Thursday, July 26, 2012

The politics of chicken

I've been following the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A with considerable amusement. In case you missed it, Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain specializing in chicken, has for years been known as a right-wing Christian chain, so much so that its restaurants remain closed on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath. They have long opposed gay marriage. Now, they reiterate their opposition to gay marriage and for some reason leftists have their boxers in a bunch and are calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-A. Worse, now the mayors of Boston and Chicago are threatening to bring the hammer of government down on Chick-fil-A.

It's fun to enjoy the hypocrisy of leftists who scream "freedom of speech" whenever someone rips the United States or calls for horrible things to happen to conservatives but then tries to shut down any speech with which they disagree or that uses the same language that they do, as I know from personal experience. "Freedom of speech for me, but not for thee." It usually works, though, because conservatives usually cave.

Let me be perfectly clear: Chick-fil-A's opposition to gay marriage is detestable and bigoted, based on an erroneous interpretation of the Bible that does not take into account historical context, an interpretation that is shared by many religions, unfortunately including my own ROMAN Catholic Church. Gay marriage hurts no one and makes gays happy. There is no rational reason to oppose it.

That said, it's Chick-fil-A's right. Currently gay marriage is the subject of public debate, and the heads of Chick-fil-A have every right to take part in that debate. They should not be punished for asserting the rights that each and every one of us has to speak and engage in public debate, no matter how wrong speech is. Punishing them only chills and stifles public speech, but especialy at a time like this we need more speech, not less. Sure, you'll hear a lot of wrong things, a lot of crazy things, but you'll also hear a lot of good things, good things you would not hear if you tried to ban all the wrong and crazy things.

Let Chick-fil-A say what they want, no matter how wrong it is. Do not boycott them. As much as I find their opposition to gay marriage reprehensible, I plan to pay them a visit and maybe get that Chicken Caesar Wrap and waffle fries. And, of course, a giant Diet Coke with free refills. I will disagree vehemently with what they say but I will stand with them to defend their right to say it.

And I will even give them a tip to help their business: I think Iran might be a lucrative market for Chick-fil-A. After all, Iran is now facing a serious chicken crisis ...

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