I want to clear something up right away, and it is that nothing in this column today is meant as any kind of affront to gay people.
Personally, I don’t care what consenting adults do behind closed doors or how they choose to live their personal lives, as long as they’re not a threat to national security or violating someone else’s rights.
This old world can be a cold, lonely place at times, and who am I to say who can and who can’t have relationships with each other? In other words, a person tends to find love where he or she can, and one can’t argue with that. In fact, more power to them!
However, my apathy toward gay lifestyles, and same-sex marriage, is in direct contrast to my passion for our Constitution and all the great principles contained therein — not the least of which is freedom of speech.
Of course, that sounds good when read from a textbook. But sometimes people face difficulty when it comes to actually exercising that freedom — particularly if it goes against the agenda of those trying to shape America’s social values to fit their own narrow-minded vision.
A perfect example of this has occurred recently regarding a stand on same-sex marriage by the CEO of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain. It seems Dan Cathy had the unmitigated gall to say he supports “the biblical definition of the family unit,” a marriage between one man and one woman. Cathy also said that gay marriage invites “God’s judgment on our nation.”
Strong statements in this day and age, sure, but since there’s always so much emphasis on tolerance for the diverse groups in our melting-pot society and their different viewpoints, there were no repercussions, right?
Chick-fil-A was immediately targeted for a nationwide boycott for daring to espouse such a position, and has come under all kinds of fire from people who have the opposite viewpoint.
On one hand, a skeptic could question why the CEO of a fast-food restaurant would even get involved in such a debate in the first place. After all, isn’t his job to feed people tasty chicken sandwiches rather than tell them how to live?
Yet here again, the important thing is not what Dan Cathy said, but the fact he had a right to say whatever he wanted to — the Constitution doesn’t specify who may speak, or that “free” speech must conform to someone’s special-interest agenda.
Now, for the sake of comparison, suppose the CEO of McDonald’s made a statement that his company endorsed same-sex marriage? I would bet no one boycotted that chain, and if anyone dared to attack IT — a religious group perhaps — it would surely be condemned as much as Chick-fil-A has been by certain factions.
The same goes for the Rosie O’Donnell/Ellen DeGeneres crowd, who don’t mind bashing anyone who disagrees with their positions on various issues — but then cry foul when someone dares attack them.
Have double-standards become more respected in this nation than constitutional rights? It would appear that too many people have spent less time studying American history and how our ideals were shaped than watching television.
Fortunately, another aspect of the Chick-fil-A situation does show there are still plenty of people in this country who are not idiots — folks who actually can think for themselves and don’t need a talking head to tell them what to believe.
In response to the boycott, a nationwide Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was held across the U.S. on Wednesday, giving the public a chance to support the company’s constitutional rights. It resulted in record one-day sales for the chain.
The boycott that doubtlessly was aimed at cutting this maverick company out of the herd and watching it bleed to death backfired instead. The millions of Chick-fil-A supporters who apparently greatly outnumber its detractors showed that the herd is still pretty darn strong and hasn’t been totally corrupted by political correctness or manipulation.
This might have been a shock to Rosie O’Donnell, but not to those of us who believe in personal freedoms. Just when you think there is no hope left for humanity, people will show how they still have an appreciation for right and wrong, which is reassuring.
I personally can’t wait until Mount Airy gets its own Chick-fil-A restaurant in September, when I plan on giving it plenty of business.
This gesture won’t be anti-gay — but pro-freedom.
Tom Joyce is a staff reporter for The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at 719-1924 or email@example.com.