Last week was Chick-fil-A “appreciation day” across the country. It was a day of support for founder S. Truett Cathy’s son Dan Cathy’s stance against gay marriage. Cathy has admitted that he supports what he claims is the “the biblical definition of the family unit” and that gay marriage invites “God’s judgment on our nation.” Cathy does not just hold these beliefs, but spends millions of dollars supporting organizations that disperse the most offensive kind of anti-gay rhetoric and hate.
In repercussion to Cathy’s public acknowledgment of his well know stance mayors in several cities, such as Boston’s Thomas M. Menino, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel and San Francisco’s Ed Lee have suggested that Chick-fil-A is unwelcome in their cities, or at least Chick-fil-A should be required to sign pledges of non-discrimination. My position on the recent events is that I totally disagree with Dan Cathy’s archaic religious beliefs and I just as strongly disagree with any state action that tries to repress him. In a society where free speech is valued, even the most dreaded ideas must be given equal opportunity. Individuals in the marketplace should choose weather or not they support this corporation with its known hate filled agenda.
A just society should restrain and punish behavior that harms the life, liberty or property of another individual. Since when does partnership and contracts, which equals marriage, fall into a proper realm of government control? I do not believe that a just government should have the power to determine who should marry. It is a power best left in the hands of the people. Allowing the government the power to define marriage gives rise to interest groups promoting their agendas that end up limiting the freedom of individuals. Governments regularly succumb to the demands of special interest. If they do not have power to yield they are beyond the reach of influence and people are free to do what they please in this area of their lives, providing they are consenting adults, of course.
The issue is not one that should be fought over by the political left or right but one that should be extracted form state power except for the limited role of acknowledging contracts between individuals. Corporate actors like Chick-fil-A could not be attempting to force their outdated beliefs on citizens with the use of government power if the government was powerless.
What does Chick-fil-A have to do with Adam Lambert and American Idol? It is said that Dan Cathy is very particular about who he allows to purchase a Chick-fil-A franchise. The company looks for people who share Cathy’s right winged religious beliefs. In my opinion it was anti-gay sentiments that motivated Allen Kiser, the Chick-fil-A franchise owner in Conway, Arkansas, to spend thousands of dollars to keep Adam Lambert from becoming the Season 8 American Idol winner.
Adam Lambert had not disclosed his orientation during his stint on American Idol, but his Rolling Stone announcement was no surprise. Chick-fil-A is appalled at local governments that have interfered with their right to open a business, but didn’t they go way overboard when they intervened in a reality singing contest when votes determine the outcome? That is exactly what Allen Kiser did. I do not know whether he acted alone or with the blessing and financial support of Dan Cathy at Chick-fil-A headquarters.
While every measurable indicator favored an Adam Lambert victory around the nation, back in Conway, Arkansas Chick-fil-A mounted a campaign to change that outcome. Week after week people gathered to vote at Chick-fil-A sponsored events. It was not just ordinary voting, but power texting with multiple phones and after hour voting with West coast go-phones. Voters were encouraged to vote thousands of times each with free food and prizes. It was an appealing incentive in this sleepy college town. Keep in mind that they could rack up an impressive number of votes. 10,000 votes from 2,000 people = 20 million votes, 3,000 people = 30 million votes. There were about 3,000 people at the Vote Party on the night of the final. Allen Kiser attended with his Chick-fil-A cows baring name tags that identified themselves as Vote Party “Staff”.
For weeks Kiser stuffed his take out sandwich bags with “Vote Party” fliers at his local restaurant, he fed the late night voters free sandwiches, he gave out hundreds of food coupons and Chick-fil-A toy stuffed cows. Kaiser made up gift baskets as prizes for the highest voters and a grand prize of free food for a year.
The result was that a very ordinary singer won the contest. It very well may have seemed like a victory for the haters, but forces in the universe have a way of correcting evil. Now, over three years later, Adam Lambert has a #1 Billboard hit with his sophomore album Trespassing. Lambert mesmerized the world with his European tour as the frontman for the iconic band Queen. Yesterday fans were trending worldwide begging Adam Lambert for a Trespassing tour. Lambert’s star is on the rise, and the guy that a homophobic fast food restaurant supported to defeat gay Adam Lambert? He is opening outlet malls.
The lesson to be learned is expressed in Lambert’s own words:
Adam Lambert – “Love overcomes hate. Love has no color. Love has no orientation. All is love.”
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American Idol Vote Scam by Kerry Kolsch http://www.amazon.com/American-Idol-Vote-Scam-Inherently/dp/1452860378