Home > Politics > Some People Don’t Understand Free Speech

Some People Don’t Understand Free Speech

Being on vacation this week, I’ve mostly missed the hubbub surrounding Chick-fil-A’s anti gay stance. I did, however, read this article about the pro Chick-fil-A backlash in my neck of the woods. What struck me most was that so many people standing in line to support hate seemed to seriously believe they this was more of a matter of free speech.

ā€œIā€™m here because (the owner) should have the right to say what he feels and not be chastised for that,ā€ said Jean Matt.

Here’s the thing: that’s not how free speech works. In America, you DO have the right to say what you want, but you have to expect a reaction. That is how we function in a marketplace of ideas. You come out with something batshit crazy, I call you in it, and people line up along sides arguing the merits of our positions until the matter is sorted out.

If this gentleman truly valued free speech, he would have sent his $5.95 towards the ACLU. Unfortunately, we do live in a time where free speech is often under attack, and the ACLU functions as the first line of defense.

It is admirable to care deeply about the state of free speech in the world today. There are plenty of instances where it is in danger. But if the extent of your activism is to stand in line to buy a chicken sandwich (delicious though it may be), then it is time to think about what truly motivated you. You’re not standing up for speech. You’re standing up for hate.

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