I’m sure by now you have heard of the controversial debate regarding Chick-Fil-A, and their lack of support for gay rights, single Moms, and unmarried women. There are a lot of opinions out there, and judgements, and that’s what this post is about.
I have seen many friends on Facebook applauding the Mayor of Boston and his letter written to Chick-Fil-A (I was inclined to think it was a fake, but it’s irrelevant as people took it for truth and hailed it as forward thinking), and now there are more Mayors stating they won’t support Chick-fil-A entering their cities. While I certainly don’t agree with Chick-Fil-A’s point of view in their lack of support for gay rights and other issues, trying to ban a business from any city in the U.S. because one doesn’t agree with their views is just plain wrong.
This is about more than personal views. This is the complete opposite of personal views. Government representatives stating a business is not welcome in any city is inappropriate. If one doesn’t agree with a business’ actions of this nature— boycott the business. Chick-Fil-A have the right to their opinion, they are a private company, just as every individual has the right to patronize, or not patronize, a place of business. If Chick-Fil-A is being discriminatory against working or single mothers, or anyone else, they will answer for it in court, under law. These statements from Mayors about Chick-Fil-A not being welcome in their cities are just as bad as the discriminatory views coming from Chick-Fil-A.
This morning, a Facebook page entitled Stop The War on Women’s Rights, made a post in regards to “The mainstream media have gotten the real Chick-Fil-A vs. gay rights story horribly wrong.” It then proceeds to make sweeping arguments such as:
“The Cult of Chick-fil-A,” a 2007 Forbes profile of Chick-Fil-A’s actual CEO, S. Truett Cathy — Dan Cathy’s father — notes the restaurant giant “has been sued at least 12 times since 1988 on charges of employment discrimination” — a fact the media has totally ignored.
Followed by comments about Chik-Fil-A donating money to hate groups across the U.S.
I’m sure any major fast food company in the U.S. has been sued far more than a dozen times since 1988 for discrimination, so in that respect, this post is misleading as well. It is ironic the topic of the post is chiding popular media for omitting facts, when this post is doing the same. Chick-Fil-A may very well have a better ratio of discriminatory cases per employee than McDonalds. Do I know for sure? No. Do I care? No— because I’m not making a Facebook post, trying to piece together select various news outlet clips to make a misleading point.
It really doesn’t matter how many times Chik-Fil-A has been sued, because the point here is not that Chik-Fil-A has a vast history of firing single Moms, or that they donate money to the KKK. The reason the U.S. is so fired up right now is because Chick-Fil-A has dared to voice an opinion on a controversial topic most companies wouldn’t dare to do in this all encompassing, ‘everything is fair’ business environment we have created in the U.S. They have voiced an opinion, taken a stance in an election year on a controversial topic, and they will be crucified for it, or hailed, depending on which side of the debate you fall.
It is irrelevant whether you agree or disagree, because ironically, a bigger rights issue is at stake here; whether government representatives have the right to make statements on whether or not businesses will be welcome in their cities, and whether anyone has the right enforce their own personal viewpoint on another individual or business. Let me be clear here, I fully support gay rights because I honestly have no interest in what someone else does so long as it doesn’t harm me or anyone else. I also support single Moms, married straight couples, little old ladies and having a pet rat.
But what does harm other people is this seemingly new age wave of free thinkers who are as old as time, the thought that one’s own way of thinking is ‘right’, and others should comply. Of course, I support gay rights completely, because in essence, if I didn’t, I would be stating I need to control how others think and live their lives. But in the same vein, no matter how noble the cause, crucifying a restaurant which publicly thinks differently is putting your foot in your mouth.
The fact hate groups exist in the U.S. says this issue has already been decided. Chick-Fil-A giving money to hate groups is unfortunate (if in fact they do, I’m honestly not sure and it doesn’t matter), but these groups are allowed to exist in the U.S. because of freedom of speech. If Chick-Fil-A is breaking the law in refusing not to hire anyone based on race, gender, religion, etc., they will answer for it in court, under law, not to the Mayor of Boston, and not to Stop The War On Women’s Rights. While I might not agree with them donating money to any hate group, or any other group I don’t support for that matter, it’s their choice to make as a private company. Just as it is my choice not provide funds for them to do this, since I choose not to eat at their establishment. I also don’t like people donating money to a politician I don’t like who may stand for things I don’t agree with, but were I trying to police everyone to believe what I believe, well, that would make me no better than any other figure in history who has tried to do the same. Namely, an organization like the KKK, and others who are intolerant to other people’s beliefs. It’s absolutely ridiculous the same people who are outraged that someone else dare think differently than them, are utterly egotistical and many times worse in the thought that their way of thinking is right.
The definition of opinion is subjective belief, based on emotion or interpretation of facts. The question is, do you want to live in a country, a community, where people are crucified for their personal beliefs, or one where they are welcomed? The answer is of course, completely obvious. So next time someone takes a stance you don’t agree with, whether it be a business or an individual, launch an effective campaign for change. If it happens to be Chick-Fil-A, create a page highlighting other places where chicken tenders can be found, to supply an alternative. Write a researched post about how in choosing something as seemingly insignificant as a restaurant to eat lunch, there can be huge implications. But writing an un-researched, opinionated post like the one I read today, slathering at the mouth, an equal to the religious zealots they are crucifying- I am not impressed.