Thursday, August 2, 2012

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Money

So some Chik-Fil-A executive ran their mouth a few weeks ago.  You know what?  It's not about that.  Of course he has freedom of speech, he can say whatever he wants, and I'll go on my merry way.

But then, of course, it doesn't stop with speech.  Chik-Fil-A puts their money where their mouth is.  Nearly $2 million dollars worth in 2010, and the same in 2009.  Funding groups like Exodus International, which up until this year tried to change people's sexual orientation from gay to straight.  This is a scene from a play based on actual court records:




And then there's the Family Research Council listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay organization.

You know what?  I happen to like family values.  I'm still on my first husband.  We actually waited until marriage.  We both care about raising our son well.

(You know what?  That whole night of your wedding thing?  I really don't recommend that.  You're exhausted, you're stressed, and if you've never done it before it's pretty nerve-wracking.  None of those things are conducive to a good first time.  Personally, I think if a couple can find or make some relaxed time in the weeks before the wedding... or after if they REALLY insist on waiting, that's a better idea.  But hey, things get better with practice.)

For about a year or so, until I learned how Chik-Fil-A was using the money they earn from their customers, I actually liked the place.  They were one of the few restaurants I found that CONSISTENTLY had under-3-year-old toys available.  (Most other places had conveniently run out, leaving us with the choice of choke hazard or no toy.)  Chik-Fil-A "toys" tended to be books, which I also value.  So many kids these days grow up without books, so this is definitely a good thing.  And they tend to be books that support my values.  In the under-3 stage, DS got a Chik-Fil-A book showing musical instruments, we LOVE that.

But this?  I don't like the way Chik-Fil-A is spending their money.  I suppose, given the Citizens United ruling, that could be construed as an attempt to infringe on Chik-Fil-A's right to free speech.

But I'm not telling anyone else how to spend their money.  I'm simply choosing how I spend my own.  And until they can learn to live the fullness of Christ's love, I won't patronize them again.

Which is a crying shame, in my book.  I estimated that about 90% of Chik-Fil-A's values are my values.  It's just that this last 10% is pretty important to me.  Don't like gay people?  Let them live their life.  Don't go threatening to deport  them, jail them, etc.

Cause all those people lining up for Chik-Fil-A today?  You're telling people, children and adults, not to be themselves.  To hide who they are.  To be afraid.  And that is not okay.