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by Maria Lloyd
America is most known and respected for its First Amendment, the freedom of speech. Where some countries severely punish their citizens for voicing opinions, America applauds and invites its citizens to voice an opinion. There’s one crucial problem with the amendment: Everybody has an opinion. When you have over 300,000,000 people in one country, there is a strong chance that the freedom to say whatever you want to say will piss some people off.
Having the unrestricted ‘privilege’ to voice your opinion in the “digital age” is one that can make you an overnight hero or an overnight enemy. Unfortunately, the latter distinction was given to Chick-fil-A’s CEO, Dan Cathy, when he publicly voiced his objection for same-sex marriage on “The Ken Coleman Show.” Anyone who knows anything about Chick-fil-A knows that it operates off of strong Christian values. The fast food chain takes its Christian values so seriously that it never opens on Sundays- in observation of the Sabbath Day. In response to Cathy’s stand against same-sex marriage, thousands of people are protesting the restaurant and mayors in San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago are not allowing the fast food chain to expand in their city.
There is one very valuable lesson to learn from this controversy: Americans are’t smart enough to respect the First Amendment. Or as my favorite comedian/commentator, Bill Maher says “Americans are stupid.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel defends his stand against Chick-fil-A saying “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values and if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.” Perhaps Chicago, a city with excessive gang violence that has led to the deaths of innocent children this year alone, should consider adopting new “values” and a new mayor.
If people believe Cathy’s remarks are vile or demeaning, they should address their concerns with the Christian faith, not the messenger (Cathy). He is one man who is standing in solidarity with one institution that he firmly believes in. If we are becoming a nation in which people can’t publicly express a solid objection without being severely criticized, we are going to continue to divide and eventually fail. The hypersensitivity surrounding political topics such as homosexuality is spiraling out of control. Simply put, being anti-same sex marriage does not make you anti-homosexuality and being anti-homosexuality does not make you homophobic. No one should support something simply because it’s the popular thing to do.
A person who has a solid argument to support their opinion should be respected no matter what stance you take on the topic at hand. Instead of allowing the popular opinions of television networks to form your thinking, get educated and learn to think for yourself.