….er….media outlet) is not a credible source of information for me….but thanks anyways!

  4. @goodgov: No, the FRC does not and never has advocated “exportation”. Following the interview cited above, Mr. Sprigg issued the following statement:
    http://www.frcblog.com/2008/03/statement-by-peter-sprigg/

    As for what constitutes “extreme” or “anti-gay”, that’s a matter of opinion or of conscience, which is my point.

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      J.a.m.- you are trading in false equivelencies. Wanting to deny someone’s basic human rights or to attempt to legally establish a second class citizenry is not simply holding an opinion. And using an frc blog as a “source” of information on the frc is embarrasing.

      1. @Anonymous: Nobody wants to deny anyone’s basic human rights or establish second class citizenry.

        Your other comment frankly is beyond me. Yes, if I want to know an organization’s official position on something, I would consider the organization’s official website a reliable source.

  5. goodgov · · Reply

    Saying one group can marry and one may not is in fact the very definition of establishing a second class citizenry. What would you call it? And if I wanted to know the objective facts about a car i wouldn’t ask the guy who is selling it.

    1. Speaking of definitions, maybe we need to start with the definition of “advocate”. It would be counter-intuitive, to say the least, if an advocacy organization’s website did not spell out the positions that the organization advocates! But fine. Let’s assume for some nefarious reason that the FRC website does not accurately state its own positions. What actual evidence do you have for your original claim about “exportation”? (And please, let’s not go around in circles.)

      The right to marry does not depend on membership in any particular group (other than being an unmarried adult). However, there is no “right” to redefine marriage as anything other than what it is by its very nature, i.e., the union of husband and wife.

      1. Anonymous · ·

        I love that j.a.m. gets to decide for the rest of the world what the “natural order” of things are; that kind of thinking worked so well for the afganis under the taliban, but i guess they used the wrong ancient book.

      2. By all means, Anonymous, don’t take my word for it. You could, say, interview a random sample of the planet’s seven billion inhabitants.

  6. I’d hardly consider the SPLC a credible source for determining who or what constitutes a “hate group” (or anything else for that matter)… regardless, this is such a non-issue. Simply don’t go to Chick-fil-a if you’re that concerned with how it’s president chooses to spend his money. It really comes down to people’s individual beliefs/opinions on the definition of marriage. Everyone doesn’t have to agree with everyone else.

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