I don’t buy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because the company supports so many leftwing causes. However, I do not boycott, bully, or protest against those stores that sell Ben and Jerry’s products. Nor do I deface the stores with graffiti. As a private company, Ben and Jerry’s has the right to spend its corporate profits as it wishes, and as a private citizen I have the right to spend my earnings as I wish. This fact is foundational to the freedom we enjoy as Americans. But apparently there are a lot of Americans who think freedom should be a one-way street. These are the Americans who responded to Dan Cathy’s comments about traditional marriage with Gestapo tactics that included threats, intimidation, and coercion. Their message was clear: believe what we believe or we will shut you down.
Fortunately for Chick-fil-A and America, there are still more people who support the restaurant’s values or at least support freedom of speech than there are leftwing zealots who would trample the Constitution underfoot to advance their radical social agenda. Hundreds of thousands of Americans turned out recently in a show of support for Chick-fil-A. By contrast, the leftwing protests that followed two days later were a non-event. One can learn much by comparing the people to who came out to support Chick-fil-A with those who tried to bully and intimidate the company. The Chick-fil-A supporters represent the kind of America envisioned by our Founders. The protestors represent the kind of America envisioned by Barack Obama and his comrades on the left.
I made a point of participating in the nationwide rally of support for Chick-Fil-A by going to the franchise in my community for breakfast and lunch. The place was swamped. Cars completely encircled the restaurant two abreast waiting to take their place in the drive-through line. The parking lot of the nearby Wal-Mart was filled with the cars of people who, unable to find a space anywhere near the restaurant’s packed parking lot, gladly walked a half mile or more to then stand in a line that wrapped around the block. What took place at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide on that day was more than a show of support. It was a socio-cultural phenomenon.
I returned on Friday to witness the big “kiss-in” protest. What I saw instead was what you would see on any Friday at this particular franchise: well-mannered people scurrying into the restaurant or lining up in the drive-through lane to grab a quick breakfast before going to work. The only kissing going on was done by a young couple—a man and a woman—with a chubby-cheeked little baby. They were kissing the baby. Consequently, to get the observations I needed to compare supporters versus opponents of Chick-Fil-A I had to resort to the unpleasant task of watching several heavily biased newscasts provided by the liberal mainstream media.
The supporters of Chick-Fil-A were well-mannered and patient. They smiled and talked with their neighbors in line and were courteous and helpful to each other. I saw several young people give their places in line to elderly customers. I saw customers chip in and help the harried Chick-Fil-A employees. In short, I saw kindness, courtesy, camaraderie, smiles, and mutual-respect. Being with these people was a pleasant and uplifting experience, in spite of the crowded conditions.
With the few protestors I was able to find on television and the Internet I saw a much different scene. I witnessed vitriol, vulgarity, and vandalism. I also saw people who demand that others submit to their radical agenda or suffer the consequences acting out their intolerance. I saw people who would gladly shut down every Chick-fil-A restaurant in America without a thought for the jobs that would be lost or the people who would lose them. The type of people who came out to support Chick-fil-A were once a majority in this country. My prayer is that they still are.