Friday, August 03, 2012

When it comes to Chik-Fil-A and gay rights, I'm on the side of...

Chik-Fil-A claims it was founded on what they call "biblical principles". Its founders S. Truett Cathy and his wife Jeannette are devout Christians and believe in preservation of traditional marriage--that between a man and a woman.  The WinShape organization which is the charitable arm of CFA donates heavily to certain causes. You can check them out here at http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001

Also, here are a few excerpts of the interview which you can find at http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271
"...as an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be. [We are] based on biblical principles, asking God and pleading with God to give us wisdom on decisions we make about people and the programs and partnerships we have. And He has blessed us."

Cathy believes strongly that Christians are missionaries in the workplace. "Jesus had a lot of things to say about people who work and live in the business community," he said. His goal in the workplace is "to take biblical truth and put skin on it. ... We're talking about how our performance in the workplace should be the focus of how we build respect, rapport and relationships with others that opens the gateway to interest people in knowing God.

Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.

Here are my thoughts on this mess.

We live in a nation where we are free to express our opinions without fear of punishment from the government, therefore, I strongly support the right of CFA and its President to vocalize their opinions on this issue. As a staunch supporter of free speech and free expression, I also support boycotts of CFA by consumers and I support individuals picketing their restaurants. 

Some cities are trying to prevent Chik-Fil-A from opening its franchise there. In other cities, Universities are fighting to prevent the business from opening on campus or trying to get rid of those which currently exist on their campus.  I do not believe the Universities should be taking the stance on religion nor do I think they should ban any legitimate business so long as it does not practice discrimination and if they do practice discrimination in the form of hiring and serving, then they should be subject to the law. If the business is a legitimate business which serves all individuals they should be free to open on the campus. If it does well and makes money, it stays but if it doesn't make money, it goes. It's just that simple.  In regards to city government getting involved in banning the franchise, I feel that no government entity should have the power to deny a legitimate business the opportunity to set up shop, nor do I think they should have the power to force out an existing legitimate business, simply based on the religious beliefs of those who own or are employed at that business.

Think about this example...would we stop a Muslim family from opening a business in our community because we might disagree with their strict religious beliefs? If we did, what do you think would be the backlash? You could argue it's different but really it's not. Many would disagree with Muslim beliefs regarding women. Should we ban the Muslim-owned business because the owners have strict beliefs that infringe upon the rights of women? No, unless of course they are doing something which violates the law (that's just common sense).

Most of the world's major religions are opposed to gay marriage and homosexuality as a way of life.  If we start allowing government to ban businesses with certain religious beliefs then we might as well say goodbye to free enterprise.  I don't want to live in a country where government shuts down/bans businesses based on their religious principles, even if I don't agree with those principles. This is where the power of the consumer becomes important. If you want to support the business, then by all means do it. If you don't want to do business there, then shop elsewhere. Let the consumer, not the government, decide if the business stays or goes.

Also I should add in at this point that at least twelve lawsuits claiming discrimination have been filed against Chik-Fil-A in the past and that discrimination is one of the reasons cities are considering banning them. I checked this out and yes, suits were filed and settled out of court but from what I read so far I could find none that had anything to do with sexual orientation. I'd also like to add that if we're going to ban businesses because they have been accused of discrimination, why is there a Wal Mart in every town in America? Wal Mart has been sued and is currently being sued for discrimination against women and minorities and still Americans shop there. Just a little something I thought I'd add in.

Christians believe marriage is a religious institution between a man and woman according to the Bible and that appears to be the basis of their logic for their opposition to same-sex "marriage". They strive to save traditional marriage but does anyone really believe that traditional marriage between a man and a woman is in jeopardy?  Marriage between individuals of the same sex does not devalue marriage between a man and woman. Why are Christians so opposed to something that is really...none of their business and does not affect them?

Recently,  I read posts by friends and others on Facebook which proudly proclaimed their support for Chik-Fil-A. On CFA appreciation day they prayed for America and prayed for a return to moral values in this country. Do they really think people who are in same-sex relationships are the cause of moral decline in this nation? When is the last time you heard or read about people in same-sex relationships committing rape, robbery, murder, or any other major crimes in mass numbers? The people who commit crimes and contribute to the moral decline of America are from all walks of life.  I can find no evidence that gay people nor same-sex marriage has contributed to the decline of morality in this country.

Government has no business defining marriage. Some people believe marriage is a religious thing, others believe it's simply a commitment/covenant between two people, with nothing to do with religion. Who really has the authority to define it? Marriage means many things to many cultures. What right do our politicians have to declare what marriage is and isn't? Government needs to stay out of the business of religion and morality. This of course means that perhaps government should be out of the business of marriage and in the business of civil unions for legal purposes only.

I don't care if someone is gay. I don't care if two people of the same sex want to get married. Why don't I care? Because it's none of my business. In my opinion...any person can live their life any way they want to so long as they do not infringe upon the civil rights of others. That said, you might ask me how I can support Chik-Fil-A's right to free speech. Easy. I don't think CFA is infringing upon the civil rights of gay individuals. Yes, they donate money to organizations that support traditional marriage and some of these organizations have been identified as being anti-gay, however donating money to an organization that promotes certain beliefs does not infringe upon civil rights. Actions, not words, violate civil rights. These organizations that receive donations from Chik-Fil-A have no power to act in a manner that infringes upon civil rights. They can, however, lobby and push politicians and others in positions of power to act and ultimately if those actions infringe upon our civil rights that is when we take action. 

So, in a nutshell, I am all for freedom for everyone and completely against government involvement in defining marriage and enacting laws related to it, as well as banning businesses based on religious beliefs. If you disagree with my stance on this issue and you think I'm wrong, so be it, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. What I do know is that I am pro-freedom and in my opinion that puts me on the side of right every time.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous8/05/2012

    Soooo perfectly said!!! You have completely summed it up so very well! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Gaga's gift of gab certainly paid off! Lol!!
    I can't figure out how to post with my name, so it will be anonymous.

    Donna Thomas

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  3. "So, in a nutshell, I am all for freedom for everyone and completely against government involvement in defining marriage and enacting laws related to it, as well as banning businesses based on religious beliefs. If you disagree with my stance on this issue and you think I'm wrong, so be it, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. What I do know is that I am pro-freedom and in my opinion that puts me on the side of right every time." Well said and a nicely written article. I personally believe that all this uproar against gay marriage and equal rights is insane. Love is for everyone.

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  4. Lisa B8/16/2012

    *Applause! Applause* Pretty much in a nutshell my viewpoint too.

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