This may surprise some of you.
beef chicken with the Chik-Fil-A situation.
1. Believing in the Biblical definition of marriage does not mean you hate gays. Just as I don’t believe that adultery is right, doesn’t mean I don’t adulterers. I am against someone’s religious beliefs being labeled as hate. Disagree with a religion all you want, peacefully protest that religion, but don’t accuse the believers of hate. It diminishes the severity and meaning of hate. Hate is a powerful word, let’s save it for those instances where it really exists.
I don’t hate gays (or adulterers or pre-marital sexers or people who’ve had an abortion) I disagree with their choice. They are welcome in my home, in our celebrations, as my friends, as my family with open, loving arms.
2. The First Amendment issue with Chik-Fil-A is a religious one, not necessarily a free speech one. The First Amendment gives us the right to practice our faith, denying a business a license to operate because of its founder’s religious beliefs is a First Amendment right. That business can not and should not refuse to hire/serve people that are in conflict with their religious views, but that business absolutely has the political right to have a license.
Those who disagree with a businesses founder’s beliefs also, then, have the absolute right to protest (peacefully) and boycott that business. That is not the same as denying them a business licence.
But, you say, what if a business owner’s beliefs were deeply racist or sexist? As long as that business doesn’t deny people of color and women service, they still have a right to operate. Would I protest them and boycott them? Darn tooten’ but I wouldn’t argue that they don’t have a right to exist.
There are many companies (such as Google, Pampers) that support same sex marriage. I don’t make an issue about it, I don’t insist that they shut down, I don’t insist that their profits not go to same sex marriage organizations. I just disagree with them. I even use their products. Because I understand that disagreement is just that: disagreement, not hate. And if an LGBT friendly business was denied a business licence, I would actually support their right to operate and open.
Beliefs are a First Amendent right.
3. I am surprised at the vitriol that suddenly is erupting here. CFA has been, for decades, a Christian owned business who closes on Sundays. So when the founder expresses a Christian world view….why is everyone surprised and shocked and angry? Why weren’t they denied business licences before this? Why wasn’t there an outcry before this? Is it because he said his views? Which seems to be the conclusion. No outcry before his statements, outcry after. Then that, to me, is scary and chilling. It’s saying, “it’s ok to have your beliefs, just don’t talk about them.”
4. But, you may argue, that the business, through its owner, gives profits to organizations I disagree with. Ok, then don’t patronize them. Don’t buy their product. Protest them. Tell everyone you know about what they do with their profits. But, this is the point here, a business owner has the right to use his profits any way he sees fit.
Just as you have the right to spend your profits (salary) from your job any way you see fit, so does a business OWNER. He owns the business, therefore, the profits are his to do with as he sees fit.
Just as before, if you dislike what he does with those profits, then, heck yeah, boycott, protest and tell it. But don’t try to stop him from spending his money in a way he wants.
I’m a teacher. What if I used my salary to give to organizations that my union disagreed with? Would the union have the right to tell me NOT to give to those organizations or believe in their message? Of course not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When I was full time teaching, my union gave some of my dues to organizations I strongly disagree with. They spent my money on beliefs I oppose.
But I let it go. I realize that, for the benefit of the union’s help and protection, I allow my dues to be spent as they saw fit. After all, my dues were their profit.
So, let’s allow people to believe what they want, spend their money where they want, protest where they want, boycott where they want…but let’s not deny them business licences as that’s a blatant First Amendment right.