Today Americans across the country showed their support for free speech by patronizing Chick-Fil-A restaurants. They stood in line, some for up to two hours at a time to place an order. By all accounts, customers were friendly, the staff was smiling, grateful for such sales in a tough economy, and managers beamed.
I participated by visiting a local Chick-Fil-A, and the line wound around the store and nearly out to the busy street. Chick-Fil-A’s parking lot, as well as the parking lot of the entire strip mall with which it shared a lot, was full of patrons’ cars. The manager stood inside at the door, cheerfully organizing customers into two lines once they made it through the entry. When Chick-Fil-A staff filled an order, they shouted the customers’ names, and the customers amplified by repeating it with a smile. Everyone was in awe of each other for packing the place to capacity and beyond. People took photos on their phones. An elderly woman was escorted to a seat near us.
“This is good to see,” she said, leaning back in her chair.
It is good to see that so many Americans recognize a threat to free speech when they see it. Because Dan Cathy reaffirmed his Biblical principles (are people really shocked that a business which closes Sundays has Christian owners?) and stated that he opposed same sex marriage, he has been castigated in the media and by the left. The threats of a boycott turned into a full assault on Cathy’s First Amendment rights with mayors and councilmen across the country threatening to ban Chick-Fil-A restaurants from opening in their cities. Why? Because of Cathy’s beliefs.
Chick-Fil-A doesn’t discriminate in hiring or serving customers. Some progressives claim that Chick-Fil-A has donated to a group who once clashed with legislative action to condemn Uganda’s ban on homosexuality, claiming that patrons of Chick-Fil-A support “killing gays.” This from people who vote for an administration that entertains the Muslim Brotherhood and endorses their presidential candidates–talk about supporting “killing gays.” This is the same left that buys oil and gas from countries whose religious leadership put videos online discussing actually “killing gays.” So buying gas means you’re killing gays, and I assume all the progressives making this argument are driving fully electric cars and not purchasing anything which relied upon gas or oil for its manufacture, transportation, or power.
This isn’t about same-sex marriage; it’s about the right of a private citizen to his opinion. While decrying “intolerance,” the left has proven their intolerance of any opinion different from theirs; and if you’re a gay conservative alarmed by the government’s move to oppress free speech you’re targeted with a special brand of venom.
This is what people came out in droves to support: the basic right to speech. If you disagree with Dan Cathy and personally don’t want to spend your money at his restaurants, that’s your right. It’s not the right of government to step in and punish entrepreneurs because of their personal beliefs. That’s a tenet of fascism, and those who support it have become the very thing they claim to oppose.