Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Matter of Free Speech

Why Everyone Should Visit Chick-fil-A on August 1st

I doubt Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A, knew the full political fallout that would follow his public declaration in support of the biblical definition of marriage. He probably expected some level of protests and calls for boycotts, but did he expect mayors of some of the major cities in the United States to talk about blocking the chain from opening new restaurants? Perhaps these mayors are saber-rattling but the fact that an elected official would float such an idea should be an eye opener for Americans no matter where we each fall on the political spectrum.

By looking for ways to keep Chick-fill-A out of their cities a group of liberal mayors are sending the message that you can believe what you want but if you speak publicly government will restrict your ability to do business in the public square. If elected officials think they can use their position to censor the free speech of a private citizen none of us have a basis for claiming any of the freedoms we cherish as a part of living in the United States. Where do we draw the line? If government is free to strike against speech and against the first amendment, who gets to decide what is acceptable and what is not?

Whether you are for or against gay marriage I encourage you to visit Chick-fil-A on August 1st. Yes, I know there are many who are offended by the statement made by the company’s COO and you are free to express your disagreement as you see fit. But for one day I ask that we stand as Americans in support of free speech and of the Constitution which describes freedom of speech as one of our rights. Let us all remind government officials that they are elected to protect the rights of private citizens, even when they disagree.

{Note: I do not intend to use this post to have a debate for or against gay marriage. If you choose to comment please keep your focus centered on the issue of free speech.}

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