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Freedoms of religion, speech, press and peaceful assembly are among the most important human rights we have. There is no “human right” to compel anyone to agree with one’s political, religious or other views.
To my regret, I did not dine at Chick-Fil-A yesterday. I live in the somewhat remote and rural highlands of the Republic of Panama and the nearest Chick-Fil-A is probably more than a thousand miles distant; going to one would have been inconvenient. However, many more people than usual apparently did find it convenient to go, judging by abundant photos on the internet. Here is one:
I have seen no customer counts; perhaps they will come later. It seems reasonable to assume that there were many more Chick-Fil-A customers than normal, that some were expressing agreement with the owners’ views on the nature of marriage and that perhaps more were expressing disagreement with the positions of various government officials.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said: “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.”
Freedom of speech and religion are alien to Chicago values? Verry Interesting.
The First Amendment, when last I read it, provided that Congress shall make no laws infringing our freedoms of religion, speech, press or peaceful assembly. Through the Fourteenth Amendment, those limitations on Federal authority apply to State and local governments. I am unaware of any amendment to the First Amendment, or even of an Executive Order expressly abrogating it (as distinguished from several nibbling away various bits and pieces).
An interesting collection of photographs of various (unrelated) right and left protests is presented here. The differences may be a tad subtle, so do look closely. Hint: those on the left tend to encourage violence and to manifest quaint (perhaps even antiquated) sensitivity to matters of personal hygiene.
There have been many reports of the Chick-Fil-A protests (I question the use of the word “protests,” but it seems to be the descriptor most commonly used. “Appreciation” seems a better choice). Here’s a thoughtful report from Fire Dog Lake. It offers a remarkably unbiased and level-headed analysis.
There was a huge colon-clogging, gizzard glutting eat-in at Chick-fil-A on Sunset and Highland Wednesday for the Mike Huckabee-called, frothy Rick Santorum-embraced, Sarah Palin-endorsed, Rush Limbuagh-hyped “National
Chick-fil-AChick-fil-hAte Appreciation Day.” Two lines of cars snaked into the drive through ordering stations, backing up traffic onto Sunset Boulevard. I wish I had been able to take a snapshot of the woman in a nose job bandage eating a frozen dessert cone as she drove out. Very L.A.
The parking lot was full, and there were more people in line and on the patio than I had seen cumulatively in all the years I had driven by the deep-fried food scented corner. Groups holding a rainbow flag and pro-LGBTQ signs stood on the corner with two (female) LAPD officers who were very nice. The protestors were out-numbered by the gluttons easily 1:10.
Consistently(?), this was a sign proudly carried by one protester and published at the Fire Dog Lake site:
Many if not most patrons dining at Chick-Fil-A would probably agree with the sentiment expressed by the sign; the report did not deal with that possible dichotomy.
Here’s a piece from The Daily Beast reflecting on the situation. The first paragraph was written by a Lesbian Chick-Fil-A employee four days ago, when there was talk of boycotts:
So when people boycott Chick-fil-A, it means I don’t get hours. Which means I don’t get money. Not just me, but ALL of the LGBT employees at Chick-fil-A. Yes, CFA hires LGBT people. No one’s been fired for being gay or coming out. It’s a job. A job that can’t be taken for granted when work is scarce across the country. We have to eat too. So sure, boycott Chick-fil-A because you don’t agree with the CEO. Will you change his mind? No. Will it change the amount of money my LGBT peers and I can earn? Probably. Boycotting Chick-fil-A doesn’t hurt the company. It hurts the employees. And it’s hard enough working for a place that doesn’t think you should get married. But it’s work. Don’t take it away because you feel righteous. (Emphasis added.)
Following yesterday’s Chick-Fil-A “protest” she had something of a change of heart:
We were so busy we nearly ran out of food. We did run out of some things, like nuggets, strips, lemonade, and waffle fries. Though we didn’t have to close early like we feared, by 10 p.m., we barely had anything left. Never before have I been so grateful that I have tomorrow off.
Customers sang “God Bless America” in the dining room. They vocalized their support for “family values” in a way that made me want to vomit.
Dear me! I hope she didn’t yield to her urge.
We had two protestors outside, and I took five minutes to run out, hug them, and tell them: if I weren’t working here now, I’d be out here with you.
. . . .
The evangelical bigots have their ignorance bases covered. Chick-fil-A employees, LGBT or not, will be absolutely fine. Bible thumpers are going to voice their support with greenbacks, as they always have done.
When this first started, I implored my friends and allies not to boycott. Now, if I didn’t work there, I’d be boycotting too. That much hypocrisy and hatred leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and the last thing I want to eat is their chicken. (Emphasis added.)
Oh well. Hypocrisy is bad and it’s encouraging that she has none of it. Still, perhaps she shouldn’t eat at Chick-Fil-A, even if the food there is provided to employees free or at a discount. It’s her choice.
In the meantime, here’s a statement from Chick-Fil-A’s extremist, rabble-rousing, hate-spewing moral dictator wannabe and Executive Vice President for Marketing:
We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. We congratulate local Chick-fil-A Owner/Operators and their team members for striving to serve each and every customer with genuine hospitality.
While we don’t release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not a company promotion; it was initiated by others. The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food. (Emphasis added.)
The vile hatred evidenced there is remarkable, particularly in contrast to the love and good will shown in the Fire Dog Lake post quoted and linked above. The reference to an event on Friday is probably to a National Same-Sex Kiss Day in support of the homosexual community.
Activist Carly McGehee told GLAAD she was inspired to call for the “kiss in” because an economic boycott of Chick-fil-A didn’t go far enough.
I wonder how much additional business Chick-Fil-A got because of the boycott.
“Change will not come if we are sitting at home behind closed doors,” she said. “We need to show not just the Chick-fil-a company, but the rest of the country that our numbers are great. By participating in the kiss in, thousands of people will get out of the house and show their support for LGBT equality.”
On Fox, Huckabee said, “If they believe that this will help their cause – to put people of the same sex kissing each other in front of families – if they believe that will encourage people to be more sympathetic, then more power to them.” (Emphasis added.)
Former Governor Huckabee refrained from saying that if they believe that people of the same sex kissing each other in front of families will encourage others to be more sympathetic they may be in for some big surprises. It was kind of him to avoid diminishing the surprises awaiting them. He did say that
he has no problem with gay rights supporters organizing a counter-protest for Friday.
“That’s America,” Huckabee said on Fox News Thursday morning. “As long as they’re orderly. As long as they don’t disrupt the flow of customers and traffic.”
If Same Sex Kiss Day proceeds on Friday as contemplated (It has not yet been declared a national holiday; if President Obama gets a second term, who knows?), here are some excellent but probably unnecessary suggestions from Red State.
Same sex couples are staging a “kiss in” Friday at various Chick-Fil-A restaurants. If you think this is to demonstrate a widespread level of support for gay marriage, you’re wrong.
The purpose is to bait someone on the right into doing something stupid.
The left would like nothing more than to capture on camera someone:
- yelling at a gay couple
- assaulting (shoving, hitting, etc…) a gay couple
- telling a gay couple to “go to hell” or using other obscene language
- getting in a gay couples face
- employees forcibly escorting someone from the premises (call the police if feel this is required)
- giving a gay couple the middle finger
- angrily scowling at a gay couple
I don’t know any conservatives who would do that sort of thing. They will instead use the most grievously cruel insult to obnoxious attention seekers known to modern humanity: ignore the buggers.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words can never hurt me.
In the present context, abusive words hurled at them will inflate their egos, not diminish them. If you have young children, perhaps consider not taking them. Ignoring the protesters’ pitiful pleas for attention in all other respects will insult and hurt them and their supporters more grievously than anything else could. It will show not one iota of respect for them, but much for your own dignity and restraint. Boycott them. Don’t even “turn the other cheek;” walk past or if necessary around them without looking at them. Look instead at a flower, the sky, your spouse or even the Chick-Fil-A menu.
Then, on Saturday (Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays) and later,
First published at Dan Miller’s Blog.