Pat Lynch has a few kind words forChick-Fil-A

July 26, 2012

Oh, my goodness.

It is fortunate that I have a taste for those juicy and tasty chicken sandwiches because I will be appreciating Chick-Fil-A on August 1. There is such a thing as free speech and it used to count for something once upon a time in America. In fact, many people held to that old saying of the founders to the effect that, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

This is all about Dan Cathy’s interview with a Baptist newspaper on his preference for the biblical understanding of marriage (you know, one-man, one-woman, forever). From the irrational screeching among his opponents, you would think he had called for hanging and disembowling his dear sweet old granny.

The latest skirmish in the nation’s culture wars began when Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” In a later radio interview, he ratcheted up the rhetoric: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, `We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'”

That fired up gay rights advocates, including a group that waged a campaign against the company in recent years by publicizing $3 million in contributions that the Cathy family foundation has made to conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council.

“This solidifies Chick-fil-A as being closely aligned with some of the most vicious anti-gay voices in the country,” said Carlos Maza of Equality Matters.

A Chicago alderman vowed to block a Chick-fil-A proposed in his district, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported him, saying, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote in a letter to Cathy: “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”

Read it all here.

Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches Become Political Symbol.

Now, let me be very clear. I am in no position to judge anybody else’s life. The Christian religion strictly forbids such hypocrisy that presumes to make decisions that are in the sole domain of our savior Jesus Christ. My life is a mess. I am a broken man in need of a savior. We live in a broken world that is infected with the rampant evil of sin. Homosexuals suffer from that no more or less than anybody else.

It is an inconvenient truth that Mr. Cathy is not a hater. Merely opposing “gay marriage” is not a dangerous, venomous, malicious act of social disdain. It is an opinion. Not only are we entitled to hold unpleasant or unpopular opinions, there is even freedom to express them. The publication of bad opinions can be helpful by stirring up better discussion.

The people who are so worked up with Dan Cathy are the kind of people who I agree with on so many issues. These would be things like immigration, health care, making the wealthy pay the same tax rate as poor folks, public education, the death penalty and a host of other “progressive” issues. I know this index of beliefs, that some people might use to classify me as a “liberal,” hardly passes the litmus test of the left, but doggone it, my “progressive” friends are quickly losing their minds and sinking into the political sewer.

It seems that, since some very vocal social liberals cannot win any meaningful victories, they are determined to make life miserable for a man who has made the mistake of saying something that makes them uncomfortable. I agree with Dan Cathy on his position about biblical marriage and I cannot help opposing “gay marriage.” This determination comes from the same conscience that holds all those other beliefs that some folks call “liberal.” That’s just a word. It is another label and another almost meaningless moniker. This does not make me, or Mr. Cathy, better than anybody else. We all have messy lives. The people who disagree with me should be presumed to be moral and decent people. That ought to be a two-way street.

The overuse of abusive adjectives by proponents of the new marriage arrangements are disgraceful and the tactics are frightening. Since when do we zone a business out of a location because we dislike the owner’s religion. There is a record in history of this kind of thing and the people who would propose such actions have an obligation to study well those historical characters who have done similar things.


11 Responses to “Pat Lynch has a few kind words forChick-Fil-A”

  1. Randi M Romo Says:

    If it were as simple as an opinion. However. This company has given millions of dollars to organizations that actively oppose equality for LGBTQ Americans. An especially egregious donation is to the Exodous organization whose reparative therapy techniques are believed to be very harmful by most credible mental health experts.

    This company is free to express its opinion. They are indeed free to act on it. Just as we members if the LGBTQ community whose lives they target are free to vigorously object and boycott any homo/trans phobic.

    Religious beliefs in Anerica have long been utilized to oppress others. African descended, Asian-Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Women, Children, Workers, and any

    • patlynch Says:

      Denying the “right” to marry in situations in which no “right” exists is no repressing anybody. The state has a duty to regulate civil contracts and the marriage contract protects women and children and connects adults to children. Of course, the government should leave the private practices of homosexuals to their own discretion. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals may never be denied the due process of the law or denied legal rights. I am not here to oppress anybody.

      From the spiritual perspective, a great many insulting and harmful things have been directed to and about homosexuals by persons claiming to be Christians. I am humiliated by such rudeness and disregard of God’s children, persons created in his own image ind likeness. Some of the things said about homosexuals are just breathtakingly stupid. We all live in the same desperate and sinful world, in need of a savior. We are all pulled astray by the downward pull of fallen human nature. Homophobia is also a sin. As a footnote, I also share your concerns about Exodus.

      I do not think Dan Cathy has “targeted” anybody, except perhaps potential customers to come and enjoy his excellent chicken sandwiches. Religious beliefs in America have been used to engender an atmosphere favorable to national independence, grant freedom to an entire race held in cruel bondage, oppose child labor and sweatshops, stand against racial segregation and oppose unnecessary wars. Jesus left his gospel message and his church in the hands of sinful human beings. We all come up short.

  2. Ben Allen Says:

    Well said Pat

  3. Randi M Romo Says:

    Marriage when tied to benefits designated by our government does in fact make it an issue of equal access. There are close to 1400 rights tied to marriage.

    Marriage means far more than tying children to parents. It is a cultural institution that we all grow up with and most have an idea that this is the perfect means to celebrate and honor the love one has for their beloved. Marriage us desired by many who either cannot or choose not to procreate.

    And the argument of tying children to parents seems weak in light of the many children whose parents are willfully absent. A phenomenon that has nothing to do with LGBTQ people.

    The institution of marriage has evolved over the centuries. It formerly was more about gaining wealth and lands, creating peace, continuing bloodlines, etc. The idea of romantic love, marriages where women were able to decide if they wished to marry and have children is a relatively new concept. There is also credible evidence of same sex unions in Europe via the Catholic church.

    Denying marriage to loving same sex couples does not promote nor repair the institution of marriage that some Christians hold so tightly to. If it is indeed about tying children to patents then understand this…many same sex couples are parenting children. Why would we deny these children the same legal ties to their parents?

    I personally believe that marriage is of less importance in the scheme of things. Far more LGBTQ people are adversely affected by issues of employment, housing and public accommodations.

    LGBTQ Anericans pay taxes the same. There is no discount box to check for not having equal rights. Barring us from legal marriage is denying full access to the same laws and benefits given by our government. NOT our churches

    • patlynch Says:

      You have hit on some important points. Right now, we are talking about the civil aspects of the marriage contract and it does have to do with a favored status for married people. I agree with you that marriage is in a pretty sorry condition and gay folks bear zero responsibility for it. It would be so much better were more “straight” people loyal to the marriage vows. Oh, excuse me. Many of them did not take any vows at all, or wrote whatever may have been recited. Weddings have become a sorry spectacle of deliberate public misrepresentations and society is paying a very heavy price. Properly understood and embraced, marriage as a civil contract binds responsible adults to the children they conceive in a perpetual union. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a divorced man, a broken vessel. I am as deserving of condemnation, perhaps more so, than anybody else.

      In the sense of an association created by the government, marriage does convey a favored status to people who are presumed to be raising children. This is not always the case, but it is the social intention. It is my belief that this society would be much better off if there were a much more serious attitude, and stringent enforcement of laws, concerning divorce and providing for children. No-fault divorce is a real problem, but you will not hear most conservative Christians address this problem. In practice, most Americans practice serial-polygamy. This is bad for culture and very destructive of the human soul.

      Of course, there is a theological aspect of this conversation that begins in what Augustine called “a community of love,” the Blessed Trinity. Christians have believed that God intends for humans to find completion and fulfillment with partners of the opposite gender. While your description of how marriage has developed has a great deal of legitimacy, and the bible plainly contains a great deal of polygamy in the Old Testament, believers today look to marriage as a type of sacramental representation of Christ’s love for the church. His love is not the sentimental type of romantic fantasy which has been popularized for the past 150 years, but the kind of love that allows itself to be viciously scourged and nailed to a tree for the sake of the beloved. I know that’s a heavy theological argument, and I do not mean to personally judge anybody.

      Does gay marriage harm the practice of Christianity? No, not directly. We know, however, how things to on slippery slopes. Do not groan. If it were not an apt analogy, it would not be used so frequently. As the military allows the open practice of homosexuality, the careers of “orthodox” Christian chaplains is endangered. What happens to chaplains who cannot in good conscience give spiritual counsel to people in a gay relationship? Since opponents of Chick-Fil-A have demonstrated a disregard for free speech, Christians must suppose that this lack of toleration will not stop at the church doors.

      It is my sincere hope that this discussion will set the tone for a more reasoned approach to public disagreements and, perhaps, even help encourage public peace. Free speech and the open practice of religion are part of our common natural heritage as Americans. We should keep those principles in mind.

      • Randi M Romo Says:

        I fully understand the reasoning around Christian based beliefs regarding THEIR marriages. But their insistence on forcing these views via ballot initiatives and legislation ignores the seeming right to access marriage via civil ceremonies and those churches who in fact DO wish to provide the sanctity of marriage to couples straight and gay who do desire these unions.

  4. Josh Says:

    Well said, Pat.

  5. Jim Magnus Says:

    THE issue that conservatives, social and fiscal; liberals; progressives; libertarians; the ACLU, the NRA, and even the HRC should be able to agree on here is that government officials should not be able to use regulatory power to punish an opinion and speech. Boycotts by private individuals are perfectly fine; conservatives advocate them all the time. But for a mayor or alderman, Representative, Senator, or bureaucrat to use their official position to punish speech is the quintessential violation of Constitutional protection.

    And those “winning” (meaning who want to see Chick-fil-a punished) must realize there are probably an equal number of places where they could be zoned out of living together or owning a business based on their beliefs. Freedom based on a majority opinion isn’t freedom; it’s power. Freedom to hold a minority opinion (wherever that minority may be found) is true freedom.

  6. Randi M Romo Says:

    The government regulates and even bans companies that produce toxic environments. What this company supports also creates toxic environments. The Southern Poverty Law Center has named the Family Research Council as a hate group.

    If this company supported organizations that were attempting to legislate inequality for other groups of Americans the public would be outraged. Because it’s LGBTQ people there is still an air of legitimacy around this kind of prejudice.

    In the bigger scheme of things. Yes they have a right to do business and they have a right to support who they want. But they also bear the burden that freedom of speech goes both ways. So LGBTQ people and their allies will continue to call out those who pay others to continue to disenfranchise my life and that if my loved ones and my community.

    The type of things they support means that the surviving partner of Dr Sally Ride the first American woman in space will be denied Federal death benefits. Despite the fact that they were together for 27 years.

    We have freedom of religion in this country, what happened to our ability to have freedom from religion? Our churches and temples etc have no right in dictating civil law for the populace

    • patlynch Says:

      You raise an interesting question about Sally Ride. I am afraid that Social Security death benefits are made available to people who are connected by marriage (husband/wife) or birth (son/daughter). Dr. Ride was a highly paid professional and I suppose she could buy life insurance to benefit whoever she pleases. I am most willing to support laws that make it possible for homo sexual people to easily pass property to partners and extend legal recognition to the rights involved with durable power of attorney. There is a well documented necessity to formally recognize the ability of an individual to grant this power to the person of his own choosing.

      Now, on to the more important matter of free speech. Your comparison of constitutionally protected expression of political opinions and toxic waste is breathtakingly mistaken. I am sure that Joseph Stalin would agree enthusiastically with depriving his enemies of their ability to be heard. In fact, he had some very effective techniques to dealing with troublesome dissidents. I refer you to the Gulag Archipelago. I do support your right to express opinions with which I disagree and I will go so far as to let you publish there right here.

      When I argue against same-gender marriage, my intention is not to demean homosexuals. This is America you get to live here too and your rights must be respected. I just happen to think this should not extend to marriage. I am in the unfortunate position of defending an institution that even Christians seem to have abandoned in large numbers. It is important to argue for the good society, even when you know that you will very likely lose. I appreciate your willingness to have a reasonable discussion.

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