Religious Intolerance and the Free Market
August 10, 2012 in Wordsmoker Publishing
O·pin·ion : [uh-pin-yuhn], noun
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty, or
There seems to be a deliberate indifference among supporters of Chick-fil-A to recognize the contrast between “opinions” and “actions,” hence the helpy definitions up there. Most of these redneck hill people whom I have encountered seem to think that LGBT people, along with their supporters, are displeased with Chick-fil-A because its president, Dan Cathy, has expressed his distaste for the gay lifestyle and his belief that gays should not get married. Chick-fil-A supporters claim that we are boycotting them because they are a “Christian company.” What they fail to realize is that it is their small-minded actions, not their religious opinions, that have caused indignation.
Donations Spark Outrage
Gay people and those of us who support gay rights were not and are not angry that Chick-fil-A is a Christian company, nor are we upset about Cathy’s own personal views on homosexuality—those are his opinions, and as bigoted as they are, they are his to have. However, what everyone is fuming about (and what his supporters’ oily, chicken-laden brains apparently do no comprehend) is that in 2009 alone, Chick-fil-A donated approximately $2 MILLION to anti-gay groups—groups that have a central focus on restricting the rights of same sex couples to marry one another and to adopt children. That is why gay rights supporters are protesting Chik-Fil-A; that is what has them up in arms. Check out Equality Matters’ article to find out which groups got their money, and what each group has done to inhibit the rights of homosexuals. Anti-gay rights people are quick to point out “all the good” that these groups have done, and that may very well be true, but it doesn’t make up for the bad they’ve perpetrated against the rights of homosexuals and straight women.
Backlash and Boycott
I haven’t eaten at Chick-fil-A for over a year because I knew that they were taking the proceeds from my purchases and donating a portion of them to hate groups (and yes, groups that work to deny the rights of others are in fact hate groups, no matter how ardently they hold up a bible). I refuse to give my money to a company that is going to use it to help deny the rights of others, period. Chick-fil-A made a personal business decision to donate profits to groups that were designed to deny LGBT rights, and that is their prerogative. I, however, made my own personal business decision to not give them my money. Businesses don’t get to operate in a vacuum, nor are they exempt from criticism from consumers. Actions always have consequences. We boycott businesses all the time because of practices we find unsavory: companies that test their products on animals; companies that outsource their labor; and jewelers who market conflict gems. Likewise, right wingers have used boycotts themselves against companies whose actions they find unpalatable: they have blacklisted numerous companies for their support of gay rights, including JC Penney, Starbucks, Nabisco (Oreo), and Procter & Gamble. Anti-abortion groups have also supported boycotts of companies that back Planned Parenthood.
Homosexuals are the only class of people in this country who are being legislatively discriminated against, and it is unconscionable that it’s allowed to go on. Other than religious bunk or personal bias, there is no basis as a government or a people to deny homosexuals the right to marry or adopt. As a society, we the free-thinkers must insist that hatred and bigotry be cast aside. How will a gay marriage affect a heterosexual marriage? Will it somehow make the hetero marriage illegal? Will it make it invalid to the government? Of course not. Government has no right to stand in their way, and certainly no right to legislate morality or “things we find icky.” Marriage is a governmental concern in this country. (if you don’t believe that, then I am sure you will gladly give up your legal status and other benefits awarded to you under the law?) No one will force churches to renounce their beliefs and wed gay couples. Churches have the constitutionally protected right to deny religious marriage to anyone they want—a right that has no bearing on a legal marriage. In Mississippi last month, a black couple was denied permission to be wed at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs; the church’s pastor said he made the decision after receiving contention from some of his parishioners. No one denied that church their prejudiced decision, and no one will deny churches the ability to refuse to tie the knot for gay couples. That couple simply went to another church that was willing to marry them – if they couldn’t find one, they would have gone to the courthouse. Simple. The arguments being thrown now by the fundamentalist right are the same arguments that were tossed around in the 50′s and 60′s to keep miscegenation laws in place. They didn’t have any truth to them then, and they sure don’t have any truth to them now. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married, but don’t try and take that right from others. It’s high time our nation realizes that and stops kowtowing to hateful bullies.
*Author’s Note: My apologies that this is a week behind. My life has been rather chaotic of late.