The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chick-Fil-A, the New York Times, and Michelle Malkin

Chick-Fil-A is a fast-food chain that has some policies that are rather untypical. The company requires its franchisees to close their locations every Sunday; the president is such a fanatical theocrat that he imposes his Christian Sabbatarianism on everyone who has a connection with his company. And for that reason, I have never bought so much as one bag of French fries from a Chick-Fil-A. The company, as a private company, has the First Amendment right to "free exercise [of religion]." And I have my right to boycott them. My boycott is personal; I have not organized others or put up picket signs; but I certainly would have the right to do this if I chose to, and one would think that anyone would accept this as my right.

And if I were a newspaper, like the New York Times, I would certainly have the right, enshrined in that same First Amendment that gives Chick-Fil-A the right to freely exercise the religious beliefs of its owner, to print criticisms of Chick-Fil-A's bigotry. It seems that, to quote a column by Michelle Malkin, "One of its independent outlets in Pennsylvania donated some sandwiches and brownies to a marriage seminar run by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which happens to oppose same-sex marriage." In other words, they contributed some support, presumably with the agreement of headquarters (although I do not know this), to a bigoted, homophobic group. Although I was unaware of this until I read about it in a column that I saw in today's Washington Examiner by Malkin that is identical to her blog post, somehow this does not surprise me in the least, that an outlet of a religiously right-wing organization like Chick-Fil-A would take action to support bigoted, homophobic organizations like that. Now, a paper like the Times, as I said, has as much right to publish a denunciation of Chick-Fil-A for such bigoted actions as Malkin does to publish her column. I would agree with the Times and disagree with her, though on other issues where Malkin differs from the Times I suspect I'd be closer to her point of view. But Malkin has no reason to condemn the Times for pointing out that Chick-Fil-A is a bigoted, theocratic organization which seeks to impose its own religious views on others. I'm afraid that Malkin seems to think that opposing opinions to hers should not be expressed. And this is a free country, where Chick-Fil-A has freedom of religion under the First Amendment, but both the Times and she have freedom of the press under that same amendment. She may disagree with the Times, but she ought not to deny their rights to express an opinion.

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