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Shortly after hearing Mr. Huckabee’s stance on same sex marriage I announced to my family that I would never eat at Chik-Fil-A again. My nine year old daughter gave me a questioning look and asked, “Why?” I told her it was because the CEO supports denying rights to people based on his religious beliefs. “But you always say people have the right to believe in whatever they want.” This is true; I have always believed any individual has the right to follow whatever spiritual faith they wish. On this point I clarified, “Even though he has the right to his beliefs and the right to express those beliefs, I do not think it is right to dehumanize a group of people and use religion as an excuse. I do not feel it is right to force ones beliefs on to another. I disagree with any governmental or business decisions based on religious beliefs, and furthermore, to deny one employment based on their sexual preferences is discrimination, plain and simple.” This is a summarized version, I’m sure I went on a rant about how we have organized religion to thank for the Crusades, World War II, 9/11, the Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Burnings, and a number of other historical massacres in the name of someone’s God. “Why don’t they just close his store?” she asks. “As much as that might advance the progress of equal rights, we live in a country where he has the right to express his thoughts and opinions. We live in a country where he can believe in whichever of the thousands of interpretations there are for the Bible. Most importantly we live in a country where we have the right not to ever patronize a business that financially supports hate mongers.” I’m not sure how much of what I said sunk into her still young and naive mind, but all I can do is continue to try my best at raising an open minded and compassionate person. On a totally unrelated subject. During the Olympics opening ceremony, near the end when the Olympic flag was carried out by people who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of human rights and equality (some of whom I’m sure won the Nobel Prize for their work) the commercial break right afterwards had a Chik-fil-a ad. NBC Fail.
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Aug 5, 2012