August 5, 2012

Asshats of the Day

I was reading a short article yesterday about the "Kiss-Mor-Chiks" day (at least my town doesn't have a Chick-Fil-A, so we were spared such idiocy) when the final two sentences of the article, as the British say,  gobsmacked me.

Peoria resident Sally Albrecht hoped to encourage both Christianity and the importance of freedom of speech.

"As a Christian, I feel I have to stand up against this," Albrecht said. "We deserve freedom of speech without the whole world coming down [on] us."

Oh HELL no.

That is unadulterated, abject, utter nonsense.

It's a complete misunderstanding of the First Amendment.

It is also, dare I say it, profoundly unAmerican, to the point where the Founding Fathers will claw themselves out of their graves and start shambling after you.

The text of the First Amendment reads as follows.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

For all you grammar junkies out there, what's the most important part of that entire sentence?

That's right--the very first word. Congress. That is, the government.

Since there weren't any brownshirts (rainbow-flagged or otherwise) at Chick-Fil-A's dragging the protesters off in paddy wagons, we'll assume the government ignored their little temper tantrum. Their protest was perfectly lawful, and as stupid as I think it was, I would defend to the death their right to kick and scream and stamp their feet.

But, just as adults tend to remark on children throwing fits, you don't get to have your tantrums--or your free speech--without consequences.

Since we've just taken Congress/the government out of the equation, that leaves our fellow citizens. As our fellow citizens have as much right to free speech as you do, that means you can certainly support Chick-Fil-A's bigotry if you so wish.

Just as our fellow citizens have the right to call you discriminatory asshats for doing so.

Any other outcome means you, as a Christian (or anyone else who wants to spout abhorrent things without being called on it), are setting up your free speech on a higher, more exalted plane than your fellow citizens' free speech.

Or, as George Orwell, so eloquently put it, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Do you really think this is what the Founding Fathers meant by the First Amendment?

Also, Ms. Albrecht (and anyone else who espouses this stupidity) what makes you think you deserve "freedom of speech without the whole world coming down [on] you"?

What, precisely, have you done to deserve that?

Yes, you're a Christian. So? So is one-third of the motherfrakking planet. You're hardly an endangered species.

If you were an endangered species and the whole world was coming down on you, the scenario would look something like this: (1) your houses of worship would be closed down; (2) the Bible would be a forbidden book, possession of which would be punishable by a prison term; (3) any prosletyzing would be cause for arrest.

Is any of that happening?

I don't know about your town, but the listings for my town, depending on search engine, turned up anywhere between 122 and 152 local churches. As far as I know, all of them are open for business, there aren't SWAT teams sitting outside or black helicopters hovering overhead, and none of the worshipers are being tased and hauled off.

Again, what makes you think you deserve free speech without consequences? Just because you're a special Christian snowflake?

Really? You can't prove your religion is the One True Faith, or that your God actually exists for that matter, any more than I can. I may believe my faith is true, and such belief may be an integral part of my life, but that doesn't constitute empirical proof.

It certainly doesn't give me cause to support discrimination.

Yes, Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A, gets to spout off. Yes, he gets to close his chain on Sundays if he so wishes. I will defend his right to do both.

Just as I will defend my fellow citizen's right to protest his inflammatory statements, and more to the point, his support of anti-gay causes, and his company's possible employment discrimination. All of which are outlined here, and all of which are far more hurtful than someone publicly disagreeing with you.

So throw your little hissy-fit, Chick-Fil-A Christians, and whine to your heart's content about how mean people are being to you.

But until you're actually nailed to a stake like your Lord and Master, you don't have a chicken leg to stand on.

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