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Freedom of expression

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Perhaps things have calmed a bit since last week's outpouring of rage, support and lip-locking over comments made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.

Cathy was taken to task by supporters of gay marriage after comments he made to the Baptist press flooded the media. When I first learned about the uproar, I hadn't heard what he said. Intrigued by the commotion, I sought out the controversial comments and this is what I found:

"We are very much supportive of the family. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives."

That's it? Really?

So I continued to listen to the dialogue and learned that the company CEO is alleged to have given large monetary donations to entities dedicated to the message of "traditional marriage."

So the call for a boycott of Chick-fil-A began. And in response, former Republican Presidential candidate and current radio talk show host Mike Huckabee organized an appreciation day for the business for Aug. 1. On Aug. 1, large numbers poured out to wait in long lines in order to place an order and support the business. It's not entirely clear if the supporters stood behind Cathy's traditional marriage stance or simply his right to share it.

Pro gay marriage advocates countered by asking homosexual couples to meet in front of Chick-fil-A's nationwide on Friday and conduct a kissing session as a show of solidarity and protest against the fast food chain. The kissin' couples weren't as strong in number as the crowds of support, but they did show up and express their opinion.

So good, everyone has had their say in the matter.

Last time I checked, we still live in an America where someone is entitled to express their religious belief when asked. But I can't help but feel those bright days are growing somewhat cloudier. We have mayors looking to block Chick-fil-A from establishing business in their city.

Wow, can you imagine if every mayor in the nation tried to block businesses with which they shared a philosophical difference. Kind of scary when you look at it like that.

I thought we lived in a country where someone was allowed to speak freely. Apparently that only applies if your comments are deemed politically correct.

The simple truth is this; if you don't like the Chick-fil-A CEO's position on an issue, go find another chicken business to support. I'm sure there are others who would love to have your dollars.

If you like Cathy's stance, then I guess you continue to dine with the franchise with a clear conscience.

Perhaps you don't care how Cathy feels about gay marriage or any other issue for that matter. Then I guess it will depend on whether you like their food or not - which I believe is probably the real test.

In my case, like many Spencer area residents, we don't have a Chick-fil-A anywhere near town so I guess we don't get to vote with our order.

Cathy is entitled to his opinion, and you, as a citizen, are welcome to express your support or displeasure by how you choose to spend your hard earned cash.

In our free country you can even meet in the mall and suck face to make a point.

God bless America.

Sorry, hope that didn't offend anyone.



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Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective