Friday, August 3, 2012

Fast Food Farce

I didn’t think I was going to post on this issue, but I simply had to vent. I won’t be including links in this post because this is merely an opinion piece. This whole Chick-fil-A business has, in my opinion, gotten out of hand.

Racine has Southeastern Wisconsin’s only Chick-fil-A restaurant which is located in Regency Mall. I normally don’t patronize the establishment because 1) I don’t do malls, and 2) if I’m having fast food for lunch it usually involves a drive-thru. On August 1, however, I got my butt in gear and went to the mall to participate in the Chick-fil-A appreciation event. I stood in line for 45 minutes for a yummy chicken sandwich and waffle fries.

Now, many would have you believe that this was an anti-gay movement. Others would have you believe that it was a stand against same sex marriage. While that may be true for some, it had nothing whatsoever to do with why I and many of those I spoke to were there. For me, and for those around me, this was about supporting the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Sure there were some ignorant bigots amongst the hundreds and hundreds of people standing in line. Overall, it was a very friendly bunch of people who were supporting one man’s first amendment rights.

Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, said in an interview that he believes in the biblical definition of marriage. He most certainly has the right to believe what he wants, and to express those beliefs. If you don’t like it, don’t patronize the restaurants. Easy, right? Well, not so much. In a knee jerk reaction to Mr. Cathy expressing his views (which were well known for quite some time), politicians across the country decided to spout off and state that they would do what they could to (illegally) ban franchises from opening up in their city/district/ward.

Think about that friends. A person in authority deciding that because he/she doesn’t agree with someone else’s beliefs, they will “punish” the offender. That’s quite frightening and doesn’t sound like the United States of America I know and love. Not only that, these are privately owned franchises. Is it okay to make one individual suffer because of the words of another?

I understand that various LGBT groups are staging a “counter protest” today – they’re calling it a kiss-in. To those participating I say this…if it’s as peaceful and courteous as the appreciation day was, more power to you.

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