Darrell Huckaby: Apparently some beliefs are more entitled to free speech than others

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

OK. Let me get this straight. I live in the United States of America -- the land of the free and the home of the brave. I live in America, where freedom of speech is supposedly valued and has been protected by the First Amendment for almost 225 years. I live in a country where the Supreme Court of this nation has ruled that nude dancing, flag burning and pornography are protected forms of self-expression because we hold the tenet of the First Amendment so dear. I live in that country.

I live in a country where members of a particular congregation who call themselves a church are so full of hate and so narrow-minded and self-righteous that time and time again they march and protest at the funerals of soldiers who have laid their lives upon the very altar of freedom -- and these protests are upheld on the grounds of free speech.

I live in nation where the Ku Klux Klan is allowed to march and spew hatred and violence, a nation in which municipalities have been forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past year to accommodate the Occupy Wall Street movement, many of whom camp out, often without the appropriate permits, and dirty up our streets and sometimes destroy property -- all in the name of freedom of speech.

I live in that country. And yet, in this very country, Dan Cathy -- whose family has built with their own blood, sweat, toil and tears -- and, yes, Mr. President, they did build it themselves -- one of the finest and most successful businesses in the history of this nation -- is being bludgeoned and chastised and villainized from pillar to post because he had the audacity to proclaim that he and his family believe in and support traditional marriage. "We are very much supportive of the family -- the Biblical definition of the family unit ... " That's what the man said.

You would have thought he had said that Chick-fil-A was in support of Hiltler, Stalin and a yellow fever epidemic from the response Dan Cathy's comments have gotten from across the nation.

The Jim Henson Corporation announced that they were severing all business dealings with the Atlanta-based fast-food company. No more Bert and Ernie with your chicken sandwich. No more tickling Elmo with your waffle fries. No more Muppets, period.

The mayor of Boston has vowed to block Chick-fil-A from building in his city. So did the mayor and a certain city alderman in Chicago. That's the ticket. I don't agree with what the president of a company said so I am going to illegally prevent that person's company from doing business in my city. I am going to speak for millions of people and block any business license application that comes in our direction.

Yeah. That's the spirit. That's the open-mindedness that made America great. (Sarcasm, by the way.)

Gay and Lesbian groups across the country have vowed to bring the giant to its knees by refusing to follow the advice of the Chick-fil-A cows to "eat more chicken."

Understand something here. Dan Cathy -- nor any of his family -- have ever bashed gay people or attempted to discriminate against homosexuals in any manner. The Cathys have given away millions and millions of dollars to worthwhile charities and since it is their money and they earned it themselves they have the right to give it anyone they choose or to withhold it from anyone they choose. Chick-fil-A hires the brightest and nicest workers in the fast food industry. They treat their employees -- well, they treat them like they would like to be treated, and as a result the service at Chick-fil-A has always been a significant cut above the service at other counter service restaurants. Their Winshape program has improved the lives of thousands of people.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A has never made a secret of his strong Christian faith and has always run his corporation according to Christian values. I don't know exactly when we started demonizing people for standing up for their Christian beliefs, but whatever day that was was a sad day for our nation.

Don't hear something I am not saying. People who don't agree with the Cathys' position have every right in the world to not eat their chicken. But the Cathys have every right in the world to believe what they believe -- and to state those beliefs. If the truth were known and the public was not afraid of offending the political correctness police, I believe a lot more people would agree with their position than would disagree with it, and I would hope that an even larger percentage of the population would agree with their right to express that opinion.

As for me, I believe every consenting adult in this country has the right to do what and with which and to whom they please -- but I stand firmly with Dan Cathy in his stance on the traditional family. That is my opinion. You are entitled to yours. That's the way it works in a free society.

We are a free society -- at least for the time being. In the meantime, I don't always eat chicken sandwiches but when I do, I am going to eat mine at Chick-fil-A.

Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net.


sunshine 3 years, 1 month ago

Very well written! I love reading your stories! Everybody i know ate ata a Chc-fil-a yesterday. And not because they are against gay's but because we are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs!


KimberlyD 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Kathy and his company has donated $5M to an organization that tells teens and young adults gays that God hates them for being gay, etc. It's more than just the free speech. It's about judgement. Instead of CFA donating the money to those teens and youth that have nowhere to live since many of their families have disowned them and kicked them out, CFA donates the money to kick them while they are down. Let's forgive the murderers, pedophiles, pillagers, thieves, abusers but sarcasm condemn those only guilty of love to hell....I heard this recently: "So, if a company or an organization wants to support gay rights/same sex marriage I don’t believe that Christians should boycott and/or protest them (come on people, has that REALLY worked for us in the past?) Jesus went after the hearts of people far from Him through conversation, not condemnation. Yes, sin must be called what it is, even at the risk of offending people: however, when it is done so with a hateful spirit then Jesus is NOT exalted, thus making the confrontation of sin sinful!" It's the judgement and hatred that I totally disagree with. Did Mr. Kathy say he hated gays? NO, but his actions speak differently. I'm a pastor's spouse and we have gay friends. These friends have served in the military and pay taxes, yet are denied basic human rights.... Doesn't seem fair to me....


glgb 3 years ago

I would be willing to bet (& I'm not really a betting person) that if the full truth were known that the organization you speak of does NOT teach young people to hate gays. It seems to me that when anyone expresses an opinion that they only believe in marriage between a man & a woman that they are haters of gay people. I believe that is FAR from the truth. I personally do feel that marriage was designed by God to be only between a man & a woman & I will never change that opinion. However, I do have & have had friends who are gay & I do NOT treat them any differently than anyone else. The only thing that bothers me is if they become vocal about it & claim that all who do not agree with them hate them!!!!!! To me this is a ridiculous thought! You can be friends with people & even love them while not totally agreeing with their lifestyle.

I am totally baffled by some of the things that you are saying as a pastor's spouse. I know many pastors & their spouses who treat all people equally even if they don't agree with all of their beliefs!


KimberlyD 3 years ago

So what "baffles" you? The fact that I don't throw stones in my glass house? I copied and posted what a friend of mine said she heard a pastor say. I have a big heart and lots of love and acceptance to give. So as a pastor's spouse I'm supposed to treat people equally and not agree with their beliefs? You are contradicting yourself and talking out of both sides of your mouth.... You're baffled by what I say but you know other pastors and their spouses that treat people equally....Treating people equally is what the entire gay marriage debate is about, in case you haven't noticed.... And please explain how gay marriage will impact your straight marriage?


dennistay53 3 years, 1 month ago

What a great article. I would say that we would be a much greater nation with Mike Huckabee as president. After the way he is sticking up for Mr Cathy makes me so proud that i worked for his georgia campaign in 2008. I am also so proud of all the citizens who are supporting chick-fil-a. How can any President or high elected official make negative remarks about someone speaking their religious beliefs? They don't mind spending the money that says IN GOD WE TRUST.


katie6859 3 years, 1 month ago

You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate. – Richard A. Weatherwax


Bemused 3 years, 1 month ago

No one gives a crap that he was exercising his constitutional right to free speech. What people are more than a little upset about is taking over $5M of his company's money and using it to promote hate and bigotry. He can say whatever he wants to, but people don't have to give his company their money and that is why they are boycotting. Is that really such a hard concept to understand?


KimberlyD 3 years ago

Apparently, some believe it's serving God and Christian like to donate money to hate organizations because it's in their book they choose to use as a weapon instead of a tool of love. That's how I use mine as a tool of love and acceptance. ~The baffling pastor's spouse


cathy 3 years, 1 month ago

why is it so right for mr. cathy to financially support organizations that actively work to deny rights to law abiding citizens of this "free" country you speak of but not ok for the citizens to withhold their equally hard earned money in protest. at one time blacks and women had no rights. haven't we learned anything! in this free country there should be no law based on religion. the issue here is not the belief but what you try to do with it. believe what you want. live how you want but be prepared for people to stand up for their indiviual rights. and if that means not putting money into a business that is going to use it to deny rights then so be it. i don't agree with banning any business for their religious beliefs but i have no sympathy for him cause sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire. so much for love thy neighbor. yea i wanna go to That church. not.


Sign in to comment