O’Reilly: Chick-fil-A Support Big Win for Traditional Force

Friday, 03 Aug 2012 12:27 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said the massive turnout of support to Chik-fil-A — and by extension, traditional marriage and free speech — shows that “un-American” threats and intimidation by politically correct forces have no place in a respectful debate.

For O’Reilly’s “Talking Points” segment, titled “A Big Victory for Traditional Forces,” the host argued that “the beliefs of both sides should be respected. That's what freedom of expression is all about. So when politicians try to attack a business because they don't like the politics of its management, that's flat out un-American.”

The Chick-fil-A controversy erupted when company president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the chain, which puts faith ahead of profits by closing on Sundays, was “guilty as charged” for backing the “biblical definition of a family."

Editor’s Note: Bill O'Reilly's Amazing Health Secret: It Changed His Life

O’Reilly went on to say that “the hallmark of totalitarian regimes whether they be communist, fascist, or simply oppressive is to shut down the opposition, silence them, punish them. That's what the mayors of Boston and Chicago and San Francisco want to do, punish Chick-fil-A.”

O’Reilly said he believes most Americans condemn the stance of the mayors.

“Again there are good people on both sides of the gay marriage issue,” he said. “And we must protect their sincerely-held beliefs. It is not wrong or bigoted to believe American society is stronger and that the family unit is better served when marriage is between a man and a woman.”

He concluded, “It is also not wrong for homosexual Americans to want to get as much parity as they can. Robust debate is a good thing, threats and intimidation un-American.”

O’Reilly wasn’t alone in noting the importance of the Chick-fil-A controversy in the context of the First Amendment and political correctness. In an editorial on Friday, the New York Post called the Chick-fil-A turnout of support “the cluck heard ’round the world.”

“Countless thousands of Americans swarmed Chick-fil-A eateries everywhere Wednesday — standing tall for the First Amendment and sending a particularly pointed message to intolerant politicians like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn,” the Post editorial said, referring to the Mayoral candidate and outspoken supporter of gay rights.

“That message: We’re sick and tired of being bullied — forced to adopt speech codes and politically correct policies and practices insisted upon by activist elites and lefty pols,” the Post wrote.

“Galvanized by social media (which the Left once thought it owned),” the editorial said, “they lined up for blocks all across the country to buy sandwiches at Chick-fil-A restaurants, intending to make their point quietly, politely — while taking care to bag their trash as they left. (Unlike some protestors we could name.)”

“Chick-fil-A sales set an all-time record . . . Take that, Orthodoxy Enforcers!”
Even across the border, editorial pages weighed in. The Globe and Mail of Toronto, Canada compared the Chick-fil-A uproar to the Boston Tea Party. “. . . the United States has found ways to turn common pantry items and luncheon meats into polarizing touchstones,” the paper wrote. “As always, the real issue is personal freedom.”

“Odd as it seems,” the Globe and Mail wrote, “there is a shared underlying theme to these American food wars. For the British subjects of pre-revolutionary Boston, the issue was the right to be taxed only by their elected representatives, not by the Parliament across the sea. For people on both sides of the Chick-fil-A war, which may not achieve the historical resonance of the Boston Tea Party, the issue is the right to live your beliefs without fear of sanction or discrimination…These are fundamental American values.”

And Linda Devore, writing in an op-ed in the Fayetteville Observer of North Carolina, said disagreeing with gay marriage doesn’t equate to hate speech.

“We all prefer to live in a world where offensive words and conduct are discouraged, but increasingly it seems that merely speaking the truth of one's beliefs is being labeled ‘hate speech’ by those looking for an offense,” Devore wrote. “Cathy's words and support of organizations promoting traditional family values don't even come close. He is a soft-spoken man who knows what he believes, and understands that others may disagree and live their lives otherwise,” she wrote, referring to Cathy.

“As Americans,” wrote Devore, “we would all do better to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable, and respect differences of opinion without demonizing. Disagreeing does not equal ‘hate speech,’ as it is too often characterized these days. Do we really want to become the United States of Offense Taken?”

Editor’s Note: Bill O'Reilly's Amazing Health Secret: It Changed His Life

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