A certain group of people have been flocking to Chik-Fil-As across the country to show what they claim to be their support for CEO Dan Cathy's First Amendment-granted right to believe that gay people deserve less rights (and, therefore, less freedom) than him.
There are many things that enrage me about this, of course. There's a lot here for any thoughtful individual to be stunned and enraged about.
But let's brush all of that aside for a second, and get one thing straight:
This doesn't have a thing to do with Freedom of Speech.
Despite their claims, not a single person flocking to stuff their faces with fried chicken is doing it because they love Free Speech, or because Dan Cathy's Freedom of Speech has in anyway been infringed upon.
They are doing it because they agree that gay people don't deserve the same rights, privileges and freedoms that the rest of us enjoy.
For the past few weeks, Cathy has been clogging not only our arteries, but also our collective consciousness with a bunch of archaic, thinly-veiled bigotry. However, for the sake of argument let's take the following quote as representative of his position:
We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit.
A fried chicken fast food restaurant CEO who feels compelled to facilitate an archaic agenda of bigotry
I will assume that we all know what he means by the “biblical definition of a family unit.” I will assume we all understand that in our current political climate, Cathy is saying he feels that gay people don't deserve the right to marry one another and enjoy the host of privileges and securities that are bestowed upon legally-married couples.
This is the view that a group of self-described wholesome, conservative, God-fearing people are rushing to defend.
Now, again, let's brush aside the inherent bigotry and oppressive-subcurrent of these First-Amendmend-protected beliefs, and imagine an alternate universe in which Cathy had said one of the following things instead:
“We are very much supportive of gay marriage.”
“We are very much supportive of Communism.”
“We are very much supportive of Obamacare.”
“We don't believe in God. We are very much supportive of Athiesm.”
Of course, in this alternate universe, these remarks would be just as out of place coming from a fast food restaurant's CEO. But they would be just as protected by the First Amendment.
Would the same group of people currently lining up outside of Chik-Fil-As be rushing to defend the Freedom of Speech in one of these alternate universes?
This isn't about Free Speech. This has nothing to do with Free Speech. So if you're going to line up to support the oppression of a group of American people, at least try to retain a shred of decency and stop insulting the rest of our intelligence.
Drop the Free Speech bullshit and be honest about the real reason you're lining up to “Support Chik-Fil-A.”
You're supporting the belief that gay people are wrong for being gay.
You're supporting the belief that gay people deserve to be punished and oppressed for being gay.
You're supporting the belief that gay people deserve to have their freedoms restricted because they are gay.
You're supporting the belief that gay people don't deserve the same rights you deserve, because they are gay.
And to add further insult to injury, you're uniting to send the very loud, very clear, and very hateful follow-up message that you value a fast-food restaurant chain over the rights and previliges of an enormous group of people.