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“Eat Mor Chickn” – but why?

August 2, 2012

Apparently the “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” yesterday was a resounding success. But I think people turned out by the thousands for one (or more) of several reasons.

The media wanted very badly for this to be some kind of referendum on gay marriage. I don’t have the statistics at hand to back this up, but I think there is a small but vocal minority strongly in favor of gay marriage. I think there is a small, slightly less vocal, minority strongly against it. They don’t get as much media attention unless they do something stupid, and most of those folks are not that stupid – they aren’t against it because they are afraid of gay people, or any of that nonsense. It’s just that their interpretation of what God wants only includes what we refer to as “traditional” marriage.

The vast majority of Americans, I think, really just don’t give a crap about gay marriage – or a lot of other “issues” the media likes to talk about. They are worried about making their next mortgage payment, figuring out how to pay for their kids to go to college, keeping a job, maybe even a little bit about terrorism. After all, the TSA is an extremely visible reminder that there is either (a) still a terrorist threat, or (b) government has gotten way out of control. (I tend toward 25% of (a) and 75% of (b), myself.) They scratch their heads about this stuff on the national TV news; events like a big-city mayor, who has a rampant drug-driven gang crime problem he ignores, declaring that a restaurant chain doesn’t have the right kind of values to do business in “his” city.

Americans have always been – since the founding of the country – sort of “live and let live” people. We tend to be comfortable only with a larger “personal space” than a lot of other cultures, and many of our ancestors came here because they didn’t like the interference of large institutions in their daily lives, whether it be government or the local religion.

America was settled by malcontents. If these folks were satisfied where they were living, why would they have taken a perilous sea voyage, landed in a place with a hostile native population, and try to scratch out a living with none of the supports of civilization they had enjoyed at home.?The did it because they didn’t want others to tell them what to do. The United States should have “You’re Not The Boss Of Me” on its currency!

If you are strongly in support of gay marriage, it does not necessarily follow that you believe the government has the right to dictate where a business may locate based on statements made by the CEO about his religious beliefs. If that should be allowed, then I don’t want General Electric in my town, because Jeffrey Immelt holds values I don’t – and he is a hypocrite about it. Instead, I think a CEO could tell me he believes in little gray aliens talking to him at night, and I wouldn’t care if he runs a good business.

But while the mayors of Chicago and Boston were not emulated by other mayors across the country, people turned out by the thousands to show support for the restaurant chain. Some of those, I’m sure, were supporting Mr. Cathy’s right to freedom of speech. Some were out to say that a restaurant chain that isn’t harming anyone shouldn’t be bullied by government. I’ll bet a very small number of those folks came out to say, “I don’t think gay people ought to get married.”

This “bullied by government” trope is becoming a daily news item. It’s not going to get better. Whether it’s the mayor of New York saying hospitals should lock up the baby formula to force mothers to breast feed, or Rahm Emanuel saying a chicken sandwich restaurant isn’t welcome in Chicago, people are fed up with the diversion from the serious issues and the intrusion of government into their personal lives.

A lot of the people who believe in the nanny state do so out of laziness, I think. Let the government tell me what to do, and I don’t have to think about it or worry about it and I can go home and watch football on my Chinese-made flatscreen TV.

Unfortunately, laziness will get you nothing but chains. Every time you let the government do the thinking or decision-making for you, you lose personal freedom. Remember, there is a direct relationship between personal freedom lost and power gained by someone else. Freedom doesn’t just vanish into the air. It is transformed into power. Like a dynamo turning kinetic energy into electricity, which can be more easily stored, when personal freedom is turned into power, it is stored by, and meted out by, the government.

There are a million ways the government has, and continues to, take away our freedoms. Most of the time folks feel they can’t do anything about it short of getting out the torches and pitchforks. However, going to a fast-food restaurant and buying a chicken sandwich – that they can do. (And without much fear of retaliation.)

What we need are more ways for individuals to fight back. The ballot box is slow, and gerrymandering and the pressure of “the Washington scene” makes it hard to get and keep strong representatives there. So we need other ways between buying a chicken sandwich and getting out the torches and the pitchforks to demonstrate our displeasure. The Sixties sit-in folks are now running the government, so they are aware of those kinds of movements and can minimize them. So what do we do?

Unfortunately, I don’t know, but I’m looking for the solution. I’ll let you know if I find it!

And getting back to the first paragraph? I think some people showed up yesterday just because they like tasty chicken sandwiches!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    August 2, 2012 9:40 am

    While I disagree with Chik-Fil-A’s stand, I wholeheartedly agree with THEIR RIGHT TO THEIR BELIEFS. Great post, Jeff.

    • August 2, 2012 9:47 am

      Thanks! And that got me to thinking that I didn’t really make the point about a company’s corporate values vs. those of the CEO, or in this case the owners, since CFA is family-owned. They have to follow anti-discrimination laws and such just like every other company. It’s sort of like: I believe my taxes are too high, and go to things I don’t approve of. That doesn’t mean I don’t pay them. I don’t believe the government has the right to make me wear a seat belt in my car, but I do it because it’s the law. I don’t recall hearing that Mr. Cathy said anything about gay people or making anything in corporate policy work against any group of people.

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  1. Eat Mor Chikn « The Old Gray Cat

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