I observed the very unfortunate interaction between Adam Smith, a “CFO/Treasurer of Vante”, an Arizona Corporation, who berated a Chik-Fil-A employee and taped it without her permission! (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJOkIidPx2o The reason Mr. Smith felt compelled to berate the Chik-Fil-A employee is that Dan Cathy, the CEO if Chick-fil-A, said he supported the biblical definition of marriage.
We now go to the video, and this presumed educated man berates this presumed low-wage employee for comments she may not personally agree with. Her handling of the interaction is to be commended! Mr. Smith, on the other hand, disrespected the employee and looked like a closed-minded arse.
He further says “I am totally heterosexual and not a gay in me”. Someone tell me what that comment was about. So being straight makes the comments less stupid? Maybe he really is a homophobe that just wants to make sure we all know he is straight. Or he wants to ask her out? Really? Being straight changes the fact you are an arse?
It seems that progressives and liberals believe that disagreeing with them is wrong and is a reason to deny rights clearly delineated in the US Constitution: the right to free speech.
The right to say what you want is the most important underpinning to our democracy. The public officials in Chicago and other cities that pummeled Chick-fil-A for a position not related to the way it conducts its business is wrong. They have threatened administrative and legal actions until they realized they looked like, well, idiots, and couldn’t do it because the law does not say we will deny your freedom of speech rights if we do not like what you say. No one has, from what I can gather, ever filed a wrongful termination suit for being gay. The company has not been accused of illegal employment practices or refusing to serve gay people. So where is the problem with Chick-fil-A?
I hear few on the ‘left’ defend Mr. Cathy’s right to freedom of speech. They all seem to be screaming that if you disagree with what I believe or think, then you are to be stopped, hated, and hurt. This is a very dangerous concept. To limit freedom of speech is the most dangerous thing that can occur within a democracy.
The reality is Mr. Smith demeaned himself to the world with his small-minded comments. He further said in essence, ‘if you do not believe in how I believe and think you must be mean.’
Sorry Sir, I and every law-abiding American should support Mr. Cathy’s right to say and believe what he wants. I will defend your right Mr. Smith, to look like an arse, which you did an excellent job of.
In the end, Vante reported they did the right thing. They terminated Mr. Smith's employment with the company, stating, “We respect the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions; however, we also expect our company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others”. Kudos to Vante for doing the right thing.
The bottom line is if you do not like Mr. Cathy’s comments, you can spend your money elsewhere. That is an element to your freedom of speech.