Saturday, August 4, 2012

No, I'm Sorry, We Didn't Lose

Someone asked the owner of a business what his stance was on Gay Marriage.    The owner of this restaurant is clearly an Evangelical Christian and everyone knows it.  He answered the question.  All hell broke loose.  Mayors in certain cities across the country, threatened to deny this business permits to build new branches, because he was asked and answered a question.  He didn't bring it up, he only answered, honestly.  

A News Talk Show host suggested a "Support this business" day.  That day was Wednesday, August 1.

By now, I'm sure you know I'm talking about Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A, and the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.  I went to Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday.  I posted a facebook status.  Yesterday, a friend wrote a post that made me delete him on facebook because it was so highly offensive.  He told us that whether we supported or protested we all lost.  Why?  Because in the time we were protesting or supporting we could have been doing something better with our time.  Like working in a soup kitchen.  

The implication was we should have stayed home and written letters to our Congressman and then done something for the poor and needy and destitute. I left a comment, but what I really should have done was said "are you?".   

The first amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to Free Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Freedom to Peacefully Protest. Many people who went to Chick-Fil-A did so because they support traditional marriage.  A whole bunch more went because we believe we have the right to state our opinions without blowback from the government.  When mayors of cities threaten to shut a business down or refuse to allow them to build new branches based on the beliefs of the owner?  Free Speech is in jeopardy.   I have always said, if you don't like what a business stands for or where it puts its money, don't shop there.  That's your right.  But the Government does not have the right to regulate business based on the beliefs of the owners.  Period.  So I went to Chick-Fil-A.  Some protesters when to Chick-Fil-A.  And no, we did NOT lose.  We won, because we were exercising our freedoms.

My family gives money away to the poor and needy.  We support organizations that help the depressed and suicidal.  I've sat by the bedside of a friend who died of cancer.  And my hour long excursion into Chick-Fil-A didn't take away from any of that, thank you very much.  I'd like to ask my friend when he's going to see a movie or doing Karaoke every week, or hanging out in a bar, isn't that more of a waste of time when he could be doing all those things he told us we should have been doing?  Protesting/Supporting something you believe strongly in is NOT a waste of time.  It's a right our founding fathers felt so strongly about, they put it in the Constitution.  

But here's the other rub.  He says if we really cared about free speech, how could we be supporting a business who supports denying citizens a basic inalienable right? Because if you can't speak out without fear of reprisal, who's going to speak out for those people?  If you take away our freedom to speak our opinions, every other freedom we have falls away.  That freedom is the benchmark of our continued Republic.  And when we come to together to stand up for that, we are NEVER losing. 

Until Next Time....

No comments: